I just bought a used MacBook Pro from a friend. He left the OS discs in Iraq so he did not have them to give to me. The laptop is currently running 10.6.8.

I would like to start with a fresh install. If I upgrade to Lion and then follow the instructions here to make a bootable disk, can I wipe the system and start fresh?

2 Answers 2


Yes. I've done this before multiple times.

Pay attention to the following during the installation:

  • Enter Disk Utility to format the disk.
  • In the tab select partition. Then click on option and select: Format as GUID

Otherwise the drive won't be bootable.

  • It sure would be nice if someone voted up your answer to give me some confidence. Honestly, this is my first mac and I'm scared that I'm going to brick it and not have any OS disks available to fix it...
    – James Hill
    Dec 26, 2011 at 21:05
  • I guess we'll have to wait for a day since most people from the US are offline at the moment :) BTW: I've used exactly the same instructions as in your link. They were on another website, but exactly the same. You can check if your install USB is working by doing this: 1) Insert the USB. 2) Then boot while holding the alt key. 3) Select the USB drive. The installation will not start automatically. It just loads software from the USB.
    – gentmatt
    Dec 26, 2011 at 21:18
  • thanks. I'm going to be burning to a DVD so I can use later if I have any issues. I assume the instructions are the same.
    – James Hill
    Dec 26, 2011 at 21:21
  • Yes, I've done that aswell. However, the DVD takes waaaaay longer to load. I very much recommend using a USB.
    – gentmatt
    Dec 26, 2011 at 21:22
  • 1
    If its an Intel Mac (which I assume it is) the HD is probably already partitioned with GUID. No harm in doing it again but it may not be necessary.
    – Richard
    Dec 26, 2011 at 21:43

You could always trust the official Apple instructions.

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