I have a 16gb USB pendrive that I want to partition to be able to use it as a Window 7 and Mac OSX install drive (probably using a bootloader?!?)

I want to be able to use it on our Macs and PCs as a single all-singing all-dancing install drive.

Can anyone point me in the right direction to a guide to do this? is it even possible? I have both Windows and Mac machines at my disposal.


I just bought three 8 GB thumb drives to use as OS X, Linux, and Windows 7 installers.

I suppose you could split the thumb drive into two 8 GB partitions and create two installers. Whether or not both are visible on Macs and PCs is unknown. I suppose it will depend on the hardware.

To create the OS X installer, you need only run the following from Terminal.app. Note the partition name, I used "Untitled" for the script below.

/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app --nointeraction

To create the Windows installer, you take the Windows installation ISO file on a Mac, go here and scroll down to "Creating a Windows flash drive installer on an OS X computer".

  • Thanks for your answer. I already have the images required for the installers for both OSX and Windows, the difficulty I have is getting them both on one pendrive and being bootable on both a mac and a PC. I think I need to use some sort of bootloader but I'm not sure what to use. – Jay1980 Jan 15 '15 at 11:39

The problem is that Macs need GUID or APT partition scheme to be bootable. Master Boot Record just won't cut it, even if it holds a nice clean HFS+ volume. I'm no windows expert, but I think windows needs Master Boot Record partitioning to boot. If this is right, then it wouldn't be possible.

I have an alternate idea though. Use the USB stick just for Windows. Then for Macs, set up any old computer to use as a NetBoot server. Set up NetInstall images for each version of MacOS you might want to install. All you need is Apple's Server.app. Any Mac will be able to boot into the installer over ethernet and install the OS. I've been using NetBoot serving on my laptop for about 10 years now, every since Apple started getting rid of FireWire. FireWire was the Mac Tech's swiss army knife.

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