Create a Bootable DVD Copy of OS X Lion Installer

Burn an Install DVD of Lion

Courtesy Apple, Inc.

OS X Lion will be sold through the Mac App Store, which will make acquiring and installing the new Lion OS a pretty simple task. But what happens if something goes wrong with your Mac, and you need to boot from an install disk? There is no install disk with OS X Lion.

Creating a bootable version of OS X Lion isn't that difficult. When you download the OS, the Lion installer is placed in your Applications folder.

When you run the downloaded Lion installer, it simply restarts your Mac using the embedded Lion disk image that is buried in the download file. With a little fiddling, you can use the disk image to create your own bootable copy.

One important note: If you want to create a bootable copy of the OS X Lion installer, be sure to do so before you install OS X Lion, because the Lion installer delete itself as part of the installation process. If you have already run the OS X Lion installer, you can always download it again by launching the Mac App Store, holding down the option key, and selecting "Purchased" from the icons at the top of the Mac App Store window. You should then be able to download a fresh copy of the OS X Lion installer. Remember to quit the OS X Lion installer as soon as it auto starts, so you can create your bootable copy of Lion.

Burning a Bootable Version of OS X Lion

  1. Open a Finder window and navigate to /Applications/Install Mac OS X Lion.
  1. Right-click on the Lion download file, and select "Show Package Contents" from the pop-up menu.
  2. Expand the Content folder in the new Finder windows
  3. Open the SharedSupport folder.
  4. The Lion DMG (disk image) is in the SharedSupport folder; the file is called InstallESD.dmg
  5. Right-click the InstallESD.dmg file, and select "Copy" from the pop-up menu.
  1. Right-click in a blank area of the desktop, and select "Paste Item" from the pop-up menu.
  2. Launch Disk Utility, located at /Applications/Utilities.
  3. Click the Burn button in the Disk Utility window.
  4. Select the file you copied to your desktop as the image to burn, then click the Burn button.
  5. Pop a blank DVD into your Mac's optical drive and click the Burn button again.
  6. The resulting DVD will be a bootable copy of OS X Lion.

Published: 6/9/2011

Updated: 8/12/2015