Apple has today released Lion Recovery Disk Assistant which allows you to create OS X Lion recovery disks on external drives, including hard drives and USB flash drives.
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Lion Recovery is a feature built into OS X Lion that lets you repair disks or reinstall without the need for a physical disc. It stores a variety of utilities that allow you to restore from Time Machine backups, browse the web with Safari, repair your disk using Disk Utility and, of course, reinstall Lion.
The Lion Recovery Disk Assistant will allow you to place a copy of this recovery partition on an external hard drive or USB drive. Then, you can recover from that if for any reason the Lion Recovery partition on your hard drive is corrupted or you don’t have access to it.
In order to create a recovery drive, you must have an external USB drive with at least 1GB of free space and you must have an existing Recovery partition on your hard disk.
Once you plug in a drive, which will be erased by the process, and hit continue, it will ask you to enter your admin password and then begin creating the Recovery Disk.
Once you’ve completed the process, your disk will now have an invisible recovery partition on it. In order to access Lion Recovery, you’ll need to reboot your Mac while holding down the Option key. Once you’re presented with a list of drives, you can select Recovery HD from the manager.
This is a nice tool that solves the problem of what to do when your computer crashes and you have no Lion disc. As OS X Lion was distributed digitally, most people will not have a recovery disk unless they pony up for a $69 USB copy of Lion from Apple. With this tool you can perform diagnostics and more on any Mac that has its internal recovery partition, created automatcially with every Lion install, damaged.