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Create a Bootable Version of the OS X Mavericks Installer on a USB Flash Drive

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Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive Containing the OS X Mavericks Installer
How to Create a Bootable Version of the OS X Mavericks Installer on a USB Flash Drive

For this guide, we're going to concentrate on creating a bootable USB flash drive to hold the OS X Mavericks installer.

Courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

OS X Mavericks is the third version of OS X to be sold primarily as a download from the Mac App Store. This has several advantages, the biggest of which is almost immediate delivery. With just a click or two, you can download and install the software from the online store.

As with previous downloadable OS X installers, this one assumes that you're ready to go; it launches the OS X Mavericks installation app as soon as the download is complete.

That's all well and good for many Mac users, and very convenient as well, but I like to have a physical copy of the installer, just in case I need to reinstall the OS, or wish to install it on another Mac I own, without going through the download process again.

If you would like to have a physical backup of the OS X Mavericks installer, our guide will show you how to create it.

What You Need

You can create the physical backup of Mavericks on a number of different types of media. The two most common are probably USB flash drives and optical media (a dual-layer DVD). But you're not limited to these two options; you can use any type of bootable media, including external drives connected via USB 2, USB 3, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, and Thunderbolt. You can also use an internal drive or partition if your Mac has more than one internal drive installed.

For this guide, we're going to concentrate on creating a bootable USB flash drive to hold the OS X Mavericks installer. If you prefer to use an internal or external drive, the process is similar, and this guide should work just fine for you.

  • A valid copy of OS X Mavericks purchased and downloaded from the Mac App Store. If needed you can re-download OS X Mavericks

  • A USB flash drive that's at least 8 GB in size; a larger flash drive is fine, too.
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