4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 7, 2013 12:27 PM by m0xee
m0xee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Nope, I really don't have the SL DVD with me, not here, not usually, not often at all actually.  I don't know anyone that carries the pack with them.  Some of we users don't even come home for a couple of months.  Yep, weird people, eh?  Hard to believe, isn't it? 




I'm running Snow Leopard 10.6.8.  I have a MBP (early? 2006).  My hard disk has had numerous survivable errors before I went on this holiday, and now it's time to push off with this hard disk too soon before I depart..  Every restart is a chance that it won't start up again.  I have to startup in single user mode and then exit out of the shell to actually (almost force) it to start into the system login screen.  Yes, this is bad, and I have to end this soap opera.  I have also a spare empty disk that I've taken though, and I've made that the time machine backup disk (TMBD) for the last two months of this saga.  The owner of this place has an eMac with 10.5, but he can't find his DVD, only the original restore disks.




What I want to do is make a bootable USB flash (drive / stick) using the powerful built-in Darwin / Mac OS X system. I have a 4GB USB stick easy and can possibly sacrifice a 32GB if I need it.  All I need is to use the terminal, command line, and/or shell to run diskutil, dd, and/or a time machine if it's available via the shell.  I want to send a snapshot of my startup hard disk image to my TMBD.  Then I'll format my startup disk and put the stuff back on there.




What I want to do is make a bootable USB flash (drive / stick).  I want to use time machine (bulkier on the USB) to pull off my last backup from my TMBD to re-image the startup hard disk in my MBP




I don't know, can I use his eMac with 10.5 to put my system into target disk mode, attach my TMBD to his computer and restore my system after his Disk Utility does some magic?  For one, I don't know if his system is clean, such as where indeed he got the 10.5 from if it was legit at all. Secondly, it is 10.5, and I'm not running that.  I wonder of a TM restore would be ugly, so I'm apprehensive about going on this route.




I'm perplexed as to why so many people running around saying to use free yet proprietary tools such as SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) when I know for a fact that my machine has a boot sector, boots up, boots up just about fine with a little bit of help because it has a damaged file system, and I can copy key components to a USB and bless it to get it to work.  I am not coughing up the $19 for Lion not because I don't have the money, but it's because it's pointless when I have the tools right here in front of me and can get it done.  I can't find a single resource that discusses doing this.  I'm relatively sure that I can get those in less than 4GB since that's all I need.  I just need the technical specifics or at least some info to piece together a working model from other resources on the Internet.



Anybody want to take a whack at this?  What are some other sites I should be posting?  I'm a bit stumped on what first steps I should take.  Also, where did the UNIX forum go?  I thought that would be the best route to post.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,320 points)

    Well you certainly "Think differently" to say the least after reading your post.


    You really can't restore a corrupted OS X system and backups without a clean copy of the original OS on the disk.


    10.5 isn't going to help you much, except to wipe a drive of all data as it's a older OS version.



    All I can say is to run through these User Tips and call Apple to send you a 10.6 machine specific or 10.6.3 white retail disk (depends upon what OS X version came on your Mac) and proceed from that to recover your data and then rebuild your machines software on a new drive.


    If you can't do it, then have a local Mac specialist do it all for you.


    Good luck



  • m0xee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well that's a pity because with all the tools that any Mac OS X has, I'm surprised more people haven't done this already.  It merely seems logical and not so "different" as you put it.  I know how to do this on two other operating systems but not this one


    Not challenging you on tech, but...


    TRUE/FALSE:  The Mac OS X on the MBP has the same startup software and utilities that's on the installation DVD, if not more.  I'm not talking about the warm and fuzzy multi-language welcome screen.  I'm talking merely about booting and some environment to interact with.


    TRUE/FALSE:  My file system is corrupted, but I'm writing to you from it as well.  It does boot fine.  It just has fs errors that make it difficult yet bypassable.  Because of this, since I can get into a shell environment, I can get into diskutil and bless another volume/disk.


    TRUE/FALSE:  10.5 actually could help me by setting my MBP in target disk mode and writing the startup disk off to an external TMBD, then restoring later.


    BTW, where did the UNIX forum go?  I can't find it

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    To restore a full installation from TM, you need an installer disc. It's possible to use a USB, but you need to install the OS on that from the disc in the first place (not necesarily on the same computer).

    The USB would need to be a minimum of 8GB; the installation DVD is Dual Layer.


    Your understanding of Time Machine seems to be greatly lacking.

    View Pondid's excellent articles, especially on how TM works.


    TM is not bootable, full stop.


    Firewire Target Disc mode; no other firewire devices may be connected to either computer during this procedure. You can't run a TM backup remotely anyway, it has to be from a booted volume.


    UNIX forum; https://discussions.apple.com/community/mac_os/mac_os_x_technologies

  • m0xee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi there! I don't need all the tools and installation files of an installation DVD, so this is why I feel I can get away with a smaller bootable environment with just the basic diskutil, dd, and/or a time machine application.  I think 4GB is reasonable, but 8GB would simply be the bloated installation DVD, which is nonsense.


    Pondid's site seems impressive. Thanks for the link!


    I'm aware that a TM backup is not bootable.  However, AFAIK, it can restore an entire system from bare metal to a running system; boot.efi, etc.  This is even confirmed from Pondid's website:

    You can also recover your entire system (OSX, apps, settings, users, data, etc.) to the exact state it was in at the time of any backup, even it that's a previous version of OSX.  

    In FW target disk mode, I wasn't aware of the host computer not having any other FW devices attached.  This doesn't sound right as the target computer is merely acting as a hard disk, and the host computer sees nothing else special about this as an "external hard disk."  I'll need to confirm this.  Regardless, my TMBD is a USB 2.0 disk, so I may be OK using his eMac for the operation.  Just to clarify from OPTION 3, if I'm going to be using a 10.5 host computer for my target-disk-attached MBP, I'm only going to send an image of my MBP disk to my TMBD, NOT do a time machine restore.  I actually have that much space on the TMBD to put a whole image of my MBP as well as the TM backups.


    Thanks #2 for the UNIX forum link!  I guess Apple nested it from its previous position. I hope this is not a sign of phasing the forum out!


    I'll try to post back with my findings as I work them out, time permitting.  Even if I solve this with the 10.5 eMac, I'm still interested in such a small USB rescue for future SNAFUs.  This would really help travelers like myself!  DVDs are delicate.  I usually have DMG and ISO images of my disks on my MBP, but since I was running low on space, guess what was one of the first DMG to ditch?   Yep, over 7GB freed space = two weeks of agony.  Stoooopid!