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I've always installed a new OS X install via a thumb drive. However, at that time, I only had a single hard drive. Now, I have two hard drives, but the question is: Do I still need a thumb drive now?

I would say I simply copy my main installation to my second hard drive (Carbon Copy Cloner?) and then format the main drive and simply run the installer, stored on the second drive and install OS X on the first drive. No need for a thumb drive, right?

  • I'll edit out the Yosemite to see if it stands alone as you mentioned - could you explain a bit why you always needed a thumb drive? I've never needed a thumb drive to install OS X although I know it's a popular thing for people to ask about. Detailing why might help us link this to an existing question or know if it's a new one for the site. – bmike Jun 10 '14 at 12:56
  • Well, one thing for sure; there goes the view count, by removing out the currently trendy 'yosemite' search. ;) - In reply to your question, I just typed quite a lot, but then I thought that a thumb drive is in fact unnecessary, even with just a single drive, as long as you have two partitions.. Though, I got to admit I just thought of that.. Surprisingly stupid. In fact, I always knew that, but never realized it would've been so easy. – Sander Schaeffer Jun 10 '14 at 13:10
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    I ask "dumb" questions all the time. Also, we will likely have a nice discussion on Ask Different Meta about whether to change the policy to not have pre-release software if Apple keeps opening up the NDA and seeding / encouraging public discussion. – bmike Jun 10 '14 at 13:29
  • Look at Answer :D :D – GH05T Oct 8 '16 at 11:25
  • recovery mode tried that? – OzzieSpin Oct 8 '16 at 14:27
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That should be possible. At least it was possible for previous OS X's, but I don't see why they changed it. So yes, you can run the installer from the second hard drive onto the first one. You can even install any other OS X onto another partition on the same hard drive.

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Yes, it's possible!

  1. Download the official "Install macOS.app" from App Store.

  2. Format your second hard drive to the macOS Extended (Journaled) format and leave the name 'Untitled'

  3. Open Terminal and enter these commands :

If you want to use El Capitan, you must have download the official "Install OS X El Capitan.app" from the App Store. Ensure it is located in /Applications.

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app

If you want to use macOS Sierra, you must have download the official "Install macOS Sierra.app" from the App Store. Ensure it is located in Applications.

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app

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