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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > Can you copy Lion to a bootable USB drive?

Can you copy Lion to a bootable USB drive?
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Jul 20, 2011, 10:42 AM
 
For anyone who's downloaded a copy from the app store, does the same procedure work to create a bootable USB key?
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 11:03 AM
 
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Jul 20, 2011, 11:14 AM
 
Inside the app bundle, in Contents/SharedSupport, is a file called InstallESD.dmg. If you use the Restore tab in Disk Utility to image that onto a USB stick, you get a bootable install disk.

But beware! The Lion installer deletes itself after installing, and once you're booted into Lion, the App Store will just say "Installed" when you try to download it again, so make sure you back up the installer app before you run it, or else you're SOL!

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Jul 20, 2011, 11:18 AM
 
Cool, thanks

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Jul 20, 2011, 11:20 AM
 
By the way, if that delete-and-can't-redownload behavior bugs you as much as it does me, let Apple know:

http://bugreport.apple.com

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Jul 20, 2011, 12:49 PM
 
Can you do a clean install from it?
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 01:30 PM
 
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Jul 20, 2011, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post
Can you do a clean install from it?
Explaining the Mac OS X Lion Clean Install
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Jul 20, 2011, 01:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Lion Recovery info
OS X Lion: About Lion Recovery
Lion Internet Recovery
THAT is freaking awesome.

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Jul 20, 2011, 03:13 PM
 
for backup purposes or for when an internet connection isn't available, you may want to Burn a Bootable Mac OS X Lion Install DVD:

How to Create & Burn a Bootable Mac OS X Lion Install DVD

provided you have an optical drive handy...
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Inside the app bundle, in Contents/SharedSupport, is a file called InstallESD.dmg. If you use the Restore tab in Disk Utility to image that onto a USB stick, you get a bootable install disk.

But beware! The Lion installer deletes itself after installing, and once you're booted into Lion, the App Store will just say "Installed" when you try to download it again, so make sure you back up the installer app before you run it, or else you're SOL!
where (and/or how) does one find this file??...
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Jul 20, 2011, 03:43 PM
 
This is from the link above your post about making a install DVD.

From the Mac OS X Finder, locate the Mac OS X Installation file that was downloaded, right-click, and “Show Package Contents”
Find and open the “SharedSupport” folder and locate a disc image file called “InstallESD.dmg”
Copy “InstallESD.dmg” to your Mac OS X Desktop, this is the Lion disk image and what you’re going to create the bootable DVD from
Now launch Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/), pop in a blank DVD, select the “InstallESD.DMG” file, and click on “Burn”
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Jul 20, 2011, 03:47 PM
 
right, but...WHERE is the installation file? i downloaded, rebooted, and am running 10.7.
if the file is deleted after installing, then i no longer have it, yes?

am confused LOL...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by JMan09 View Post
This is from the link above your post about making a install DVD.

From the Mac OS X Finder, locate the Mac OS X Installation file that was downloaded, right-click, and “Show Package Contents”
Find and open the “SharedSupport” folder and locate a disc image file called “InstallESD.dmg”
Copy “InstallESD.dmg” to your Mac OS X Desktop, this is the Lion disk image and what you’re going to create the bootable DVD from
Now launch Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/), pop in a blank DVD, select the “InstallESD.DMG” file, and click on “Burn”
You don't have to copy InstallESD.dmg to the Desktop. You can just drag that straight over to Disk Utility's sidebar and burn it from where it is.

Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
right, but...WHERE is the installation file? i downloaded, rebooted, and am running 10.7.
if the file is deleted after installing, then i no longer have it, yes?

am confused LOL...
Yes, the installer deletes itself after installing, and then the App Store doesn't let you redownload it when you're booted into Lion. The solution is to wipe the drive, reinstall Snow Leopard, download the Lion installer from there, back up the installer, install Lion, and then restore the installer from your backup.

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Jul 20, 2011, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
You don't have to copy InstallESD.dmg to the Desktop. You can just drag that straight over to Disk Utility's sidebar and burn it from where it is.


Yes, the installer deletes itself after installing, and then the App Store doesn't let you redownload it when you're booted into Lion. The solution is to wipe the drive, reinstall Snow Leopard, download the Lion installer from there, back up the installer, install Lion, and then restore the installer from your backup.
wipe the drive? hmmm...apple just sold me on a bootable usb drive...
just spend the day installing, configuring, customizing lion, not up for starting over..!
thanx for explaining tho...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 03:53 PM
 
Aaaargh. Really ?

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Jul 20, 2011, 04:05 PM
 
Should have checked this out before rebooting...
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 04:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Aaaargh. Really ?

-t
I know, right?

http://bugreport.apple.com

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Jul 20, 2011, 07:45 PM
 
So if I buy a new mini, is there anyway for me to make a physical Lion installer from what I get in the box?

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Jul 20, 2011, 08:24 PM
 
Gonna try it when I get home tonight. Yay!
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 08:57 PM
 
I was just able to upgrade to Lion after reading this thread earlier. And before I clicked continue to install I found the file and am copying it to a flash drive. The file itself is 3.74GB
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Jul 20, 2011, 09:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
wipe the drive? hmmm...apple just sold me on a bootable usb drive...
just spend the day installing, configuring, customizing lion, not up for starting over..!
thanx for explaining tho...
If you're running Time Machine and didn't do the upgrade right away, there might be a copy of the installer in your backups?
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 09:25 PM
 
I just got hit with this too. Thankfully there's another Mac in the house on the same apple ID.

(although I guess I could just as easily install snow leopard to an external drive, update it to include the app store, and download.)
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 09:35 PM
 
Interesting...I haven't tried this yet (haven't gotten to doing the upgrade) but this tidbit is included in the Lion Recovery link that was provided above.

To redownload the installer on a computer running OS X Lion, press and hold the Option key while you click the Purchases tab.
Which clearly indicates that the installer can be easily (though maybe not intuitively) downloaded after the upgrade.
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 09:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by gradient View Post
If you're running Time Machine and didn't do the upgrade right away, there might be a copy of the installer in your backups?
nope, sigh....i move too fast sometimes...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
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Jul 20, 2011, 09:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
nope, sigh....i move too fast sometimes...
Check out my post right above yours. It could be the golden goose!
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 09:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by gradient View Post
Interesting...I haven't tried this yet (haven't gotten to doing the upgrade) but this tidbit is included in the Lion Recovery link that was provided above.



Which clearly indicates that the installer can be easily (though maybe not intuitively) downloaded after the upgrade.
thanks
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 10:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by gradient View Post
Check out my post right above yours. It could be the golden goose!
not working here...tried all options with the option key...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
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Jul 20, 2011, 10:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
You don't have to copy InstallESD.dmg to the Desktop. You can just drag that straight over to Disk Utility's sidebar and burn it from where it is.


Yes, the installer deletes itself after installing, and then the App Store doesn't let you redownload it when you're booted into Lion. The solution is to wipe the drive, reinstall Snow Leopard, download the Lion installer from there, back up the installer, install Lion, and then restore the installer from your backup.

If you have the InstallESD disk image archived somewhere, is the install application particularly to have as well? Can't you just use the disk image to reinstall via DVD/USB drive?
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 10:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
not working here...tried all options with the option key...
yeah, doesn't work for me either. A separate tip about deleting a folder and changing some manifest.plist values doesn't work for me either, because those things aren't there post-Lion install.
     
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Jul 20, 2011, 10:44 PM
 
ah, well. have no regrets about installing lion first thing this morning; by noon, was back to work.
so will wait until other options exist (i.e. apple's usb drive)...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
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Jul 21, 2011, 12:30 AM
 
Are you guys doubly sure that you don't actually have the installer somewhere on your computer? I ask because now that I've upgraded to Lion and read your responses, I went to try it myself and found that it didn't work. I did, though, still have an unneeded copy of it on my desktop. As soon as I deleted it, holding the Option key while clicking on the Purchases tab did indeed turn the greyed-out 'Installed' label back into a beautifully clickable 'Install' button. I cancelled the second download, but it certainly works.
     
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Jul 21, 2011, 11:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by gradient View Post
Are you guys doubly sure that you don't actually have the installer somewhere on your computer? I ask because now that I've upgraded to Lion and read your responses, I went to try it myself and found that it didn't work. I did, though, still have an unneeded copy of it on my desktop. As soon as I deleted it, holding the Option key while clicking on the Purchases tab did indeed turn the greyed-out 'Installed' label back into a beautifully clickable 'Install' button. I cancelled the second download, but it certainly works.
nothing i can find on my HD, and the option key DOES NOT work for me in the App Store...
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Jul 21, 2011, 12:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
nothing i can find on my HD, and the option key DOES NOT work for me in the App Store...
Maybe there's something buggy about the way the installer is being deleted...try emptying your trash?
     
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Jul 21, 2011, 12:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
wipe the drive? hmmm...apple just sold me on a bootable usb drive...
just spend the day installing, configuring, customizing lion, not up for starting over..!
thanx for explaining tho...
I don't think you have to wipe your drive if you have a bootable usb drive.

Install Snow Leopard onto the external drive, boot into it, then download the Lion installer. Maybe you have to unmount the internal drive if the App Store says you have it already installed.
Then copy the Lion installer onto the internal drive, boot into Lion, and you can create a bootle Lion onto your external drive the way CharlesS described.
     
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Jul 21, 2011, 12:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
nope, sigh....i move too fast sometimes...
Premature-OS-Installation?

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Jul 21, 2011, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post
Premature-OS-Installation?


(am avoiding making my own jokes here...)
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Jul 23, 2011, 05:10 PM
 
got it!

from macrumors forum: "click on the name of the Lion app. After you do that you'll be able to buy it again. It tells you the price, but when you login your apple account, it says you already have it and it gives you the option to download it again."


it's cranky, but it works. first i got an error message.
then, i tried again, logged in, and, as above....

EDIT: finished it, booted to it...now have a working install/restore/repair DVD. as mr. burns would say...."excellent".
( Last edited by fisherKing; Jul 23, 2011 at 07:54 PM. )
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