Error Installing Lion (OS X 10.7): “the installation information is damaged or incomplete”

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The Short Version: I needed to re-install OS X Lion on a system after formatting the standard partition. The install process required downloading the software from Apple first but it was blocked by network authentication. Requesting a temporary lifting of network restrictions for this system provided me with enough time to complete the download.

I needed to format a MacBook Pro that came with OS X Lion (10.7). My assumption was that the process would work the same as with disc-based installs.

The usual saying about assumptions applies.

The system didn’t have any problems at the beginning. I formatted the primary partition by booting to the recovery partition. Then, I let it begin the installation process by downloading the latest version of 10.7. I thought everything was working fine.

However, after I returned I discovered that the download had failed.

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Where Can I Find ImageX for Windows 7?

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It seems that the imagex tool is only available as part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). For Windows 7 the kit is an ISO disc image available for download from Microsoft. The Website reports that the download size is 1 GB, though my download currently shows that the file is 1.7 GB.

While writing this post I’m in the process of downloading the disc image. At this point I don’t know exactly what I’ll need to do to get the file into an active Windows 7 installation, but I’m assuming I’ll be able to boot the Windows PE disc and then copy the imagex tool out.

My intention is to use this tool to backup an active Windows 7 system. The image will be stored on a drive attached to a Mac across the network.

It may be possible to find a site that offers only the imagex tool itself for download. However, I think downloading the file directly from Microsoft in its current packaging is probably the best method.

Update: The WAIK can be installed directly into a running system without having to boot into a Windows PE environment. However, imagex seemed to have an issue with creating an image on a network share. It’s likely that I was missing some steps or information. I ended up going the easy route and simply using the built-in Windows backup utility instead.