Like previous versions of OS X, El Capitan has the annoying habit of automatically starting the installation process once the download is complete. This would be fine if all you wanted to do was quickly install El Capitan as an upgrade install over your existing version of OS X. But even if this is your goal, it's not too likely that you're actually ready to start the install process. There are two methods of creating the bootable installer; one involves using Disk Utilitythe Finder, hidden filesand a great deal of effort and time.
The older process outlined in the Yosemite document will work for El Capitan; you need only be aware of file name changes, such as El Capitan instead of Yosemite in the instructions. There's also a second method, and it's the method we prefer because it's less involved, has fewer places where things can go wrong, and only involves using a single app: Terminal.
Download the installer from the Mac App Store. Once the download is complete, the installer will start automatically. When it does, be sure to quit the installer. If you allow the installer to actually perform an installation, the installer will delete itself at the end of the process. If you have already installed OS X El Capitan, and wish to now create a bootable installer, you can force the Mac App Store to re-download the installer.
These instructions will also work for other suitable bootable devices. We assume you're using a USB flash drive, but any bootable device will work, including an external drive or internal drive.
The process of creating the bootable OS X El Capitan installer causes the USB flash drive you're using as the destination for the installer to be erased. It's not much of a secret, especially since we have used this method in the past to create bootable installers for previous versions of OS X.
But since it involves using Terminaland entering a long command with quite a few arguments that need to be provided, it remains mostly unused, if not completely ignored, by many day-to-day Mac users. Still, it's the easiest way to create the bootable installer, so let's get started. If it isn't, flip back to Page 1 of this guide for details about re-downloading the app from the store. Give the flash drive an appropriate name. We suggest calling the drive elcapitaninstaller.
You can use any name you wish, but it shouldn't have any spaces or special characters. If you do select a different name, you'll need to modify the Terminal command we outline below with the flash drive name you selected.
In the Terminal window that opens, enter the following command. The command is a single line of text, though your web browser may show it displayed over several lines. If you used the drive name suggested above, you can triple-click on one of the words in the command to select the entire line of text.
The following command will completely erase the flash drive named elcapitaninstaller. Press return or enter. You'll be asked to provide an administrator password. Enter the password, and press return or enter. The terminal will execute the createinstallmedia command and display the status as the process unfolds.
You may want to consider taking a break and stretching your legs.
How to Create a OS X El Capitan Boot Installer USB Flash Drive
Once Terminal completes the command, it will display the line Doneand then show the Terminal prompt waiting for a new command to be entered. You can use this bootable installer to perform any of the supported installation types, including an upgrade install or a clean install.
You can also use it as a bootable troubleshooting tool that includes an assortment of apps, including Disk Utility and Terminal. Apple Macs iPad. Tweet Share Email. Connect the USB flash drive to your Mac. You can now quit Terminal. More from Lifewire.To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.
I'm trying to create a bootable drive from the El Capitan disk image I was able to download, I've found many articles on how to do so but the instructions are not compatible with what I have on my computer. Many sites say I have to go into Applications and find the installer, which is not there.
How do I get the installer into Applications? Opening the dmg places what looks like an installer on my desktop which I cannot move into Applications and upon clicking it opens a finder window with a. Posted on Sep 13, PM. First, review this introductory article: Create a bootable installer for macOS. Second, see this How To outline for creating a bootable El Capitan installer. Simply replace the Terminal command with the one from the preceding article by copying it into the Terminal window.
Open the Terminal in the Utilities' folder. Choose the appropriate command line in red depending upon what OS X installer you want. Paste that entire command line from below at the Terminal's prompt:. You will be asked for your admin password.
It will not echo to the Terminal window. Wait for the return of the Terminal prompt signifying the process has completed. It takes quite some time to finish. Be patient. Page content loaded. Sep 13, PM in response to jleefish In response to jleefish. Sep 13, PM. Just to add, you can't create a bootable installer from a disk image.
You need to have or download the El Capitan installer.Many Mac users interested in running OS X El Capitan may wish to have a bootable install drive of the new operating system. The process of creating the boot installer for OS X For OS X Making disk bootable… Copying boot files… Copy complete.
Beta system software is often unstable and is not intended for primary use outside of development environments. Unless something changes, this command will almost certainly work to make a boot installer with future versions of the OS X El Capitan installer app as well, just keep in mind the file name of the installer will change for beta versions and final version, so users would need to adjust that portion of the command syntax as necessary.
Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:. Anyone hit this problem? Arguments—volume, A path to a volume that can be unmounted and erased to create the install media. How can i fix it? Making disk bootable… Mount of outer dmg failed. Using a Sandisk drive this time around worked just fine. Works perfectly. Okay, not using USB, I want to create a small partition that acts as the installer from my hard drive.
Someone above asked for this already and got anything but the correct answer. Can anyone help? Or at least use a dvd as the installer?
Any ideas to why it is not showing the usb when I restart by holding option key down? Most users should not install beta software, it is very buggy. Wait for final release in the fall. You probably did not rename the newly made partition from Untitled 1 to ElCapInstaller, its an important step. It can be done with an external hard drive but it would be formatted, not an efficient usage of large disk space thus a USB flash key is better, but yes a hard drive would work. How can I do this?
How to make a bootable OS X 10.11 El Capitan installer drive
This is for advanced users, the beta is very buggy right now so it would be best to hold off and wait until the public version in the fall. In the past, as with Yosemite, sites have offered a partition for the installer on hard drives. I also have a separate drive for the destination as well. Can anyone help with this command? I appreciate the advice that I should wait until the fall but would prefer to dabble myself.
If all you want to do is install El Capitan onto a separate partition or hard drive, you can do so with these instructions:. Then restart for everything to get back to normal after you have run these commands in Terminal. The disk creation goes smooth but Startup Disk preference pane does not see it as a boot disk.OSX 10.11 El Capitan - How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive - GUIDE!
I learned this the hard way myself. Most of the guides, including Apple's own support doc on how to create a bootable Mac OS installer on USB — as of this date — fail to mention the ownership step. First and foremost, the USB flash drive must support ownership functionality.
Complicating matters, the USB flash drive default may disable boot support. The "missing step", after ensuring the USB flash drive is formatted correctly, involves mounting the USB flash drive on the desktop, and doing "Get Info" right-click if your mouse supports it.
After launching "Get Info" you will see a window appear. The lowermost right corner is a padlock icon. To unlock it, enter your administrative password. On the lowermost left side there may be a box checked that says "ignore ownership".
Uncheck the box. Click the padlock to save the changes. If you haven't done so already, proceed with Apple's "createinstallmedia" command line instructions in the Terminal window. When the process is complete, reboot while holding down the Option key. Continue to hold down Option until you see the USB flash drive as a boot option.When OS X shipped on a DVD a good number of years ago, you always had the convenience of a bootable installer—an OS X installer that could be used to boot your Mac if its own drive was having problems.
In other words, you no longer have the same safety net or convenience. If you need to install El Capitan on multiple Macs, using a bootable installer drive is faster and more convenient than downloading or copying the entire installer to each computer.
If you want to erase the drive on a Mac before installing El Capitan, or start over at any time, you can use a dedicated installer drive to boot that Mac, erase its drive, and then install the OS and subsequently restore whatever data you need from your backups. And if your Mac is experiencing problems, a bootable installer drive makes a handy emergency disk. OS X Recovery lets you repair your drive and reinstall OS X, but to perform the latter task, you must wait—each time you use it—for the entire 6GB of installer data to download.
I show you how, below. However, unlike any other app, if you run the OS X installer from that default location, the app deletes itself after it's done installing OS X. If you plan to use the OS X installer on other Macs, or—in this case—to create a bootable installer drive, be sure to copy the installer to another drive, or at least move it out of the Applications folder, before you use it to install the OS on your Mac.
If you don't, you'll have to redownload the installer from the Mac App Store before you can use the instructions below. Follow this tutorial to properly format the drive if you're using OS X Yosemite or older. In my articles on creating a bootable installer drive for older versions of OS X, I provided three, or even four, different ways to perform the procedure, depending on which version of OS X you were running, your comfort level with Terminal, and other factors.
Starting with Mavericks, the OS X installer hosts a hidden Unix program called createinstallmedia specifically for creating a bootable installer drive. Using it requires the use of Terminal, but createinstallmedia works well, it's officialand performing the procedure requires little more than copying and pasting. The only real drawback to createinstallmedia is that it doesn't work under OS X If you absolutely refuse to go near Terminal, an El Capitan-compatible version of DiskMaker X is now availablealthough I haven't yet had the chance to test it.
Copy complete. Making disk bootable Copying boot files The procedure can take as little as a couple minutes, or as long as 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how fast your Mac can copy data to the destination drive.
Once you see Copy Complete. You can boot any El Capitan-compatible Mac from your new installer drive. First, connect the drive to your Mac. Then, restart your Mac or, if it's currently shut down, start it up while holding down the Option key. Alternatively, if your Mac is already booted into OS X, you may be able to choose the installer drive in the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences, and then click restart.
In fact, you'll see the same OS X Utilities screen you get when you boot into OS X Recovery—but unlike with recovery mode, your bootable installer includes the entire installer. Macworld also has bootable-install-drive instructions for Yosemite OS X Your OS X user account must also have administrator privileges. Making the installer drive Connect to your Mac a properly formatted 8GB or larger drive, and rename the drive Untitled. The Terminal commands I provide here assume that the drive is named Untitled.
Select the text of the following Terminal command and copy it. Note that the window that displays the command scrolls to the right. Paste the copied command into Terminal and press Return.Like previous versions of macOS, El Capitan This is fine if you want to quickly install the new OS to replace an existing one. But for a lot of users, there's a bit of housekeeping that needs to be done before installing the new OS.
This may include backing up your data or making a bootable version of the El Capitan installer on a USB flash drive. A bootable installer for macOS El Capitan is a good idea even if your plan is to perform an upgrade install.
Having your own copy of El Capitan on a separate device ensures that you'll always be able to install or reinstall it.
There are two ways create the bootable installer. One involves Disk UtilityFinder, hidden filesand a great deal of time and effort. The older OS used in that guide will still work for El Capitan.
The other method is less involved, has fewer places where things can go wrong, and only involves a single app: Terminal. You'll need a copy of the El Capitan installer. Download the installer from the Mac App Store.
Once the download is complete, the installer will start automatically. When it does, quit the installer. If you allow the installer to perform the installation, the installer will delete itself at the end of the process.
We need the installer program to help us create a bootable installer, so it's important that you not let the installer run.
If you have already installed El Capitan and wish to now create a bootable installer, you can force the Mac App Store to re-download the installer.
These instructions will also work for other suitable bootable devices, including an external drive or internal drive, but we'll assume you're using a USB flash drive. Give the flash drive an appropriate name. We suggest calling the drive elcapitaninstallerbut you can use any name you'd like, provided there are no spaces or special characters. If you do select a different name, you'll need to modify the Terminal command we outline below with the flash drive name you selected.
The command is a single line of text, though your web browser may display it displayed as several lines. If you used the drive name suggested above, you can copy and paste the complete line of text. The terminal will execute the createinstallmedia command and display the status of the procedure. Once Terminal completes the command, it will display the line Doneand then show the Terminal prompt waiting for a new command.To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.
I'd like to re-use an old Mac Posted on Nov 24, AM. Page content loaded. Nov 24, AM in response to myshkin In response to myshkin Nov 24, AM. Hi Eau I'm sorry, that link in your reply was 'How to Upgrade The OS of the older Mac has been corrupted and cannot boot.
On the terminal, the command:. Nov 24, PM. Nov 24, PM in response to myshkin In response to myshkin Now you should be able to use the createinstallmedia command to create. Communities Contact Support. Sign in Sign in Sign in corporate. Browse Search.
Ask a question. User profile for user: myshkin myshkin Thanks in advance for your help. More Less. Reply I have this question too I have this question too Me too Me too.
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How to Create a OS X El Capitan Boot Installer USB Flash Drive
User profile for user: Eau Rouge Eau Rouge. Desktops Speciality level out of ten: 1. If so then use the createinstallmedia commands to create the bootable installer.