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Backup your Mac OS X Lion AppStore Download (Boot Disc)

When Apple released the latest version of their operating system, Mac OS X Lion, the only way to download it is via the App Store on your Apple Mac.

After upgrading the OS, Apple 'kindly' delete the 3.79Gb download from your drive!  If your iTunes / iCloud / iWhatNext? accounts are linked (up to 5 Macs usually) then you have to download the OS on each device.  Obviously for those in slower areas, or on restricted bandwidth services, this is an absolute nightmare.

Well follow this easy how to and you'll only need to download the once!

  • Purchase and download Lion from the Mac App Store whilst running the most up to date version of Snow Leopard - you'll need to be update in order to install Lion in any event.
  • When the download has completed, it will automatically run.  Right click on “Mac OS X Lion Installer" on the dock and choose the option to “Show in Finder".  Right click again and chose the option "Show Package Contents.”
  • Inside the Contents folder you will find a SharedSupport folder - open this folder.  Once inside the SharedSupport folder you will find the “InstallESD.dmg.” This is the Lion boot disc image we want.
  • Insert a writeable standard 4.7Gb DVD into the drive and then right click on InstallESD.dmg and select "Burn to disc"
  • It may well take a little while (15 mins or so) because it is a large file and will probably verify the image.  Once finished the disc should eject.
  • You are now free to install Mac OS X Lion on your original Mac. 
  • On your other Mac simply insert your disc and copy the InstallESD.dmg to your desktop.  Double click on the desktop file and then double click on "Install Mac OS X Lion" - bingo!

Note: It is very important that you burn your Lion disc  prior to installing Lion itself as the install files will be removed after the Lion installation is completed. 

If you are reading this article after upgrading to Lion all is not lost. A fresh copy of the Lion installer can be re-downloaded from the Mac App Store by clicking on the Purchased tab with the Option key held down.