How to: Make a Mac OS X Lion Bootable Thumb/USB/Flash Drive

Video is ready, Click Here to View ×


How to make a Mac OS X Lion bootable Thumb/Flash/USB Drive for free.

All you need is a 4GB Flash Drive and the OS X Install package

Any questions post below.

Follow me on twitter:

47 comments

  1. Is it possible to make a bootable Lion disk to be used for a virtual machine? I would like to have the option of using Lion and Mountain Lion for some software that I have. Thanks for the video.

  2. I did everything but when I right clicked on the moutain lion it did not give me options to veiew the DMG folder – Mac doesnt right click (control + click) did not bring up options either

  3. Great Video everything worked fine until right at the end it said restore failure – invalid argument. Please help. I came across a mac mini server and want to just install lion and get rid of the whole server software. I am lost as to how to accomplish this every time I try to install lion it automatically installs the server version. Thanks in advance for your knowledge and insight.

  4. Dude, u saved my bacon with this video. I purchased my first mac computer yesterday. Mac Mini Server OS X Lion. Decided to raid the drives and the online recovery kept crashing. With this video, I created a bootable thumb drive and unraided my drives and it worked. I am up and running again. Called apple support. NO HELP AT ALL. They offered no solutions for me at all other than to drive over an hour to the apple store and return the server.

  5. @WadeTheKid I have a PC and I have Mac OS X Lion.dmg. Now I have a computer with widows xp but I want to keep it. But I want to install the Mac OS on the usb. Then plug it in the computer turn it on and press F12 so I can run the Mac OS on it. I have a program that reads the dmg and should install it to the usb then boot it. Help Please Thanks.

  6. @imad3v Thanks for the heads-up. People who wish to use a 4GB USB key can google "Lion DiskMaker."

    The resulting 4GB Mac OS X Lion Install USB key will be MBR, not GPT.

    When I initially created a bootable Mac OS X Lion Installer partition on an 8 GB USB key, I neglected to reformat the key from MBR to GPT.

    When I started up holding down the "option" key, it showed up as "Recovery HD."

    But it did not show up as one of the choices under "Startup Disk" in System Preferences.

    Only GPT ones did.

  7. @crusherjoe8519 No, in the video it is with Mac OS X 10.7 (not 10.7.1) you must do like that (I think you can't do directly with 10.7.1) and then do the update after the install of 10.7.
    It worked for me with a 4GB USB KEY but you have to use other applications like: Lion Dismaker (if you have 10.6 only) or, if you have 10.4 or 10.5: SuperDuper works perfectly (the free version).
    (Normally, Carbon Copy Cloner must also work for a 4GB USB KEY)

  8. Since I did a manual Time Machine backup to an external drive of my Early 2011 17" MacBook Pro with Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard after I had purchased and downloaded Mac OS X Lion from the Mac App Store – but BEFORE I had installed Mac OS X Lion on it – I retained a copy of the Install Mac OS X Lion.app on Time Machine – which I still have and have restored/copied it to this and other Macs, as well as to Linux and Windows 7 PCs.

    I did not have to re-download Mac OS X Lion from the App Store.

  9. @syrianxuser After reformatting a 8GB USB flash drive from Master Boot Record to GUID Partition Table using Ubuntu Linux Disk Utility (or Windows 7 Disk Management/Terminal) – it is harder to do this with Mac OS X – and then experimenting with partitions of various sizes created on the GUID USB key by Mac Disk Utility, I found that the Mac OS X Lion Installer requires a minimum of a little under 4.23GB of space

    This explains why a 4GB USB thumb drive does not have enough space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *