As many of you would be aware, Apple has done away with optical disks completely with the launch of its new operating system, Mac OS X Lion. The distribution of this system is completely digital as of now, and Apple plans to sell thumb drives loaded with Lion later this year at $69 a piece.
As of now, when you purchase Lion on the Mac App Store and install it, it creates a small and invisible recovery partition on your primary hard disk. If something goes wrong with your installation, you can use this recovery partition to reinstall Lion, repair the disk using Disk Utility, restore from a Time Machine backup, or browse the web with Safari. But in case you replace the hard disk, or it fails for some reason, the recovery partition will also disappear along with it. In this case, either you can run to the store and buy the $69 USB stick that Apple sells which is pre-loaded with Lion, or if you have a spare USB drive or external hard disk, you can create a recovery disk for free.
Apple is officially distributing a small tool for Lion which allows you to create a Lion recovery disk on an external USB drive. You can find its download link at the bottom. All you have to do is download it, run it like any other app, and follow the steps. In only 3 steps, you can create a recovery drive.
- Run the application.
- Plug-in the USB drive.
- Select the drive, and press continue.
That’s it! Once the disk is created, you can use it by plugging it in to a USB port before turning on your Mac, and holding down the option key while booting, and then you can select the drive to boot from it and install Lion.