Make USB stick bootable: Create a bootable USB stick for Mac and PC

Create a bootable USB stick on the Mac: when deleting, please select OS X Extended as the format and GUID as the scheme

Make a USB stick bootable, this is not a casual task; but it is doable. The Boot PC or Mac with a USB stick can also have many advantages - because you had one a long time ago DVD for booting the computer equipped, then it can meanwhile be scratched, lost in the collection, unusable due to environmental influences and wear and tear, or something else. A bootable USB stick is safer there - and if in doubt, it can simply be stuck to the back of the computer to find it again.

Partitioning preview: the right format for PC and Mac

Very important, if you want to make a USB stick bootable, is the format in which the stick is partitioned. For example, if you want to boot an Apple computer from the USB stick, then bring you FAT: and NTFS nothing – files can be exchanged between PC and Mac; but only Windows can be booted from FAT and NTFS systems. Do you want that Boot OS X from the USB stick, then must for partitioning Mac OS Extended chosen as the format .

Make the USB stick bootable under OS X or macOS: An important requirement is the "Mac OS Journaled" format
Make the USB stick bootable under OS X or macOS: The “Mac OS Extended Journaled” format is an important requirement.

Format the USB stick correctly and change partitions

OS X already provides the right tools for this, which is why the process should not take longer or even 5 minutes. First you go to the folder Program and there in Subroutines. That's where you'll find it Disk Utility. Once you have found this, you can now connect the desired USB stick at the latest. Theoretically, a USB hard drive or another USB device is also possible. But they usually have too much space, which you give away by not using them.

Im Your Mac's hard drive utility You will then see the available storage media in the left column; including your USB device. To make a partitioning, you select the stick from which you want to boot. Then you click on the options list above the right part of the window on the point partition. The current settings of the stick will then be displayed to you.

Under the heading Partition layout you will find a scrolling menu in which you can select the desired number of partitions on the selected storage medium. For the bootable USB stick 1 would not be a bad choice. So choose 1, even if there are currently several partitions. But before we start partitioning, we have to go back to below Options ... be clicked. In the window that appears you choose the GUID partition table out of - This is the only way to make the USB stick bootable!

Now we come to the scrolling menu where you can select the format. There you decide for yours OS X boot stick for Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Almost done - now click on Apply filter (bottom right) and confirmed by clicking on Partition the process in the message window that appears. Partitioning is done. Now we can get started.

Create a bootable USB stick on the Mac: when deleting, please select OS X Extended as the format and GUID as the scheme
Create a bootable USB stick on the Mac: If you have a freshly purchased USB stick that has at least 8 GB capacity, then you don't need partitioning as above, but can reformat the stick directly using the "Delete" button. It is very important that you choose “OS X Extended” as the format and “GUID Partition Table” as the scheme.

Making a USB stick bootable: For the OS X operating system

Let's take the current operating system as an example OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Although there is a rescue partition here, but make a USB stick bootable and having it as a backup for a new installation ensures a little more security if you don't have internet access. In addition a bootable USB device with installer is worth it as backup for the future, if with the coming in the fall MacOS Sierra that OS X will slowly but surely die out.

You can download OS X El Capitan for free from the Mac AppStore to make a USB stick bootable
You can download OS X El Capitan for free in the Mac AppStore – but do not install it directly, so that you can use the installer to make a USB stick bootable!

So let's start: The first thing you should do is Installer for OS X 10.11 El Capitan download - you can find it as a download in the Mac App Store. However, do not carry out the installation with the program - you probably already have the OS on the disk. Rather, look in the programs for the Installer app (DMG file). Small additional remark: to accommodate the installer on the bootable USB stick, it must have a capacity of at least 8 GB (the linked article brings you ideal USB sticks and models for the future).

So now it gets interesting; you have the formatted stick and the installer. Now you have to Port Endeavor program. There you enter the following command without additions or line breaks (the term "example" stands for the stick name. You can change this when partitioning):

sudo / Applications / Install \ OS \ X \ El \ –volume / Volumes /example –Applicationpath / Applications / Install \ OS \ X \ El \

You confirm the code or its execution with the enter key. An admin password is then requested and entered by entering Y (as "Yes") you then confirm the desired process again. It can take a while; the Port but gives information about the current progress. If this is 100% complete, then he gives the term last Done .

How to use the bootable USB stick now?

At the Start the Mac with a bootable USB device connected or equipped with the installer will be the same not automatically as a startup volume chosen. You can help here by listening for the corresponding start-up sound when the Mac starts up the Option or Alt key tried hard. In the following selection you can now control the stick.

Isn't there an easier way? Yes!

Of course, there is also a third-party wizard for the whole procedure. Here you can Make a USB stick bootable with just a few clicks and rescue a Mac. The most used and recommended tool for this is DiskMakerX (Link leads to the page with information and download of the tool), which automatically carries out the steps described and only requires the OS, the stick and a few clicks from you.

Boot Windows from USB? That works too!

If you Boot Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 via USB then you need either the original DVD or an ISO. The Windows operating system as ISO for download abound on the internet. In addition to the complete instructions for the USB stick with Windows boot, you should also get the ISO reference at this point are recommended, where you can also find ISO files for Windows 7 and Windows 8 versions.

If you are really lazy, you can also boot Windows 10 via USB; with an original Windows 10 USB stick, which you can order from Amazon, among others. Depending on the version, this costs up to 130 euros.

But if you want to save the money, proceed as follows when creating the Windows 10 USB stick:

  • Install from ISO, upgrade file or similar source
  • Under the question "How would you like to proceed?" Create installation media for another PC choose file
  • Select the USB memory stick for the medium to be used
  • Here we go, all you have to do is add a few clicks

Boot operating systems via USB – no problem

Almost everything is overflowing in digital home use these days USB, so that should too Boot from a USB stick to be possible. With both OS X and Windows, you can pull little helpers onto USB relatively easily. A Make the USB stick bootable, this is not rocket science, but a safe step towards booting the system in the event of hard disk problems or other failures. What are your experiences; you have had to before boot from USB? How do you have yours USB boot stick tinkered? Please leave a comment!

My tips & tricks about technology & Apple

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership would support.

Post a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.