How to do a Clean Install of Mac OS X Mavericks

How to do a Clean Install of Mac OS X Mavericks

Apple recently released the latest version of their OS X operating system, Mavericks, as a free download via the Mac App Store. The issue with is that by upgrading to Mavericks via the App Store, you don’t have the choice to do a “clean install” of the operating system (something many people like to do). In this article I will walk you through creating a bootable install disc and also how to use that to do a clean install of Mac OS X Mavericks. I just did this last night on a Mac that I’m trading into Amazon, so I thought I’d share it with you here on my blog.

What You’ll Need

  • Stable internet connection
  • USB Flash Drive (8GB minimum)
  • Be connected to a power source (laptops)
  • Terminal experience (optional)

Download OS X Mavericks

The first thing you need to do is create your install drive for Mavericks using your USB flash drive. If you’ve already downloaded Mavericks, great, you can skip ahead. If you haven’t yet downloaded Mavericks or if you’ve already installed it and need to download the installer again, open the App Store and and click the free download button for the OS. This is where your stable internet connection comes into play (Mavericks is over 5GB in size).

Once you’ve downloaded it you’ll have a new app called “Install OS X Mavericks” in your Launchpad.


Format Your USB Drive

Open the Disk Utility App which is located in your Applications > Utilities folder.

Select your USB drive on the left of the application window and then click the Erase tab. Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the format type and leave the name untitled for now (Mavericks will rename the disk for you later).

Click the Erase button at the bottom right. Once this process is finished your drive will be completely clean and formatted for Mac OS X.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.20.14 AM

Install Mavericks on Your USB Flash Drive

Once Mavericks has downloaded it’s time to install it onto your USB flash drive. Make sure the drive is plugged in and mounted. We’ll be using Terminal to install Mavericks onto our drive, but you could also use a utility called Lion DiskMaker if you’re unfamiliar with how to use the Terminal app.

  • Open the Terminal App
  • Paste the code below into the terminal window, replacing the /Untitled portion with the name of your USB flash drive.
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --nointeraction

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.32.39 AM

  • Press Return
  • You may have to enter in your Administrator Password (note: the characters will not be visible as you type)
  • Now wait as the OS is installed onto your drive. It should read like this:

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

  • Once the install finishes, check to make sure your flash drive is named “Install OS X Mavericks”

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 9.19.41 AM

Clean Install OS X Mavericks

  • With the USB Drive plugged into your computer, restart your machine while holding down the Option Key.
  • Click the disk where you just installed Mavericks
  • Choose Disk Utility from the list of options
  • Erase your HD using the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format
  • Go back and install Mavericks on your main drive

NOTE: It’s always a good idea to create a backup of your computer prior to starting any process like this. If you’re using Time Machine to back everything up, even better, because you can then easily restore apps, settings, and files after your clean install of Mavericks!

Thanks for reading!

« Previous Post
Next Post »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *