Most of the world is aware that Apple released OS X Lion exclusively on the Mac App Store. While this model of digital distribution guaranteed enough copies for everyone who wanted one, and cut down on the possibility of heat effected lines. However, what this didn’t provide was a physical backup of the install files.
Lion natively creates a recovery partition on any Mac it is installed on. While that will be fine for most cases of simply reinstalling the OS, it has its negatives. If you hard drive becomes corrupted, or physically breaks, you will need to start over from Snow Leopard. That sounds very annoying, but developers have been working hard to make it a non-issue.
While it is possible to create a Lion install disk manually, it can be a little complicated. Thankfully, a French developer has made it a little easier with a free tool called Lion DiskMaker. In order to make use of it, you will need a copy of the Lion install file.
While that isn’t a problem if you have not yet installed Lion, it requires a little trickery to get said file on a machine already running Lion. In order to do so, open the Mac App Store and click the “Purchased” tab while holding the “Option” key. You will then be able to re-download the install file, and thus create an installation disk.
Once you have the Lion installer, you need to download and unzip Lion DiskMaker. Once that is done, you need to put your destination disk into your machine. You can use a DVD or a flash drive of size 4GB or greater. Once you are set up, run Lion DiskMaker. You will notice that the app is written in French, but its still very easy to use.
Step 1. – When you first open the app, you will see this window. If you are using a DVD, click the button that says “DVD.” If you are using a USB thumb drive, click the one that says “USB.”
Step 2 – The next window that pops up will be this one. Click the button on the right, and you will be taken to the selection window shown below. For this example, I used a USB key, so I picked that drive eon my system and hit “Choose.”
Step 3 – Once you choose a disk, the program will begin to run. It will unpack the needed files from the Lion installer, and then proceed to burn them to your disk of choice. This can take up to a half an hour, so be patient.
Step 4 – After the burning is complete, you will see this window. You can click the button on the right to exit the application, or the one on the left to create another disk. Once you are done, be sure to unmount/eject your drives correctly, and place the finished media in a safe place.
As you can see, its easy to create your own Lion install disk. While I hope an English version of this app is available soon, the French version does the job and is very easy to use. if you have any questions or comments, let us know in the comments section.
Update: A version of Lion DiskMaker is available in English. You can grab it here. Thanks to Guillaume Gete for the email and the link to the US version.