How To: Create a Mac OS X Lion Recovery Disk using Lion Recovery Disk Assistant

Lion Recovery Disk Assistant

Apple released Lion Recovery Disk Assistant to allows you create a Lion Recovery Disk to repair disks or reinstall Mac OS X Lion without the need for a installation disk.

Lion Recovery functions

Mac recovery disk tools

Lion Recovery Disk has the same functions as the built-in Lion Recovery, which allows you to reinstall Lion (Internet connection required), repair disk using Disk Utility, restore back from Time Machine, or web browsing with Safari.

How to create your own Lion Recovery Disk?

In order to create a Lion Recovery Disk, you need:

  • A Mac computer running OS X Lion with an existing Recovery HD, which is automatically created and hidden during OS X Lion installation.
  • An external USB hard drive or thumb drive with at least 1GB of free space.

Warning: The Lion Recovery Disk Assistant will ERASE ALL DATA on the external drive when creating the Recovery HD. Make sure you have backup the data in the drive.

Creating an external Lion Recovery Disk is easy:

  1. Download Lion Recovery Disk Assistant application (1MB download).
  2. Connect an external drive or thumb drive to your Mac.
  3. Launch the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant.
  4. Select the drive (in Step 2) where you would like to install.
  5. Follow the on screen instructions.

Note: You may need to format the external drive to Mac OS compatible partition. Please refer to Apple Support for instruction to create a new partition on the external disk.

Access Lion Recovery Disk

When the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant complete, you won’t see the drive in Finder or Disk Utility. It is hidden. To access the Lion Recovery Disk, you plug in the external Recovery Disk into your Mac, reboot while holding the “Option” key then select “Recovery HD” from the Startup Manager.

Using Lion Recovery Disk on other Mac computers

If your Mac shipped with Lion, the external recovery drive can only be used with the Mac that created it. If your Mac was upgraded from Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the external recovery drive can be used with other Macs that were upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion.

My two cents

Lion Recovery Disk Assistant makes it easy to create an external Lion Recovery Disk, which could be a life saver when Mac hard disk is damaged. Though the external disk allows you to reinstall Lion on a blank new hard disk but it requires Internet connection to download Lion installer. If you have a slow Internet connection, I recommend you to create an offline Mac OS X Lion installer disk using the instruction here.

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