24 October 2013

How to create a bootable USB Flash Drive for Installing OS X Mavericks

Apple ushered the whole industry into a new era when it announced that the new operating system OS X Mavericks will come free-of-charge, effectively shattering the last ounce of the obsolete standard of paying for an operating system.

You can download Mavericks from the App Store right now. The installation processes is seamless for upgrading from a previous version like Mountain Lion.

But for the best experience, some people prefer a clean install over upgrade. This tutorial is made for them, showing how to create a Bootable USB flash drive to install OS X Mavericks.

You will need:

  • An empty USB flash drive of 8GB or more
  • OS X Mavericks from the App Store

2. When the download finishes (it's more than 5GB), the install window will show up
3. Don't press Continue. Instead, minimize the installer.
4. Now open Disk Utility and select the USB Flash Drive you want to use as Bootable USB

Beware: All the data on the USB Flash Drive will be erased!

5. Select the USB drive you want to erase
6. Click on Partition and choose 1. Partition from the drop down menu.
7. This is important: name the partition Mavericks exactly. This is important for the script to find the USB.
8. Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click on Options...
9. Make sure GUID Partition Table is selected, click OK and then on Apply.
10. Click on Partition to begin the proccess.

The process will not take long. For the next part you will need the SH script that copies all the required files and makes the clean USB Flash Drive Bootable.

Alternatively, you can just copy and paste the code from the script directly into Terminal.

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Mavericks --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app --nointeraction

Make sure you copy and paste it correctly.

11. Open Terminal from the finder.
12. Click and drag the MavericksUSB.sh into the Terminal (or copy and paste the code above)
13. If asked for password, enter your user password. This is required so the script can run and have permissions to write on the USB Flash Drive
14. The script will copy all the necessary files and make the USB drive bootable.

That's it! To install from the USB, restart your Mac holding the alt(option) button for the selection menu to appear.

Make sure to backup all your files before doing a clean install.

Thanks goes to the users across the Internet forums like tywebb13 who contributed their ideas and experiences to create the code above.