In a previous post I went through the lengthy method of creating a bootable USB Flash drive that could be used to install OS X Mavericks as well as a really simple solution that involves using an application called DiskMaker X.

This post will go through another method that utilizes a single Terminal Command.

 

#1 – Download OS X Mavericks

First things first, you need to download OS X Mavericks. This is a FREE download from Apple. Here’s link to it: OS X Mavericks

 

#2 – Prepare your USB Flash Drive

Creating a bootable USB drive for Mavericks requires a USB drive with at least 8GB of available space. If you don’t already have one, they are really cheap. If you need a good Flash drive, here is an affiliate link to a 16 GB flash drive: PNY 16GB Attaché 2 USB 2.0 Flash Drive – Black,Blue (P-FD16GATT2-GE) only $11.99.

Before we can restore Mavericks onto the USB Flash drive, the drive has to be properly formatted.

install mavericks usb pen drive

To format the USB drive open Disk Utility (located in Applications/Utilities). Plug the drive in into your Mac.

  1. Select the USB Flash drive from the sidebar in Disk Utility.
  2. Select the “Erase” tab.
  3. Make sure the Format is set to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  4. As for the name, leave it as “Untitled”.
  5. Finally click the Erase tab.

One important note about Step 5, this will erase everything that is currently on your USB drive.

 

#3 – Terminal Command

Now that the USB drive is properly formatted we can run the Terminal command that will take care of the rest. Terminal can be found in the Applications/Utilities folder.

Simply copy and paste this into Terminal and press the Enter key on your keyboard:

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

Since the above command uses the sudo atritubute you will be required to enter your password to start the process.

Once the process starts you will see this in Terminal:

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

This process can take a while since it’s coping gigabytes of data over. Leave it alone and let it do its things.

Congratulations you just created a working Mavericks install USB drive!

 

Now there are two ways of booting into the USB.

Choose one method:

1. Open System Preferences -> Startup Disk -> Select the USB drive -> Click the “Restart” button.

OR

2. While your Mac is restarting hold down the “alt” key on the keyboard and select the USB drive.