Thursday, 21 July 2011

Make a bootable Mac OS X Lion DVD

A lot has been said about Lion being delivered purely as a digital download rather than physical media.

Also, with a new operating system, like a lot of people I prefer to do a clean install rather than an upgrade. It's a great way to spring clean your mac and lose all those old junk plists, apps you no longer use and other odds n sods you can't even remember putting on there.

Then there's the safety aspect.  Without physical media, a hard drive failure is a real problem.

Anyway, the work around is pretty simple, using the downloaded 'Install Mac OS X Lion' app you can easily make a bootable DVD that can be used either for a clean install of Lion (sans Snow Leopard) or as an emergency backup.

You will need the following: -

  • A Mac with DVD writer
  • A copy of the Lion Installer App (available from the AppStore)
  • A blank DVD-R (Single layer 4.7GB is fine)

1 - Go to the Applications folder and right click (or Control-Click) on 'Install Mac OS X Lion' and select 'Show package contents'.

2 - Navigate to the Contents > SharedSupport folder

3 - Copy InstallESD.dmg to someplace (eg. your Desktop)

4 - Open Utilities > Disk and click 'Burn'.  In the window that opens, choose the copy of InstallESD.dmg you just made, then click Burn.

5 - Wait a few mins for the disk to burn and verify and your done.

6 - If you are using a printable DVD or labels, here's a Mac OS X Lion 10.7 DVD Label I made that you might want to use.

Hope you find this useful, please make a donation if you do :)


  1. I can't thank you more! It just worked after I almost gave up.

    I currently bought the new MD10LL/A model, and I immediately wanted to make a bootable DVD just in case.

    Thanks a ton Codeus!