Guillaume Gete Lion Disk Maker

One of the downsides of OS X Lion is the absence of a reinstallation DVD. Gone are the days of your Mac coming with a couple of discs or a tiny flash drive loaded up with the OS and iLife apps—if you need to do a reinstall of the operating system, your computer will boot from a partition it created when you installed Lion and then redownload Lion—all 3.49GB of it. Having a bootable local copy of Lion makes this process a whole lot faster, and now there’s a simple way to make one: Lion DiskMaker (Free) from French developer Guillaume Gete.

This app handles everything for you with just a few clicks. After downloading Lion from the Mac App Store, simply run Lion DiskMaker with a 4GB or larger flash drive plugged in—that’s smaller than the minimum 8GB you’ll need if you try to make a Lion boot disc yourself. You can use DVDs, external hard drives, and SD cards too. The app erases the drive and a few minutes later, you have a bootable version of Lion that is ready to use. Gete has put this out as donationware so it’s free, but if you like it, toss the guy a few bucks.

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