Bootable OS X 10.9 USB flash disk

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by cool11, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. cool11 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    I am not a terminal fan. I don't wan to use it.
    I want the easiest way to make it.
    A bootable usb (partition) drive for mavericks.

    I looked at these articles

    Diskmaker X seems the easiest way.
    But it does not worked for me.
    2 times, from 2 different locations, I downloaded mavericks original dmg files.
    Both times I get a problem.
    Here it is:

    I tried my luck with 'awful'(for me) terminal too, as these articles describe. Bad luck too!

    I made many efforts with no luck.
    What am I doing wrong? Help me to do it right.
  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    What do you mean by "dmg files" ?

    Didn't you download Mavericks from the App Store ?
    If yes, you didn't download a .dmg, but a full installer, which is an app : "Installer OS X Mavericks".

    This is what you need to create the bootable installer : a .dmg will not suffice.
  3. cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    Here it is:

    Is it wrong for doing a bootable usb?
  4. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    Don't understand what you are showing.

    Things have changed : unlike Lion and Mountain Lion, you need MORE than the .dmg to create a bootable installer : you need the WHOLE app that you downloaded from the App Store, the "Install OS X".

  5. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    Now be honest. You DIDN'T download this from the mac app store did you?

    If you did you would have got Install OS X in your Applications folder. And then the terminal command would have worked.

    You asked what you are doing wrong. And I'm going to tell you. You downloaded it from the wrong place - which gives you the wrong file in the wrong place with the wrong name. And you expect the terminal command to work? Well obviously it's not.

    What to do now?

    Get it from the mac app store and start again.

    (And delete the crap you already downloaded)
  6. appleii.c, Nov 1, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013

    appleii.c macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2013
    I just bought a new MBP that came pre-installed with Mavericks. I was trying to make a boot disk myself but had no luck. I believe (not 100% certain though) if it comes pre-installed with Mavericks (not an app-store upgrade) you don't have that installer file, hence the command not found in terminal.

    Is there a separate process to making a boot disk for a pre-installed Mavericks setup?

    Also, i am unable to "Download" mavericks from the appstore, probably the same reasons stated above.
  7. cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    Ok, it is a free thing, so I am not stealing anybody!
    My mbp was updated through official App store. Why choose any other method?
    But, I never saw such file in Applications folder, or I missed it somehow.
    In any case, I can assure that I never deleted such file myself, and now I get a glance inside Applications folder, I can't find it.

    This is why I found such dmg, days after I updated my mac.

    Now, what should I do?
  8. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    If you initially got the installer from the mac app store and just ran the installer and restarted, the installer deletes itself.

    You can redownload the official version from the Purchases tab in the mac app store.
  9. cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    Ok, I see it.
    Can I 'control' the download?
    Can I put it in a directory I want? Will I see it as a file?
    Or it will automatically start a re-installment causing me extra problems?
    (apple's automated processes, with no user control, sometimes causes problems)


    So, how am I supposed to have it?
  10. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    Don't start adding your own complications to it. Others have tried that and then wondered why the terminal command didn't work. Well that's obvious.

    You should just wait till the download finishes.

    But you don't need to reinstall it. So if it opens up asking to install, just close it and run the terminal command.


    Redownload from the Purchases tab in the mac app store.
  11. Jurwin macrumors regular


    God just use the terminal trick. I used that and created a bootable USB mavericks in 10 min. Installed the OS everything went smooth. Don't be a diva!
  12. cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    I tried with terminal but as you can see it gives me error.
  13. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    Well I've explained quite well why you got the error. So go back and reread what I said before and you will be able to rectify the situation.
  14. ABC5S Suspended


    Sep 10, 2013
    This is what I did.

    1. Downloaded DiskMaker 3.0.1 (Newest version) to the desktop.

    2. Downloaded Maverick from the App Store, and left it on the desktop of my computer. Did not open it or touched it.

    3. Made sure my 8 GB + USB thumb drive was properly formatted.

    How to Prepare your new thumb drive:

    Insert your USB thumb drive (8GB or more)
    Click on Disk Utility from LaunchPad
    On left column, click on USB drive
    Select “Mac X Extended Journaled”
    Now click on Erase button to begin the formatting....Done.

    4. Opened DiskMaker and started the process in making a bootable drive. Took a while, so have patience.

    Did the Terminal method on another thumb drive as a back up.
  15. cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    If I re-download mavericks from app store, how can I be sure that the file will remain in my Applications folder?
    Will this download force me to re-install os?
    All I need is just the official mavericks download file.
    If I click on app store the 'download' button on 'purchase' tab, will I have the file, nothing more will happen, and that's it?
    I am asking to avoid bad situations that I could not control.
  16. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    No. It won't force you to reinstall. But if the installer opens, just close it again. You don't need to reinstall.

    Just make sure it's called Install OS X and is in your Applications folder before using the terminal command.

    Also once you've made your bootable USB, you could either move the installer out of your Applications folder to somewhere else like an external hard drive, as a backup, or manually delete it from your Applications folder if you don't want it there anymore.

    It only deletes itself if you run the installer from the app.
  17. cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    Thanks for all your replies.
    I finally did it, as you said.
    I download it again, diskmaker worked perfectly.

    One question:
    If I ever face a failure with my mac's internal hard disk, how this bootable image can help me? Access to Disk utilities?
    If I re-install osx, over the existing - hypothetical - faulty osx system of mac internal hard drive, will I keep my applications & files, or all gone?
  18. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    1. the bootable external install drive does have a Disk Utility that allow you to repair the whole internal drive.

    2. when you reinstall the system, apps, data and settings remain unchanged, unless YOU erase the disk with Disk Utility before installing.
  19. tywebb13, Nov 2, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013

    tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    You can use it to

    - reinstall the system

    - or perform a clean install

    - or use disk utility

    - or restore from time machine backup

    Of course these can also be done from the recovery partition too, but the bootable USB is actually better than that for reinstalling because you already have the whole installer on the USB. (That's why it has to be at least 8GB) - whereas if you did it from the recovery partition it will have to download the 5GB installer again. So the USB method is actually faster for this.

    And there is another reason some people make a bootable USB:

    - install on more than 1 mac without having to download again

    I had recently restored a mavericks partition back to mountain lion from a time machine backup using the USB (without having to reinstall all my programs) - i.e., downgraded from 10.9 back to 10.8.5 - because some of the mavericks bugs. I have mavericks on another partition. I might give an upgrade another go when 10.9.1 is released - but of course, back everything up first.

    So now I'm dual booting mavericks and mountain lion.

    So the bootable USB is a very useful thing to have.
  20. cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    In case of a system failure, what is the best way to handle it?
    What is better to use?
    A bootable usb with osx, or the internal hard drive 'recovery' partition?
  21. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  22. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Either works and both will yield the same result. Internal hard drive recovery partition will probably be a bit faster.
  23. freeuser Suspended

    Apr 8, 2013
    maybe you have got a problem with your USB-Stick?

    I have had a similar problem with mine and simply changed the USB-Stick to another one, problem solved.

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