Create Diskwarrior bootable USB flash drive

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. No truer words were ever spoken when speaking up of making bootable USB flash drive for DiskWarrior - the only utility that can fix badly damage directory structure on HDs of any Mac machine: MacBook Air / MacBook/ MacBook Pro/ Mac mini /iMac. Why bother with making bootable USB if Mac can be booted off and repaired directly from DVD holding DiskWarrior? We don’t wish to cast a gloom and doom on the Mac nerds, but someday the bad thing will eventually happen. The SuperDrive will die at an inappropriate moment. But even with the healthy one booting off of the DiskWarrior DVD is very slow and the program itself, relying on DVD performance, is sluggish. Bootable DiskWarrior USB flash drive overcomes these issues. The question is how to make it.

The punch line of solution is to create on USB stick three partitions that rely on GUID Partition Table, format them as MAC OS Extended (Journaled) and clone to them one-by-one a)”Power-DiskEWarrior-Starup”, b)”Intel-DiskWarrior-Startup” and c)“DiskWarrior DVD”, which are native partitions on original DiskWarrior DVD disk. Clearly, this short explanation is enough to support geeks, but not vast majority of Mac users who would express strong interest in creating bootable USB stick containing DiskWarrior. So, here the sequence is, laid out in its long form and enhanced by “Create DiskWarrior Bootable USB” flowchart.

(Mind you, moving mouse / taping over the image will zoom its parts. Left click will trigger magnifier.)

    1. Insert DiskWarrior DVD into SuperDrive. (If you don’t have such DVD but have downloaded image file from ALSOFT, burn it using downloaded .dmg file.)
    2. Insert USB stick (not less than 4Gb) into Mac machine.
    3. Launch Disk Utility and Select your USB stick. (Make sure to click on USB flash drive itself but not on its partition, which is under this USB stick in DiskUtility window. In our example we use Transcend 16 Gb JetFlash stick - see Flowchart – that has 16 Gb MS-DOS FAT partition named as Transcend).
    4. Click Partition tab in DiskUtility window.
    5. Under Partition Layout click Current. The drop-down menu will show how many partitions might be on the USB stick.
    6. Click 3 Partitions (layout will change, displaying three partitions, namely UNTITLED 1, UNTITLED 2, UNTITLED 3).
    7. Click UNTITLED 1, then select Format Mac OS Extended (Journaled), after this type down the Size (make sure that the size for the UNTITLED 1 was not less than 1.41 Gb), and finally click Options.
    8. Select GUID Partition Table and Click OK. After this repeat steps 7 and 8 for each remaining Partitions. Make sure that Size for UNTITLED 2 was not less than 1,91 GB, for UNTITLED 3 – not less than 0.2 GB. Be aware that due to the nature of GUID partition the total size after partitioning will be slightly less than initial size of your stick. So, if you use the minimal recommended size of 4 Gb select for your first two of othree partitions on USB drive exactly these numbers: 1.41 Gb and 1,905 Gb. The rest will automatically ensure the correct size for the 3rd partition after GUID partitioning. But, if for any reason the partitions on your DVD will not fit into partitions you created on the USB stick, use the large one (8 GB will be far enough) to be on the safe side.
    9. Click Apply. Click Ignore “Disk was not readable” – message (if any) after partitioning completed. (It is also OK if the title of one of 3 partitions will change.)
    10. Now under SuperDrive click PowerPC-DiskWarrior-Startup partition and click Restore tab at the top (but not at the bottom!) of the Disk Utility window. The title of this partition will immediately go the Source field. (If not, drug and drop it there). Then, drag and drop into Destination field the title of the first of 3 partitions you have created for USB stick. Finally, click Restore at the bottom.
    11. Confirm Erase.
    12. Select Intell-DiskWarrior-Startup partition under Superdrive and do the same action as in steps 10, 11 but dragging into Destination field the title of the second of 3 partitions you have created for USB stick.
    13. Select DiskWarriorDVD partition under Superdrive and do the same action as in steps 10, 11 but dragging into Destination field the title of the last of 3 partitions you have created for USB stick.
Now you have DiskWarrior bootable usb flash disk that is much faster than original DVD. To boot off of it just press and hold Option key on keyboard during the startup process.