How to make a PSU BIC auto restore DVD

Updated 05/24/2004
Copyright 2003-2004, Justin Elliott, Penn State University

Sometimes it's desirable to boot and restore a Mac from a DVD versus a firewire disk or even netboot. Bootable DVD's are cheaper than firewire disks and they're more convenient in some cases. At PSU, this method will be used to restore the 200 Macs that are arriving from Apple this summer out of the box. We don't want to purchase a lot of firewire disks to build the Macs, but we can easily create a lot of bootable restore DVD's, and if a DVD gets damaged or lost, it's no big deal.

NOTE: You do NOT have to use a DVD to get an auto restore to work. You can configure a firewire disk to do an autorestore as well and it will work just fine and a lot faster. Bootable DVD's are cheaper and more convenient in some cases, but not even close to being as fast as a firewire disk.


  1. System Requirements:
    1. BootCD
    2. Blast Image Config 2.0
    3. Mac OS X 10.2.8 (bootCD currently only supports up to 10.2.8)
    4. A Mac capable of burning a DVD-R disc (aka Apple's "SuperDrive")
    5. Autorun/default preferences configured correctly for autorun
    6. A little terminal application experience
  2. If at all possible, get your hands on a G5 running the special version of Mac OS X 10.2.8 (G5) as it appears in the "About This Mac" dialog:


    1. Other versions of Mac OS X 10.2 will not be able to boot a PowerMac G5 tower. A bootable DVD created with a Mac OS X 10.2.8 G5 system was able to boot non-G5 Macs that had optical drives capable of reading DVD's.
  3. To make the rest of the steps as seemless as possible, you MUST enable the root user login on the Mac running the 10.2.8 system. Enable the root user login by doing the following:
    1. Launch NetInfo Manager from /Applications/Utilities:


    2. Select Authenticate from the Security menu:


    3. Then select Enable Root User from the Security menu again, and enter in the new password for the root user:


    4. Logout, and login as the root user by either clicking the "Other" icon at the login window or entering "root" for the username and the password.
  4. While logged in as the root user:
    1. Download bootCD version 0.5.4 or higher from http://www.charlessoft.com/:


    2. Configure the network settings as you would like them to be replicated to the bootable DVD. Ie, Built-in ethernet as DHCP.
    3. Download and copy the Blast Image Config 2.0 folder to /Applications:


    4. Add the Blast Image Config 2.0 application as a startup item:
      1. From the Apple Menu, select System Preferences,
      2. Then click the Login Items button:


      3. Drag the Blast Image Config 2.0 icon to the window below the These items will open automatically when you login in:.


      4. PSU Blast Image Config added as a Login Item:


  5. Autorun Prefs file preparation:
    1. Download the Autorun template prefs which will decompress into a edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig file. This template file is already pre-configured to do the following:
      1. Autorun ON and prompt if ok to autorun is ON
      2. Set the Open Firmware security to command with the password set to "macosxlabs"
      3. No pre-restore script to execute
      4. Skip over setting the date and time
      5. Set the network configuration to DHCP
      6. Set the network names to "My Mac" and "My-Mac"
      7. Use the "MasterSystem.dmg" disk image
      8. Restore to the first disk
      9. Don't enable verification (to save time)
      10. Restart when finished
    2. Open the file with a text editor and change the values for the keys to your needs. Read the documentation on the autorun/default preferences for more information.
  6. Copy the edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig file to the root user's Preferences folder located at /var/root/Library/Preferences/.
    1. To navigate to the Preferences folder quickly make a new Finder window:


    2. Select Home from the Go menu:


    3. Open the Library folder and then the Preferences folder. Copy the edu.psu.clc.blastimageconfig file to this Preferences folder.
  7. Download ncutil and install it. It needs to be installed on the system you've booted with because it will later be copied to the disk image to be used by Blast Image Config.
    1. Open the terminal.app from /Applications/Utilities:


    2. Change the working directory to the ncutil download folder by typing "cd " (with the space after "cd" but without the quotes).

      % cd

    3. Drag the ncutil-install folder icon to the terminal window, and then press return. This will add the path to the folder in the terminal command, saving you the time of typing in the full path:


    4. Run the ncutil install script by entering "./InstallScript":

      % ./InstallScript

    5. The command line text will look similiar to this:


    6. The ncutil install script will execute, and the output will look similiar to this:


    7. Quit out of the terminal application.
  8. Launch BootCD. In the Boot CD Image Creator dialog enter these settings: (Don't go higher than 4403 MB for the Disk Size field or Disk Copy under 10.2.8 will report that it can't burn the image to a 4.7 GB DVD-R disc):


  9. Click the Create Bootable CD Image button.
  10. Specify where you'd like to save the image:


  11. BootCD will run for a while creating the image... anywhere from 4 to ??? minutes depending on the speed of the Mac. Try doing this on a G5 for the quickest results. :-)


  12. Click OK on the Choose Applications dialog:


  13. Click Cancel on the "Choose Applications to include on CD". Do not add Blast Image Config at this point! BootCD will only copy the application and not the entire Blast Image Config folder, which is required:


  14. WAIT for BootCD to finalize the bootable DVD image and display the Image Complete dialog. Click the Great! button:


  15. Quit out of BootCD:


  16. Mount the bootable DVD image by double clicking the Bootable DVD.dmg that was created by BootCD disk image:


  17. Via the Finder, copy the PSU BIC 2.0 folder to the "Applications" folder on the root of the mounted image:


  18. Copy your master image to the RestoreImages folder in the PSU BIC 2.0 folder on the image. Change its name to "MasterSystem.dmg", as it is specified in the autorun/default prefs:


    1. Master disk images can be at most approximately 3.2 GB in testing, assuming that you've NOT added anything more to the bootable DVD image than what was covered in these instructions.
    2. You might have to remove files from the restore image and then re-convert it to a compressed image to see if it will fit or not. Granted, this can be a frustrating task. Disk Images that are converted to compressed images can be shrunk down a considerable amount, so be sure to always save your restore images as compressed images.
    3. It can be tough to get a restore image to fix on the DVD image. If your master image will not fit on the DVD image, try storing the image on an afp server or via an http download URL and add it to the NetworkImagesList file inside of the RestoreImages folder.
  19. Additional system command line tools and frameworks must be copied to the Bootable DVD image in order for Blast Image Config to run. These command line tools and frameworks are included on all standard Mac OS X installs, but not as a default on the image created by BootCD.
    1. Download the psuPrepareBootDVD.pl perl script.
    2. Open the terminal application from /Applications/Utilities/
    3. In the terminal, change to the directory where you saved the psuPrepareBootDVD.pl script. In this case, to the Desktop:

      % cd ~/Desktop/

    4. Change the execute bit on the script:

      % chmod +x psuPrepareBootDVD.pl

    5. Run psuPrepareBootDVD.pl to copy the necessary command line tools and frameworks to the image:

      % ./psuPrepareBootDVD.pl /Volumes/Bootable\ DVD

  20. Unmount the image and burn it to a DVD-R with Disk Copy under 10.2 or Disk Utility under 10.3.
  21. Boot and autorestore a Mac with the bootable DVD:
    1. The Mac to restore must be capable of reading DVD-R's/DVD-ROMs. Most newer Macs can do this.
    2. Hold the "C" key down at powerup or if you have Open Firmware security already enabled hold down the OPTION key to bring up the password and boot disk selection screens.
      1. NOTE: In testing, with a bootable DVD created with BootCD 0.5.4 from a G5 10.2.8 system, a 1.25 Ghz 17" iMac must be booted by holding down the "C" key at power on and NOT via the OPTION key/boot picker screen. Otherwise, the video on the iMac will become garbled. To get around this, you'll need to turn off Open Firmware Security so that the "C" key can be recognized at power up time.
  22. The bootable DVD could take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to boot. This is normal. You do NOT have to use a DVD to get an auto restore to work. You can configure a firewire disk to do an autorestore as well and it will work just fine and a lot faster. Bootable DVD's are cheaper and more convenient in some cases, but not even close to being as fast as a firewire disk.
  23. Once booted, the bootable DVD system automatically logs in as root and launches Blast Image Config, ASSUMING that you correctly enabled the root user login AND added PSU Blast Image Config as a startup item in the previous steps.
  24. NOTE: Sometimes the Mac's built-in hard disk doesn't appear on the Desktop when booted with a DVD created by BootCD. If this happens, use Disk Utility to erase it and/or mount it on the Desktop.
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Last Updated October 2, 2010