I created a USB drive with 'El Capitan' on it, as described here, which uses mostly these directions, "option 2: Use Disk Utility."

I now have a USB key with "Mac OS Extended" format and 7.8G of stuff on it.

When I boot up (Snow Leopard) holding down the option key, it doesn't show any menu to choose where to boot from, it just ignores my USB drive. When I open the "Startup Disk" system preferences dialog, it does not show the USB drive (even though it is mounted). It is plugged directly into this mac mini, not through a hub or keyboard.

I looked around for related questions (e.g., here), and found nothing relevant.

Edit 1: This is a mac mini (model identifier "Macmini3,1") with an Intel Core 2 Duo running 10.6.8 (snow leopard).

  • I may have had the problem described here: apple.stackexchange.com/a/188584/22654 (wrong partition type). Trying.. – dfrankow Oct 6 '15 at 18:36
  • It would help, too, if we knew the model & year of your Mac. Macs that came with Superdrives can be more than difficult to get to boot from USB. – Tetsujin Oct 6 '15 at 19:17
  • @Tetsujin Added, thanks. I don't know how to tell year, tho. – dfrankow Oct 6 '15 at 19:28
  • Everymac can always find a machine by its code number, so that makes yours an 09... which does have a Superdrive. That may be your stumbling block; I've followed every guide I've ever found to try boot an 09 Mac from USB - never succeeded yet. Wish you better luck than I ;) – Tetsujin Oct 6 '15 at 19:31
  • Yikes! Thanks for the information, but that is a bummer. – dfrankow Oct 6 '15 at 19:33

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