I have downloaded Lion and created a bootable USB flash drive, a colleague wishes to use this. If I give this to my colleague will it be linked to my account or is it account independent?

Update: My colleague has a legal licensee to Lion but does not have a Lion install DVD. This is due to replacing a failed HDD in a Mac Pro. Instead of my colleague needing to download a 4GB file which they can't afford to I have a USB drive which I can lend to them.

As I remember Lion asks your apple ID when you first start up, is this the step that assigns your instance against your account or is my ID somehow embedded in the Lion copy I have.

  • 1
    Is your question a legal one or a technical one? As in is there an account ID embedded in your downloaded copy of Lion, or if your colleague has purchased the right to use Lion, can they legally use your downloaded installer rather than duplicating the process her/himself?
    – Daniel
    Apr 4, 2012 at 2:36
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    @DanielL, my colleague has a legal license to Lion and needs to reinstall on a replacement HDD in a Mac Pro, but I don't want the install linked to my account in any way.
    – Brett Ryan
    Apr 4, 2012 at 2:46
  • As far as I can tell, your account ID is not embedded in the install disc image, but I'm not posting this as an answer yet until I get a more definitive source (or someone else beats me to it)
    – Daniel
    Apr 4, 2012 at 2:49
  • The proper steps to installing Lion on authorized computers is as follows: support.apple.com/kb/HT4854 You can freely install it on any Mac that's authorized for your personal use. Installing it on a colleague's Mac is piracy and flies against your EULA.
    – user10355
    Apr 4, 2012 at 4:26
  • @cksum thanks, though this wasn't the question. Firstly the current computer has no OS installed, my colleague could install snow leopard then upgrade though this isn't really practical for both needing to download 4GB which they can't afford on their internet plan at the moment and needing to install and upgrade. I have done the install on my mac pro at home with a fresh HDD using the USB drive, this is perfectly legal. My question is, is my ID embedded in the download, i.e. if Lion is downloaded from two accounts are both files binary identical to each other.
    – Brett Ryan
    Apr 4, 2012 at 5:04

1 Answer 1


I don't believe that your Apple ID is embedded in the installer, it may be but if it is, it doesn't matter. I downloaded Lion onto my iMac and installed it, and copied the installer to my Mac Mini (offline only computer) and installed it as well no problem. This was right when Lion came out too, and I has worked perfectly on both computers since.

  • Thanks, I have also done this, though a purchase does come with 5 copies. I have at home installed on both my wife and my iMac as well as our Mac Pro.
    – Brett Ryan
    Apr 4, 2012 at 4:20
  • Ha I've got computer envy, good luck to you! Apr 4, 2012 at 16:07
  • Brett, what do you mean a purchase comes with 5 copies? Can you elaborate? 5 licenses to install/upgrade on 5 of your Macs, or to install 5x on any Mac, or you get 5 installation discs?
    – David
    Aug 20, 2012 at 18:51

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