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How To: Create A Physical Backup (Restore Disc) Of The OS X Lion Installer

How To: Create A Physical Backup (Restore Disc) Of The OS X Lion Installer

When Apple announced that OS X Lion would only be available through the Mac App Store, many people worried about the lack of a restore disc, which can be useful if, for instance, your hard drive fails. Worry no more – we’ll explain how to create your own bootable OS X Lion Installer.

Mac OS X Lion

While Lion being on the Mac App Store certainly has its benefits, many people still desire a physical backup, and more importantly, a restore medium for Lion that could be used in the event of a major software or hardware failure. Sure, you could go to the Apple store or an AASP, but you can save a lot of time and money by making a backup medium yourself.

The process is pretty simple, and although these instructions revolve around the developer preview, the process should (according to our source) remain identical for the July public release of OS X Lion. Just follow the simple steps below:

Creating A Physical Backup Of The OS X Lion Installer

Download Mac OS X Lion from the Mac App Store as usual. Once you have it, open a Finder window, locate the OS X installation file that you just downloaded, right click (or option-click) on it, and select “Show Package Contents.”

Within the contents of the package, you’ll see a “SharedSupport” folder. Open it. Inside that folder, you will find an image file called “InstallESD.dmg”. Copy this file to your desktop and mount it – this is the actual working image file that you can burn to a DVD, and clone to an SD card, USB thumb drive, or hard drive partition.

The rest of the magic all happens via OS X Disk Utility. Now, simply launch Disk Utility (located in the Utilities folder within your Applications folder). To burn to a CD, just insert a blank DVD, right click or option-click the DMG, and select “Burn InstallESD.DMG.”

To copy to an SD card, flash drive, or hard drive partition (Make sure your destination has at least 5GB free), just option-click the volume inside of the DMG, select “set as source”, click the “restore” tab in Disk Utility, drag the volume you want to copy it to into the “destination” field in the “restore” tab, make sure you select “erase destination”, and then click the “restore” button.

Voila! It is that simple, and now you can rest your mind, knowing that you have an emergency backup of Lion that you can carry with you and use in emergencies. You can view the tutorial process in action by checking out the below YouTube video.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Let us know by sounding off in the comments!