1 2 3 Previous Next 30 Replies Latest reply: Oct 30, 2013 8:12 AM by Courcoul
Dennis Mckeown Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

I'm currently living in a Snow Leopard world and thinking of switching to Mountain Lion. My question is, if I have a blank hard drive how do I install the OS? Do I have to have to install Snow Leopard first and then upgrade or is there a way to skip that step?


2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro Tower, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 12 GB RAM
  • 1. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,690 points)

    Why are you erasing your drive before installing Mountain Lion? You will have to be running Snow Leopard when you purchase and download Mountain Lion. Mountain Lion will upgrade your Snow Leopard system. Or is it your intention to install Mountain Lion on another drive that has been erased?

  • 2. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    keg55 Level 5 Level 5 (5,925 points)

    Dennis Mckeown wrote:

     

    Do I have to have to install Snow Leopard first and then upgrade or is there a way to skip that step?

    Since it appears your Mac came with Snow Leopard, yes, you will have to boot from your SL DVD, install SL to your new drive after you format it, update SL to 10.6.8, purchase ML from the App Store and install it.

  • 3. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    Dennis Mckeown Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I'm not wiping my drive but I want to understand how this all works.

    I'm used to having a boot disk that you can start your install from.

    What if in the future I have to reformat my drive and rebuild it from scratch?

    I guess what you are saying is that I have to install Snow Lepard first.
    What about if someone buys a new computer? How do you restall your OS?

  • 4. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (16,165 points)

    If I understand your question correctly, if you had a new computer you can reinstall using:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718

  • 5. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,690 points)

    OK. I think this is what you want.

     

    Make Your Own Mountain/Lion Installer

     

    1. After downloading Mountain/Lion you must first save the Install Mac OS X Mountain/

        Lion application. After Mountain/Lion downloads DO NOT click on the Install button.

        Go to your Applications folder and make a copy of the Mountain/Lion installer. Move

        the copy into your Downloads folder. Now you can click on the Install button. You

        must do this because the installer deletes itself automatically when it finishes

        installing.

     

    2. Get a USB flash drive that is at least 8 GBs. Prep this flash drive as follows:

     

      a. Open Disk Utility in your Utilities folder.

      b. After DU loads select your flash drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left

          side list. Click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

      c. Under the Volume Scheme heading set the number of partitions from the drop down menu to one.     

          Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, set the

          partition scheme to GUID then click on the OK button. Click on the Partition button and wait until

          the process has completed.

      d. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side

          list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

      e. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, check the

          button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.

      f. Click on the Erase button. The format process can take up to an hour depending upon the flash

         drive size.

     

    3. Locate the saved Mountain/Lion installer in your Downloads folder. CTRL- or RIGHT-click on the installer and select Show Package Contents from the contextual menu. Double-click on the Contents folder to open it. Double-click on the SharedSupport folder. In this folder you will see a disc image named InstallESD.dmg.

     

    4. Plug in your freshly prepared USB flash drive. You are going to clone the content of the InstallESD.dmg disc image to the flash drive as follows:

     

      a. Double-click on the InstallESD.dmg file to mount it on your Desktop.

      b. Open Disk Utility.

      c. Select the USB flash drive from the left side list.

      d. Click on the Restore tab in the DU main window.

      e. Select the USB flash drive volume from the left side list and drag it to the Destination entry field.

      f. Drag the mounted disc icon from the Desktop into the Source entry field.

      g. Double-check you got it right, then click on the Restore button.

     

    When the clone is completed you have a fully bootable installer that you can use without having to re-download Mountain/Lion.

     

    Note: The term Mountain/Lion used above means Lion or Mountain Lion.

     

    As an alternative to the above (you still have to do your own download of Lion/Mountain Lion) you can try using Lion DiskMaker 2.0 that automates the process of Steps 2 through 4.

     

    In fact there is the option of reinstalling Mountain Lion from scratch using the Recovery HD which is an invisible partition created on your hard drive by the Mountain Lion installer.

     

    You can also make use of OS X (Lion/Mountain Lion)- About OS X Recovery in the event that the drive is completely corrupted and must be repartitioned or if you have replaced the drive. If your computer is not now capable of using Internet Recovery then check out Computers that can be upgraded to use OS X Internet Recovery.

     

    You can also put a copy of the Recovery HD onto a 2 GB USB flash drive for use in the event the one on your hard drive becomes corrupted: OS X Recovery Disk Assistant v1.0 and OS X- About Recovery Disk Assistant.

  • 6. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    keg55 Level 5 Level 5 (5,925 points)

    I think I understand.

     

    If you upgrade to ML, how do you reinstall ML without having to install SL, download ML from the App Store and install it.

     

    IF the above is what you're asking you can capture the OS X Mountain Lion InstallESD.dmg file and restore it to a bootable USB thumb drive; then use that thumb drive to JUST install ML.

  • 7. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,470 points)

    Once the ML installer is up and running, it lets you choose on which volume the install is to take place. If it already contains some previous cat flavor, it will offer to upgrade. If blank, a totally virgin cat will be deposited there.

     

    Beware that if the installer you are running is part of a purchase and has just downloaded, it will self-destruct at conclusion. Be sure to save the monster to avoid having to download 4.5GB yet again. If you've an 8GB flash memory handy, you can concoct your reusable Genuine Cat Installer on a Stick. See here: http://liondiskmaker.com/  Be sure to read the FAQ.

     

     

    AARRGGHHH!   Lightnin'Fingers Kappy beat me to the punch!!!

  • 8. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    bkitchin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    One thing that will help in the future, when you load Mountain Lion on your disk, it will create what is called a recovery partition.  If your OS partition ever goes south, when you boot Holding Cmd+R when the boot sound occurs until the screen displays the recovery page puts y ou in recovery mode which gives you access to Disk Util, and a Re-Install Mountain Lion.  Didk Util allows youto do any preparatiion such as prepare a new disk if you lost one.  Re-Install lets you choose a disk of sufficient size for the re-install.  This is Apple's strategy for not having insgtall disks any more. 

  • 9. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    clymbon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I read through the answers here, and I think none of them directly answer the question.  It's the usual "failure to communicate" between people who are used the the Apple way of doing things, and people who are used to other computers.

     

    I have the same question, and would like the answer, so let me try to ask it again in a way that perhaps the Apple people will understand.

     

    As background information - here's one way a Linux distribution might be installed onto a blank hard drive.  Download the new OS installer from somewhere.  Burn it on some kind of bootable media (CD, DVD, USB stick, etc.).  You can do the previous steps on ANY machine, for example a Windows machine - it doesn't matter as long as you have the capability to create a bootable image on bootable media.  Stick the CD/DVD/USB stick in the machine where you want to install the new OS, and boot from it, which will bring you up into the installer software.  At that point it doesn't matter WHAT is on the hard drive - it can be full of zeros - because you're just going to install the new OS there.

     

    Kappy provided some nice instructions on how to make a bootable installer for Mountain Lion, but didn't explicitly answer the original question.  Once I create the installer, can I use it to install onto a blank drive?  Based on my experience with other operating systems, I would expect so.  But Kappy goes on to talk about how a Recovery CD can be used to install if the drive has been replaced.  Why not just use the bootable loader as described above?  Then Carcoul says: "If it already contains some previous cat flavor, it will offer to upgrade. If blank, a totally virgin cat will be deposited there."  So that makes me think it will work.

     

    Here's the reason I'm asking the question.  I have inherited an old MacBook running OS X 10.5.8.  I could use it as-is, but was thinking of buying the latest Mac OS.  I was very surprised to read that I have to first upgrade it to Snow Leapord before I can install Mountain Lion.  That seems like a waste of time and money.  Can I just buy Mountain Lion, create an installer as desribed by Kappy, and install a brand new OS?  Note - I don't care about preserving any existing files on the hard drive. 

     

    Seems like this would work.  Confirmation please?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Duncan

  • 10. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,280 points)

    No.

     

    Mountain Lion is only available from the MAS (Mac App Store) and the MAS can only be accessed by Macs running 10.6.8 (or greater)

     

    Have you checked whether your Mac can run Mountain Lion?

  • 11. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    clymbon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    How about if I go to the Mac App Store with a new Mac that's running 10.6.8 or greater, download Mountain Lion, create an installer on USB, plug it into my old MacBook4.1, and install from there.  Would that work?

     

    As far as whether my Mac can run Mountain Lion, no I am not certain.  It's a MacBook 4.1.  Some information seems to indicate that MacBooks can run Mountain Lion - but its not clear.

     

    Maybe I'll just stick with 10.5.8.  No real pressing reason to upgrade, I guess, other than habit of staying up-to-date with the latest distributions.

     

    My other idea is to just install Linux on this box and call it good.  From what I've read, various Linux distributions will run on MacBook, but I wouldn't be surprised if some things don't work properly.  I don't suppose anyone on here has experience with installing Linux on a MacBook?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Duncan

  • 12. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,280 points)

    clymbon wrote:

     

     

    As far as whether my Mac can run Mountain Lion, no I am not certain.  It's a MacBook 4.1.  Some information seems to indicate that MacBooks can run Mountain Lion - but its not clear.

     

    OS X Mountain Lion system requirements

    To install Mountain Lion, you need one of these Macs:

    • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
    • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
    • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
    • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
    • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
    • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
    • Xserve (Early 2009)


    Your Mac needs:

    • OS X v10.6.8 or OS X Lion already installed
    • 2 GB or more of memory
    • 8 GB or more of available space
  • 13. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    clymbon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Csound1.  Yeah, that's what I saw.  I don't know what year this machine is.  The case appears to be plastic, not aluminum.  (It's a hand-me-down from my GF, and she bought it off e-bay.)

     

    Surely there's a better way to tell whether a machine can run a particular operating system than trying to figure out what material the case is made out of!

  • 14. Re: How do I install Mountain Lion on a blank harddrive?
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,280 points)

    Yes, usually the owner knows what he has, but let me look it up for you.

     

    You have a 4,1?

     

    4,1's are early 2008 machines. So not compatible.

1 2 3 Previous Next