Lion Recovery Includes Internet Restore

| Lion

OS X Lion, Apple’s newest Mac operating system, rolled out on Wednesday as a download from the Mac App Store. One of the upgrade’s new features is Lion Recovery to help repair system damage, and includes the ability to restore Lion over the Internet to empty hard drives.

Lion Recovery ModeLion’s Recovery Mode

Apple’s Lion Recovery Web page states:

If your Mac problem is a little less common — your hard drive has failed or you’ve installed a hard drive without OS X, for example — Internet Recovery takes over automatically. It downloads and starts Lion Recovery directly from Apple servers over a broadband Internet connection. And your Mac has access to the same Lion Recovery features online.

Lion’s recovery mode is accessible by pressing Command-R while rebooting, and assuming your hard drive already has Lion installed, includes access to Disk Utility, the ability to restore from Time Machine backups, and includes Safari for online troubleshooting help. If your hard drive is damaged or blank, however, Lion Recovery looks to Apple’s own servers for the repair and maintenance tools.

Internet Recovery, while a great tool, isn’t available to everyone that installs Lion. According to Apple, “Internet Recovery is built into every newly-released Mac starting with the Mac mini and MacBook Air.”

That means unless you own a Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Air or Mac mini, Lion’s Internet Recovery feature isn’t available to you.

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Do you think they’ll release a firmware update for, at least, this year’s iMac and MacBookPro models?


OK…so building a boot-drive is going to be crucial to recover from any hard-drive “worst-case” scenario, of which I’ve had a few in my Mac-owning years…


I wonder how easy it is to clone this Recovery partition, add other useful tools to it, and make your own emergency boot disk.


I wonder how easy it is to clone this Recovery partition, add other useful tools to it, and make your own emergency boot disk.

I would REALLY hope that Apple has created (or will create) a pathway for this. In the absence of that, I would think you should be able to install Snow Leopard on an external drive, then go into the App Store and “reinstall” Lion (since the App Store knows you bought the software) onto your external drive. Have NOT tested this however, so by tomorrow this might seem like a really bad idea…or not.

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