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Apple Releases New Utility To Create Lion Recovery USB Key

Apple Releases New Utility To Create Lion Recovery USB Key

Apple has just released a new free utility called Lion Recovery Disk Assistant. The new app simply lets users create a Lion Recovery Partition on any external drive or USB flash drive.

The utility comes following the discovery that many Macs built and shipped after Lion’s release neither include a physical restore medium nor the ability to use internet restore, potentially making replacing the hard drive (or recovering from hard drive failure) difficult or impossible.

The app is extremely simply to use: Just download Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, insert an external hard drive or USB thumb drive with at least 1GB of free space, and follow the instructions. It only takes a few moments. After the process complete, you will not be able to see the new Lion Recovery Partition in the Finder.

The resulting Lion Recovery Partition works exactly the same way as the one placed on your hard drive after installing OS X Lion. It allows you to reinstall Lion, repair the disk using Disk Utility, restore from a Time Machine backup, or browse the web with Safari.

In order to use the new USB restore key, simply boot your computer whole holding down the Option key, and select “Recovery HD” from the startup manager.

Here’s a useful tip from the release notes:

  • If the computer shipped with Lion, the external recovery drive can only be used with the system that created it.
  • If the system was upgraded from Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard to Lion, the external recovery drive can be used with other systems that were upgraded from Snow Leopard

Further, if you plan on placing the Lion Recovery Partition on an external drive that you actually use, make sure to create a new partition first, as this utility will destroy all data on the destination drive.

You can read more about it in Apple’s official KnowledgeBase article, and you can download Recovery Disk Assistant (1.07mb) here.