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How to create an install disk / USB drive of OS X Lion


Disk Utility
Disk Utility

Please remember: This method is not an upgrade method but a fresh install method. Installing Mac OS X Lion on your Mac through this process shall result in a fresh install of the operating system. It’ll wipe everything from the hard drive. You need to have taken a backup of your entire machine and need to have verified your backup before you go ahead with the install process described below.

1) Download OS X Lion from the Mac App store

Since this is a 4 GB download, it is expected to take some time before the download completes. You may want to plan your download time based on download speed available to you.

2) Copy the install file in a different location.

Once the download is complete, it’ll take you through the installation procedure and ask you to press continue to install. Stop right here. Do not hit continue. Go to the Applications folder instead. Application folder can be found by clicking on finder. It generally appears in the list of folders under places in the left hand bar.

  • Locate the file that says “Install Mac OS X Lion”
  • Right click (ctrl+click) on the file
  • Select “Show Package Contents”
  • Expand the folder “Shared Support” by clicking on the small arrow on its left to view its content
  • You’ll find a file called “InstallESD.dmg”
  • Copy the file to your Downloads or Documents folder

3) Create install disk

  • Start the “Disk Utility” application
  • You should see all Hard drives, optical disks and thumb drives connected to your machine in the left hand bar
  • Insert a blank DVD in the DVD slot
  • The blank DVD should show up under SuperDrive
  • Click “Burn” icon on top of the screen
  • It should ask you for file location
  • Select the “InstallESD.dmg” file that you copied in Downloads or Documents folder before

Allow burn to complete. That’s it! You now have an installation disk for OS X Lion

To install on USB Drive:

Repeat step 1) and Step 2) as described above

3) Create installable USB drive

  • Start the “Disk Utility” application
  • You should see all Hard drives, optical disks and thumb drives connected to your machine in the left hand bar
  • Connect USB drive with more than 4 GB capacity to your machine
  • Select the USB drive from the left hand menu
  • Under Restore tab enter the source and destination
  • Source = “installESD.dmg” copied in Downloads or Documents before
  • Destination = Drag the USB drive from left hand menu to the space for destination
  • Remember to select “Erase destination”

Please note that this action shall erase everything on the USB drive and re-write it with the Mac OS X Install program. If you are sure you want to use this drive then go ahead and click Restore at the bottom of the screen

Allow restore to complete. That’s it! You now have an installation disk for OS X Lion

To install Mac OS X Lion from the newly created USB drive/DVD, you need to restart your machine by holding down the option key. You will be given options to boot from DVD or USB drive. Go through the installation process. Once installation is complete, you can then restore your applications, folders, documents from the backup you had taken earlier.


How To disable applications (Skype) to auto-start on login


One common problem that user face after installing applications like Skype is that they start automatically as soon as you login to your Mac. In most cases user wants to be in control of what application should start when one logs in or when the Mac starts.

I consider it as a bad software promotion practice. One that I highly recommend to keep away from if you are a developer as it is the right of the user to decide how he wants his machine to behave. There should at least be a prompt during installation that suggests that the software will get activated on login and a small process step that shows how to disable in case the user does not want it to be activated on login.

Anyways, thats not the point of this article. This is a “how to” to help you manage the auto start up issue with Skype on your Mac. This process is similar for most applications that start up automatic on login.

Mentioned below are two methods by which you can disable Skype from auto starting-


  1. Start the application. (In this case Skype)
  2. Hold ‘cmd’ and click on the application(Skype) icon in your Dock. You can use right click if you have activated it on your mouse
  3. Click on Open at Login to uncheck the tick
  4. That’s it. The application(Skype) will not start up on login any more.


  1. Go to system preference
  2. Select the Accounts optionSelect your login id from the list of logins that appear in the left hand side pane
  3. Click on the ‘Login Items’ tab
  4. You’ll see a list of Applications here that start up when you login. To disable applications from auto starting on login you need to select the application and then click ‘ – ‘In this case select Skype and then click ‘ – ‘
  5. The selected application (Skype) is not disabled to auto start at Login

How to add Album Artwork through iTunes


Follow these steps in iTunes to filter to all songs without Album Artwork
1) Go to File Menu
2) Select “Create Smart Playlist”
3) Select “Kind” in first cell, “is” in second cell and type “Music” in third cell
4) Click on + besides the third cell. This should add another row below the first row
5) Select “Has Artwork” in first cell or second row and “is false” in second cell
6) Click on “ok”

You’ll now get a list of all songs/albums that do not have an album artwork assigned

To update Album artwork through iTunes

1) Select advanced menu then click on “Get Album Artwork”
Note: 1) You can also select Song/Album and right click then click get Album Artwork to get for individual song/album
2) You’ll get a notification asking “Are you sure you want to get Album Artwork” Click “Get Album Artwork”
3) On completion you’ll get a notification stating “Could not get artwork for some albums”
Click on the plus sign to check which albums artwork could not be found

It would have found album artwork for a large number of albums but there would be few that it would not be able to find. The ones for which Album artwork is found would be automatically removed from the list you created.

You can manually update album artwork for the rest of them. You can either do this by individually selecting songs or by selecting a group of songs that you want to have a similar Album artwork. To do this
1) Sort by Album
2) Select all songs in an Album
3) Right click
4) click “get info”
5) search for google image / wikipedia to get image of the album
6) drag and drop the image from google image/wikipedia in to the album artwork space
7) click “OK”

Now, if you are left with a bunch of songs that are individual songs like free downloads/DJ mixes/Self compilations etc. then you can select them all and add one common image for all in the album artwork space

If you want to further group them and add albums based on a different grouping like artist/Genre/Year then sort them by the group you want to create and select all songs you want to group together and add album artwork to them by the manual process mentioned above.

How to burn ISO image on Mac

Disk Utility
Disk Utility

Creating an ISO is a very common task that you carry out with help of your DVD drive on your machine. But, if you have newly moved from PC or Linux to Mac, you’ll find the the option is not available in iDVD and will struggle to find how to do it on Mac. This is because it is very natural for a Linux/PC user who has used a CD burn tool(application) with a simple and easy to use option of burn an iso to find it a bit confusing.

In case of Mac how it works is that instead of starting a program to create an iso and then following steps to choose file/s you actually select the file first and then tell disk utility to burn your selected file/s.

Here are the steps you need to follow.

1) Insert a blank CD/DVD

2) It should give you application options to open the DVD with. Choose disk utility from the list. If not, open disk utility application

3) In disk utility – go to file menu and select Open Disk Image

4) Select the ISO file that you want to burn and click open

5) ISO will appear as a new volume under disk utility

6) Select the ISO

7) Click burn button and follow instructions

It sure is simple but the only difference is that it is just a bit different and give you more control of the process.

Burn iso on Mac