I recently purchased a new MacBook Pro with Lion preinstalled. I'm about to replace the hard drive, and I wanted to burn the Lion installer to DVD so that I could install OS X on the new HDD. However, all instructions I've found for creating a Lion boot disc assume that you've purchased and downloaded Lion from the App Store. On my new machine, is it possible to get the .dmg file and burn it so that I can reinstall Lion on my new SSD?

If this is not possible, what is the recommended approach?

3 Answers 3


Sadly, Apple doesn't include a Lion install disc in the packaging with the new Macs, nor do they make it available to download.

They did just release Lion Recovery Disk Assistant which will allow you to make a recovery disk out of an external hard drive, which you can use to recover the existing installation or do a new install.

  • I ran the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, and it worked flawlessly. The cool thing: I was able to run it from a 1 GB thumb drive. Thanks for the pointer.
    – Jon Sagara
    Aug 10, 2011 at 4:43

I believe that Lion makes a small, invisible recovery partition upon installation, and that there is a copy of the install dmg hidden away in there (likely within the Install.app bundle). I haven't dug into this myself, but it can't hurt to look.

  • The Recovery HD partition doesn't contain the installer image itself, just allows you to download it from within Recovery mode and install. You won't be able to get at the disk image that is downloaded in that case, but it's the way to reinstall.
    – bringel
    Aug 10, 2011 at 13:44

Turn on the MacBook Pro and hold down the Alt key. Select your Wi-Fi network from the dropdown list and enter a password if requested. Once connected you should see an Internet Recovery option (tested on my new MacBook Air).

If you don't see this option, I guess the Lion shipping MacBook Pros do not have this feature and you will need to use the new Lion Recovery Disk Assistant which can create a Recovery Partition on suitable external media from which you can boot and reinstall Lion from:


  • The Macbook Pros do not ship with the Internet Restore feature. At the moment this is restricted to the new Macbook Air and the Mac Mini, which apparently have something in their firmware that allow them to do this. The Recovery Disk Assistant will essentially allow him to do what he needs to do.
    – bringel
    Aug 10, 2011 at 13:41
  • A shame as it's quite useful and works relatively well. Regardless I mentioned the Assistant just in case. Aug 11, 2011 at 9:58

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