How to Make a Bootable Mavericks Install Drive

I needed to make a bootable Mavericks install drive using a USB flash drive. I followed option 1 from the below site and it worked perfectly!

Copied here for future reference:

Option 1: Use createinstallmedia

Hidden inside the Mavericks installer is a Unix program calledcreateinstallmedia, provided by Apple for creating a bootable Mavericks installer. If you’re comfortable using Terminal, it’s a relatively simple tool to use. The program assumes your account has administrator privileges.

Note: This method does not work in Snow Leopard. It works only in Lion, Mountain Lion, or Mavericks. (The resulting installer drive will let you install Mavericks over Snow Leopard, but you can’t create the installer drive while booted into Snow Leopard.) If you need to create a Mavericks install drive while booted into Snow Leopard, you should use the Disk Utility instructions, below.

  1. Download the Mavericks installer from the Mac App Store and make sure it’s in your main Applications folder. (This means that if you followed my advice to move the installer out of your Applications folder, you’ll have to move it back, at least temporarily. The Terminal command I’m using here assumes the installer is in its default location.)
  2. Connect to your Mac a properly formatted 8GB (or larger) drive. Rename the drive to Untitled. (The Terminal command used here assumes the drive is named Untitled.)
  3. Select the text of this Terminal command and copy it:
    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --nointeraction
  4. Launch Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities).
  5. Paste the copied command into Terminal and press Return. Warning: This step will erase the destination drive or partition, so make sure it doesn’t contain any valuable data.
  6. Enter your admin-level account password when prompted.
  7. The Terminal window displays the progress of the process, in a very Terminal sort of way, by displaying a textual representation of a progress bar: Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%…20%… and so on. The program then tells you it’s copying the installer files, making the disk bootable, and copying boot files. Wait until you see the text Copy Complete. Done. (see the screenshot below), which could take as long as 20 or 30 minutes, depending on how fast your Mac can copy data to your destination drive.

You now have a bootable Mavericks-install drive. If you’re curious about createinstallmedia, type or paste the following command in Terminal and press Return:

/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

The resulting text output shows you the (brief) instructions for using createinstallmedia more generically. (Thanks to a developer on Apple’s Developer Forums for pointing out createinstallmedia a few months ago.)

The createinstallmedia command in Terminal
Using the createinstallmedia command in Terminal

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