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Lightning is a tool to easily create and mass-restore asr-capable images via Thunderbolt or Firewire connection to machines in Target Disk Mode. There are two workflows: Creating an ImageSet and Deploying an ImageSet.

Step-by-step guide

Creating an Imageset

  1. Started by using the "Create" button in the image library window or using "New Image" from the File Menu. A new window appears:

  2. Drag and drop an "Install Mac OS" into this window that corresponds to the OS you're currently running - i.e. if you want to create a Mountain Lion Image, you need to be running Mountain Lion for the process to work.

  3. When the Installer is recognized, and you can start adding .pkg installers and .app Applications to the image by dragging and dropping them onto the list in the lower part of the window. Installers will be run during the image creation process, whereas .app Applications will be integrated into the Applications folder on the image.

    This list is an ordered list, and items can be rearranged to achieve the desired order.

  4. Use the "User Options" button to customize the local admin's Username and Password that is going to be included during the image creation process. You can also choose to suppress the initial Display of the Registration wizard here.

  5. Finish the image creation workflow by clicking on the "Create Imageset" button. Lightning now creates a new image, installs Mac OS X onto the Imageset and then readies the result for quick restoration after compressing the image. 
    The process can take anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes, depending on the speed of your machine and the storage type your device is using. Once the creation is complete, the created imageset is available in your image library window.
    Feel free to rename the Image by double-clicking its description.

Deploying an ImageSet

  1. Deploying an imageset is done by double-clicking or selecting an image from the library and clicking the "Deploy" button in the image library window. 
    Lightning will now automatically search for newly connected volumes and offer to start the deployment process once it detects a viable target.

Place a machine in Target Disk Mode (TDM) by starting a Mac and holding down the "T" key. As soon as the Thunderbolt and/or FireWire icon appears on the screen, connect the target to your Mac.


If a volume is detected, Lightning will let you choose the destination volume to overwrite. Start the process using the "Restore" button or by double-clicking the destination volume. If you want to restore several Macs at once, use the "Auto-restore to each connected Volume" checkbox - but watch what you plug into your Mac!

Once the imaging process is complete, Lightning is ready for the next Mac to be connected. If you're on Mountain Lion, it will let you know via the Notification Center. Enjoy !

If you want to use several machines as Lightning Hosts, open the image library folder using the "Reveal Image Library in Finder" menu option to find your images for easy re-importing to your other Lightning machines.


Installation straightforward by copying the application to where you want to run it from. At first launch, Lightning will ask for you permission to install a privileged helper tool to


Files created and used by Lightning

~/Library/Application Support/FileWave/Lightning