Update 09/2015: For help creating a bootable USB install drive for OS X El Capitan, click here.
Apple released the latest and greatest Mac operating system last month in the form of OS X Yosemite. And like the previous versions of OS X dating back to OS X 10.7, Yosemite is only available for install via download from the Mac App Store.
So if you previously relied on DVD installs, you will be unable to do so with this version. Luckily, DiskMaker X helps fill the void by allowing you to make a bootable OS X 10.10 Yosemite USB install drive, making a task such as installing on several different machines easier.
Like the previous versions, DiskMaker X is free of charge (however, donations are accepted). All you need is an 8 GB (minimum) USB thumb drive, a USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt drive or an SD-Card; the OS X 10.10 Yosemite Installer from the App Store; and the DiskMaker X application. It should be noted that DiskMaker X erases the volume or the drive you chose, according to the options you chose. So don’t forget to backup your data first!
For more about OS X 10.10 and its new features, check out our convenient Yosemite Compatibility and Transition Guide. For a walkthrough of creating a bootable OS X Mavericks USB install drive, click here.
Here is our brief walkthrough for making an install drive:
1.) Open the DiskMaker X disk image (.dmg) file and you will get a window with the application and a shortcut to the Applications folder. Drag the Mountain Lion on a rock to the Applications folder that the arrow is pointing to.
2.) Open Finder and go to your Applications folder. From there launch “DiskMaker X 4b4”
3.) The first window will welcome you to DiskMaker X and ask you to choose which OS you want to make a bootable install drive for. It will default to Yosemite (10.10).
4.) After choosing the OS you wish to use, you will be presented with a window notifying you that DiskMaker X found an installer. It will default to using the installer it found, but will also give you the option to use a different copy.
5.) The next window will ask if you are using an 8GB thumb drive or another kind of disk. Choose the best option for the drive you wish to use. For this walkthrough, we used an 8 GB USB thumb drive. If you are using an 8 GB thumb drive, the whole disk will be erased. If you are using a larger drive, then only one volume will be erased. It is best to have an extra, empty 8 GB volume already on a drive if you want to use a drive other than an 8 GB thumb drive.
6.) DiskMaker X will now ask you to choose the disk/volume you want to put the installer on. In this case, it found our 8GB thumb drive. Once you have chosen where you want to install the bootable installer press the “Choose this disk” button.
7.) Once you have selected the volume you want to install to a confirmation window will appear and let you know you will need to enter your administrator password so it can make the necessary changes.
8.) After you have entered your administrator information you will be given a warning that the contents of the volume will be erased. In the case of an 8 GB thumb drive, it will erase the whole drive.
10.) Once the drive has been completed, you will see the following window and your installer is ready to use!
So if you’re stuck with a slow or non-existent Internet connection or simply would like to have a tangible install disk, DiskMaker X makes for a nice alternative to the App Store download.
Note: OWC has no affiliation with this software and receives no benefit related to this support (other than a benefit we all share in the continued support of these applications). If you appreciate the function or functionality this software offers, we encourage you to support the authors.