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Installing Clean OSX Lion from a DVD or USB stick


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#1 Boz

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 18:31

Though very retarded and disorganized, creating a clean install without installing Snow Leopard first is fairly simple.

To download OSX Lion you do have to do it from a computer with Snow Leopard 10.6.6 and above (due to the app store condition). Lion will not be distributed on the physical media or anywhere else. (One of the ways how Apple wants to make everyone use Mac App Store).

So, once you download OSX Lion it will automatically start the installation procedure.. before you click anything:

1. Go To Applications and find a filename called Install Mac OSX Lion.

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2. Back That file to a hard drive or wherever just you have a copy so you can make a new DVD or USB when you need it

3. Now you need to right click on the above mentioned file and select Show File Contents

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4. You will go into Contents folder and then Shared Resources and located a file called InstallESD

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5. You can either burn this InstallESD.dmg with the Disk Utility but Lion installation from DVD drive can take forever. So it is recommended to use the USB stick.

To use USB Stick you will do the following in Disk Utility:

A) Locate USB stick on the left
B) Select it to be active
C) Click on the right side to RESTORE tab

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D) Drag the InstallESD.dmg to the SOURCE textbox and drag the USB source to DESTINATION textbox, so it looks like this:

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E) Hit Restore and wait until it's done

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When it's done your USB stick is ready to be used as startup and install for OSX lion

6) Boot your Mac and hold the ALT key to pick the boot source
7) Choose your DVD with Lion or USB stick and you are on your way


There you go.


#2 mattking

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 18:39

Thanks for that, made it dead simple.

#3 FlintyV

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 18:40

Good job on the guide. Much appreciated!

#4 Mr Nom Nom's

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:10

This thread needs to be sticky-ed so that any future 'inquiries' by people claiming Mac OS X cannot be installed on a clean drive can be pointed to this exact thread.

#5 Eric

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 13:29

This thread needs to be sticky-ed so that any future 'inquiries' by people claiming Mac OS X cannot be installed on a clean drive can be pointed to this exact thread.



Pinned... :)

#6 Avlor

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 18:52

Thank you so much, I hate upgrade installs and as I thought, somebody has figured it out!

#7 piehouserat

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:21

Many thanks for this!

#8 instant.human

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:24

How big is InstallESD.dmg exactly? I need to know if I need a new USB drive. :p

#9 Miuku.

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:32

How big is InstallESD.dmg exactly? I need to know if I need a new USB drive. :p

A 4GiB thumbdrive will do the job.

#10 +Frank B.

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:34

How big is InstallESD.dmg exactly? I need to know if I need a new USB drive. :p


Screen Shot 2011-07-19 at 12.33.27.png

#11 instant.human

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:37

Great, thanks. So my 4GB will do. <3

#12 evo0o

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:37

Anyone who has done both a clean install and an upgrade install care to share their experiences on which is better?

I've always been ok with Apple's upgrade install but many are claiming that Launchpad has unwanted/ deleted items so I'm a little apprehensive as I'm just a neat freak like that... :p

#13 Bloodwork

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 15:39

I'm formatting a USB stick now, does it need to be formatted as MS-DOS or Mac OS Extended?

#14 Damian

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 15:41

Mac OS Extended Journaled

#15 .Neo

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 15:46

I'm formatting a USB stick now, does it need to be formatted as MS-DOS or Mac OS Extended?

GUID Partition Table and Mac OS Extended