Create a copy of Apple OS X Mountain Lion to a bootable USB drive or DVD

This artice is a step-by-step guide on how to create a bootable USB drive or DVD with Apple Mac OS X Mountain Lion.

The OS X Mountain Lion is an easily available operating system at most App stores. Once OS X Mountain Lion is purchased you can easily install it on your Mac to upgrade it to this operating system.
After a recent upgrade of Mountain Lion OS X, once the installer has been run on a system it no more appears in your Applications folder. To retrieve this operating system, one has to hold down the 'options' button while the purchases tab is clicked. Another way to retrieve it is to restore from the installer using Time Machine backup. However, these procedures may be extremely time consuming and and it is really better to burn the installer on a disc or a USB flash drive.
Owning a physical installation copy of the OS X Mountain Lion installation drive is always desired so that the operating system needn't be purchased each time you need to install it on a system. This physical media is also essential for clean installation of the operating system on Mac system.

Using Lion Disk Maker

The Lion Disk Maker version 2rc2 – a donationware from Serial Server, can be used to easily burn your Mountain Lion or Lion to a DVD, a flash drive or even on an external drive. The minimum memory required to create a bootable disk for the operating system is 8GB, while using any external drives you will have to make sure that it is capable for storing data of at least 8GB. To obtain the bootable disk a flash drive, a firewire drive, a SD card or dual-layer writable DVD may be used. It must be noted that during the creation of bootable disk the data or the drive will be completely wiped out and hence the disk must be exclusively dedicated for Mountain Lion installation files. No other files may co-exist with the operating system, else it may interfere your installation process.

The Lion Disk Maker locates the copy of OS X Mountain Lion in the Application folder, enquires about the media types that is going to be used for burning and then handles the further steps by itself.

Using OS X's Built-in Disk Utility

For the stepwise creation of OS X Mountain Lion bootable disk:

Download Mountain Lion from the Apps store into your Applications folder but avoid running
the installer.

Right-click on the installer appearing on Applications folder and select 'Show Package Contents'
<< 'Shared Support' and locate the file "InstallESD.dmg."

On this step, you will need to go back to Application folder and drag the .dmg file on the left of the sidebar of Utilities folder present there .

In case, you need to burn a DVD then make sure that the disc is inserted then choose the DMGfile and select 'burn'.

In case you need to create a bootable USB flash drive, the drive must be formatted properly. For doing this insert the flash drive and from the sidebar in 'Disk Utility' choose "Partition Tab"<< "1 Partition" << "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". Click 'Options' and select "GUID Partition Table" from the dropdown menu and choose "Apply". Your flash drive is now bootable and formatted for Mac. Now choose the DMG file as source and your flash drive as destination after clicking the Restore Tab. This will make your flash drive into a complete bootable drive for Mac OS X Mountain Lion.

Booting from the DVD or USB Flash Drive

To boot to your Mac form installation disc/drive and install the Mountain Lion you must restart your Mac and hold down the Option key at the startup chime. Follow the steps exactly same as mentioned above in installation procedure to have the operating system installed on your Mac.

Apart from being an installation disc or drive the bootable drive will also have other utilities such as Time Machine Recovery and Disk Utility. When the Mac OS X Mountain Lion is being installed a recovery partition will be created on the disc for case where an error might occur. A boot DVD or USB flash drive hence always comes handy if you wish to have a clean installation of OS X Mountain Lion to your Mac.

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