I needed to wipe and re-install a mac mini that originally came with OSX Lion (10.7). I noticed when I got it they no longer include the OS CD/DVD to re-install from which is fine – I'm ready to be done with optical media. So, I looked online and it says you can download it from the App store (fine option if you were upgrading from an older version) or buy it on a thumb drive.
So, I bought the thumb drive figuring this won't be the last time I need to re-install. I received the thumb drive, booted to it and amazingly I got a circle with a line through it – it won't boot from it.
I found this helpful tip in the Apple support –
Use Lion Recovery to restore Mac computers released after OS X Lion. If you attempt to use the OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive, a message will appear stating that you cannot install this version of OS X on your computer. This is correct behavior to make sure you install only the correct and most up-to-date version of Mac OS X on your computer.
So, even though I have a copy sitting right here next to me, I'm forced to download a 4GB copy off the internet just to wipe and re-install.
*Update: Get this, even after it downloaded its own version from the internet, it was still behind! It installed 10.7.3 and at the first check for software updates it wants to download 10.7.4 at 729.6MB more! (not to mention a handful of other updates)