I have a MacBook Pro mid 2009, It came with two DVDs: Application Install DVD and OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) Installation DVD.

Since DVDs have a short life, I want to back up these two DVDs (Especially the OS X Installation DVD).

How can I clone these DVDs? Or even better, can I clone them on a bootable USB Drive?

1 Answer 1


Well, here are a few things:

1) That OS X installation disk (10.6), will only install Snow Leopard for your 2009 MBP

You cannot use that disk for OS X installs on other machines

2) Generally, the applications disk is nearly useless. Your milage may vary, but I've never, ever used them.

3) Obviously your external drive (USB you say?) will have to have enough space to boot the installation process. I'd recommend 8+ GB if you will actually use this thing. However, you will only need a usb drive as large as the disk image file that we will create later on.

So, lets get started. There are probably guides out there that have more comprehensive answers than this, but I digress.

You need to use Disk Utility for the following steps. It should be in your Utilities folder. Put the OS X install disk into your Macbook, while your USB drive is also in the computer.

  • Wipe your USB drive, and reformat it as Mac OS Journaled
  • Create a disk image of the CD, saving it to your computer's hard drive.
  • Once you have created the disk image, it should be on the left pane of the Disk Utility window. Click on it, then select the 'Restore' tab to the right. You will want the Source to be the disk image file (the OS X install disk), and the Target to be the USB drive.

Let me know how it goes!


  • Thanks Charlie, Well, it seems that what I was afraid that might happen, already happened. :( Dec 27, 2012 at 12:09
  • Recently I formatted my HDD and when trying to reinstall OSX from DVD, I had to try several times before finally I could boot my mbp from DVD and install the OSX. Now, when I insert my OSX Installation DVD (original one), it keeps making seek-and-fail noise, and after about 2-3 mins it automatically ejects the DVD without opening it. What can I do? how can I take a back up? I can still open the DVD in my PC with no problem, it looks just fine there. I created an ISO image from this DVD in my PC. how can I mount this ISO image on an external HDD and make it bootable ? Dec 27, 2012 at 12:19
  • An intermediary computer is going to be needed to make a USB boot volume. What do you mean by 'seek and fail' noises? Sounds like a hard drive failure to me, but I'm not sure what you are talking about. Could be a bad optical drive, in which case, you obivously need something other than a CD. Try holding OPTION on startup, you should be able to select the Startup Disk. Select the OS X CD, try to reformat your Hard drive there, and then install.
    – CDD
    Dec 27, 2012 at 15:52
  • Just re-read what you wrote. So you HAVE OS X running, the CD is just giving you problems. Sorry. I believe you can put the ISO image onto your mac (transfer it from your PC via your home/work network, or via an external drive), and then use Disk utility to restore the USB drive, using the ISO as the source.
    – CDD
    Dec 27, 2012 at 15:53

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