In an earlier tutorial, we explained how to clone the Tiger install DVD to a partition on an external FireWire disk. This is a good idea because the DVD is optical media, and optical media can have problems. A DVD is slow to boot up, and if there is any kind of glitch with the drive or the medium, you may not be able to complete the installation. A FireWire drive, on the other hand, is fast and reliable, so if you need to reinstall, or install to a new partition, you just boot up from the partition containing the cloned installer and badda-bing badda-boom, you're in the installer ready to install reliably and quickly.
We also used a similar technique during the Leopard beta period, to create a Leopard installer on a partition of an external FireWire disk. And a little while ago, we published an article mentioning that you might want to clone the Leopard installer to an external drive.
However, up to now we have always performed the actual cloning under Tiger. Today, we performed the cloning operation from the commercial Leopard DVD installer, using an Intel machine (recent MacBook) running Leopard. The instructions have changed a little, so I'm going to explain what I did to perform the cloning.
Part of the reason I was prompted to try this experiment is that we received a couple of emails roundly denying that this was even possible. For example, reader Stig writes:
I have now done further tests to determine that Disk Utility in Leopard does not allow an install disk image to be restored (cloned/copied) to an external FireWire Drive... I have not found any way to do a successful cloning (restore) to the external FireWire hard drive using only Disc Utilities in Leopard 10.5, so I am still assuming that Apple has put in a copy protection or hinderance to avoid copying/cloning of the install DVD.
And reader Roy says:
If my case is generalizable, one won't be able to copy the Leopard DVD disk image to a FW drive using Leopard's DU. I did this, however, using Tiger's DU.
These conclusions appear to be incorrect. It is certainly possible that something odd is going on with some readers' systems, but the fundamental law of scientific proof is that one counterexample is sufficient to falsify a hypothesis, and I have such a counterexample, since I have cloned a Leopard install disk image to an external FireWire drive using Disk Utility in Leopard.
Here's what I did. I have a MacBook. It contains only one system, Leopard. It is booted from the internal drive, running Leopard.
I inserted the commercially available Leopard installer DVD into the MacBook's optical drive, started up Leopard's Disk Utility, and asked for a New Disk Image from the installer. In particular, two levels appear for the installer DVD in the column at the left side of the DVD: I selected the second level ("Mac OS X Install DVD") so that I could choose File > New > Disk Image From [weirdNumber] (Mac OS X Install DVD). I specified that I wanted a DVD/CD Master with no encryption, and saved the image to the Desktop, calling it LeopardCommercial.cdr.
When the disk image had been created (something under an hour later), I ejected the DVD and proceeded to prepare the external FireWire drive (still using the Leopard Disk Utility). I partitioned the external FireWire drive into two, one a 10GB partition, the other encompassing all the rest of the drive. My intention here is to use the small partition to hold the bootable installer image, and the large partition to receive Time Machine backups from now on. Since this is an Intel machine, and because I wanted to simulate the conditions of users who have no PowerPC machine, I specified that I wanted the GUID partition scheme. (That is not the default; you must summon the Options dialog if you want to set it.) I did not install the Mac OS 9 drivers.
When the external FireWire drive had been partitioned, I selected the newly created small partition in the left column of Disk Utilities (still using Leopard Disk Utility). I switched to the Restore pane. Into the Source box, I dragged the saved disk image from the Desktop. Into the Destination pane, I dragged the newly created smaller partition of the external FireWire drive from the left column of Disk Utilities. I did not check the Erase box. I pressed Restore and the clone was created.
When the clone had been created, no system was visible on the FireWire partition. But then, no system is visible on the original DVD either. Still, to make sure everything was okay, I used the Startup Disk preference to specify that I wanted to start up from the cloned partition on the external FireWire disk, and rebooted. Sure enough, I found myself in the installer.
Now, I'm not entirely sure that I did everything correctly during this procedure. Perhaps other choices at various stages would have been better. And these steps are certainly not the same as what I was doing under Tiger. (For example, I didn't mount the saved disk image.) But the choices I made did lead to a successful outcome, so perhaps they will work for you as well.
I did notice (and I left this out of the above description) that it is possible, by making a slight mistake in the sequence of selections in the last step, to get Disk Utility into a state where it doesn't want to accept the saved disk image into the Source text field in the Restore pane. This may be what stymied our readers in the reports cited above. If that happens to you, try this: quit Disk Utility and start it up again, and, if necessary, drag the listing of the saved disk image completely out of the left column, so that it vanishes in a puff of smoke. This apparently helps Disk Utility "forget" that it has some kind of grudge against the saved disk image as a source for cloning.Resources