Apple releases downloadable Lion boot disk


Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced Mac OS X Lion, available only as a digital download, in June.

The 1 MB recovery assistant is now available on Apple’s Web site. And while it’s not a full installer, it will let you do the following: reinstall Lion, repair the disk using Disk Utility, restore from a Time Machine backup, or browse the web with Safari.

If you want to download the new assistant, have a USB stick with at least 1GB of free space ready. Once you’ve set up the drive, you’ll be able to access it if needed by holding down the option key at startup and choosing the disk from the opening screen.

The recovery assistant still requires that you download Lion again, meaning that you’ll need an Internet connection. So if you’re worried about connectivity you still may want to make your own boot disk. OS X Daily has a great walkthrough if you’re interested in doing it yourself, or you can also check out Lion Disk Maker, an application that will do the work of making the disk for you.

And if you’re really insistent about having a Lion on an official USB stick, you can get that from Apple next month — for $70.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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