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What is the Best Way to Create a Lion Recovery Disk?

August 17, 2011

So, people discovered a way to make their own Lion boot disk before Lion shipped to the public by burning the InstallESD.dmg file located in the Lion install package to a CD/DVD or flash drive. The Serial Serveur Blog posted an easy to use utility, Lion Disk Maker, that does essentially the same thing. Then Apple released its own Lion Recovery Disk Assistant which also makes a USB drive function as a recovery disk. With all of these options, which is best? Lion Disk Maker. Here is why…

Lion Disk Maker takes the little hassle out of finding the installESD disk image and using Disk Utility to burn to a DVD or copy to a flash drive. What you get is a full on Lion installer that can be used offline to install to a new hard drive. This also gives you the option to do a complete disk erase using Disk Utility inside the recovery to do a full, clean install. 

The problem with Apple’s Lion Recovery Disk Assistant is that it does not include the full install. Apple’s utility only requires a 1GB flash drive because you must be connected to the internet to download the rest of the files needed while installing Lion. When you re-install using Apple’s Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, one of the first things it does is connect to Apple to verify that your machine is compatible and identify which drivers will be needed. Then you must enter your username and password for the Mac App Store that you used to purchase Lion. The installation will then proceed by downloading what it needs.

This online approach to installation can be a problem for people with slow connections or who are completely offline. The best way to make a Lion recovery disk is to download the Lion installation from Apple and use the Lion Disk Maker application so that you have a full working installer that does not require an internet connection to install. 

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From → Rant, Tutorial

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