Lion Clean Install Requires Snow Leopard Disk? [Updated]
In order to perform a "clean install" of Lion -- on a new hard drive or when restoring a machine to sell it, for example -- users will need to install Snow Leopard first, according to an email forwarded to MacRumors, purportedly from Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
We have inspected the raw header information included in the email and believe it to be genuine, but these emails must always be taken with a grain of salt.
On Jun 20, 2011, at 9:57 PM, xxxx
I'm really exited about Lion, but I'm a bit anxious about the absence of any physical media in the event of a crash where I need to do a clean install. Will Lion still provide a way to make a bootable image in the event that I need to start from scratch?
And Steve's typically short response:
From: Steve Jobs
Subject: Re: Lion clean install
Date: June 21, 2011 7:55:05 AM PDT
You can clean install Snow Leopaard [sic] first.
Sent from my iPhone
If this is true, it seems likely Apple will continue to sell Snow Leopard for the foreseeable future for users upgrading from Leopard and to perform clean installs.
Apple still sells Leopard for users who wish to upgrade their pre-Intel PowerPC Macs. Leopard is $129 and only available through 800-MY-APPLE, not the Apple Online Store or the retail stores. The company could offer Snow Leopard in the same surreptitious manner.
Update: To clarify, the original question and Jobs' answer seem to be focused on a situation in which a user is presented with a bare hard drive such as after an upgrade or a replacement after drive failure. OS X Lion does create a separate recovery partition to enable clean installs from a working system, but in the event of a full drive failure and no available backup, Apple's officially-sanctioned reinstallation policy appears to involve first installing Mac OS X Snow Leopard. For machines that ship with Lion installed and thus do not have Snow Leopard to fall back on, Apple will presumably provide some other recovery solution, perhaps in the form of a USB key as is included with the MacBook Air.
Update 2: The website Emails from Steve Jobs yesterday posted a similar email from Steve addressing the same topic:
Dear Mr. Jobs,
I just wanted to know if there will be a way to install Lion on a new HDD/SSD without previously installing 10.6?
Steve's straightforward reply:
Sent from my iPhone