How to make a bootable install of Mavericks on Flash USB Drive?

212rikanmofo

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 31, 2003
1,688
642
Does anyone know how to put Mavericks on a USB drive so that you can use it to install from?
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2012
2,503
912
This is better than osxdaily's method (which should only be used for DP1 anyway, not DP4 or the GM):

To make a bootable USB of the GM, use this method:

Your 8 GB USB drive should be called Untitled and formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The installer should be called Install OS X Mavericks.app and should be in your Applications folder.

Run this in terminal and wait about 20 minutes:

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

You should see something like this:

Erasing Disk: 0%... 10%... 20%... 100%...
Copying installer files to disk...
Copy complete.
Making disk bootable...
Copying boot files...
Copy complete.
Done.

You can then boot up from the USB by holding down the option key, then install the GM from the USB.

This is probably going to be the same for the public release.

Note that this will also install a recovery partition (which osxdaily's method doesn't do).
 
Last edited:

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Sep 21, 2012
14,752
14,746
In the middle of several books.
This is better than osxdaily's method (which should only be used for DP1 anyway, not DP4 or the GM):

To make a bootable USB, use this method:

Your 8 GB USB drive should be called Untitled and formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The installer should be called Install OS X Mavericks.app and should be in your Applications folder.

Run this in terminal and wait about 20 minutes:

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

You should see something like this:

Erasing Disk: 0%... 10%... 20%... 100%...
Copying installer files to disk...
Copy complete.
Making disk bootable...
Copying boot files...
Copy complete.
Done.

You can then boot up from the USB by holding down the option key, then install the GM from the USB.

This is probably going to be the same for the public release.

Note that this will also install a recovery partition (which osxdaily's method doesn't do).
Thank you for posting this.
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2012
2,503
912
Thanks! By far the most simplest way to setup a flash drive for OS X!
Yeah. It's pretty easy to make this.

But yesterday, I found the actual installation a rather tortuous process on my 2010 mbp (with hard drive). It went a lot smoother on my 2011 mba (with a ssd).

But in both cases, it got to "Less than a minute to go" at the end and then it seemed to hang there for ages. It wasn't actually hanging. I waited it out and it did eventually finish. But this is just something to be aware of before you install the GM in case you think it isn't working at the end. Others have commented that they had the same issue. It's not a big problem though. Just don't get impatient.

----------

Doesn't seem to work for me. :/
Why not? Did you wait long enough for the process to finish? It took me 20 min. Is your USB called Untitled? Is it at least 8 GB? Is it formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)? Is your installer file called Install OS X Mavericks.app and is it in the Applications folder? Did you type the command correctly (might be safer to copy and paste instead - I'm not being rude, but I don't trust my own typing either - I also copy and pasted it when I did it yesterday)?
 
Last edited:

TriWinning

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2012
9
0
This is better than osxdaily's method (which should only be used for DP1 anyway, not DP4 or the GM):

To make a bootable USB of the GM, use this method:

Your 8 GB USB drive should be called Untitled and formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The installer should be called Install OS X Mavericks.app and should be in your Applications folder.

Run this in terminal and wait about 20 minutes:

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

You should see something like this:

Erasing Disk: 0%... 10%... 20%... 100%...
Copying installer files to disk...
Copy complete.
Making disk bootable...
Copying boot files...
Copy complete.
Done.

You can then boot up from the USB by holding down the option key, then install the GM from the USB.

This is probably going to be the same for the public release.

Note that this will also install a recovery partition (which osxdaily's method doesn't do).
Will booting and installing from the USB overwrite my partitions and erase all of my files? Of course you should backup everything before attempting something like this regardless, but will I have to copy everything back on, or will my files stay through the installation?
 

Chaz03

macrumors newbie
Jul 1, 2013
7
1
New Jersey
How's the process for installing it to a CD? I don't have any Flash drives, but I have an older iMac with a Super Drive and some 8GB disks.
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2012
2,503
912
Will booting and installing from the USB overwrite my partitions and erase all of my files? Of course you should backup everything before attempting something like this regardless, but will I have to copy everything back on, or will my files stay through the installation?
Well both by mbp and mba have 2 partitions.

On the mbp, I had mountain lion 10.8.5 and mavericks DP8 which I upgraded to GM with the USB installer. You just have to be careful to select the correct partition. I chose not to do a clean install, so all my files were still there after the upgrade.

Then I did it on my mba which had Lion 10.7.5 and mavericks DP8 which I upgraded to GM - again be careful to select the correct partition. Again all my files were still there afterwords.

On the other hand, if you want a clean install you can use Disk Utility on the USB to format partitions first before installing. Some people prefer that (and I might do it later at some stage, but I don't have time to install everything again at the moment - so I'll make do with the upgrades for now).

----------

How's the process for installing it to a CD? I don't have any Flash drives, but I have an older iMac with a Super Drive and some 8GB disks.
You mean DVD don't you?

I'm going to do that too but I will wait till the public version is released first (in case it has a higher build than the GM - unlikely - but possible).
 

212rikanmofo

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 31, 2003
1,688
642
I agree! This is by far the best method ever! Thanks so much for sharing this method. Man wish I knew about this all those times I had to create a bootable flash drive install of OS X!
 

ryanmcv

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2007
745
403
Phoenix, AZ
For those who are not developers or prefer step-by-step instructions, here is how I made a bootable USB drive for the OS X Mavericks GM:

- Obtain a copy of OS X Mavericks GM from the usual sources (torrents, friend with a developer account, etc.)
- The file you download will likely be a .dmg with "Install OS X Mavericks.app" inside. Mount the .dmg and copy "Install OS X Mavericks.app" into your Applications folder.
- Attach an 8GB (or larger) USB flash drive, and open Disk Utility. Select your flash drive in the left column, and then click the "Erase" tab. Format the drive with Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with the name Untitled
- Click "Erase..."
- Close Disk Utility once the process completes. Open Terminal and enter the following command (you can copy/paste):

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app --nointeraction
After you hit Enter, you may be prompted for your password. Type it (the cursor in the Terminal window will NOT move) and then hit Enter again. The process should begin.

- You should see something like this (note that this process can take 15-20 minutes to finish):

Erasing Disk: 0%... 10%... 20%... 100%...
Copying installer files to disk...
Copy complete.
Making disk bootable...
Copying boot files...
Copy complete.
Done.

- You can now boot from the USB flash drive by holding the Option key while your computer boots up.

This worked perfectly for me and I hope it helps some of you!
 
Last edited:

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2012
2,503
912
I like most of what you posted there, except the bit about torrents.

The installer could get corrupted in that, so it would be better to get a redemption code in the mac dev center and then redeem it in the mac app store, i.e., use apple's correct method for obtaining the GM (or just wait till it is publicly released.)
 

ryanmcv

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2007
745
403
Phoenix, AZ
I like most of what you posted there, except the bit about torrents.

The installer could get corrupted in that, so it would be better to get a redemption code in the mac dev center and then redeem it in the mac app store, i.e., use apple's correct method for obtaining the GM.
Absolutely, it is always best to obtain the file directly from Apple if you can. However, not all of us are registered developers (myself included). Regardless, I was able to find a download of the GM that is bit-for-bit identical to the download available through the Mac App Store. As long as you use some common sense and download from trusted sources, you will be fine.

P.S. - Please do NOT contact me asking for download links.
 

davidlv

macrumors 65816
Apr 5, 2009
1,292
32
Kyoto, Japan
Yeah. It's pretty easy to make this.

But yesterday, I found the actual installation a rather tortuous process on my 2010 mbp (with hard drive). It went a lot smoother on my 2011 mba (with a ssd).

But in both cases, it got to "Less than a minute to go" at the end and then it seemed to hang there for ages. It wasn't actually hanging. I waited it out and it did eventually finish. But this is just something to be aware of before you install the GM in case you think it isn't working at the end. Others have commented that they had the same issue. It's not a big problem though. Just don't get impatient.

----------



Why not? Did you wait long enough for the process to finish? It took me 20 min. Is your USB called Untitled? Is it at least 8 GB? Is it formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)? Is your installer file called Install OS X Mavericks.app and is it in the Applications folder? Did you type the command correctly (might be safer to copy and paste instead - I'm not being rude, but I don't trust my own typing either - I also copy and pasted it when I did it yesterday)?
Used the procedure, exactly as posted, with a 16GB pen drive, seemed to work. The USB drive booted fine, initial part of the installation seemed to work until it got to the "Your computer will restart in .... seconds" just sat there at 1 second remaining for ages. I finally used the restart menu item to punt.
:confused:
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Sep 21, 2012
14,752
14,746
In the middle of several books.
Used the procedure, exactly as posted, with a 16GB pen drive, seemed to work. The USB drive booted fine, initial part of the installation seemed to work until it got to the "Your computer will restart in .... seconds" just sat there at 1 second remaining for ages. I finally used the restart menu item to punt.
:confused:
As Ty and many others have stated, it takes quite a while to finish at that stage. One needs to be patient and allow it to finish. Try the procedure again.
 

Chazz08

Cancelled
Dec 4, 2012
560
105
For those who are not developers or prefer step-by-step instructions, here is how I made a bootable USB drive for the OS X Mavericks GM:

- Obtain a copy of OS X Mavericks GM from the usual sources (torrents, friend with a developer account, etc.)
- The file you download will likely be a .dmg with "Install OS X Mavericks.app" inside. Mount the .dmg and copy "Install OS X Mavericks.app" into your Applications folder.
- Attach an 8GB (or larger) USB flash drive, and open Disk Utility. Select your flash drive in the left column, and then click the "Erase" tab. Format the drive with Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with the name Untitled
- Click "Erase..."
- Close Disk Utility once the process completes. Open Terminal and enter the following command (you can copy/paste):



After you hit Enter, you may be prompted for your password. Type it (the cursor in the Terminal window will NOT move) and then hit Enter again. The process should begin.

- You should see something like this (note that this process can take 15-20 minutes to finish):

Erasing Disk: 0%... 10%... 20%... 100%...
Copying installer files to disk...
Copy complete.
Making disk bootable...
Copying boot files...
Copy complete.
Done.

- You can now boot from the USB flash drive by holding the Option key while your computer boots up.

This worked perfectly for me and I hope it helps some of you!

I currently don't have my flash drive with me, so could it be possible to partition a spot on my ssd and do it from there? Then after the install reclaiming that space by unpartitioning it?
 

Lolito

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2013
392
27
here
I currently don't have my flash drive with me, so could it be possible to partition a spot on my ssd and do it from there? Then after the install reclaiming that space by unpartitioning it?
yes you can!!! that's how i didi it, after my external usb2 hdd failed due to cable, also it was really slow. I made a partition in the internal drive and installed from there. extremely easy. just call it Untitled, and follow the same procedure...
 

bigb159

macrumors newbie
Oct 9, 2013
4
0
Used the procedure, exactly as posted, with a 16GB pen drive, seemed to work. The USB drive booted fine, initial part of the installation seemed to work until it got to the "Your computer will restart in .... seconds" just sat there at 1 second remaining for ages. I finally used the restart menu item to punt.
:confused:
I had the same issue. A bit of patience worked for me - took about 15 minutes or so to reboot.
 
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