Instructions: Create a bootable USB stick for the Mavericks installation

Install OS X Mavericks

The latest version of OS X is called Mavericks. In contrast to earlier OS X systems, there is no longer any possibility of ordering a [USB stick-> usb stick] with the system from Apple. This means that you download the operating system from the app store and then install it - but only once on a computer, because the download is then no longer available. If you have several Macs and want to install them on all of them, a USB stick for installation is often better. Especially when the internet connection is slow and you would have to wait hours on every Mac until [OS X Mavericks-> os-x-mavericks] is loaded from the app store.

Install OS X MavericksAttention: The procedure is different than with OS X Mountain Lion

Most will now think that you can do the same with Mavericks as with Mountain Lion and simply grab the InstallESD.dmg from the download from the AppStore and then restore this image to a USB stick. Unfortunately this is possible, but the installation process breaks off towards the end because the installer cannot verify the OS X.

Solution 1: the terminal

The solution is now a little different: You go to the AppStore and load the OS X Installer app. You don't let this run, you just plug in the USB stick on which you want to create the Mavericks installer. Now you use that createinstallmedia Tool to convert the USB stick into a bootable installer based on the Mavericks installer. To find out more about the tool, type the following into the terminal:

/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

It may be that you have to adjust the path to the installer app in the terminal command. The steps are here again explained on a support page from Apple.

Solution 2: The handy GUI called DiskMaker X

As an Apple user lazy about terminals, I naturally took a different route and decided to go with it the DiskMaker X program is loaded (it's free). The tool creates a bootable volume such as a USB stick with the help of an Apple script and a very easy-to-understand GUI. The Mavericks installation file from the AppStore also serves as a basis for DiskMaker X, of course.


DiskMaker X: The easy way to create a bootable USB stick for OS X 10.9.

If your Mac is already running on OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), the AppStore will report that you have already installed OS X 10.9 and will also indicate that you can load the installation file if you click "Continue". You should then do this so that the file is stored on the computer.

Which USB stick can I use as a volume for the Mavericks installer?

The question is answered quickly, because the installation image alone has a size of 5,3 GB. For this reason, Apple recommends using a USB stick with at least 8 GB capacity. The next question is then whether you should use a USB-2 or a USB-3 stick. This depends on whether you are using an up-to-date Mac that also supports USB-3. If that is the case, you will of course reach your goal faster with a USB-3 stick, since it can write and read faster than a USB-2 stick. In spite of everything, a USB-2 stick also does its job - just a little slower.

If you don't have a suitable USB stick yet, you can choose a suitable one here. Both sticks from Transcend have been rated very well by many customers and are ideally suited as volumes for the Mavericks OS X installer.

USB-2 stick: Transcend JetFlash 300
The USB 2 stick is top-rated and available for less than 8 EUR.
1,10 EUR
USB-3 stick: Transcend JetFlash 780
This USB 300 stick from Transcend also has over 3 very good reviews. Cost about 12 EUR.
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