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Installing Mountain Lion Without Bootable Backup

1889 Views 30 Replies Latest reply: Apr 8, 2013 5:36 AM by keith contarino RSS
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,090 points)

    Hmmm, to be honest I have no idea what that means either.... but I did a google search and came up with (there are more; all of them mention disk encryption and/or Windows - don't know if that would apply to you):





    I have DW and don't know if it would work on that - it repairs directories, but I think your problem goes deeper than that (at least according to these articles), but you can try it; at this point, it can't hurt.


    So you chose the top level entry of that drive? Can you erase the entire thing (as a first step and then try to partition later)?

  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 Level 4 (2,730 points)

    Let me weigh in for you here.


    At the same time you were posting your original message I was busy fighting with my MacBook Pro and trying to upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion.  I have a Late 2011 17" MacBook Pro, and it was working great with Lion.  I was workign on a project that prevented me from upgrading to Mountain Lion sooner, so when I got the chance, I wanted to do the upgrade.  Ever since I got my original MacBook Pro over 5 years ago, I have been using SupreDuper to make a bootable clone of my OS disk before making any major changes.  This has saved my butt many times, and the upgrade to Mountain Lion was one of them.


    I was running Lion 10.7.5 on my MBP, and when I downlaoded the 10.8.2 installer and installed it on my machine, it hung on the first boot after the install process.  Just a grey Apple screen.  Luck for me, I was able to boot from my clone in a FW800 enclosure and restore back to 10.7.5 on the internal drive.  I think I repeated this process about 6-7 times before I finally found the one piece of software I had installed 2 years earlier that was incompatible.  Using your logic, upgrading from 10.7.5 to 10.8.2 should have been "trivial" but it wasn't for me.  I sure was happy I had a bootable clone to recover with...

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,090 points)

    FWIW, it's easier if you just post a screenshot instead of typing what it says - use the little camera icon in the toolbar of the reply windw....


    Using disc utility i erased the top level entry and the 2 partitions below it called "untitled" and "499.76 GB"

    I then used Disc Warrior to rebuild the top level and the partitions.

    Disc Warrior then rebuilt and replaced "untitled". Disc Warrior says:


    Also FWIW, if you erase the disk, there is no need at that point to use DW - it's empty, it's been erased, so there's really no need to rebuild anything. (I didn't know you had erased it).


    Important (because I'm not clear on that):


    So, you now have a completely empty external hard disk, properly formatted, and divided into how many partitions?


    If it is just one partition...... (and I'll number my answers to correspond to your questions):


    1.  Yes, you can use CCC to make a bootable clone, but: CCC does not make a partition. You need to use Disk Utility to partition the drive first. Simply go to DU, click on Partition, click on the partition layout and choose the number of partitions.


    2. no need to use Time Machine if you don't want to.


    3. You can do that; you decide how much you want on there (besides the basic OS); I have one that I call "fresh" = a pristine install of the OS plus a fresh install of all my apps, which means if there is a disaster, I can start fresh; the only thing missing is my Documents folder which I can simply copy over.


    4. You can choose how many partitions you want on the external; for your bootable clone, make it large enough to hold your current system plus at least 40 GB more for future increase in size.  So you decide how large each partition will be; looks like you already know you want 200 - 300 for iTunes stuff.


    5. So your internal has two equally sized partitions and HD has the OS + other stuff on it and HD2 the users folders?



    I assume CCC will partition


    No. See above - you need to partition first.  Yes, CCC will clone the HD - I'd make about 100 GB (figuring in future growth). Adding this tip:


    When you partition, name your partitions - it'll make life a lot easier, i.e. your Macintosh HD clone: call it "Mac HD clone", your user folders "Users" or some other name you can identify quickly; iTunes: "Music" or Videos or whatever.


    7. Name that partition and then use these articles to move your iTunes and iPhoto libraries (also iMovie in case you have anything there):





    Make sure everything works on the external before wiping that stuff from your internal! And, remember, that now your external is your only file of these things, so you need to back them up somewhere else...


    8. How about you first put another CCC clone of your system on that partition (name it Mac HD ML). Then download ML; before the install begins, dismiss the installer. First, find it in the Applications folder and make a copy of it (for future use) and park it somewhere else - reason: the installer self destructs after it is finished. Also, copy it to your partition (desktop is fine). Then boot into that partition and launch the installer.


    I think I covered it all.......


    I'm a Veterinarian and at your service for any help I may be able to give



    Thanks, appreciate it - unfortunately, I am allergic to dander and can't even pet a pet, LOL....

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,090 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2012 2:17 PM (in response to babowa)

    Addendum to my last post for #6 - since you want ML on the external, simply boot into your new clone, download it from there, save a copy, and install (saves a couple of steps bypassing the internal drive).

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,150 points)

    Ooopps. See that I responded to the last OP post on page one and missed everything on page 2. Whether the below is germane or not, is left up to others, but I'll leave it for general info.



    See this for details on CoreStorage. To use the Terminal and the diskutil command, launch the Terminal app, type this command into the window that pops up, and hit the return key.


    diskutil list


    This gives the mounted disks and volumes. With only the ext HD mounted, it most likely will show up as disk1, since the int boot one should be disk0.


    If so, then, this command should erase it. Copy & paste it into the Terminal window and hit the return key.


    diskutil eraseDisk GPT disk1


    Once that's finished (you get the $ prompt), quit the Terminal app, launch Disk Utility, and partition it to suit your needs.


    FWIW, I've never had issues with CCC, but then I'm biased, since I moderated the old CCC forums for over six years.

    27" i7 iMac SL, Lion, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,090 points)

    Okay, I tried to answer your questions as asked, so let's start over.....


    Partition 1 - 100 GB - make a bootable clone of the current system for safekeeping. You can decide later if you want to update that or keep as is if you don't like ML.

    Partition 2 - 200 GB -music, etc

    Partition 3 - 100 GB - 2nd bootable clone of the current system to be used to download and install Mountain Lion. Didn't you want to install ML on the external? This is the partition to use for that - clone your current system > boot into it > download ML and install it there. It will now be your ML partition you can work with and try out to see if you like it.

    Partition 4 - 100 GB? You have me confused now: I thought you wanted a partition for your Users folder (which should contain user files such as documents., not necessarily Applications. Applications should be in the main (and only) Applications folder. So you need to tell me what exactly you have in your User folders.


    Note 1: How to uninstall applications: you go into your Applications folder and drag the app to the trash. If it was installed using an installer, go to their website and see if there is an uninstaller; otherwise dragging to the trash will do. There are some apps such as Adobe that will need an uninstaller because they park files everywhere.


    Note 2: You will not have an installer in your Applications folder now or for anything - except after you download ML. It resides there temporarily and self destructs after the install. Hence the recommendation that you copy it to a safe place somewhere in case you need it for a reinstall and the file is very large, 4.37+ GB which can take hours with a slower connection.


    Note 3: The reason I'm proposing that you clone your system and then download/install from that external partition is that the ML installer has thrown fits when I tried to install it on a partition I was not booted into. It works flawlessly if you download and install it to the system you are booted into.


    Hope i was able to explain it better now........

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,090 points)

    So, these working and not-working apps are all listed in this CleanMyMac?


    Well, I can't respond to anything having to do with CleanMyMac because I don't have it and wouldn't have it - there is a plethora of those types of apps and they are all unnecessary. Some actually cause havoc - don't know if this one does since I won't use it.


    Your #4: what is this "Applications" you keep referring to? You shouldn't have applications except in your Applications folder which is already backed up in your #1 and #3.


    Your #5:  is this what your User folder looks like as well:


    Screen Shot 2012-10-08 at 8.52.45 AM.png


    If it is, then it is also backed up already in your #1 and #3. No need to duplicate that.

    From your initial posts, I got the impression that there were two users, so I thought you wanted each of the users to have their own user folder backed up. But, apparently, that is not the case, so there is no need for that.


    In general: CCC or SuperDuper will create a complete copy/clone of what is on your hard drive - that includes everything, so there is no need to duplicate things on the same external drive - you want two copies, get another drive in case one fails.


    As for your PPC applications: none of them will work, so delete them by dragging them to the trash. Empty trash. If you have any documents created by those, you better check to make sure those can be opened by a newer app.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,090 points)

    I don't use any of these - well, I have actually tried Onyx, but couldn't see a difference before and after so I stopped using it many OS versions ago; the simple facts are: if an app was installed by you dragging it to the Applications folder, simply drag it to the trash = done. If an app came with its own installer, then it usually also has an uninstaller (in the original .dmg or on their website) = use that and you're done. Any other "cleanup" is mostly not necessary, accomplished by the OS itself, or can be done manually. Just because it's available or has good ratings doesn't mean your Mac needs it to function properly.


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