How to fresh install OSX using SD card


  • Older version of OS X
  • Downloaded Install OS X It can be downloaded through "Software Update" option (click on Apple logo on upper left > Software Update).
  • DiskMaker X
  • An empty 8GB SD card
  • Users are also expected to have adequate knowledge in using Mac OS X platform.

Test Machines:

  • Macbook Pro 15 Inch Early 2011
  • OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5) 

Boot Disk Preparation Steps:

  1. Backup all your data to an external drive or Time Machine. Make sure the backup is working properly by trying to restore some files from the backup drive. 
  2. Insert the empty SD card.
  3. Run DiskMaker X.
  4. When asked "A newer version of OS X is available. Do you want to download it.", choose "Not now" if you already downloaded "Install OS X".
  5. When asked "Which version of OS X do you wish to make a boot disk of?", choose "Maverick (10.9)".
  6. When asked "I found a copy of the installer software in this folder: /Application", choose "Use this copy".
  7. When asked "Which kind of disk will you use?", choose "Another kind of disk".
  8. Select your SD card and hit "Choose this disk".
  9. Select "Erase then create the disk".
  10. Enter administrator password when asked. The copy process will take few minutes and eventually "Your OS X boot disk is ready!" message will pop up.

Mavericks Installation Steps:

  1. With SD card still Restart OS X and hold "alt option" key until boot selection screen shown.
  2. Double-click on "Install OS X Mavericks" icon.
  3. Select "Disk Utility".
  4. From left panel, highlight your HDD entry (e.g. Macintosh HD) and go to "Erase" tab.
  5. Make sure Format is set to "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". Give your HDD a name (usually I left it by default).
  6. Click on "Erase..." button. Note that at this point, your HDD is fully erased.
  7. Once the operation is completed, you will returned to the same Disk Utility screen. Close it by pressing "X" red button on upper left.
  8. You will return to the screen with 4 options. Select "Install OS X" this time.
  9. The rest should be quite straightforward. When you are prompted to select installation destination, select your HDD.
  10. Installation will take few minutes and once it is done, you will be asked to transfer information to this Mac. You can do this now or later (for my case, I did it later).

Enjoy your new Mavericks OS.


About the Author


CheeWah (Waco) has more than 10 years working experience in IT fields, especially in software development and testing. Some of the key projects included software development and support for production/R&D, software test automation, and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). He is a food lover and has a food blog at Little CPU acts as his IT knowledge sharing hub.