Apple hasn’t shipped operating systems on physical media in a full decade, but there are still good reasons to want a reliable old USB stick for macOS Catalina. Luckily, it's not hard to make one—either with a handy graphical user interface or some light Terminal use. Here's what you need to get started:
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- To install macOS on these computers, you'll need a flash drive that supports USB-C or a USB hub or adapter. The file or drive must support Mac OS Extended and have at least 14GB of available storage.
- I have successfully installed macOS Catalina on my Lenovo ThinkPad T450 series. It was satisfying to run macOS on non-Apple hardware. In this article, I will start by creating the macOS Catalina 10.15.4 USB installation disk. There are several ways to create a USB installation disk. You can use Windows, macOS or even Linux.
- To get started you’ll need the Install macOS Catalina application and an external storage drive larger than 8GB. A USB thumb drive is usually best for this, but you could also use an SD card or an external hard drive partition. How to create a macOS Catalina installer. 1) Download the Install macOS Catalina application from the Mac App Store.
- Now that we’re done partitioning our USB, let us proceed to set it as bootable. Create a bootable installer. Download Mojave and Catalina — after downloading both, you should have Install macOs Catalina and Install macOs Mojave inside your /Applications folder.
- A Mac that you have administrator access to. We've created a USB stick from both Mojave and Catalina, but your experience with other versions may vary.
- A 16GB or larger USB flash drive or a 16GB or larger partition on some other kind of external drive. A USB 3.0 drive will make things significantly faster, but an older USB 2.0 drive will work in a pinch; 8GB drives worked for Mojave and older versions of macOS, but the Catalina installer is just a little too large to fit.
- The macOS 10.15 Catalina installer from the Mac App Store (in High Sierra or older macOS versions) or the Software Update preference pane in Mojave. The installer will delete itself when you install the operating system, but it can be re-downloaded if necessary.
- If you want a GUI, take a look at Ben Slaney's Install Disk Creator from MacDaddy. There are other apps out there that do this, but this one is quick and simple.
If you want to use this USB installer with newer Macs as they are released, you'll want to periodically re-download new Catalina installers and make new install drives. Apple rolls support for newer hardware into new macOS point releases as they come out, so this will help keep your install drive as universal and versatile as possible.
Oct 07, 2019 Create a macOS Catalina bootable USB drive using this handy guide. The USB drive can be used to upgrade a Mac, clean install macOS or for recovery purposes.Advertisement
There's also one new consideration for newer Macs with Apple's T2 controller chip—as of this writing, that list includes the iMac Pro, the 2018 Mac Mini, the 2018 MacBook Air, and 2018 and 2019 MacBook Pros, though Apple keeps an updated list here. Among this chip's many security features is one that disallows booting from external drives by default. To re-enable this feature, hold down Command-R while your Mac reboots to go into Recovery Mode and use the Startup Security Utility to 'allow booting from external media.' If you're trying to install an older version of macOS, you may also need to go from Full Security to Medium Security to enable booting, but if you're just trying to install the current version of macOS, the Full Security option should be just fine. And if you're just doing an upgrade install rather than a clean install, you can run the Catalina installer from the USB drive from within your current installation of macOS, no advanced tweaking required.
The easy way
Once you've obtained all of the necessary materials, connect the USB drive to your Mac and launch the Install Disk Creator. This app is basically just a GUI wrapper for the terminal command, so it should be possible to make install disks for versions of macOS going all the way back to Lion. In any case, it will work just fine for our purposes.Advertisement
Install Disk Creator will automatically detect macOS installers on your drive and suggest one for you, displaying its icon along with its path. You can navigate to a different installer if you want, and you can also pick from all the storage devices and volumes currently connected to your Mac through the drop-down menu at the top of the window. Once you're ready to go, click 'Create Installer' and wait. A progress bar across the bottom of the app will tell you how far you have to go, and a pop-up notification will let you know when the process is done. This should only take a few minutes on a USB 3.0 flash drive in a modern Mac, though using USB 2.0 will slow things down.
The only slightly less-easy way
The Install Disk Creator is just a wrapper for the terminal command to create macOS install disks, so if you’re comfortable formatting your USB drive yourself and opening a Terminal window, it’s almost as easy to do it this way. Assuming that you have the macOS Catalina installer in your Applications folder and you have a Mac OS Extended (Journaled)-formatted USB drive (which is to say, HFS+ and notAPFS) named 'Untitled' mounted on the system, you can create a Catalina install drive using the following command.
sudo /Applications/Install macOS Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled
The command will erase the disk and copy the install files over. Give it some time, and your volume will soon be loaded up with not just the macOS installer but also an external recovery partition that may come in handy if your hard drive dies and you're away from an Internet connection. If you would like to create an install drive for a macOS version other than Catalina, just tweak the paths above to refer to Mojave or High Sierra instead.
Whichever method you use, you should be able to boot from your new USB drive either by changing the default Startup Disk in System Preferences or by holding down the Option key at boot and selecting the drive. Once booted, you'll be able to install or upgrade Catalina as you normally would. You can also use Safari, Disk Utility, or Time Machine from the recovery partition to restore backups or troubleshoot.
In previous tutorial, we wrote a post about creating macOS Catalina bootable USB on Mac, which is a simple tool and there are a couple of free tools to complete the task. You can even use the built-in tool Disk Utility and dd command to do it without installing any third-party apps. However, the situation is much different on Windows 10 because macOS install file (end with .dmg) is not supported by Windows OS. Unlike ISO image, there are few tools on Windows that can handle .dmg files. That's the most challenging part!
So in this article, we will show you how to create macOS bootable USB on Windows 10 and targets macOS Catalina specifically, which is the latest version of Apple macOS and it is easy to download the install file. This will be a great help if there were something wrong with your Mac and a fresh install was demanded. Also if you were a Mac enthusiast and can not afford the price, then it is not a bad choice to build a hackintosh with Catalina.
Before heading to the details of each method, please make sure you have downloaded a copy of Catalina OS dmg file and a working USB drive with more than 12GB storage.
Method 1: Create macOS Catalina Bootable USB on Windows 10 via DMG Editor
There are more than one solutions to create macOS Catalina Bootable USB on Windows 10 and we will go with easy one first. DMG Editor, a popular app developed by UUByte, is a multi-functional and cross-platform image burning tool that works on Windows, Linux and macOS. It supports creating bootable USB from popular image files, including dmg, iso, zip, img. And it has full support for Linux distros and old versions of Windows OS. macOS support was not available in previous versions. But now, the latest version of DMG Editor adds better support for macOS dmg file. Let's get a try first.
Step 1.Go to UUByte official website and download Windows version of Etcher from there.
Step 2. Run the executable file and complete the installation process. After that, insert an USB drive in Windows 10.
Step 3. Open the installed UUByte DMG Editor by double-clicking on the icon shown on your home screen. Click on the 'Burn' option then. After that, add Catalina .dmg file to the software and click on 'Change' button to choose the inserted USB device.
Step 4. Finally, click on the 'Burn' button to start the dmg burning process. At this time, a progress bar is displayed on the screen and it gives you an estimated calculation for the time remaining.
Step 5. Wait about 10 minutes. It will show you a pop-up message after completing the task successfully.
Method 2: Convert .dmg to .iso and Create macOS Catalina Bootable USB
macOS Catalina install image is distributed in .dmg format and Windows 10 has no support. Hen it is almost impossible to read such files in conventional ways. So in this part, we will convert macOS Catalina dmg file into ISO and create a bootable installer by burning the ISO file to USB. This can be done with the help of third-party software.
To execute the method, you need two software. First, you need a special software to convert dmg to ISO. Second, an ISO to USB burning software to make bootable USB from ISO file. To demonstrate, we have used 7 PowerISO & UUByte ISO Editor to create macOS Catalina bootable USB from Windows 10.
Step 1: Download and install PowerISO on Windows 10.
Step 2: Insert your USB drive. Right-click on this peripheral device and choose the option to format it. After a few seconds, you will get the notification of completing the format process.
Step 3: Now, open PowerISO and navigate to Tool menu. From the pop-up list, please click the 'Convert' option.
Step 4: In a pop-up window, click the folder icon to add macOS Catalina dmg file in Source file field. And set an output file name under Destination file section. Next. choose Standard ISO Images (.ISO) from Output image file format.
Step 5: When the ISO file is created successfully. Download and install UUByte ISO Editor. Then click Burn button to open ISO burning Window. Next, add ISO file to the program and select the USB name. Wait for 7 minutes, and a bootable USB is ready!
Step 6: After getting a task completion message on screen, eject the USB and then start installing macOS Catalina from the USB drive.
The solution is simple but may need to purchase a couple of tools for executing the steps. But if you will search smartly on the internet, chances are there that you can get the required tools without paying any cost. However, if you want to bypass using any of the third-party tools, you can create the Catalina OS bootable USB by accessing macOS in a virtual machine.
Method 3: Use TransMac to Create macOS Catalina Bootable USB in Windows 10
TransMac is a single-purpose utility to open Mac disk image from a Windows PC. It's one of the quickest methods to create macOS bootable USB drive from dmg file. However, the support for Catalina is not good as Mojave and High Serrira. Plus, you have to pay for 59 USD to use the burn feature. That's why we mention this app at the end of this post.
Step 1: Download TransMac from the official site and run the .exe file to complete the installation process.
Step 2: Now plug in a USB device into the port. Now right-click on TransMac icon shown on the home screen and then choose to Run as administrator.
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Step 3: After landing inside the tool's window, all disk drives will be displayed on the left side automatically. Click File -> Open Disk Image to load macOS Catalina dmf file into the program.
Step 4: Before proceeding further, you need to format your USB device to make it compatible with Mac HFS or APS partition. For doing the same, click on the 'Format Diks for Mac' option. Wait for 30 seconds to complete the process.
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Step 5: Right-click on the selected USB disk. From the shown list, click on 'Restore with Disk Image'. If it shows any warning message, just click on the OK button to accept.
Step 6: After that, select the location of saved Mac OS Catalina DMG file and then click on the OK button. Now stay back and look after 20 minutes. You will get ready with a bootable Catalina USB.
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TransMac is one of the easiest method to create a bootable macOS Installer USB on a Windows PC. You can use this application to burn any version of macOS operating system file to USB.
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To conclude, we would recommend going with either the first or the second method to create bootable macOS Catalina USB. Both are super easy to follow because you don't need to install multiple tools and go through a multi-layer process to meet your requirement.
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