I'm trying to do a clean install of Mountain Lion on my laptop..

There are plenty of of tutorials online explaining how to burn the Mountain Lion install (InstallESD) on a (dual layer!) dvd or on a usb drive.

I have neither of those things handy right now.

I do have plenty of spare HDD space though.

Is it possible to create some sort of Install Partition on the hard drive than can be booted from (Option-boot) to do a fresh install?

Can I create a partition a restore it from the InstallESD dmg? anyone knows if that works?

1 Answer 1


Yes you can do it with an internal partition or in an external HDD, just one partition, USB, DVD, all is more or less the same, I have to say that this is one of the best things on the Mac, so easy to backup and restore systems.

NOTICE: back up all your data, and make sure the partition that you are going to use is the correct one, this will destroy all information in that partition

  1. Open Disk utility, and click the desired partition on the left column.

  2. Go to the "restore" tab

At the source, select the dmg file containing the installer (you may need to scan the image first, to do that go to the images menu item and select "Scan image for restore").

At the destination, drag the partition that you would like to use.

  1. Press Restore (erase everything on, at least I prefer it that way).


  2. If all went well, it should copy all info into the partition

  3. Go to system preferences and select startup disk, select the partition that you restored the installer into

  4. Restart.

If all went well, you should be seeing the installer running from your partition, just select the destination for the new installation and all should be ok.

If for some reason the restore didn't work, you may need to mount the installer image and use that "virtual" disk as the source and not the actual image, I've had some trouble in the past and this sorted my problem.

  • Thanks for the feedback. I'll give it a shot and report back if I have any problem..
    – Ben
    Jan 26, 2013 at 13:05
  • 1
    Worked like a charm!
    – Ben
    Jan 29, 2013 at 12:19
  • @Ben great! as I said, this is one of the best things in OSX (and any Mac OS version for that matter, in OS 7 it was already really easy to backup and restore the system).
    – jackJoe
    Jan 29, 2013 at 13:00

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