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How to Create a Portable Offline Installer for Mac – Guide
When Apple launched Yosemite, it changed the way it distributes operating systems for Mac. Now, you can’t buy a copy of the Mac OS installer. This is a problem if you have a limited broadband connection or a measured broadband connection. You will need to create a portable offline installer in these situations.
Download or buy the Mac operating system
The first step is to go to the App Store and search for the current operating system. It is currently El Capitan. If it is already installed on your Mac, the App store will warn you that the operating system is already on your system. If it is not already installed or if you have not purchased it on your current Mac, El Capitan will appear as Get instead of Download. After downloading the operating system, do not install it. Go to the Install OS X menu and select Exit OS X Installation. Do not delete this file. You will need this later.
If you want to create an installer for a previous operating system that you purchased, you can still do so on the App Store. Go to the Purchased tab and scroll through your purchase and find the correct operating system. In this example, it’s Mavericks.back to menu ↑
The easy way: DiskMaker X
DiskMaker X is a free program that does the difficult job of creating the USB installer. They accept donations, so if it’s useful to you, you can throw some money in tip jar.
After opening the program, it finds the operating system installers on your Mac. In this example, I will create an El Capitan installer. Next, you will need a disk of 8 GB or larger. This media can be a USB stick, but I use an SD card. Since most Macs running Yosemite have an SD card slot, I think it’s easier.
DiskMaker confirms the disk you want to use for the installer. He then warns you that he needs to erase that disk. Confirm again that you have the correct disk and click continue. After authenticating your Mac’s administrator name and password, a few minutes later you will have a complete installer.back to menu ↑
The Difficult Way: Terminal Commands
If you are more comfortable with the terminal than using a third-party program, you can create the installer. You will need an OS X Extended (Journaled) formatted disk with enough space for the installer – 6 GB. The El Capitan installer will need to be in the Applications folder and then you will enter exactly one long command. In this example, I called the external unit the Installer El Capitan. You can replace this name with the name of the installation disc you are using.
sudo / Applications / Install OS X El Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume / Volumes / ElCapinstall –applicationpath / Applications / Install OS X El Capitan.app –nointeraction
After entering the password, the media creation process starts.back to menu ↑
Why do you need this?
If you can download it again, why waste a flash drive or an SD card? Ideally, your Mac has a recovery partition that you can boot from to repair problems. Sometimes, that partition is not there. An offline installer includes a disk utility for you to solve problems.
The most common reason, however, is if your Mac’s hard drive fails. If you only have a Mac, you won’t have an easy way to reinstall your operating system. Creating the installer in advance solves the problem.
This is also true for Windows:It is useful to have a system repair / recovery disk for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10
Finally, if you want to reinstall your operating system to troubleshoot, waiting for the installer takes a long time. When things don’t work, you probably wait for a download. If you are on a slow connection, the download may take several hours.
Overall, for the cost of a small USB flash drive or SD card, you can have the peace of mind of solving Mac problems instantly.back to menu ↑
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