I recently purchased some Staples USB 2.0 27987 8GB flash drives to create some bootable OS X installers. I have found them to be unreliable.

The problem:

  • Lag on boot. After I tell the boot loader to boot from the flash drive by holding Option on startup and selecting the flash drive. (takes forever and by forever, I mean 3+ hours before I force shut it down).
  • Failing to recognize the flash drive as bootable (when holding Option on startup). The drive doesn't show up in the boot options.
  • Formatting failures (disk utility will sometimes give me error messages saying it wasn't able to format correctly)

Maybe one of ten attempts to create a bootable flash drive results in success.

My Macs:

I have access to three macs: iBook G4 late 2005 which was running OS X Leopard 10.5.8 (which I found in the trash. I think the hard drive failed earlier today. I found the hard drive in my friend's 15+ year old Dell machine and it was being held in with duct tape so I'm not surprised), Macbook Pro late 2008 (this is actually my Mom's but she doesn't use it anymore) which was running El Capitan 10.11 until earlier today when I downgraded to Leopard v. 10.5.8, and the "school" computer which is a late 2012 iMac running macOS Sierra 10.12.

My Install Media:

I know the Leopard DVD is good and works because I used it a while back to install Leopard on the iBook G4 (PPC obviously) and on my Mom's Macbook Pro (which originally came with the disc). The integrity of the disc is good.

What I've tried:

  • Using Disk Utility to restore directly from the DVD to the flash drives. I use GUID with Mac OS extended (Journaled) or as Apple Partition Map with Mac OS extended (Journaled) for PPC macs.
  • Using Disk Utility to create a .dmg file from the DVD which I later mount and use to attempt creating a bootable flash drive installer. I always format the drive as GUID with Mac OS extended (Journaled) or as Apple Partition Map for PPC macs.
  • Using Disk Utility to format the disk and using Carbon Copy Cloner v. 3.4.7 (the free version) to copy the contents of the .dmg file to the flash drive. Carbon Copy Cloner v. 3.4.7 is only available for Tiger and Leopard so I downgraded the Macbook Pro.

The result:

Only one in ten bootable flash drive creation attempts is a success. These are brand new Staples 8GB USB 2.0 27987 flash drives bought at a local Staples store. What is causing all of these issues? I've deducted that the flash drives are likely at fault. My heavily used 16GB/32GB Sandisk flash drives don't give me nearly the trouble despite being almost 4 years old. Suggestions? I've spend nearly 18 hours trying to do this and it has become very frustrating!

Thank you :)

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