Bootable USB Drive with OS X Mavericks — Fastest Way

Apple released its latest OS X version, 10.9 or „Mavericks”. Quote Apple: „With more than 200 new features, OS X Mavericks brings Maps and iBooks to the Mac, introduces Finder Tabs and Tags, enhances multi-display support and includes an all-new version of Safari.” Cool, ain’t it ? But this I like most: „The latest release of OS X also adds new core technologies that deliver breakthrough power efficiency and responsiveness.” Nice. Maybe, Apple, you will fix some of the older „core technologies” too, because today I almost f….ed up an external WD drive, ExFAT formatted on my previous Mountain Lion OS, when this Mavericks gem decided to „nap-my-app” during a file transfer. However…. problem solved.

OS X Mavericks is available as free update on App Store, but I almost never do updates, I prefer clean installs. Since creating a bootable media via the classic Disk Utility approach is a bit tricky with Mavericks, I will show you a faster, alternative way to create an USB bootable drive for OS X Mavericks.

First, you have to download the Mavericks from Apple App Store:

Download OS X MavericksNormally, the installation kit should be downloaded under Applications and should be named „Install OS X Mavericks”:

ApplicationNext, get an 8 GB USB Drive, formatted as Mac OSX Extended (Journaled). Name it at will, but keep a note on this name. It is important. Mine was named „OS X Install ESD” since I had it from my previous Mountain Lion bootable drive.

Open a terminal and type:

cd /Volumes
ls -lsa

You should see something like this:

VolumesNote the name of the drive (volume). This will be used in the next steps.

WARNING ! Following commands will completely remove all your information from the USB Drive ! Make sure you have a backup of the USB drive content before you proceed. The drive will be completely erased.

In same Terminal window, enter the following command:

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ ––volume /Volumes/OS\ X\ Install\ ESD ––applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ ––nointeraction

The backslash are escapes for whitespaces in folder or file naming. Note the bolded part, that’s the name of the USB drive. If your drive name is „Untitled”, for example, the command would look like that:

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ ––volume /Volumes/Untitled ––applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ ––nointeraction

Run this in terminal. It will take apx 20 minutes to complete. Terminal will show:

command highlightAt the end you will have a bootable USB drive with OS X Mavericks for clean installs. Do your backups and, when ready, shut down the mac and restart while keeping the „Alt” key pressed. Then follow instructions.


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