I got a new Macbook Air w/ Lion preinstalled. I love it. However, this is the first computer I've bought with zero physical media (ie no Lion install disc or thumb drive).

Is there any way to get or make an restore ISO that I could put on a USB key for a rainy day?


OS X dosen't have an install key. As for restore, apple has instructions on making restore media here, or you need to burn "InstallESD.dmg" from the apple installer app.

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  • Do the new machines that ship with Lion come with the Apple installer at all (and thus contain the InstallESD.dmg), or would you have to buy it from the Mac App Store? – Collin Allen Jul 28 '11 at 4:34
  • i am not sure, unfortunately. Apple's 'preferred' methods seem to involve using the built in recovery partition, or pulling it down from the net. – Journeyman Geek Jul 28 '11 at 6:35
  • Built-in recovery partition is the primary way to go here, yes. – slhck Jul 28 '11 at 11:21
  • Yeah I don't think the Apple installer is present. Similar to installing Lion on any other machine the installer removes itself. – Ternary Jul 28 '11 at 14:03

The new MacBooks Airs that ship with Lion (lucky you!) have an internet restore feature that pulls down the restore OS from Apple's server if your drive is wiped clean:


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