MacOS – How to format the OS X installer USB stick that comes with MacBook Air

disk-formatmacbook promacosusb

When you purchase a new MacBook Air they give you a mini-USB drive that is used to reinstall OS X and iLife '11.

How can I format this USB stick and put whatever I want on it?

The option to format is not available in Disc Utility and the USB stick mounts as a CD.

Note: I realize what the disk is used for and what Apple says on their FAQ. My question isn't "What do you think about formatting the USB?" it is "How can I format the USB?" The answer may be that it is impossible.

Best Answer

From Apple's MacBook Air: Frequently Asked Questions about Software Reinstall Drive:

Note: The MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive is read only. You cannot erase it, reformat it, or reuse it as a general purpose USB storage device.

Honestly, thumb drives are dirt cheap these days—why would you want to lose your only way to reinstall your OS?