How To Create an OS X Lion Install Disc - InformationWeek
Cloud // Cloud Storage
10:28 PM

How To Create an OS X Lion Install Disc

A great workaround for making your own bootable OS X 10.7 bootable DVD.

Apple now ships OS X 10.7 Lion via the Mac App Store and not on DVD. That's progressive and all, but its digital delivery isn't that convenient.

Think ahead. What if there's an emergency? You might need to do a clean install or reinstall for any number of reasons. It's easy to create your own installation DVD. Here's how.

To get ready, make sure your current Mac is prepared to install Lion. Then download OS X Lion from the Apple App Store.

If you did already install it, then follow Apple's Lion Recovery instructions to re-download OS X Lion again.

The optimum time to make your bootable DVD is early in the install process. Otherwise, you won't be able to get the DMG file you need without having to download OS X Lion all over again.

This is key. The install starts automatically -- you need to stop it. At the initial screen asking if you want to press Continue, DO NOT CLICK CONTINUE!

Just leave the screen up or minimize it, and follow these instructions carefully.

Locate the Mac OS X Lion installer in your Application folder. Right-click and select Show Package Contents.

Open it by double-clicking the Contents folder.

Inside the Contents folder, find the SharedSupport folder. Double-click it to open it.

Find the “InstallESD.dmg” inside the ShareSupport folder. This is the OS X Lion installer disk image you need to burn to disc.

Righ-click it and select copy "InstallESD.dmg".

Then paste it to the Desktop.

Caution: Do not drag this file. You risk damaging the OS X Lion install application. No dragging. Pasting only.

Open the Applications folder in Finder. Double-click on the Utilities folder to open it.

Open the Disk Utility by double-clicking its icon.

Now move the ESDInstall.dmg file from your Finder desktop to Disk Utility, as shown below. Make sure you drop it right into the left-most windowpane inside of Disk Utility.

In Disk Utility, click the Burn icon.

A prompt appears, asking you to insert the destination disc for the installESD.dmg disc image burn. Insert a blank DVD into the drive. Hit Burn.

The process burns the InstallESD.dmg image to the DVD, verifies it and completes. All you have to do is wait for your new OS X Lion install disk to pop out.

If you like, use Disk Utility from the installer to perform a clean installation of Mac OS X Lion. Always proceed with caution, knowing that a clean install is just that -- it completely erases all drive contents.

Store your Lion install DVD somewhere safe. That's all there is to it!

Also think about creating a make your own OS X Lion USB flash drive installer. Apple will be selling one for around $70 in August, but why do that, when you can do it yourself?

Email me with tips and comments. I'd love to hear from you.

Based in Houston, David Martin is a technologist at BYTE. Follow him @David_W_Martin or email him at

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll