[GUIDE] How to Create a bootable USB thumbdrive installer for Yosemite

HankAZ

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You can upgrade to OS X Yosemite from the App Store, but that isn't ideal for installing on multiple Macs or doing a clean install. Here's how to burn Yosemite to a USB drive instead.

As with all OS X upgrades, once you run the installer on your system, it disappears from your Applications folder. You can get it back by holding down the option key while clicking on the purchases tab to re-download the file or restore the installer from a Time Machine backup, but to save you some time, it's best to do this disc burning before you update your Mac to Yosemite.

You can burn it yourself with no extra software with a simple terminal command. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Download the Yosemite installer, if you haven't already.
  2. Insert an 8GB (or larger) flash drive, and give it the name Untitled. Make sure the drive is formatted OS X Extended (Journaled). If not, hop into Disk Utility and format it so it is. If you have any important data on the drive, back it up now, since this process will completely erase it.
  3. Open up the Terminal, either through spotlight or by double-clicking on it in /Applications/Utilities.
  4. Copy and paste the following command into your Terminal window and press Enter:
    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app --nointeraction


  5. Type in your password when prompted and press Enter.
  6. Let the command work its magic. Don't interrupt it until you see the final line that says Done before it returns you to the prompt. This could take as long as a half hour, so be patient.
When its done, you can insert that drive into any Mac and launch the installer by holding Option when you boot the computer. Besides installing Yosemite, this drive will have a couple handy utilities on it, like Disk Utility and Time Machine recovery.
 
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Just_Me_D

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Thank you, HankAZ. I've already read other posts inquiring about this. Thanks again for putting it together for us....:)
 

Vincent Boyer

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Besides installing Yosemite, this drive will have a couple handy utilities on it, like Disk Utility and Time Machine recovery.

Well it's OK but I don't see any options in Utilities to perform a Time Machine Recovery as I was used to since OS X 10.6. It just disappeared… Very anoying if something goes wrong. Guess what ? That's just happened to me when I couldn't boot anymore due to an file structure issue. The only way to restore back my setup was to use a 10.9.5 USB Install disk that I fortunately made before Yosemite is out.

Did I Miss something ?
 

donald kepler

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well, I have a query. If I get an external drive of 20 GB and make a partition of 8 GB and formatted as you specified and OS X Journaled also. Will it be the right way to proceed towards making of Yosemite Installer media drive?
 

Tommy Hermansen

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sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app --nointeraction
 

Archiblog

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Hi HankAZ,

I have carefully followed your instructions to the letter and have pasted the command into my Terminal window and pressed Enter. However, when I correctly type in my password and press enter, Terminal does not recognize by password.

Are you able to advise, please?

Norman Fellows (Archiblog)
 

Annie_M

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Hi HankAZ,

I have carefully followed your instructions to the letter and have pasted the command into my Terminal window and pressed Enter. However, when I correctly type in my password and press enter, Terminal does not recognize by password.

Are you able to advise, please?

Norman Fellows (Archiblog)

Hello and welcome to iMore. The post that you are commenting on is over 8 years old, so it is possible that you may not get a response. I hope that's not the case and that someone here can help you.
 

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