14 Replies Latest reply: Jul 17, 2012 6:28 AM by DoreM
kevinfromsarasota Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

For some reason, I can't get a Mac to do a successful NetRestore for the life of me.


It's simple:

- Used System Image Utility and created NetRestore image out of a computer (10.7.3) in target disk mode, enabled the image in NetBoot, and set it as default

- Computer recognizes the image when booted and browsing to "Startup Disks," but when actually booting into the image, the computer shows the spinning gear until the cows come home.



The console doesn't show any NetBoot-related information either, which isn't helpful.  NetInstall (fresh copies of Lion) and an old NetInstall of Snow Leopard I have work great.  So what is it about making a custom Lion NetRestore that's giving me trouble?

Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • natefromemporia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have been having the same issues. Since the upgrade of system image utility to 10.7.3 I have been able to make system images, but none of them will boot to do the install. They show up in startup disk like you said, but just sit there and spin. I have an older image from Novemeber of last year that still boots up fine and installs. I would like to make an update image so I don't have to do the combo update for the image I made in Novemeber. Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated. I have tried everything I can think of.

  • Jonathan Melville Level 2 Level 2 (450 points)

    Used System Image Utility and created NetRestore image out of a computer (10.7.3)


    How did this computer get to 10.7.3? Did you update it to 10.7.3 using software update? If you did then that's your problem. You CANNOT use combo updates on systems that you intend to image for deployment. You can only use systems that have reference release of OS X. This means you need to use the Lion Installer from the App store to install lion on your model system and then image that.


    Here's what I do:


    1. Obtain Lion installer from App Store
    2. Create a NetInstall image from the installer
    3. Connect an external HD to a Mac and NetBoot the Mac into the NetInstall image.
    4. Install OS X on the external HD and create model system.
    5. Unplug external HD from Mac and plug it into my server
    6. Remove tempory/cache/.DS_Store/junk files
    7. Image it



  • natefromemporia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the information. I am a little new to system imaging and figured I was doing something incorrectly. I will let you know how it goes.

  • Jonathan Melville Level 2 Level 2 (450 points)

    Follow my steps and I guarantee it will work for you. I created a 10.7.3 NetRestore this morning with no problems .

  • Jonathan Melville Level 2 Level 2 (450 points)

    Here's a pro-tip for you, keep your images as light as possible.


    Don't try to make one huge, 'monolithic' image. Keep them 'thin' and use something like the excellent Munki Tools to do patch management and managed software update for your clients. You can even use it to deploy the Adobe Creative Suite to your users.


    I HIGHLY recommend it, it's excellent and free! My users can install CS5 themselves without having to bother me!

  • natefromemporia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Jonathan for the info it worked like a charm. I haven't delved too far into the info on Munki yet, but do I need to set a web server to run that? I need to do some more investigation. I really appreciate all the help.

  • DoreM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm also having a problem creating and deploying a 10.7.3 netboot image.  But I was under the impression the only thing you should use to create the image was the combo update, because the Delta OTA 10.7.3 update had so many issues. 


    My problem is that once I created the Lion Image nbi using SIU, anytime I go to netboot a client machine it just hangs on an apple logo screen, instead of booting up to the nbi


    Thanks for any help!

  • Jonathan Melville Level 2 Level 2 (450 points)

    You were under the wrong impression .


    You cannot use combo updates to make your images. You can only use a reference release of OS X or you will have unbootable images that display the exact symptom you're having.


    Obtain a copy of the Lion Installer from the App store and use that to make images. If you use a patched/updated system, it won't work.

  • DoreM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Jonathan, I was able to go back to the app store and get 10.7.3.  I wasn't aware I had that option to re-download an updated version of Lion, I had the original 10.7 install.

  • wiresandjunk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This is just insane.

    We have pretty much abandoned our Netboot/Netinstall process since Snow Leopard. We were using an Xserve with Leopard as a very efficient, reliable system. Back then you could create "NetInstall" images and they worked like a champ - regardless of whether you combo-updated the source image or not.  In fact, the old NetInstall images we created still work - but there is no longer an option to create NetInstall images.


    What we want to do is simply deploy a customized image using NetInstall. Well, now using NetRestore.  We have put many many hours into create the disk image file, so I don't want to have to redo everything.


    What the **** is it with Apple? They're always removing features.


    If there's no way for me to create a NetRestore image from my existing customized image using SIU, what other options do I have so that I can use the NetInstall or NetRestore process?

  • jan schmidt Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Hi, I don't understand completely your step by step recipe:


    1 OK

    2 OK

    3 What do you mean by "netboot the mac into the netinstall image"?

    How to use the new image without a server? You didn't mention one. So do you tell me to push the freshly made image onto a netboot server and netboot my mac?



    Thanks in advance,


  • Jonathan Melville Level 2 Level 2 (450 points)

    This is more of a personal preference than something you have to do exactly this way. All I mean is you need to install a fresh copy of the OS on the external hard disk. Do it however you like. I just perfer to boot a machine into a netinstall image and install it over the network.

  • chicster Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)

    I have been successful by just booting a model computer into target mode, firewire to the computer running system image utility (in my case the server that will actually run netrestore), run the SIU with basic netrestore as the option. 


    Now my caveat it is that I did it with the first new lion mac opened up WITHOUT updating because there is an issue for us with our PHD's going from 10.7.3 to 10.7.4.  I have then only applied this image to the other new imacs we have that are just like the model computer.  Have not tried with any other model.


    However,I agree with someone earlier that stated that if you want the image to apply to anything other than the very model you are using, you need to have run a combo updater first.  That has been the case in snow leopard - computers are shipped with software that will possibly only work for them, but after applying a combo update, it should work on any older model. 

  • DoreM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    Using the combo updater for successful implementation had been my experience with SL, but Jonathan's advice to use a fresh download of each version of Lion has resolved my netboot issue across multiple models, for Lion that is.