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May 26, 2014

“This copy of the Install OS X Mavericks application can’t be verified”

by e1ven

I’ve been reinstalling OSX on a few old machines lately, and I’ve come across a rather odd message.

“This copy of the Install OS X Mavericks application can’t be verified”

After encountering this error, the OSX installer dutifully quits, leaving me scratching my head.
Since I was installing using a USB stick, at first I assumed the image or hardware were bad, and tried several variations on replacing drives and re-making the install image.

Eventually, I realized that the problem was particular to the destination system, rather than my USB stick.

One thing that can cause this error is if the time is off on the destination system.
Since the machines I was installing to had been sitting for quite some time, their batteries had depleted fully, and the clock had reset back to 2000.

Once I figured this out, and stopped wasting time on install media, this is pretty straightforward to fix.

On the Destination machine, once it’s booted into the install media – Go to the Utilities menu, and choose Terminal.

If you run the command


you can see the system time, and confirm it’s wildly incorrect.

To fix it, we just need to find the correct time/date from another system.
On another machine, fire up the Terminal, and run

TZ=US/Pacific date +%s

This will output the current unix timestamp in the PDT timezone. We want the PDT timezone, since that’s what OSX defaults to when the clock is reset.

Once we have this timestamp, we can enter it back into the Destination machine.
In the terminal, run

date -f %s TIMESTAMP

(Replacing TIMESTAMP with the timestamp from the last step, such as “date +f %s 1401065468”)

After this, close out of the terminal, and the install should proceed normally 😉

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