MacBook Air 2011 comes with a nice little USB Restore key. It contains OS X Snow Leopard and iLife 2011. But with OS X Lion coming out soon, I found it is bit wasted for keeping it as an OS X Snow Leopard restore key. Wouldn't be cool if I can unlock and format the USB drive to use it as a normal USB drive or to restore it to Lion?!
Since Apple states this USB drive read only, not even Disk Utility can do the job to unlock it. I tried to google the solution, only found lots people trying to do the same thing with their USB, but none of them has achieved. Eventually I went into a Chinese website and find this formatting tool 慧荣格式化工具 (Windows only). So I borrowed a "PC" from my flatmate to continue the work.
Plug in MacBook Air USB
Install and open the magic formatting tool
Well, I'm not going to complain about its UI as long as it's working.
If you don't read Chinese just do what I did, select F drive and choose Initialize: Public Only (1-Lun), then hit the button the one says 格式化. When the processing bar goes to the end it will ask you to re-plug the USB drive. Do what it says.
To use the USB drive between Mac and PC I reformat the USB drive to exFat format. Not done yet, I noticed the original USB icon was gone. It's easy to fix: