Create an OS X Mavericks Installer Drive in 4 Simple Steps

Oct 23, 2013 - 145 Comments

OS X Mavericks is now available to everyone as a free download, and while you can update as many Macs as you want by downloading the installer repeatedly from the Mac App Store, a better option for many is to create a simple bootable USB install drive. We covered this some time ago using a fairly technical process, but Apple must have realized that method was overly complex for many users and has included a much simpler method to create OS X Mavericks install media. Users will still need to turn to the Terminal to finish the job, but this time around only a single command needs to be executed, making it much easier and faster than the manual approach. We will show you exactly how to create a Mavericks boot installer in four simple steps, even if you have no experience with the command line you’ll be able to do it.

Create an OS X Mavericks Install Drive

Requirements for this are basic, you will need the free OS X Mavericks installer on a Mac, and an 8GB external drive or greater that you don’t mind being formatted. External hard drives work, as do USB flash drive volumes, and Thunderbolt disks.

1: Download OS X Mavericks for Free

Yes, OS X Mavericks is a free update for all Mac users. Here is the direct link to the Mac App Store if you haven’t downloaded it yet.

Download Mavericks from the Mac App Store

Yes, you can easily re-download Mavericks even if you have already installed it. If you’re using this guide for a re-downloaded version of Mavericks simply jump straight to step #3.

2: Stop When You See This Screen

When Mavericks is done downloading you will see the screen below to begin the installation – stop – and do not continue yet if you want to make a USB install drive.

OS X Mavericks Install Screen

3: Connect the External Drive

Now is the time to connect the external drive or USB flash disk to the Mac that you want to convert into the installer, so plug it in. Remember, this external drive will be formatted to turn into the Mavericks bootable installation volume, so don’t use an external drive that has important data or documents on it.

NOTE: You may wish to format the external drive with a bootable GUID partition table beforehand to insure that it can boot. This is not always necessary depending on how the drive was originally formatted, but if you find the drive is not bootable then this is probably why.

  • Open Disk Utility, and select the newly attached external drive
  • Choose the “Partition” tab, select “1 Partition” from the Partition Layout menu, then click “Options” and choose “GUID Partition Table” then “OK”
  • Choose “Apply”

This may or may not be optional, depending on if the external drive was formatted with a GUID partition beforehand or not. If you have any doubts, do it anyway.

Creating a Mavericks install drive with USB flash disk

4: Launch Terminal to Make the Mavericks Install Media

The Terminal app is found within /Applications/Utilities/ or you can launch it from Spotlight. Once at the command line, you will need to enter the following command exactly:

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --nointeraction‚Ä®

Be sure the entire command string is on a single line. You will need to replace “Untitled” in the volume path with the name of your external drive that you want to turn into the installer disk, this should match the name of the external USB flash drive exactly. The Terminal will wrap text so it may look something like this, be sure there are no extra spaces added and no extra line breaks in the text or the command will fail:

Terminal command to make an OS X  Mavericks installer

If the command fails, check your command syntax. It must be precisely entered with no additional characters, spaces, or breaks to function as intended. Do not modify the command beyond specifying the volume name.

Because the command uses sudo you will need to enter the Macs administrator password to continue the process, note that when typing admin passwords into the command line using sudo or su the password text will not display and it will appear as if nothing is being typed, that is a security feature, just type the password as usual and hit return.‚Ä®

Once executed you will see a progress indicator in the Terminal that looks like the following, the entire creation process is automated but can take some time so it’s best to leave alone for a while until you see the final “Done” text.

Erasing Disk: 0%... 10%... 20%... 30%...100%...

Copying installer files to disk...

Copy complete.
Making disk bootable...‚Ä®
Copying boot files...

Copy complete.


Exit out of Terminal and return to the Finder if you want to confirm the OS X Mavericks installation drive was created. You will see it in the Finder (or desktop) labeled as “Install OS X Mavericks” and the volume contains a single installer app.

The OS X Mavericks installer drive

You can now choose to install Mavericks with the original installer that you stopped at in the first step, or use the installation volume you just created.

For what it’s worth, the original USB creation method continues to work, but this new approach is much faster and generally more user friendly, making it the preferred choice for just about everyone.

This drive is a standard OS X installer but it’s also bootable, meaning it can be used for upgrading from prior versions of Mac OS X (Mavericks 10.9 supports direct upgrades from Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6, Lion 10.7, or Mountain Lion 10.8), or to perform entirely fresh installations. Regardless of the Mac being installed on, it’s a good idea to prepare the Mac for the 10.9 upgrade by cleaning it up a bit and backing up the data.

Booting from the Mavericks Install Drive

Booting a Mac from the freshly created Mavericks install drive is easy:

  • Connect the Mavericks installer drive and reboot the Mac
  • Hold down the Option key during boot to bring up the startup disk menu
  • Select the Install OS X Mavericks media to boot from the installer volume, if it’s a USB drive it will have an orange icon

Boot from the Mavericks installer

This will boot directly into the Mavericks installer where you can upgrade or reinstall OS X. The install is almost entirely automated once you select the volume, and the total installation time is usually about 35 minutes to 1 hour, though it may take longer depending on the Mac model.

Thanks to @Nor Eddine Bahha who originally posted the createinstallmedia command string on our Facebook page, and thanks to everyone else who sent this great trick in through email, Google+, and Twitter as well. Enjoy Mavericks!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jyoti says:

    I’ve already used SD card ton install. Its was very easy work nd it great work. Thanks for sharing info!

  2. beni says:


    i am having a problem creating the usb install. I get all sort of problem in the terminal. Command not found. You need to specify a path.

    I am using now this scripts someone did. Mavericks Bootable Installer and i am getting this error.
    /Volumes/OS X Base System/Install OS X does not appear to be a valid OS installer application

    can someone help me please.

  3. Terry Weymouth says:

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to update these notes!

  4. Terry Weymouth says:

    I just followed the instructions with the El Capitan installer app substituted appropriately. Specifically, the command line is:
    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ –volume /Volumes/WeymouthLexar/ –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\

  5. kelly says:

    I just downloaded it May 31st 2016. You can just open the App store, type El Capitan in the search field then re-download. It said “you already have 10.11 installed. Click continue to download anyway”

    I keep getting the “command not found with a copy paste of the Terminal command. Pretty sure there are no typo’s as to what is posted and what I named by boot drive. Little more investigation left.

  6. Jon says:

    This tutorial is no longer valid as you cannot get the software anymore. Please remove this tutorial and save other people time!

  7. ram says:

    i have downloaded mavericks from third party site now its not possible to create bootable drive with uni beast so can you please help me with to create bootable drive

    • Maverick says:

      You need to download OS X Mavericks from the Mac App Store and create the boot installer on a Mac, it is crazy to get a software installer from a third party source which can not be trusted in this day and age, lord knows what they stuffed in there.

      This tip is easy and it works, I use it for my boot install drives every time for Mavericks.

  8. Dem says:

    I have found the Mavericks installer on the internet (took me like 24 hours to download), i opened it, gone through the Installation, but on the last step i keep on pressing “install” and nothing happens
    So i decided to try out this site’s method, but having same troubles as everyone else: “Install OS X does not appear to be a valid OS installer application”. I copy-pasting the command carefully, i even named my HD “untitled” so to leave the command as given.
    Don’t know what i am doing wrong.
    But i really need to get it going because i have work to do.

  9. Ali says:

    Trying to create an USB Installer from VMWARE IMAGE of Mavericks.
    copied the Install OS X in application, when I run command….
    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –nointeraction

    it says

    sudo: unable to execute /Applications/Install OS X Malformed Mach-o file

    help please….

  10. Ashish says:

    My mac is completely formatted, how can i instal mavericks in that though i have downloaded mavericks.dmg file in my external hdd through a windows PC. Plz help!

  11. Chingting says:

    It worked! Thank you so much!!

  12. Bia says:

    Thank you so much, but i have another issue when I’m booting , (after I press Option Key ) i don’t get USB Option. What I’m doing wrong ?

  13. Laura says:

    Thaaank you so much, I was having a lot of trouble restoring to one partition my HD, finally something worked!!! Thanks :)

  14. Steve says:

    It looks like Apple removed the Mavericks file. Anyone know where or how to get it? Thanks.

    • Korryne says:

      Does that mean we can’t make a Mavericks installer drive??

      • Laura says:

        You can’t download Mavericks anymore but you can do it with Yosemite

        • Rivanor says:

          Even using Yosemite’s App Store, Mavericks doesn’t seem to be available for download.

          How can I install the latest supported OS X version on a 2008 MacBook? It’s currently on 10.6.8, but I’m looking forward to update it to 10.9, if available anywhere (officially, of course – not torrents).


  15. Ian says:

    Way to go, thank you , created an install disc first time. Only had a couple of minor glitches and that was me not copying the script exactly and then forgetting to change the volume name, once I did that, spot on, thank you

  16. Michael says:

    It worked! Once I got over my newly-discovered “Terminal Phobia,” it took about 7 minutes to create the Mavericks Installer Drive. I felt like a kid on a first date.

  17. Michael says:

    Did you possibly use one hyphen instead of two where hyphens were called for?

  18. L-E-IT says:

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


    /Applications/Install OS X does not appear to be a valid OS installer application.

    i believe i am doing everything correct, anyone have a direction?

  19. GBGOLC says:

    Very clear instructions works a treat. The copy process took about an hour so be patient as there’s no feedback. I watched a film.

  20. Chris says:

    FYI to anyone wondering how long it takes to “copy files” to the bootable USB… Took about 35-45 minutes for me. Activity monitor for terminal will be pretty inactive but it’s probably working fine.

  21. Grant says:

    The old way didn’t work but it’s ok. I copy and pasted the terminal command from:

    Which is the same as what you say here. It’s actually easier than the older way, just so long as you can paste it rather than write it. Thanks.

    • tointoo says:

      The command to copy paste, assuming the drive is formatted and named “Untitled”, is this:

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

  22. Grant says:

    Would this not do it the same way as the old way? If so, why not? It was so much easier than typing all this crap. Ihave an external HDD with a partition for the operating system but it’s not working. This is stupid.

  23. Alejandro says:

    How long does it take this process?

  24. John says:

    It takes about 25 minutes to copy the data onto an 8 Gig USB stick.

  25. Jeremy says:

    Thank you I have tried many methods and none have worked and blissfully I have no idea why. Yours worked first time and I thank you for taking the time to help others not so talented as yourself.

  26. Jeremy says:

    I have been unable to get past terminal I keep getting ‘command not found’ which I assume refers to ‘’ which does not appear in my applications folder and I am a bit unsure how it could be there?

  27. JWN says:

    This happens:

    – insert the bootable USB drive with Mavericks on it (made according to the instructions on this page)
    – restart while pressing option
    – choose the “OSX Base System” option, as above
    – MacBook air gives me a “no entry” sign, and then shuts down


  28. CMR says:

    All of the steps seem to work fine and the Install is on the USB, but when I remove and place in another macBook Pro it goes through all of the steps and says it is installing. It then pops up a message saying that the Install pkg is corrupted and can’t work.

    I’ve tried it twice with the same results.

  29. Gary says:

    I’m starting the process you’ve described here. OSx has been DLed. I’m formatting a 16gig USB drive I have for this, but, an option not explained for the format is…well….the right format for the drive. I would like to think it’s Mac OS extended (journaled), but I would like conformation on this.


  30. patrick says:

    Please help. When in terminal trying to do sudo command it says :
    patricks-macbook-pro:~ patrick$ sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ ‚Äďvolume /Volumes/mavboot ‚Äďapplicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ ‚Äďnointeraction

    sudo: /etc/sudoers is world writable
    sudo: no valid sudoers sources found, quitting

  31. Andrew King says:

    I was stuck at the

    “Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%… 20%… 30%…100%…
    Copying installer files to disk…”

    phase for about an hour and a half! Just as a note to others out there. I copied it to a Lexar USB Stick via USB 2.0 on my MBP 2009.

  32. Saki says:

    Hi All,

    I am getting the following error code 111 – Mount of outer dmg failed. Anyone know what this is and how to resolve. When I reboot and hold option the Installer does not show.

    Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%… 20%…100%…
    Copying installer files to disk…
    Copy complete.
    Making disk bootable…
    Couldn’t mount dmg /Volumes/Install OS X Mavericks/Install OS X (error code 111)Mount of outer dmg failed.


    • Trey says:

      I got this exact same message. Also, if I subsequently browse to the InstallESD.dmg file and double-click it, it cannot be mounted. It says ‘no mountable filesystem’. I tried this on two different Macs I own, a current Mac Air and a Mac Mini 2011, and I get the same error from two different machines. Re-downloading Mavericks from the App Store does not fix the issue. Something has clearly changed and this method no longer works. Help!!!

  33. Nader says:

    For those who have an error: /Volumes/untitled is not a valid mount point

    The instructions above for using Disk Utility to format the drive uses the default volume name…which in cases varies. You will note when in the Disk Utility on the Partition tab, the right hand side will have the Partition Information. The “Name:” field should read “untitled” (no quotation marks). In my case it comes up “UNTITLED 1” as a default, so the volume name is not valid when the command is put in at the Terminal.

    Simplest remedy: follow the instructions for Step 3 again, this time ensure the Name field in Partition Information is “untitled”. The command should work this time.

  34. xavier says:

    mine keep saying not a valid volume mount point help please

  35. Mike says:

    The easiest process ever

  36. Howie says:

    I am able created bootable drive and I’m also able to see it available to select at startup. However after i selected, it went to grey white screen and continue spinning and eventually the apple icon turn to another sign. What’s wrong here?

  37. Ian says:

    I’ve been at the

    Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%… 20%… 30%…100%…
Copying installer files to disk…

    stage for 2 hours so far.
    I notice a comment above said it takes a while and that it might need an hour or so but 2 hours seems a little excessive…? Looking on Finder it’s created a 3.31Gb file for the installer and nothing else. I figured the file isn’t full size yet (5Gb d/load) but can’t help feeling it’s stuck.
    Any thoughts/comments/advice?

  38. Allan Speers says:

    One minor point and one HUGE question:

    1: Since you are writing these instructions for a complete novice, you should mention that one has to hit “enter” after adding that command line to the terminal. That really s NOT as intuitive as you might think, giving how odd the terminal looks to a novice.

    ## 2: I am very unclear here:

    Does this make what used to be called an “install disk?” In other words, I can boot into this disk, then re-format my boot drive, and install the OS?

    I’d rather not find out that I’m wrong, after wiping out my boot drive! – If this is NOT the case, then I don’t see the point of all this, since what is most needed is a way to do a clean install.

    And #2B:

    One can also install this OS onto a SECOND drive, correct? For instance, I like to have an eSata drive that contains my OS, plus all of my ultility / maintenance apps. That way, I can boot into this drive, and completely repair / optimize my boot drive.

    I ask, because one cannot just open the Mavericks DMG file from one’s desktop, to format an external drive. You get that “This computer cannot be formatted with…” command.

    I assume the geniuses at Apple have decided that we can only have an OS on our boot drives now.

    So, tell me this is going to work, PLEASE.

  39. Henrik says:

    Clear and perfect instructions..

    It rested on “about a second remaining” for about 2 hours before going on to the actual installation.. But everything went perfect from there..


    • vertig0gitrev says:

      Same exact thing happened to me. For others, Press CMD+L if the installer hangs… you should see “Verifying InstallMacOSX.pkg/InstallESD.dmg” if you set the Installer Log window to “Show All Logs” in the top left.

  40. Rasmus says:

    I just tried running the terminal command and did as some users suggested and named the device “untitled”. This is the line, copied straight out from here and into terminal:
    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –volume /Volumes/untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –nointeraction

    Terminal tells me “command not found”. I followed the steps to the letter, even GUID-partitioning the HDD. Funny thing is also, that the first time I did it I at least managed to enter my password when asked, but now it just goes straight to “command not found”. Did I miss something?

    • COmaneto says:

      You *must have the Install OS X* in your /Applications/ folder, it won’t work to build a boot installer disk without that. The reason most people get a ‘command not found’ error is because they already installed Mavericks or they didn’t download it to begin with. Or they entered the command wrong, which is why everyone must be sure to enter the command onto a single line. The command is broken down as follows:

      ‘sudo’ requests a password before it can launch

      The actual command is “createinstallmedia ‚Äďvolume /Volumes/untitled ‚Äďapplicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ ‚Äďnointeraction”

      But “createinstallmedia” is not in your standard path or /bin/, thus the first part of the string is simply pointing to where ‘createinstallmedia’ is located, which is within the /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ directory

      • Mac'er says:

        I see that the command line points to the to do the create medial install. Problem is after downloading it the app does not appear in my applications folder, all i see is an install OS X Yosemite app, nothing for Mavericks. How do we overcome this?

        • Dumb Moron says:

          This article is for Mavericks (OS X 10.9) not Yosemite (OS X 10.10). Simply change the 2 instances of the word Mavericks to Yosemite. So, it will look like the below:

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

  41. Wish all instructions were so clear as yours! Thank You So Much!

  42. Ryan says:

    I have started the install onto my Mactinosh HD using the OSx Mavericks install from my USB. Once the new version of mavericks is installed, can I restore from a time machine back up to retrieve my old desktop, apps, music etc?

    As the whole reason this situation started with the grey screen is due to the fact that I was trying to do a restore from my portable hard drive.


  43. chip says:

    Great job with the instructions. I was able to make it work the first time out of the gate. Makes me fell a great deal better that I can reimage my wife’s macbook.

    Thanks for all the good information

  44. gev says:

    I have the same issue as someone mentioned above, the installer gets to the ‘copying installer files to disk’ then it seems to stop and I get a small box in the line underneath. Any ideas?

  45. Kenneth Juel says:

    I get this error – can anyone help me?

    Last to lines below…

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

    Failed to start erase of disk due to error (-9999, 0).
    A error occurred erasing the disk.

    • ITN says:

      Yes you can resolve disk erase error -9999 by formatting the drive beforehand to be Mac compatible and making it GUID partition. Also run the command from a new version of OS X, it seems Snow Leopard has problems formatting the drives.

  46. Ladi says:

    Kasper – it does, yes.

    But I have another question: I tried using a 16GB SD card as a temporary store, but something went wrong and I could not get it to show up in the reboot-option menu – it does however seem to have the installation data. I then erased an external HD I have lying around, and repeated – this worked like a charm and I got the Maverics clean installed.

    The problem I have now is that disk utility of OSX (or any other app I found and tried) is not able to format the SD card, but whatever I do, the content persists (even the name does not change, though it says formatting was successful). Windows does not even read the card, and my cameras (Canon + GoPro) say invalid SD or SD error, and refuse/fail to format it. Which effectively renders the card unusable. Anyone have an idea what happened, does the command used here somehow break the protected area of an SD? I wouldn’t mind if it was any usual SD, but the one I used is a special version meant for the latest GoPro, which was tough to find (and costly), so this certainly sucks.

  47. Kasper says:

    Thank you for the clear instructions.
    I have one additional question:

    When I have the bootable USB drive plugged in and hold down the option key to boot from it, will it then give me the option to erase/format the main Macintosh hard drive before installing Mavericks on it? Or put in other words: does the bootable USB contain a disk utility to format the Mac’s hard drive?

    Thank you.
    Kasper (Denmark)

  48. MikeSG says:

    When creating the USB bootable drive, you could name it, “UNTITLED”.

    If you do that there is no need to replace ‚ÄúUntitled‚ÄĚ in the volume path of the Terminal command.

  49. Eric says:

    I’m stuck at here…can someone please help me?
    Last login: Mon Feb 3 14:03:04 on ttys000
    erics-mbp:~ Eric$ sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\¬≠nstallmedia –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ ‚ÄĒnointeraction

    WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
    or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
    typing when using sudo. Type “man sudo” for more information.

    To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.


  50. chris says:

    Maverick X OS does not recognize the SD card reader – I downloaded the new OS on Friday – direct from Apple. after loading it the SD card & the DVD didn’t work. today (1-29-14) the ibook reader patch also fixes the DVD drive…still no SD card reader functionality.


  51. brig says:

    i followed the instructions to the letter on how to clean install Mavericks OS on my macbook pro using a usb installer, and everytime the terminal would show “error erasing disk error number (-69888, 0). a error erasing disk.

    need further assistance. thx

  52. Mimo d'Coplus says:

    Hi all. It all worked for me and I have in on my USB SanDisk Cruizer 8Gb and I was excited. Installed it on my MacBook Pro, then on some iMacs. Everything went well and exited properly. Morning, I tried again to install on other MacBook Pro but now, I am getting sayings it’s corrupted. I tried on other machines and still have same problem.

    I did drag/copy the OSX installer from the App folder to my mac and to another USB but it copied it as a .dmg (InstallESD.dmg) as opposed to what it was. When done copying, expand the dmg and it gives a lot of mkpg files packages.

    Question is, how can I create the installer again using InstallESD.dmg. Anyone knows how ?

    • paul says:

      You’ll need to re-download the Mavericks installer from the App Store. Once you use it natively from the /Applications/ directory it will delete itself.

  53. Don says:

    So this process will not work on an older Mac running 10.6.8? Still getting the: Failed to start erase of disk due to error (-9999, 0). A error occurred erasing the disk. Attempting this with a Kingston DataTraveler 16GB drive and all instructions followed verbatim. Thanks!

    • Don says:

      Answered my own question. Got past this error and successfully created the bootable drive using this process instead.

    • Paul says:

      You can resolve Error -9999 by formatting the destination disk first with Disk Utility to be Mac compatible. Then set it as a GUID partition and follow the instructions as usual.

      You can also follow the more technical approach from the original installer, which continues to work with new versions of Mavericks:

      • Don says:

        Thanks Paul. I did format the drive first but got the same error every time.

        • Steve says:

          Hi, I’m having the same problem:

          “Failed to start erase of disk due to error (-9999, 0).
          A error occurred erasing the disk.”

          Has anybody solved this error? I’ve partitioned the drive and formatted it correctly…

          • Ooters says:

            The -9999 error is usually because the boot maker command doesn’t work in a Mac running Snow Leopard 10.6, so users must duplicate the installer application and run it directly on the machine to perform an upgrade, or build the boot installer disk on another Mac. Once OS X Mavericks 10.9 has been successfully installed you can then move the copied version of the installer back into the /Applications folder and the command will run, or run the command string from a Mac with 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion to begin with.

  54. Correction says:

    So the additional space in the command line for volume is wrong.

    • Matt says:

      Correct. Enter the command as shown. You need to follow the instructions precisely and enter the command line syntax EXACTLY as shown. DO NOT add extra spaces. I repeat: do NOT add extra spaces to any commands. Modifying the command in any way other than changing the name of the destination volume may result in the command not working.

      The command line operates on a very precise level that requires exact syntax. If using the Terminal or command line is beyond your level of technical competency or comfort, consider installing OS X Mavericks as normal from the App Store.

  55. me says:

    says sudo: /Applications/Install: command not found

  56. I tried this multiple times, but get the same message on terminal…

    This is what it says:

    Siddharthas-MacBook-Pro:~ Siddhartha$ sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –nointeraction
    /Volumes/Untitled is not a valid volume mount point.

    Can you please help me on this?

  57. Joolz says:

    Really easy installation guide, the longest part was transferring Mavericks installation stuff on to the USB key. Thanks for the information, very useful.

  58. Frederick says:

    Has anyone used this code to make an installer for Lion / Mountain Lion, obviously the source and destination would need to change but I assume the rest of the code would remain as is ????


  59. Frederick says:

    Just for information, I actually tried the installer out on a brand new drive and can confirm it works like a charm. One thing to note though is when you begin the download from your USB drive the install window initially starts and the progress bar suggests to wait for 9 minutes, but

    NOTE …. as it counts down and gets to the final seconds it gets to the very end and reports 1 second to go BUT the install seems like it has frozen but in reality it is still processing so be patient and just let the install run its course the system will then eventually restart and continue with installing Mavericks.

    This got me fooled twice and I mistakenly rebooted manually but then ended up having to begin the whole install procedure right back from the start.

    As I said when it gets to that last second just let the installer keep running.

    Hope this helps



  60. Bruce says:

    Works like a charm. Many thanks. For simplicity sake I temporarily renamed my USB drive to “untitled” then simply copied and pasted the terminal command from your article. Users are reminded that long waits are possible, so don’t jump in and quit too early.

    A question though. Does the USB contain the OSX itself or just the installer. Can I repeat the clean install on other machines without first downloading Mavericks on each machine individually?

    • ITU says:

      Yes you can use the installer on multiple Macs, it only contains the installer. Once you make the install drive you do not need to download Mavericks again on any other Macs, just use the USB drive to install on as many as you want.

  61. Frederick says:

    Excellent, followed the instructions and now have a bootable Maverick Installer.

    Thanks a milion


  62. Shilo Watts says:

    When I am using VM I get the error “cannot display #23etr-0pff”

    Any idea?

    I need to get this properly so I can get to the final.

    • Frederick says:

      Shilo, see my Post below, I got the same error as you but it was because I thought the process had hung.



  63. nima says:

    Thanks for your cool stuffs…
    This is my problem!

    Install OS X does not appear to be a valid OS installer application.

    How can i fix it?

    • Sarah says:

      Make sure you didn’t miss any spaces (or add any extras). I got the same thing because I missed a space before the X\.

    • I kept getting this error and after hours of trying, I resorted to using Disk Utility to create a “New Disk Image From Folder”, pointed at the mounted *.iso image. Before doing that, I’d formatted it following that part of the instructions in this article. Less technical and actually worked. For the record, I work a lot on the command line and it still was not working.

  64. John Smith says:

    Please REPLY !!!

    If i perform this type of clean install of maverick over mountain lion(MBA2013) – and then decide to do a factory reset some time later – Will it still be an out of the box mba with mountain lion???

    Please reply

  65. Jeff says:

    I have tried the more involved way and this way multiple times and I keep getting this error.

    Failed to start erase of disk due to error (-9999, 0).
    A error occurred erasing the disk.

    I am using a Sandisk Cruzer Glide Media 16gb flashdrive that is formatted GUID. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  66. Gregory says:

    Thanks for the excellent guide it really did come in handy when truing to do a clean install on an old MBP.

    A couple of notes that’s maybe worth mentioning:

    1. On occasion the installer looks like it stalls with one second to go, it hasn’t, leave the system alone for roughly 20 mins and it should complete.

    2. If following the instruction above to create a bootable GUID partition, make sure your partition is named untitled and not untitled 1.

    They were the only 2 snags i ran into so thought it may help others that may come across them.

    Again, thanks for the install notes =)

  67. KO says:

    When I restart my mac (while holding down the option-key), the “Install OS X Mavericks” doesnt pop up. Can only choose between Machintosh HD and Recovery.. Help is much appreciated.

    • tbai says:

      You need to make the drive bootable by setting up a GUID partition as described in the steps, without that the disk may not always be bootable to install Mavericks. It depends on the partition format to begin with, of course.

  68. jai says:

    i have a random box ( [] ) come up in Terminal after the “Copying installer files to disk…” is this right. How long should it usually take to do all the copying?

  69. Paul says:

    Can you use an SD card as a boot drive to install OS X on?

  70. Victor says:

    All works, thank you!

  71. Jiri says:

    Thank you. It was very easy and it works great:)

  72. Ray says:

    i get this message in terminal … please help!!!!… thanx you in advanced

    Macintosh:~ Ray$ sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –volume /Volumes/RAY –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –nointeraction
    Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%…
    Error erasing disk error number (-69888, 0)
    A error occurred erasing the disk.

    • Bt says:

      You may need to format the installer disk beforehand so that it is HFS+ and GUID. I had a stubborn drive that would not erase because of that, so just format your install media. Then be sure the path is pointed at that, makes it simple to caller it INSTALLER or something so that you don’t make any mistakes and format the wrong drive.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Ray, I was getting the same errors, I was able to fix it by changing the name of the GUID partition to something other than Untitled, I changed it to Yosemite, and changed the terminal command as well to:

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

      it worked.

      • Jared says:

        Thanks, Dan. This also worked for me. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that I was creating the bootable installer on a partition rather than using the entire drive? That appears to be the only difference between what I had tried and the instructions on the tutorial. Were you using a multi-partition USB drive as well?

        • User01 says:

          I had the same problem. my OSX partition was also named “Untitled” and it wouldn’t work until I renamed the USB drive from “Untitled” to “Untitled1” (or likely anything else) then cake. hope that helps

          • Untitled says:

            Yea a primary Mac hard drive is default named “Macintosh HD”, who names their hard drive Untitled? That is a terrible idea.

            Regardless, always check syntax to make sure its correct and not trying to format your primary drive.

            If this is over your head, probably should do an App Store install like most people, it’s so much easier.

      • Maks says:

        Thanks, changing name to Yosemite also helped me! Cheers!

        • malice says:

          This is because if your main disk (like a lot of people’s) is named “Untitled”, then the name of the next mounted drive (like the USB drive) is going to be “Volumes/Untitled 1”. Note space. Much easier to rename the USB drive once mounted, and then change command to match. Other option is going to be more confusing, or the writer of the article can change the command to accommodate.

  73. jen says:

    Thank you so much. Your instructions were the most comprehensive and easy to follow steps I found online.
    I was having issues downloading Maverick after restoring my old Mac to Snow Leopard. This saves me a trip from having to go to the Genius bar.

    Thanks again!

  74. J. Scott Anderson says:

    One thing that I did not see (and it is possible that I just missed it), is that you need to be in running this from an account that has administrator privileges. The sudoers file will only have the name of the account you are in. And hopefully, you do not normally work in an account that is an administrator’s account.

  75. Tim says:

    I have gotten the “command not found” message twice now. I have checked the string and cannot find an error. Can you help ?
    Last login: Sun Nov 17 14:57:18 on console
    Macintosh:~ timlee$ sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –volume/Volumes/Mavericks –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –nointeraction

    WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
    or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
    typing when using sudo. Type “man sudo” for more information.

    To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.
    Here is my terminal entry below.

    sudo: /Applications/Install OS X command not found
    Macintosh:~ timlee$ sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –/volume /Volumes/MAVERICKS –applicationpath /Applicatons/Install\ OS\ X\ –nointeraction
    sudo: /Applications/Install OS X command not found
    Macintosh:~ timlee$

    • PH says:

      Be sure to have the “Install OS X Mavericks” app in the /Applications folder. Then you must enter the command properly, exactly as shown in the walkthrough. You are using a single dash (-) but the command requires double-dashes (–)

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

  76. Letícia says:

    Will this work on a DL DVD? I’m out of drives to format at the moment!

  77. Gary says:

    I’ve tried this repeatedly and got the same error message that the version of Mavericks may have been downloaded incorrectly or been tampered with (or words to that effect). I follow the steps, get a bootable USB, put that in my MacBook Pro and start from it… accept the T&C and it starts to install and then throws the error.

    I’ve been downloading the Mavericks installer to my iMac (where it’s already upgraded) and I’m trying to install it to a new SSD in my MacBook Pro (my old drive is suspect).

    What am I doing wrong?

  78. Floyd Tolar says:

    Like Brad I told I can’t download to this computer.
    I think Apple doesn’t want me to have an install drive.

  79. Sean says:

    How long should I wait after this part

    Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%… 20%… 30%…100%…
    ‚Ä®Copying installer files to disk…‚Ä®

    Its been sitting there seemingly doing nothing for a while now….


    • Paul says:

      Having the same problem. Trying to make an SD Card boot, if that has anything to do with it?

    • Isabelle says:

      The wait was quite long ! I ended up interrupting the process a few times, because I thought something was wrong. The third time I forgot about the installation and when I went back to my laptop an hour later, the installation was complete ! In Finder you will see several files on the USB: the installation file “Install OS X Mavericks” and a utilities folder.

      I’ve now made 2 bootable USB-sticks, one on an SD, another one on Cruzer: no glitches whatsoever.

      Thanks very much for these very clear instructions.

  80. A_J says:

    What size USB Drive do we need for this ?
    Can someone tell me ?

  81. Furqan says:

    After i press return after entering the command in terminal it takes me back to root $. What mistake I am doing while installing or formatting?

  82. Evan says:

    Tried booting into Recovery Mode and using the terminal there to install on the USB drive, but the terminal is bash and it will not run any app or sudo, it just says “command not found”.

  83. Heywood says:

    Good article, although it took me a few tries to realize that there is a space between –volume and /Volumes/untitled due to the screenshot. Thanks for the hlp.

  84. Brad Aisa says:

    I was not able to download Mavericks on my new MacBook Pro with Mavericks — it has the Download button but when you click that, it says “OS X Mavericks cannot be installed on this system.”

    • Cannot Install says:

      Yeah, I can verify the AppStore refuses to download Mavericks for a Late 2013 Haswell MBP. It did download fine on a 2011 MBP.

      Got weird DRM policies? Not complaining beyond a muffled cough as Apple’s overall policy is very generous. But this type of restriction is weird in contrast to the overall openness of OSX.

  85. Lucca says:

    Is it possible to create the installer in one partition of a partitioned external disk, without needing to format it entirely?

    • Gary says:

      I did….name the partition what you wish…make sure you format that partition to GUID first then use the command and name the partition in the Untitled….

  86. Nunuv Yurbiz says:

    Reminds me of

    A>format c: /s

    “You’ve come a long way, baby!” (Not)

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site