I had a problem trying to clean the data from my Mac and now I can not start it.
It ran Mavericks. I tried to make a swipe date but did not work and lost the system. I have backups of my personal files more unfortunately I do not have the system.
Is there any way to install Mavericks again through a partition of an external HD?
I already have this HD two images of the maverick acquired in apple store. One is the .dmg extension and the other is in .iso extension that I converted in linux.
Is there any solution?

  • Can you please clarify what "I can not start it" means? Where exactly does the startup fail?
    – user24601
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 0:11
  • After the start, he will have to OS X utilities and when I click on the Reinstall OS X, I get a message that "this item is unavailable, please try again later." Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 0:16
  • Also, what year is your computer from?
    – user24601
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 0:25
  • 3 years. :D Is there solution? Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 0:28

2 Answers 2


Your first option is to go to an Apple Store and use an installer CD. Put the CD in your Mac's disk reader and boot from that. To do this, press the power button and hold the option, or alt, key. Select the CD (it will have an icon) and follow on-screen instructions. If your Mac does not have a disk reader, you will need to use an external one.

Your second option is to put the Mavericks installer on an external drive.
You will need another Mac for this.
You can find similar instructions on the internet by searching for

mac os mavericks installer usb

These instructions involve erasing disks. Make sure you are using the correct disk for each step. If you are unsure of what you are doing, ask for help. To avoid erasing the wrong disks, make sure you only have one disk plugged in at a time and never touch "Macintosh HD" on the Mac you are using to format the disk.

Option 1 to put installer on external drive:
Taken from this answer by dewaldcels
1. Download Mavericks for the App store.
2. Plug in the USB drive you want to boot from (has to be 8GB or more)
3. Then from the Terminal app run this command:

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app

In this command it says --volume /Volumes/MyVolume. You need to replace MyVolume with the name of your disk. To get the name, go to Finder and find your disk. The name of the disk is the name you need to put instead of MyVolume. If your disk is partitioned, use the name of the partition you want to use.
This will take a while.

Option 2 to put installer on external drive:
1. Borrow another Mac (from friend or Apple Store)
2. Get a copy of Mavericks (either from a backup or App Store or an actual Apple Store) [1]
3. Right click the installer app and click "Show Package Contents"
4. Find InstallESD.dmg inside
5. Open InstallESD.dmg
6. Open Disk Utility [2]
7. Attach a USB/SD card/external hard drive that you are not using with at least 8GB of memory
8. Reformat it to use the GUID Partition Scheme and Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format [3]
9. Select InstallESD.dmg in the sidebar on the left
10. On the right, click the tab labeled "Restore"
11. In the sidebar on the left you will see the external storage device you attached in Step 7. It will have the name of the type of device you used [4]. Under this you will see the name of the partition (the name you see in Finder). It must be at least 8GB [5]. Drag it into the right side into the box labeled "Destination"
12. Click "Restore". This process will take a while. The disk must be formatted correctly. See [3]
13. Eject your drive
14. Plug it into your other Mac (the one you want Mavericks on)
15. Press the power button and hold the option key (also known as alt key)
16. Select the partition that you just reformatted. It should say "Install Mac OS X 10.9" or something similar.
17. Follow onscreen instructions to install Mavericks on your hard drive (Macintosh HD)

[1] The name of the app is "Install Mac OS X Mavericks.app". You might have backed it up using Time Machine. If not, download it from the App Store. Otherwise, ask a friend or an Apple Store employee.

[2] Ways to open Disk Utility:
1. Open Spotlight (click the magnifying glass in the top right corner or use a keyboard shortcut), type "disk utility" and it should be the first result)
2. Open Launchpad and search "Disk Utility" (OS 10.8+) or open the Utilities folder and click "Disk Utility"
3. Open Finder, click the "Go" menu, and click "Utilities". Then open Disk Utility.app

[3] Warning: reformatting a partition erases all its contents.
Select your disk in the sidebar. Click the "Partition" tab. At the bottom, find the text "Partition Map Scheme". If it says "GUID Partition Table" use Method 2 below. Otherwise, use Method 1.
Method 1 (erases disk):
WARNING This erases the entire disk.
Select your disk in the sidebar. On the right, under "Partition", click the "Partition Layout" drop-down menu and select "1 partition". To the right, select the "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" format. Click "Apply".
Method 2 (erases partition):
WARNING This erases the selected partition.
Select your disk in the sidebar. Under the disk, select the partition (name you see in Finder). Click the "Erase" tab, select the "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" format, and click "Erase...".

[4] If you used an SD card, it will say "SDXC Reader Card Media" or something similar. If you used a hard drive or a USB, it will have its capacity and the manufacturer, or something similar.

[5] To see the size of your partition, select your disk in the sidebar on the left. Under the "Partition" tab, make sure the text box labeled "Size" contains a number greater than 8 and says "GB" to the right of it. If it does not have enough memory, you might have to use a different disk or re-partition and reformat it (see [3] above)

  • Ok. But all links in google say: 'get the mavericks on app store'. But, dont exists any more the mavericks in app store. so..?? Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 19:23
  • I managed to install the version Mac OS X 10.6.8 with a cd. But now, I cant upgrade to yosemite. Any way, I do not want it. Every body says: 'its bad'. And now? Is there solution to install the mavericks considering that I have a mac installation? Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 19:25
  • Finally I finish this. Here the link: lifehacker.com/5823096/… Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 23:47
  • Great! I wasn't sure if Mavericks was still availabile on the App Store.
    – Arc676
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 4:48

You're getting the error message because OS X Mavericks isn't available for download by the Recovery HD anymore, deleted in favor of Yosemite. Your best bet is to use Internet Recovery. Make sure you're on a decent Internet connection (Ethernet is best, if possible) and follow these instructions:

  1. Immediately after hearing the Mac boot chime, hold down Command+Option+R – if you see the Apple logo you waited too long and need to reboot and try again

  2. Eventually, you’ll see the familiar “OS X Utilities” screen, choose “Reinstall OS X” to begin the re-installation process of the Mac operating system

  3. Select the destination and complete the re-installation (or installation) of OS X as usual


  • In proccess. Thanks for the faster answer buddy. :) Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 0:40
  • The same error. :( Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 0:44
  • A small detail. He tried to install Mac OS X Lion. : / Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 0:46
  • Yeah, the site mentions that it'll try to install the OS version that your computer came with, but it's worked for me. I have another idea, but you'd need to have another Mac and an 8GB flash drive on hand. Do you?
    – user24601
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 0:53
  • Nops. I'have a linux debian and a external hd with 1TB. Is there a miracle to do? haha Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 0:54

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