Apple has now offered a way around for users if they cannot get Lion’s built-in recovery to work. Good news is that users may be able to get a USB recovery drive with a Lion installer for free if AppleCare decides the situation warrants it. Apple sent out a memo earlier this week, according to 9to5Mac. Apple Store employees have verified the information.
In order to qualify for the Lion USB stick, users must have purchased Lion from a legitimate source. In addition, a supported Mac must be used, which will be verified by serial number and the built-in recovery tools must have been tried first. If Tier 2 support gives permission, the customer will receive the USB drive free. It is worth noting that the drives will only have the recovery partition on them. It will need to dial home to get the content necessary for the install. In addition, your system serial number will authenticate the install. If your system does not meet the requirements, you will be required to dish out $69 for the USB stick.
You can, of course create your own USB stick, for those who wish to do so. All you need is the Lion installer, a USB stick, and basic tools that come with OS X. Ars Technica has a guide for those interested. Of course sometimes stuff happens and calling AppleCare may be the best option if built-in recovery does fail.