TechAppleHow to Create a Mac OS X Lion Install...

How to Create a Mac OS X Lion Install DVD or USB


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If you want to perform a clean install of Mac OS X Lion instead of an upgrade, or you want to have some recovery media available, just in case, then this is the how to guide for you.

UWHS - How to Create a Mac OS X Lion Install DVD or USB

Ok, so the download and upgrade to Lion went well for me, I didn’t have any problems. However, I also don’t want to wait several hours with my slow internet connection if I have to do a recovery or a reinstallation. Also, for the Mac OS X Lion book I am working on I needed to do some screenshots of a clean configuration (for those readers who just bought a new Mac with Lion installed), so I wanted to have either a DVD or a USB stick with the Lion media on.

After reading through various materials, this is the method I used.

If you have already downloaded and upgraded to Lion then the files won’t be there on your Mac as they are deleted once the upgrade has completed. What I did was to recovery a previous backup using Time Machine and then started the process again, only this time I just did the download, I didn’t do the upgrade. If you don’t have a Time Machine backup, you can always do a factory restore and start again.

Step 1

Download Lion from the App Store – remember, DON’T install it!

Step 2

Open up the Applications list and locate Install Mac OSX Lion.

UWHS - How to Create a Mac OS X Lion Install DVD or USB

Step 3

Right click on it and select Show Package Contents.

UWHS - How to Create a Mac OS X Lion Install DVD or USB

Step 4

Navigate through Contents, then SharedSupport and locate InstallESD.dng.

UWHS - How to Create a Mac OS X Lion Install DVD or USB

Step 5

Open up Disk Utility.

Step 6

Drag InstallESD.dmg to the left column in Disk Utility.

Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.


  1. How about creating a Clone of Mac boot volume. This can be done using third party Mac cloning tools like Stellar drive clone and CCC.

    One ca select to copy other applications as well. I think it is a better and affordable option to create a bootable DVD for Mac Lion.

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