Download Lion (w/ server) when purchased with new mac

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by radek42, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. radek42, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011

    radek42 macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Here, there, and everywhere
    I finally got my mini server with lion server preinstalled. I checked app store and I can see iLife application under "purchased", but I do not see Lion nor server application there. On that note, Lion shows as "installed" when I search app store for it, but Server still shows $49 (I know it's installed).

    I'd like to reinstall Lion (possibly with server application) to training purposes 9I am new to os x) and I want to make sure I can get applications running afterwards. Any idea why?

    I also tried to download Lion to make bootable USb flash but I failed (tried alt/opt + clicking to download with no luck). Perhaps making bootable media from "restore_HD" partition will download lion?

    I'd appreciate any comments and suggestions.

  2. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    There's a few easy ways to get a copy of the Lion install media, besides turning to outlets like torrents. No reason to violate the law.

    The Lion Recovery Disk Assistant will download and create a recovery partition on a usb flash drive. Once you boot from that you can easily download a full copy of Lion while in the installer. Now, depending on your connection to the internet that could take a little while.

    You could also use a Snow Leopard install disk and upgrade to Lion + Server from there.

    No matter which route you choose, I'd probably back up your hard drive with Time Machine, Superduper or CCC so you can restore in case of problems.
  3. radek42 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Here, there, and everywhere
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'a aware of Lion Recovery Assistant, but it is not clear to me what it actually does. I asked in the Apple store earlier today and I was told it creates bootable disk similar to built-in recovery_HD already on my mac, which contains only essential files allowing the computer to boot. Everything else is downloaded.

    My question is:
    Can I make full install disk (usb flash drive) containing entire Lion installation (approx. 3.6GB) if Lion came preinstalled on my computer.

    The second (not-as-important) question is:
    Since this is server version of Lion, "server app" came with the computer. However, it does not show as "installed" or "purchased" in the app store.
    Is this normal?
    Will I be able to install/download "server app" after clean install?


  4. ian.maffett macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2008
    The app store doesn't do a very good job of reflecting installed apps that were not directly purchased through the app store. Lion Server is actually a third party app (not third party as in non-apple, just not like windows server where it's the complete version of the OS) so it has to be launched. You should find an app called Server under applications.
    Dustin covered your Lion installer rather well already.
  5. radek42 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Here, there, and everywhere

    Good to know and a bit disturbing at the same time. Does this mean you could actually buy server app from the store although you already have it?

    I know sever app is installed. I want to make sure I will be able to install/download it after clean Lion install.

    It is still not clear I can create full installation disk. Dustin said, that Lion will be downloaded during install, but it is not obvious that Lion-installation.dmg (or whatever the name is when you actually download it from the app store; size 3.6GB) will be present on the hard drive after clean install.

    I apologize for seemingly trivial question, but this will be my first os x install so I have no idea what to expect. I am sure the second time will be much easier :) Good thing is, there no data on this computer :)

    Have more patience with me ;)

  6. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Just create the USB installer I mentioned and restart your computer while holding the option key down. Once booted, you'll have the choice of booting off your USB device into the recover partition. That will download and install the OS. It will not create the Install Lion.dmg file for you to use for other purposes.
  7. radek42 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Here, there, and everywhere
    I can see how the process you described works. However, I was hoping to avoid downloading full Lion OS (nearly 4GB) especially when I wanted to "practice" clean os x (possibly) several times.

    According to this article
    it seems you HAVE to download it every time in order to receive "proper" Lion version ... bummer. It is unfortunate.

    I guess I'll have to live with it. I'll create USB recovery disk regardless. I will download Lion (non-server) for MBP we bought just couple days before its release date. That should give me full install disk. I believe that currently there is 10.7.1 in the app store.

    Thanks for useful comments.


  8. snorkelman, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011

    snorkelman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2010
    Following procedure works for standard 2011 Mac mini and the 2011 MacBook Air (they have different build of OSX from that available on the app Store)

    I'm not sure what implications it will have for the server version (e.g. will you get a version with Server extensions bundled with it, will you be able to add Server extensions from appstore for free at end of install, or will you need to buy Lion server as a paid download)

    My guess is you'll get a download that includes server components, as we aren't doing anything a normal server recovery install wouldn't do.

    First get an external usb drive (something bigger than 16GB) and do the following:

    1 plug the external USB drive in

    2 power off the mini

    3 power the mini back on while holding the option key

    4 select the internal recovery partition (unless you've changed the boot drive
    that came with the mini there's already a recovery partition on it
    you shouldn't need a USB recovery disk)

    5 press enter

    6 follow the 'reinstall OSX lion' prompts till you get to stage it asks you what drive you want to install to

    7 choose the external USB drive

    8 you'll then get the

    'Mac OSX Lion Downloading additional components. your computer will restart automatically.' screen

    depending on speed of your net connection this could be what you're looking at for the next few hours

    9 When it completes and automatically begins to restart you need to kill power to the mini and disconnect the external USB drive

    10 Let the mini boot back up as normal without the external drive connected.

    11 Once your back at the desktop reattach the external USB drive

    12 There should a set of OSX lion install files on that drive

    13 you can now restore the install dmg file from those files to a USB stick

    you now have your own bootable copy of the Lion installer without having to sit thru the online install procedure each time. If you do it at moment you should find the copy you now end up with is a 10.7.1 build as I think thats been rolled into the versions currently being served accross the net by Apple.

    14 The only thing left to do now is reset the PRAM on the mini, if you fail to do this you'll get an error message when you try to reinstall Lion from the stick

    (we quit installation to the external USB drive before it completed to get access to the install DMG, and as a result the PRAM is still holding the UUID of that external USB disk so the Lion installer will look for it each time its run until the PRAM is reset)

    Biggest hassles with above are need for the PRAM reset and having to keep an eye on the mini while sitting at point 8 for what might be hours on end ..because we want to kill power at stage 9 (just when the machine is automatically restarting)
  9. radek42 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Here, there, and everywhere
    It certainly sounds like it could work :) Thanks for posting this. Too bad one needs to figure out such workaround for such a simple operation.

    Again, thanks for posting.

  10. ninjadex macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2004
    The new 2011 Mac Mini Server will automatically download and install the server components when reinstalling Lion from the recovery partition. The Mac App Store is not involved in this process at all with the 2011 Mini Server.

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