How to Clean Install Mac OS X Mountain Lion

Posted by Harshad

How to Clean Install Mac OS X Mountain Lion

How to Clean Install Mac OS X Mountain Lion

Posted: 27 May 2013 08:01 AM PDT

In the Windows’ analogy, this is like reformatting your Macbook or iMac and reinstalling a brand new version of Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Unfortunately in Mac the process can be a little more complicated and less well known. But first, why should you clean install the Mac OS X Mountain Lion at all?

Here are couple of reasons we can think of: One, your existing Mac OS X inherited documents, files and applications that take up a lot of unnecessary storage space. To optimize your Mac, it is quite necessary to reinstall and start from a clean slate.

mountain lion

Two, you are thinking about trading or gifting your machine to someone else, but you are concerned with the remnants of files, profiles and various credentials that if mishandled, may lead to a security leak. A clean install will give you peace of mind.

With that cleared up, in this article we will show you how to erase existing data and reinstall a brand new copy of Mountain Lion. Here is a breakdown of the steps involved:

  1. Download a copy of Mac OS X Mountain Lion
  2. Make a bootable drive of Mac OS X Mountain Lion with a USB drive
  3. Reboot, Clean up and Reinstall

You ready? Let’s do it.

1. Re-download Mountain Lion

First, grab hold of a copy of the Mountain Lion installer file. The installer you downloaded fro the App Store automatically deletes itself after you’ve successfully upgraded your Mac.

Here’s how you can download and obtain a soft copy of Mountain Lion.

Launch App Store, and go to the Purchases tab.

purchase tab

Look for OS X Mountain Lion, hold down the Option key and click Download.

Re-enter your App Store credentials if required. If you’ve previously purchased a copy of Mountain Lion, don’t worry, you will not be recharged. Note that this may take up between 10 and 60 minutes, depending on your Internet connection speeds.

download mountain iion

While you wait, get a coffee, a break and a USB drive with at least 8 GB capacity. Make sure that you won’t need any of the contents of the flash drive, if you do, keep a backup of it somewhere first.

When you get back, we will look at how you can create a bootable copy of OS X Mountain Lion on your USB drive.

2. Create bootable OS X Mountain Lion

Do not start the installation process when your download finishes. Our goal is here to keep a soft copy of the installer and in the flash drive.

Once your download is done, go to Finder > Applications. Look for the file called "Install OS X Mountain Lion", right-click and select Show Package Contents.

show package content

Navigate to Contents > SharedSupport, then look for the filename "InstallESD.dmg"

mountain lion installer file

Double-click InstallESD.dmg to open/mount it on your Desktop. This may take a minute or two.

mount installer

Plug in the flash drive into your Mac and launch the Disk Utility application. You can do it quickly by searching via Spotlight.

disk utility via spotlight

In Disk Utility, do the following 4 steps carefully:

  1. Select the USB drive on the left menu,
  2. Select the Erase tab,
  3. Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for the format.
  4. Click the Erase button.

format usb as mac extended

Once the flash drive is formatted, re-select the formatted USB drive from the left menu, and click the Restore tab.

select restore tab

Next, we are going to create a bootable OS X Mountain Lion in the flash drive. Do the following steps carefully:

  1. Drag the formatted drive from the left menu to the Destination field.
  2. Drag "Mac OS X Install ESD" on the left menu to Source.
  3. Click the Restore button. Installation may take about 10 – 20 minutes.

restore source destination

Once it’s done you’ll have yourself a flash drive with a bootable Mountain Lion.

3. Reboot, Clean up and reinstall

So we’ve downloaded a new copy of Mountain Lion and made it bootable in a flash drive. Next up, we’ll attempt to remove everything from the current OS and reinstall a new copy of Mountain Lion.

First, a reboot! Hold down the Option key as you restart and you’ll end up at the screen below. Then, select the Mac OS X on the right.

restore source destination

You’ll be taken to the OS X Utilities dialogue. Select Disk Utility.

restore source destination

At the Disk Utility screen, make sure you have these selected:

  • You are selecting your Mac’s hard disk drive (and not your flash drive’s) on the left menu.
  • You are on the Erase tab.
  • You have selected the "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" format.

restore source destination

Click the Erase button button and everything (including files, applications, settings, etc) in your Mac will be completely deleted.


(3.4) When you are done, you’ll be directed back to the OS X Utilities dialogue. This time, select Reinstall OS X, the second option from the list.

restore source destination

That’s it!

Your Mac will now reinstall from the flash drive and you’ll end up with a clean piece of Mac OS X Mountain Lion OS, as if your MacBook or iMac was brand new.

What’s Next?

You may want to check out our following related articles:


Thinking Out Of The Box: Why Going Low Tech (Sometimes) Works

Posted: 27 May 2013 06:01 AM PDT

I came across a breathalyzer device that will check how drunk you are and tell you how long you are to wait before you can drive yourself home. I’m not sure about you but when it comes to driving under the influence, ‘don’t drink and drive’ is one of the best advice to follow. Getting a designated driver, a cab or someone you can trust to get you home safely would be a lot better. And if you are the kind who doesn’t drink too much you have no use for this device either.

(Image Source: Kickstarter)

As more and more innovative ideas start to surface, sometimes you have to wonder why is it that we try to use technology to solve certain problems that have a way, way better non-tech-related solution? Sure, tech has always been touted as the revolutionary tool that will change the world, break boundaries, changing the way things work, even when hidden away from plain sight, but sometimes the best solutions need not be technology-reliant. Sometimes the best solutions use little to no tech at all.

The Russian Pencil

To illustrate this, I have to unfortunately use an urban legend (there’s your disclaimer right there, but bear with me). It was the 1960′s and the US (specifically, NASA) is having problems getting replacements for pens. Due to the conditions of being in space (no gravity, no pressure, no air – take your pick), pens don’t work well there, which is bad news for astronauts, so they spent millions in research to make an anti-gravity pen that works.

The Russians, when faced with the same problem, used a pencil.

(Image Source: blogosem.com)

So what is the lesson here? Sometimes there is an easy and quicker solution to the problem. And it doesn’t always have to have something to do with a new upcoming app or gadget. Yes, the best solutions may be tech-free, simple, cost a lot less than you think and may just come from pure thought.

Solar Bottle Bulb

Take for example, watch as a man called Solar Demi uses a low-tech method to light up dark homes in the Phillipines. He fills up plastic bottles with water, adds a bit of bleach to ensure there is no bacterial growth, installs it on the roof of the house, seals it and homes are lit with natural sunlight.

(Image Source: aliteroflight.org)

Apart from reducing electrical bills, this idea which originated in 2002 by a group of MIT students, made good use of discarded plastic bottles. The foundation behind this is looking to install this in a million homes in the Phillipines by 2015 and will take it to India, Indonesia and Switzerland.

You can help support the move or volunteer to help with installation at their website: Liter Of Light.

Richard Turere: Lion Tamer

A boy between the ages of 6 to 9 of the Maasai community is responsible for his father’s livestock. Richard Turere was only 10 when he was trying to figure out how to scare away the lions from the Nairobi National park that have been killing their livestock at night. Using fire and scarecrows failed and so Richard turned to electronics instead.

(Image Source: Slab-City)

He patched up an old car battery to a solar panel and installed blinking motorist lights and flash lights in strategic spots on low-lying fences, giving the illusion that someone was out and about. The lions stayed away and Richard won a scholarship to study in one of the best schools in the area. He is also helping his neighbors and his community set this up in their homes. And he’s only 13.

Small Inventions, Big Ideas

Some of the biggest inventions in the world are small but they get the job done and they are cheap enough to produce that they become affordable, household items. And just because these are simple solutions, it doesn’t meant that they are not world-changing or significant. Take for instance:

The Safety Pin

The safety pin was created by Walter Hunt to settle a debt. He sold the patent off for about $10,000 worth in today’s dollar and used part of it to clear his debt. It sounded like a bargain until you realize that the patent was sold off to W.R. Grace & Co, which proceeded to make millions off it. Today, about 3 million safety pins are produced per day.

safety pins

Correction Fluid

Another example is the correction fluid which was invented by Bette Nesmith Graham, a secretary (and painter) in 1951. Before a time of computers and word processors most letters were hand-typed on the typewriter and each mistake the typist makes means they have to start over on a fresh piece of paper. By 1967, the correction fluid concocted in Graham’s kitchen was selling like hot cakes earning her company millions, and is still used in offices, homes and schools worldwide today.

correction fluid

The Paper Clip

When it comes to fastening pieces of paper together, nothing does it better than a small steel wire looped into the right shape for the right clip-on effect. The need for paper clips have been around since offices were filled with paper, but the modern elegant design of today’s paper clip only saw light in 1899 – the design has yet to see a facelift since then but it didn’t matter. Over 11 billion paper clips are sold every single year, in the U.S. alone.

colorful paper clips


Technology has always been around to solve problems, or to break barriers where all other methods have failed. But let’s not get carried away and be so eager to inject technology into every single solution. Rather than try to make the next iPhone or the next Facebook, look for problems to solve in other industries. You never know if your next big (or small) idea will change the world.


Convert PSD to CSS3 Easily With CSS3Ps

Posted: 27 May 2013 03:01 AM PDT

Photoshop isn’t only the popular choice for photo editing, it’s also a good choice for designing a website. We have previously shown you how to design a blog layout with Photoshop. With a range of effects and features, Photoshop allowed us to compose a visually rich presentation using drop shadows, rounded corners, inner glow, outer glow, texture among other effects that make a website look fascinating.

But, the problem comes when we are about to convert those heavy effects into CSS3. It would be a very tedious task indeed to convert every piece of effect into CSS3. If you are facing this problem, we hope this tip can help you out.

Using CSS3Ps

CSS3Ps is a free Photoshop plugin and a cloud based service to convert your Photoshop layers to CSS3, SCSS and Sass syntax in seconds – and yes, this plugin supports SCSS and Sass for Compass as well.

This plugin is available for Photoshop CS3 up to the latest CS6, and at the time of this writing, it supports the following conversion (more features will be added in the future).

Photoshop Effect or Object CSS3 Property
Object Size height and width
Shape with Border Radius border-radius
Stroke border
Inner Glow, Outer Glow, Drop Shadow, and Inner Shadow box-shadow
Text font, text-transform, text-decoration, and color.

In addition, CSS3Ps also added the vendor prefixes for cross-browser compatibility.

For this demonstration, we will convert the following transparent objects, as pointed in the following screenshot, from this PSD at Premium Pixels.

This plugin is simple to work. Just select the corresponding layer for the object, and click the CSS3Ps bar, as shown below.

Then, we will be redirected to the CSS3Ps webpage where the output is generated. In our case, the output is as shown in the following snippets.

The result is clever, it turned the Opacity effect into Alpha channel from RGBA format.

 controls base { width: 500px; height: 40px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; -moz-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; background-color: rgba(34,36,38,.9); -webkit-box-shadow: 0 1px 3px rgba(0,0,0,.7), inset 0 2px rgba(255,255,255,.15); -moz-box-shadow: 0 1px 3px rgba(0,0,0,.7), inset 0 2px rgba(255,255,255,.15); box-shadow: 0 1px 3px rgba(0,0,0,.7), inset 0 2px rgba(255,255,255,.15); border: solid 1px #000; background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(bottom, rgba(0,0,0,.35), rgba(255,255,255,.35)); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(bottom, rgba(0,0,0,.35), rgba(255,255,255,.35)); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(bottom, rgba(0,0,0,.35), rgba(255,255,255,.35)); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(bottom, rgba(0,0,0,.35), rgba(255,255,255,.35)); background-image: linear-gradient(to top, rgba(0,0,0,.35), rgba(255,255,255,.35)); }

Follow this link to see the original output and preview of the result in CSS.

Final Thought

This plugin is really a time saver and reduces the workload involved. It is worth noting that in order for this plugin to convert appropriately, make sure to use the right Photoshop fx for displaying the effect.

The only downside that I saw from this service is the waiting time, as the process is done in the Cloud. Depending on your Internet connection, the speed may vary. Still, it is practically faster than doing the conversion manually.

Have you tried this plugin? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below.



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