DiskMaker X is an OS X utility that allows you to create a bootable drive with an OS X installer. This utility works with the Installer App that you download from the Apple store.
Normally when you are wanting to upgrade your Mac, you go to the Apple store and click on the new version of OS X you wish to upgrade to. The Installer App is then downloaded to the Applications folder on your computer and you are then prompted to
continue with the upgrade. This all works very well, but the Installer App is removed from the Applications folder once it has been used.
What DiskMaker X does is to allow you to perform a clean install rather than a migration upgrade.
So to create a bootable drive with the El Capitan Installer, you need to have a 8GB or larger USB Thumb drive, USB disk drive, Firewire disk drive or SD-card. NOTE: The content of the selected media will be destroyed during this process!
Connect the selected media to your computer, then download the El Capitan Installer from the Apple Store as normal, but when you are prompted to continue with the upgrade after the download has completed you quit. Then move the Installer App from the Applications folder to another location, such as your Desktop. Now run DiskMaker X. You pick the version of OS X you want to create an installer for, then the Installer App to use, and finally you pick the media that you are creating the bootable drive on. DiskMaker X will then build a bootable drive with the OS X Installer. This takes 30-40 minutes.
Both of the references below give a good description of using DiskMaker X and creating an El Capitan bootable Installation drive. I just completed installing DiskMaker X and then using the bootable 8GB Thumb drive I created to perform a successful clean install of El Capitan on my Mac Mini.
- Makes it easy to perform a clean install of a new version of OS X
- DiskMaker X is donationware
- Works with Thumb drive, USB drive, Firewire drive or an
SD-card as the target media
- None that I have encountered thus far
- How to Create a Bootable El Capitan USB Install Drive with DiskMaker X
- How to make your own bootable OS X 10.11 El Capitan USB install drive
See my other OS X articles