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The MacBook Air is a fantastic computing device, but its minimalist design and lack of optical drive could cause worry for those of us that are prone to losing things. While the Mac itself includes a tiny flash drive for reinstalling Mac OS X, those tiny little peripherals have a habit of becoming misplaced, and are not always with you when the situation calls for it. Using Disk Utility, you can easilly install Mac OS X, or even use the Apple Hardware Test with a piece of Utility software that comes preloaded on Snow Leopard. Follow along to find out how.
>> Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard (or Tiger/PC with the Remote Install Mac OS X utility already installed)
>> Wireless or wired network
>> Disc to share
To begin, launch the Mac OS X install disc you will be using on the computer you'll be sharing from. This computer should be running Mac OS X Snow Leopard, or it can be a Mac with OS X Tiger running this Apple utility. If you don't have this particular application on your Mac, it can be downloaded from the Apple Support Downloads website. Next, open the Remote Install Mac OS X application located in /Applications/Utilities.
Next, we'll continue through the Remote Install Mac OS X utility to share the disc. Click on the Mac OS X install disc that you just inserted, then click Continue.
Note that with no disc inserted into the host Mac, you will still be able to share a copy of the Apple Hardware Test. This is great for when you need to test a Mac, but don't have the disc on-hand.
On the next screen, you will be prompted to select the sharing medium: AirPort or ethernet. We'll select AirPort because we are connecting through the wireless network, but if you connect through ethernet, select that option. Whichever option you select, keep in mind that both of the Macs must be connected to the same network.
Now, you'll need to restart the computer you're sharing the disc with. Hold down the option key while you restart the computer and keep the key held down until you see the list of available boot devices. If you are booting using the AirPort option, select your wireless network from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the screen; if you're using ethernet, the network disc should show up automatically. Click the disc when it appears in the boot device screen.
Next, click the continue button in the Remote Install Mac OS X utility until you get the screen below. Remote Install Mac OS X utility will then begin sharing the disc that's inserted in your Mac across the network to your MacBook Air.
Make sure that you keep the Remote Install Mac OS X utility application open while you're sharing the disc. When you're done sharing, select Quit and restart the Mac you're sharing to.
Follow this article's author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.