Creating a disc image from physical Mac OS X install media

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    Overview

     

    You can easily create a disc image (.dmg) from a physical disc containing any supported version of Mac OS X (10.5 Server, 10.6 Server, 10.7+).  All you need is the original disc and a Mac with an optical drive and sufficient free disk space.  The resulting file may be directly used as source media for installation of Mac OS into a virtual machine on VMware Fusion and on ESXi (running on Apple hardware).

     

    Using a disc image for installing Mac OS into a VM is usually much faster and more reliable than directly using the physical disc.

     

    Procedure

     

    1. On a Mac with an optical drive, launch Disk Utility.

    2. Insert the physical disc into the drive and wait for it to appear in Disk Utility.

    3. In the left pane, select the drive into which you inserted the disc.  Do not select the disc itself (labeled "Mac OS X Server Install Disc"), or the resulting image will not be usable.

    4. Click the New Image button in the toolbar.

    1.pngFigure 1: Steps 3 and 4: Select the optical drive and choose New Image.

     

    5. Give the disc image a name.  You can choose whichever Image Format you prefer, but compressed will save space and will still work fine for use with Fusion and ESXi.  Click Save.

    2.png

    Figure 2: Step 5: Name and save the image.

     

    6. Wait for the disc to be imaged.  This will take several minutes.

    3.png

    Figure 3: Step 6: Wait for the disc to be imaged.  Grab a ${BEVERAGE}.  Relax.

     

    That's it!  From here, you can drag the .dmg file into the New VM Assistant in Fusion, copy it across to a machine lacking an optical drive, or upload it to your vSphere datastore.

     

    Troubleshooting

    If you have difficulty using Disk Utility to image the media, a fault with your disc or optical drive is the likely cause.  Check the disc for scratches or fingerprints.  Try another optical drive.  Make sure that no other applications are trying to use the optical drive while imaging.

     

    If you attach the image to a virtual machine but the virtual machine does not boot past the Apple logo and spinner, this usually means that you selected the disc, not the optical drive, in step 3.  Repeat the procedure using an original physical disc, and ensure that you select the drive, not the inserted disc.  You cannot correct this issue by burning the defective image back to a physical disc and re-imaging it; You must start again, using original media.