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How To: Create A Bootable DVD Disc For OS X Lion

How To: Create A Bootable DVD Disc For OS X Lion

One of the quirky things with OS X Lion is the lack of a install DVD. You see, Apple don’t really like DVDs. And you can’t blame them either. When was the last time you put a DVD or CD into your Mac? However, it’s nice to have a bootable DVD that features OS X Lion.

With a burnt OS X Lion DVD disc you will be able to reinstall Lion and easily install OS X Lion on any other Mac that you own.

It’s quiet easy to create a bootable DVD of OS X Lion (check out the below instructions and our video further down the page).

Step 1: Download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store

  • Press and hold down on the option key on your keyboard, load up the Mac App Store.
  • With option key still pressed, go to “Purchased” within the Mac App Store.
  • Click on “Install”, enter your password, OS X Lion will now begin to download.

Depending on the speed of your broadband connection, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to complete the 3.75GB download.

Step 2: Copy OS X Lion to your Desktop

Once the OS X Lion download has completed we need to find the necesscary files to burn to the DVD.

  • In Finder, go to Applications and right click on Install Mac OS X Lion.app and select “Show Package Contents”.
  • Go to Contents > Shared Support
  • Copy InstallESD.dmg to your desktop

Step 3: Burn OS X Lion to a DVD

  • Open up Disc Utility.app
  • Put a blank DVD into your DVD drive.
  • InstallESD.dmg should be listed in the left sidebar. If it is, simply click Burn within Disc Utility.
  • If InstallESD.dmg does not appear, you can simply right click on the file from your desktop and click burn.

And that’s it. You have just created a bootable OS X Lion installation disc.

Step 4: Install OS X Lion

Once you have OS X Lion burnt to a DVD, you can install or re-install OS X Lion by putting the DVD disc into your DVD drive, and booting up your Mac with the option key pressed. You will then be brought to a screen like the one below where you should choose Mac OS X to boot from. This will start the OS X Lion installation process.

Install OS X Lion DVD Drive

Check out the below video tutorial which guides you through the entire process of creating a bootable OS X Lion DVD disc.

  1. Alexandru says:

    And what if my mac already came with Lion? The mac app store doesn’t show Lion under purchased, do i need to pay $30…? (internet recovery is not an option for me)

    1. Good point. I will email Apple and find out if there is a solution.

  2. This is perfectly possible if I am installing my OSXLion for the first time. But what abt the user who has already installed OSXLion on his MAC and then want to have a back up of operating system?
    In my case I have installed OSX Lion long ago and now I want the back up!!! I want to format my Mac plz guide me in this regardzz

    1. Shravan, did you read the post? It tells you how to re-download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store, and then burn it to a disc… all while on OS X Lion. 

      So if you already have OS X Lion on your system you can still create a backup.

  3. Whalehead says:

    Great instructions, thanks! Any idea how to make a bootable OSX LION install thumbdrive? The DVD drive & airport on my target MBP are malfunctioning.  I’m hoping to get LION installed from a bootable thumbdrive (I can do this with Ubuntu) – then assess whether I want to invest in repairing the MBP or move on 🙂

  4. Stoney Huff says:

    How many USB thumb drives have you LOST since 2011?
    Lucky me it’s just one, and it was after I transferred the files to the new Mac.

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