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Using the OS X Recovery Modes (10.7 or later)

Article ID = 45
Article Title = Using the OS X Recovery Modes (10.7 or later)
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 21 July 2011
Article Last Updated = 17 October 2014 08:09
Article URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?45

Article Brief Description:
How to use the OS X Recovery Modes in OS X 10.7 Lion or later

Using the OS X Recovery Modes (OS X 10.7 or later)

When you install OS X 10.7 or later it automatically installs an invisible "Recovery HD" on the volume you installed the OS to. The Recovery HD allows you to boot the computer in Recovery Mode. If for some reason the Recovery HD is not available and your computer came supplied with OS X 10.7 or later it may be able to automatically boot into Internet Recovery Mode. There are other possible locations for a Recovery HD:
  • If your Mac came with supplied with OS X 10.7 or later the primary boot disk should already contain a Recovery HD
  • Download Apple's Lion Recovery Disk Assistant and create an emergency external USB Apple Recovery Disk with a Recovery HD
  • If you have a Time Machine backup disk and are using OS X 10.7.2 or later your Time Machine disk may also contain a Recovery HD
To boot into Recovery Mode, on startup:
  • hold down the Command + R keys
  • or hold down the Option key and choose "Recovery HD" from the Startup Manager
Once you are booted into Recovery Mode the Mac OS X Utilities window appears. If you need to access a wireless network connection click on the wireless icon in the top right hand corner and select the network you want to join. From Mac OS X Utilities you can directly select:
  • Restore From Time Machine Backup
  • Reinstall Mac OS X
  • Get Help Online (wired or wireless internet connection required)
  • Disk Utility
Also available from the Utilities menu are:
  • Firmware Password Utility
  • Network Utility
  • Terminal
Instructions for the Archive and Install method (OS X 10.7 or later) - using the OS X "Recovery HD"
NOTE: Make sure you have enough free space on your hard disk before proceeding.
NOTE: OS X 10.7 or later basically does an Archive and Install as the default installation method (but it no longer creates a "Previous System" folder).
  1. Start up from the Recovery HD (see above)
  2. The Mac OS X Utilities window appears.
  3. Select "Reinstall Mac OS X" and click Continue.
  4. The Install Mac OS X window appears. Click Continue.
  5. The Software License Agreement window appears. After reading or printing the information, click Agree.
  6. An agreement sheet appears. If you agree with the license agreement, click Agree.
  7. The Select the disk where you want to install Mac OS X window appears. Click the volume that you wish to install to.
  8. Check the volume you are installing to is the correct one.
  9. Click Install to begin the installation.
  10. If you install OS X via the Recovery HD you may not have the latest version of OS X so be sure to check (Apple menu > About This Mac) and then download and install the required combo update:
  11. Once OS X (and any combo update) is installed keep running Apple menu > Software Update to install all other required updates.
NOTE: If your computer came with OS X 10.7 or later your iLife applications have to be downloaded via the Mac App Store afterwards.
NOTE: If you are reinstalling your system to avoid a Mac OS X update bug remember to use the Combo update for the version before and then when running Software Update to untick the version of Mac OS X that you don't want.
Instructions for the Erase and Install method (OS X 10.7 or later) - using the OS X "Recovery HD"
NOTE: Make sure you have a full, current backup or clone of your system/setup before proceeding.
  1. Start up from the Recovery HD (see above)
  2. The Mac OS X Utilities window appears.
  3. Select "Disk Utility" and click Continue.
  4. Format your hard disk.
  5. Quit Disk Utility.
  6. The Mac OS X Utilities window reappears.
  7. Select "Reinstall Mac OS X" and click Continue.
  8. The Install Mac OS X window appears. Click Continue.
  9. The Software License Agreement window appears. After reading or printing the information, click Agree.
  10. An agreement sheet appears. If you agree with the license agreement, click Agree.
  11. The Select the disk where you want to install Mac OS X window appears. Click the volume that you wish to install to.
  12. Check the volume you are installing to is the correct one.
  13. Click Install to begin the installation.
  14. If you install OS X via the Recovery HD you may not have the latest version of OS X so be sure to check (Apple menu > About This Mac) and then download and install the required combo update:
  15. Once OS X (and any combo update) is installed keep running Apple menu > Software Update to install all other required updates.
NOTE: If your computer came with OS X 10.7 or later your iLife applications have to be downloaded via the Mac App Store afterwards.
NOTE: If you are reinstalling your system to avoid a Mac OS X update bug remember to use the Combo update for the version before and then when running Software Update to untick the version of Mac OS X that you don't want.

Article Keywords: 107 108 109 1010 Lion Mountain Mavericks Yosemite recovery HD hard disk mode

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