Mac OS Lion - Creating a Lion Boot/Install Disk

One of the new "features" of Apple's new Lion operating system is it's total lack of physical media. The only place you can get Lion is to download it from Apple via the App Store. That's great for Apple as it saves the cost of creating, packaging shipping and displaying the boxed media. For the end user it's a mixed blessing.

It's great because you always know where to go get another copy. No more searching for your install disk. Just log into your Mac, fire up the App Store and download it again. The down side is that if you have a slow Internet connection or you have a lot of family Macs to load (you can install Lion on all your machines using your AppleID) it can take a while. If you have 4 or 5 Macs in your family like I do then downloading that 4GB file over and over again would be a real pain in your ethernet. To help you get around that problem you can download it once then create an install disk. 

Here are the steps to creating a Installation DVD. You can follow the same basic steps and also create a bootable flash drive if you want, just make sure it's greater than 4GB in size.

  • Purchase and download Lion from the Mac App Store. When downloaded it will be added to your Dock and Applications folder. Make sure you don't install Lion! Instead close the installer.

  • Go to the Applications folder and locate the Install Mac OS X Lion package.

  • Right-click the installer and choose Show Package Contents. 

    • Go to the /Contents/SharedSupport/ folder and locate the InstallESD.dmg disk image.

    • Drag "InstallESD.dmg" to your desktop

    Now you need to create a Boot DVD 

    • Open Disk Utility. 

    • To burn the image to DVD, click the Burn button in the Disk Utility toolbar and select the "InstallESD.dmg" file you dragged to the desktop . Insert a blank disc when the burn dialog displays, and then click Burn (be sure to have Disk Utility verify the burn to ensure the media works as it should).

    • Now you can take your disk to all your Macs and update to Lion. When you are done, just make sure to store your disk somewhere safe.

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