How to make a bootable USB Mac OS X Yosemite install drive

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Since there haven’t been CD’s or DVD’s to reinstall Mac OS X software in the last few years, here’s a fast and easy way to get yourself any of the Macintosh OS X versions on your own USB flash drive. This is a great trick for any Macintosh IT folks who need to do installs all day long!

What you’ll need for your Mac OS X Yosemite USB installer

  1. At least an 8GB USB flash memory stick, such as this model
  2. The Mac OS X Yosemite downloaded installer (more on this soon)
  3. Some Mac OS X Terminal voodoo (more on this, too)

The first step in creating your own bootable USB Mac OS X Yosemite install drive

First, we are going to insert our USB flash drive–make sure it’s empty since it will be erased later. It has to be formatted in disk utility if it’s not already formatted, so go ahead and do this in the disk utility program. Make sure the name of the flash drive is “untitled” for the sake of this example. Also make sure you have the Mac OS X Yosemite installer, which is located in the Applications folder. If you don’t see it there, you will have to go to the Mac App Store and redownload it from your purchases tab. This may take awhile, since the file is around 6GB.

We are going to launch the Terminal, which is located in the Utilities folder inside of your Applications folder. If you don’t know where any of that is, this article may be a bit advanced for you. Launch the Terminal and copy and paste the next code into the Terminal window and hit return–(you will be asked for your administration password!):

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app –nointeraction

The Terminal will now show you progress of the process, which can take 30 to 90 minutes or even more. You will see things like: Erasing Disk: 0%…10 percent…20 percent… during the process. Eventually, it will copy the installer files and make the disk bootable. After the “done” command appears, you will have a perfectly good Yosemite Mac OS X installer USB drive.