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How to: Create an OS X Lion Boot Disk

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Photo credit: halilgokdal (Flickr)

Apple’s newest operating system Mac OS X Lion is expected to be released in the next few days, certainly before the end of July 2011 based on Apple’s own info. Many people will want to clean build their Mac rather than perform an upgrade. Given that Lion has no physical media and is a download from the Mac App Store, we need a way to create our own bootable media; thankfully it’s a straightforward process.

Before we give you details we should remind you that Steve Jobs pointed out, in an email, that the only way to do a complete install is to install Snow Leopard and then Lion on top of that. It’s a cumbersome process and there could be a multitude of reasons for not wanting to do so such as a poor Internet connection or numerous devices therefore downloading the same content several times wastes valuable bandwidth.

Ready to proceed? Let’s do this!

  1. Assuming Lion has been released, head over to the Mac App Store and purchase / download Lion.
  2. Once the download has completed find the Lion installer and right click it. Choose Show Package Contents from the drop down list.
  3. Open the Contents folder, then open Shared Support. Within this folder you’ll find the installer InstallESD.dmg
  4. Copy InstallESD.dmg to the desktop.
  5. Open Disk Utility (It’s under Applications > Utilities).
  6. Click the Burn button located on the top menu.
  7. Browse to the Desktop within the selection screen and choose InstallESD.dmg
  8. Pop a blank 4.7Gb DVD in your drive and let it burn.
Once the DVD has burnt you’ve completed the process. You should be able to install it on all your Macs (don’t forget you have a 10 device limit per purchase).
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