Previous rumors and speculation have indicated that OS X Lion (expected to launch tomorrow), due to it’s lack of a physical DVD, might require a Snow Leopard disc in order to perform a clean install. Fortunately, according to a new report, Lion will feature several recovery options, one of which will be to reinstall Lion over the internet from Apple’s servers, potentially eliminating the need for a restore DVD.
This would enable you to perform a new, clean install of OS X Lion without having to resort to installing Snow Leopard first. The report comes to us courtesy of a supposed leaked internal AppleCare manual, and indicates that the recovery options can be made available by holding the Command and R keys down on startup.
Of course, it sounds to me that in order for this to work, Lion’s recovery partition would need to remain intact, so this won’t work if your hard drive has failed, for instance. Nevertheless, there is still a way to hack your way into creating a bootable installer for OS X Lion, which you can then burn to a DVD, external hard drive, or USB drive.