Install OS X 10.10 Yosemite

You can install OS X to a choice of media, such as USB drive, SD Card or an external hard drive connected via USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire or Thunderbolt.

It is possible, theoretically, to run OS X from any of these different types of media though–practically speaking–it is probably best to choose USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt. This is down to the transfer speeds possible. With USB 2.0 the experience is quite slow.

You should also note that it is not normally possible to install a version of OS X prior to the version that originally shipped with the particular Mac that you are using.  For example, if the Mac originally shipped with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, then it is not normally possible to install OS X 10.7 Lion.

Whilst the OS X installers are much smaller, you will need to factor in approximately 10GB for the installed version of OS X. If you are using a USB Flash Drive, or an SD Card, it will need to be 16GB or greater in capacity.

For the best possible experience, we recommend using this technique in the following circumstances:

  • Testing a later version of OS X to the one you are running on the Mac
  • Using USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt external drive, or
  • Using USB flash drive (16GB or greater)

We do not particuarly recommend using an SD Card or a USB 2.0 external drive.  They’ll work, but they are quite slow.

The process for installing OS X on an external volume is quite straight-forward. Essentially, it’s just the downloading of the particular OS X installer required, the correctly formatting of an external volume and the installation of OS X.

Connect an external drive
  • Connect an external drive to the Mac.  In this example the drive is a 1TB USB 3.0 external hard drive that is preformatted in the Microsoft File Allocation Table (FAT) format.
Partitioning, naming and formatting the external hard drive
  • Select the hard drive in the left hand pane, as shown, and click thePartition tab
  • Ensure that 1 Partition is selected int he Partition Layout field
  • If you wish, name the drive in the Name field
  • Select the Options… button
Ensuring that the external drive is correctly formatted
  • Select GUID Partition Table to allow the external drive to be used as a startup volume with a Mac.
Confirming the partitioning, and formatting, of the external volume

Check the confirmation dialogue box and, if in agreement with the proposed action, click Partition to format the external volume.

Downloading an OS X installer from the Mac App Store

Open the Mac App Store application and navigate to the Purchasespane. Provided that you have previously purchased them, you should seeLion and/or Mountain Lion, though they may show as Installed.  Note, Yosemite is only available to registered Apple developers at the time or writing, so you’ll not see this option in the Mac App Store.

To download the installer, hold down the Option key and click thePurchases tab.  The button to the right of the app should change toInstall.

Use Spotlight to find OS X Installers that are already on the Mac

If that does not work, search for the installer on the Mac, as it may already have been downloaded.  Open Spotlight and type Install OS X to find the required installer.

This example shows how to install OS X 10.10 Yosemite, though the procedure remains the same for OS X 10.7 Lion, 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.9 Mavericks.

Launch the OS X installer

Launch the OS X installer that was downloaded from Mac App Store. The installer is normally located in the Applications folder.

You may have found it, instead, using Spotlight.

Read the terms and conditions.  You’ll need to Agree to them in order to continue with the installation.

Click the button Show All Disks…

Be aware that only the hard drive in the Mac will be shown by default. Click the button that says Show All Disks… to reveal other volumes that are attached to the Mac.

Select the appropriate external volume onto which OS X is to be installed

Select the external volume to which you’d like to install the operating system.  In this example, I am installing OS X 10.10 Yosemite to the external volume Yosemite 1TB from a Mac that is running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Installing OS X to the external drive volume

A progress bar will indicate the status of the installation of the software to the external volume.

Click the Restart button to restart the Mac, or wait 30 seconds for a restart

The Mac will then count down from 30 seconds before restarting unless you click the Restart button within this timeframe.

The Mac will then restart

The Mac will then restart and finish the installation process on the external hard drive.

When the Mac restarts, it will reboot into the version of OS X that you’ve installed to the external volume.  In my example, it’s OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

When you boot the Mac, listen out for the startup chime.  Immediately after the chime sounds, press and hold down the Option key (sometimes marked Alt).

After a short time, you will be presented with a screen similar to the one shown above.  Use the left and right arrow keys to navigate to the external volume, in my example an external 1TB USB 3.0 drive, and pressEnter.

Navigating to Apple > System Preferences > Startup Disk

If you are currently using your Mac and wish to reboot to a different volume, open up System Preferences by clicking on the Apple on the lefthand side of the menu bar.

Select the appropriate startup disk into which to boot next time the Mac is turned on

Select Startup Disk then choose which volume from which you wish to boot you restart the Mac.

Migration Assistant

OS X Mavericks allows you to easily migrate important information from one Mac to another. Transferred information includes user accounts, applications, documents, network settings and computer settings.

Important: The steps in this article apply to migrating to a computer with OS X Mavericks; for help with migrating to Mountain Lion or Lion, please see OS X: How to migrate data from another Mac using Mountain Lion and earlier.  If you are migrating from a Windows-based PC to a Mac, use the Windows Migration Assistant.

Migration Assistant in Mavericks is compatible with OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.8 or later. If you are migrating from an earlier version of OS X, update your older computer first, or manually copy your data from one computer to another.

Migration Assistant and Setup Assistant

The instructions in this article refer to Migration Assistant, but they also apply to migrations performed using Setup Assistant. Setup Assistant opens the first time you start up your new Mac. It helps you enter your information about your network, and walks you through setting up a user account on your computer. If you don’t use Setup Assistant to transfer information when you first setup your new Mac, you can do it later using Migration Assistant as described in this article.

Before you begin migrating

  • If you’re using a Mac notebook, make sure its power adapter is connected and plugged in.
  • Use Software Update on both the source and destination computers to confirm that the latest updates are installed.
  • On the source (original) Mac, make sure that you have updated your third-party software before migrating.
  • On the source Mac, open System Preferences, choose Sharing, and make sure you have entered a name in the Computer Name field.

After migration is complete

  • If you no longer plan to use your source Mac, and purchased content from the iTunes Store, you should deauthorize your source computer.
  • If you no longer plan to use your source Mac, turn off “Find My Mac” and sign out of iCloud from the iCloud pane of System Preferences.

Choose a connection method

There are several ways to transfer information from one computer to another with Migration Assistant. Select a method to learn how to transfer your data:

Wireless (Wi-Fi) or Ethernet migration

  1. Make sure both the source and target Macs are connected to the same network, either wirelessly, or using an ethernet network cable.
    – To use Ethernet for migration, connect the two computers with a single Ethernet cable; you don’t have to connect the computers to a hub, switch, or router. For the best experience, attach your source and target Macs to each other before you begin migrating.
    – If you choose wireless migration, make sure you are on the best Wi-Fi connection available. Use the Signal Strength meter in the upper right corner of your screen to find a location that provides the best signal to your source computer before you start. You may also want to eliminate potential sources of interference.
  2. Open Migration Assistant (located in /Applications/Utilities/) on the target machine, then click Continue.
  3. Type in your admin password when prompted, and click OK.
  4. Open Migration Assistant (located in /Applications/Utilities/) on the source computer. Select the option to migrate your data “To another Mac”, and click Continue. Type in your admin password when prompted.
  5. Select the system that you want to migrate from, then click continue. The continue button will be unavailable (greyed out) until you select a source.
  6. Confirm the same security code is displayed on both machines, then click Continue on the source computer.
  7. You can customize the type of information that is migrated on the next screen. For example, if you only want to transfer a portion of an account, click the disclosure triangle next to the user’s icon, and deselect anything you don’t want to migrate.
  8. After you click Continue, the Migration Assistant begins transferring files to the target Mac. The amount of time that it takes for migration to complete depends on the amount of data being copied, and the speed of the connection.

Once migration completes, the login window reappears. Log into the migrated account on your new Mac to see your old files.

Migrating using FireWire or ThunderBolt

  1. Connect both machines using FireWire or Thunderbolt.
  2. If the original computer is started from OS X Mountain Lion or earlier, restart the original computer in Target Disk Mode before continuing by holding down the T key at startup.
  3. Open Migration Assistant (located in /Applications/Utilities/) on the target Mac, then click Continue. All open applications are closed when Migration beings.
  4. When the target Mac asks you for a migration method, select “From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk”, and click Continue.
  5. Select the system that you would like to migrate from, then click continue. The continue button is unavailable (grayed out) until you select a source.
  6. Confirm the same security code is displayed on both machines, before clicking Continue on the source computer.
  7. You can customize the type of information that is migrated. For example, if you only want to transfer a portion of an account, click the disclosure triangle next to the user’s icon, and deselect anything you don’t want to migrate.
  8. After you click Continue, the Migration Assistant  transfers your files to your new Mac. The amount of time that it takes for migration to complete depends on the amount of data being copied.

Once migration completes, the login window reappears. Log into the migrated account on your new Mac to see your old files.

Time Machine or other disk migration

    1. Connect your external drive to your new Mac if necessary.
    2. Open Migration Assistant (located in /Applications/Utilities/).
    3. Type in your admin password when prompted, and click OK.
    4. When prompted for a migration method, select “From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk”, then click Continue.
    5. Select the Drive, Time Machine backup, or Time Capsule volume you want to migrate from, then click Continue. The Continue button is unavailable (grayed out) until you select a source.

    1. If migrating from a Time Capsule, enter your Time Capsule password when prompted, then click Connect.

    1. Select the specific Time Machine backup you want to migrate from, then click Continue.

    1. You can customize the type of information that you want to transfer. For example, if you only want to transfer a portion of an account, click the disclosure triangle next to the user’s icon, and deselect anything you don’t want to migrate.

    1. After you click Continue, the Migration Assistant begins transferring files to the target Mac. The amount of time that it takes for migration to complete depends on the amount of data being copied, and the speed of the connection.

Once migration completes, the login window reappears. Log into the migrated account on your new Mac to see your old files.

Locating Thunderbolt and display adapters

Thunderbolt or display accessories may be packaged in your new computer’s document folder. This is the case if your computer is listed below and you ordered it from the Apple Online Store:

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch and 15-inch, Early 2013)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch and 13-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch and 13-inch, Mid 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch and 15-inch, Late 2013)

To locate the Thunderbolt or display adapters:

  1. The document folder is located underneath the computer. Written on the front of the box is “Designed by Apple in California.” Use the pull tab to fully remove the folder from the plastic tray.
  2. Open the folder. It includes the QuickStart Guide for your computer and other regulatory documentation.
  3. Look below these documents to find your Thunderbolt or display adapters. If you ordered more than one Thunderbolt or display adapter, they will be located side by side inside the custom shaped document folder.

Additional Information

These are the Thunderbolt and display adapters that will ship inside the document folder: