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I have a USB Flash drive onto which I've used Disk Utility to restore the Mac OS X Install ESD:

Mac OS X Install ESD Finder Info window

Is there a way I can make the result read-only, in order offer it at lease some semblance of protection from accidental change?

I assume (but don't know for sure) that I cannot make the raw disk itself read-only, so higher levels of protection are okay, but the lower the better.

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One thing I have tried is using Sharing & Permissions to set rights to Read only for myself, like so:

Sharing & Permissions section of Mac OS X Install ESD Info window with all rights set to Read only

This prevents some writes:

megaweapon:Mac OS X Install ESD matt$ touch foo
touch: foo: Permission denied

but if I try to make modifications through the Finder, I'm prompted for my password for administrative access.

Unfortunately, this is not a hard defense against write access. To accomplish this, a USB stick with a write lock switch (hard to find) or perhaps an SD card in a reader might work.

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Use Disk Utility to convert the image to a read only type image rather than a read/write type image.

Open Disk Utility, click the "Convert" button, chose your disk image file, change "Image Format" to "read-only" and press "Save."

Disk Utility will make a new copy of the image file that can't be modified.

Just make sure you label them so they're easy to tell apart.

  • I'm not clear how this would apply to a USB drive. – zigg Nov 13 '13 at 23:46

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