Note: in this FAQ, OS X will refer to Lion 10.7 or Mountain Lion 10.8 (unless explicitly mentioned).
After choosing the OS, Lion DiskMaker seems to hang.
This is related to some issues with Spotlight. To workaround this, open Terminal and type :
killall -9 mdfind
then type Enter key. Lion DiskMaker should resume automatically.
I am told I have no copy of OS X Install available.
The OS X Install application is automatically erased after you upgrade to the new version of OS X. If you need to download it again, open the Mac App Store, then open the Purchase page. You’ll be able to download Mac OS X Lion Install again.
The best time to use Lion DiskMaker is when you just finish downloading OS X from the Mac App Store. Create your disk with Lion Disk Maker , then install OS X.
I got my version of OS X pre-installed with my Mac. How can I get the OS X installer ?
There are two ways to do it.
- If you already purchased OS X on the Mac App Store (and therefore have a valid copy of OS X Install application), you can download the latest installer from Mac App Store first. This installer is compatible with Macs pre-equiped with your version of OS X.
- If you did not purchase OS X, but want to get an Install disc, there is a way to get the InstallESD.dmg file for your Mac. The method is not really easy though. Check Macworld for the full story. After you got the InstallESD.dmg file, use it to build your key or DVD with Lion DiskMaker.
I encountered the following message: The disk could not be created because of an error: An error occurred: 1. hdiutil: attach failed – No such file or directory
This happens if you chose the wrong Mac OS X Lion Install application, or if you mounted manually the InstallESD.dmg file first.
The simple answer is: don’t do this Lion DiskMaker is clever enough to detect your copy of OS X Install itself. Then it will mount the DMG file itself.
Yes, that’s cool, but I don’t have the complete OS X Install app and I just kept the InstallESD.dmg file. So do I have to re-download Lion again?
Don’t worry, if it does not find your OS X Install app, Lion DiskMaker will allow to select manually an InstallESD.dmg file.
Can I use a FireWire or SD-Card?
Yes, you can, though the USB drive has the advantage of being « universal » and works on any Mac.
My drive was completely erased!
Lion DiskMaker proposes two different ways to make a bootable disk:
- You can choose to use a dedicated 8 GB thumb drive ;
- Or you can choose a volume from any drive.
If you choose the 8 GB thumb drive option, the WHOLE disk will be erased. If you choose the second option, ONLY the dedicated volume will be erased, leaving any other volume on your disk intact.
However, if you chose the wrong option, Lion DiskMaker will list every volume that may be erased at the end of the process. Read slowly
And of course, backup any file on your drive before using the software if necessary. And use a dedicated, small drive (a 8 GB USB key is incredibly cheap these days).
Why did you remove the option to use a 4 GB USB Thumb drive?
With time, the OS X install apps have a tendency to be bigger and bigger. I used to remove some less essential package in the previous versions of Lion DiskMaker, but this could create some issues (many people complained that the installer then failed when installing OS X).
Also, the price of 8 GB USB thumb stick drives fell this year, as you can get an 8 GB drive for less than $7 now. So please do yourself a favor, and get one. This drive should be « future-proof » (until Apple makes OS X installer larger than 8 GB…).
Can I redistribute this software ?
Sure, as long as you mention the author and don’t suppress any comment or change anything in its package.
Booting from the DVD is slooooow as hell…
A DVD will always be slower than a USB key, and it seems Lion’s disk image is not optimized for use with optical disks. Avoid it, and use a USB key.
Why did you not rename Lion Diskmaker now that Mountain Lion is available ?
Well, I like this name better than « OS X Diskmaker ». That’s it.
(also: « Lion Diskmaker » should make Apple’s lawyers go less ballistic than « OS X Diskmaker ».