Mac OS X Lion 10.7 Coming to a USB Flash Drive, For a Price
Apple made a big announcement that the company’s new, popular operating system Mac OS X Lion 10.7 is not only ready now for download, but a physical copy will also be made available on a USB flash drive. The problem is, the flash drive version is more than double the price ($69) of the online download from the Mac App Store ($29.99). The other catch is that the Lion file is a hefty 4GB—anything short of having the best Internet connection could cause transfer issues that you simply do not encounter with USB flash drives. Even with the best connection, you’re facing a few hours from start to finish of installation.
The reason Lion OS X is making such a splash is because it’s been touted to drastically change the computer experience. The biggest features that it employs are multiple touch gestures and new scrolling techniques through the Mac computer touch pads. This simulates the tablet and smartphone experience, further blurring the lines between desktops and laptops and their newer, touch-friendly counterparts.
While there’s no getting around paying for Apple’s Mac OS X Lion, taking the flash drive route in one of two ways can have excellent advantages. If you can’t stand waiting until August for the flash drive or you refuse to pay the price, you can download the system from the Mac App Store and subsequently load it to your own, less expensive custom USB flash drive. Since the file is 4GB, you’ll need an 8GB at the very least (due to some bytes of the being consumed by firmware; you don’t have all 4 gigs at your disposal). These drives will cost you as little as $10. Consequently, you’ll have an extra copy of Mac Lion should you ever need it.
In order to download Mac OS X Lion to your USB flash drive, right-click on Mac OS X Lion in the Application folder and select, “Show Package Contents.” In the “Contents” folder, go to “SharedSupport.” Right-click and select “Copy ‘InstallESD.dmg’.” Paste the item to the desktop. Go back to your Application folder and open “Utilities” and click on “Disk Utility.” Drag the “ESDInstall.dmg” file into the folder’s left column. Click on the file’s icon and select the “Restore” tab. Next, plug in your USB flash drive.
Once it’s on the desktop, move it into “Disk Utility” and select it as the “Destination.” Click “Restore.” Depending on your setup, you may be prompted to enter your login and password information. Installation may take several minutes to complete.
For those of you who need the data transfer speed of a flash drive and have the patience to wait for Apple’s flash drive next month, you will pay the extra premium for having the instant ease and access of a physical copy. Especially with Apple products now opting out of optical drives, USB flash drives fill the void and serve as an excellent method to reliably store applications you may end up needing to re-install in a pinch. You can never underestimate the importance of a physical USB flash drive backup.
How will you be installing Mac OS X Lion?