OS X Lion could require Snow Leopard for clean install

Jobs email suggests Lion depends on older OS

Lion will not be released in physical form, raising questions about clean install.

OS X Lion may require Apple’s Snow Leopard software in order for it to be clean installed when users want to put the forthcoming operating system onto a new hard drive. The suggestion comes from an email sent by Cupertino chief Steve Jobs.

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Jobs was answering a missive from a MacRumors reader, which said, “I'm really exited [sic]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?”

In a one line reply, Jobs said, “You can clean install Snow Leopaard [sic] first.” Lion is only being made available on the Mac App Store, with Apple eschewing physical media for its new OS release.

The new OS is set to hit virtual shelves in July, costing £20.99. Just make sure that you have a copy of Snow Leopard to hand in case the unthinkable happens and you do need to perform a clean install.