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New MacBook Airs, Mac minis feature Lion Internet Recovery disc-less repair

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Given the lack of an optical drive all of Apple's new MacBook Air and Mac mini models, the company has included a new "Internet Recovery" feature in its new operating system to reinstall Lion or initiate repairs on the latest Macs.

Apple detailed the new feature in a support document posted on its website on Wednesday. It reveals that Lion Recovery will provide users with all of the tools they need to reinstall their operating system, or even restore from a Time Machine backup, all without the need for optical discs.

Users can access the traditional Recovery HD tool by restarting their Mac and holding down the Command and R keys until the Apple icon appears. Users are then presented with a desktop with an OS X menu bar and a "Mac OS X Utilities" application window.

To reinstall Lion, users will need to be connected to the Internet, either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Users can select a Wi-Fi network and enter the appropriate password by selecting the Wi-Fi menu item in the upper right corner of the screen.

If users cannot access the regular Recover HD feature of their Mac when holding Command-R at startup, the Internet Recovery feature is available on all hardware introduced after the public availability of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. So far, that includes the new Mac mini and MacBook Air models released on Wednesday.

"Lion Internet Recovery lets you start your Mac directly from Apple's Servers," Apple's documentation reads. "The system runs a quick test of your memory and hard drive to ensure there are no hardware issues.

"Lion Internet Recovery presents a limited interface at first, with only the ability to select your preferred Wi-Fi network and, if needed, enter the WPA passphrase. Next, Lion Internet Recovery will download and start from a Recovery HD image."



Lion Recovery requires that DHCP be enabled on a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network. And if Lion was bought from the Mac App Store, users will be prompted to enter their Apple ID and corresponding password to authenticate the re-download.

"If your Mac problem is a little less common your hard drive has failed or youve installed a hard drive without OS X, for example Internet Recovery takes over automatically," Apple's promotional site for the feature reads. "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. Internet Recovery is built into every newly-released Mac starting with the Mac mini and MacBook Air."

The addition should add some comfort to owners of Apple's devices who download Lion from the Mac App Store. In particular, the new Mac mini released by Apple on Wednesday is the first version of the consumer desktop that does not include an optical drive.

Lion Internet Recovery only works on WPA and WPA2 networks. Command-R Recovery HD extends reinstall support for Lion to WEP, WPA-Enterprise, and Captive-Networks. Neither feature works with PPPoE where there is no router handling the PPPoE connection, proxies where specific proxy servers must be configured in network preferences, and certificate-based authentication/802.11x.

Apple also offers the following four important notes on installing Lion via the recovery service:
Your storage device must have at least 13 GB available (after formatting) to install Lion and an Internet Restore partition.
These steps will erase and reformat the storage device. This article will instruct you on setting up the storage device to use the GUID partition scheme and the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format, which are required to install Lion and an Internet Restore partition on your external storage device. You should back up any important files that are on the device to a different drive.
This procedure will install a version of the OS X Lion that is compatible with the Mac it was created with. Using this Lion system with a different kind of Mac may produce unpredictable results.
Your computer's serial number will be sent to Apple to help authenticate your request to download and install OS X Lion.
Finally, Apple also offers details on how to install Lion on an external storage device. This allows users to install Lion to a different internal hard drive, or to an external USB, Firewire, SDHC or SDXC card, or a Thunderbolt storage device.

Users must attach the device, erase and format it via the launch Disk Utility from the /Applications/Utilities folder. Then hold the Option key and launch the Lion installer downloaded from the Mac App Store, available in the /Applications folder.
post #2 of 64
I was kind of hoping theyd still toss in one of those neat micro-thumdrives like the previous Airs, just because they were cool I guess I can make a DVD. Ill probably never need to re-install anyway.

And if my HD ever does die, the method of re-installing Lion will be the least of my concerns. I can stomach a download. Especially if I cant find my DVD or thumb drive!
post #3 of 64

In particular, the new Mac mini released by Apple on Wednesday is the first version of the desktop that does not include an optical drive.

*cough*MacMiniServer*cough*
post #4 of 64
Who else thinks this is scary?
post #5 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Who else thinks this is scary?

Having an irrational fear of the Internet is scary.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #6 of 64
I'd rather have a recovery utility on a bootable USB stick...
post #7 of 64
Does this mean internet recovery isnt available for other macs than mini and air?
post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by doh123 View Post

I'd rather have a recovery utility on a bootable USB stick...

Create one on a thumb drive for yourself...
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post #9 of 64
I wonder if the same people that complain that Apple has dumbed down their system are the same people acting too dumb to create their own bootable installer.
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post #10 of 64
Here is an important tidbit from that document that people have been asking all day:

"To redownload the installer on a computer running OS X Lion, press and hold the Option key while you click the Purchases tab. If the button to the right of the Install Mac OS X Lion item doesn't change to "Install" and allow you to download Lion, use Spotlight to search for "Install Mac OS X Lion" on your computer. "
post #11 of 64
Sexy feature. I wonder if it will support installing future Mac OS X revisions rather than Lion. For example, if you purchased 10.8, can it install that instead or is it fixed to Lion for that specific hardware?
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Who else thinks this is scary?

I can totally feel the vibe you have here. Obviously Apple is starting to eliminate the avenue (by default) of physical software media from Macs (new Mac Mini).

Apple is running to make the Mac a walled garden (like other iThings), but doing it via convenience (so far, instead of by no choice as with iOS) moving the customers to where we only get software through their store and anybody that doesn't go through their store will be at a decided disadvantage long term. Will they take it to the next step and make it like iThings and only their walled garden in the next OS release or two? I don't know.

All those people coming to Mac's from iThings will think its great (works just like their phone, pad or iPod).

This is a bit disheartening from the perspective of many long time Mac and Apple users, as it feels very big brotherish (alot of older users ran to Apple to get away from that feeling from Microsoft) - everything is based on you being plugged into and buying from Apple's cozy network.

On the other hand I can see how convenient it will be and how Apple now regards the Mac as just a supporting character for selling customers more iThings (this is more confirmation of the fact that they see the Mac that way - and I'm not saying that in a mean way, I'm running a Mac and love it).

Apple will always throw away what they regard as the past and run to where they think they want to go - based on that I wouldn't want to bet whether they'll still be making Mac's in 10 years (most companies you could bet on it, but I don't think you can with Apple).
post #13 of 64
Even if you create a DVD image of the InstallESD.dmg file, You will not be able to install Lion on a new hard drive without a WORKING internet connection.

I tried this on an older Mac mini with the ethernet cable disconnected and Airport off and the installer just waits patiently for the internet to appear. No internet, no install unless Apple has some work around they haven't given away yet.

This means under Lion, your computer is tethered to the internet and can't be repaired without a connection. This is not a good idea in my opinion.
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post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by prw View Post

Even if you create a DVD image of the InstallESD.dmg file, You will not be able to install Lion on a new hard drive without a WORKING internet connection.

I tried this on an older Mac mini with the ethernet cable disconnected and Airport off and the installer just waits patiently for the internet to appear. No internet, no install unless Apple has some work around they haven't given away yet.

This means under Lion, your computer is tethered to the internet and can't be repaired without a connection. This is not a good idea in my opinion.

That's not true for the base installation. It only does that if you are installing Server.
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post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasparilla View Post

I can totally feel the vibe you have here. Obviously Apple is starting to eliminate the avenue (by default) of physical software media from Macs (new Mac Mini).

Apple is running to make the Mac a walled garden (like other iThings), but doing it via convenience (so far, instead of by no choice as with iOS) moving the customers to where we only get software through their store and anybody that doesn't go through their store will be at a decided disadvantage long term. Will they take it to the next step and make it like iThings and only their walled garden in the next OS release or two? I don't know.

All those people coming to Mac's from iThings will think its great (works just like their phone, pad or iPod).

This is a bit disheartening from the perspective of many long time Mac and Apple users, as it feels very big brotherish (alot of older users ran to Apple to get away from that feeling from Microsoft) - everything is based on you being plugged into and buying from Apple's cozy network.

On the other hand I can see how convenient it will be and how Apple now regards the Mac as just a supporting character for selling customers more iThings (this is more confirmation of the fact that they see the Mac that way - and I'm not saying that in a mean way, I'm running a Mac and love it).

Apple will always throw away what they regard as the past and run to where they think they want to go - based on that I wouldn't want to bet whether they'll still be making Mac's in 10 years (most companies you could bet on it, but I don't think you can with Apple).

This fear of getting software directly versus printed to disks is more than a little silly. You act like before you got your software for your Mac from somewhere else. As though you somehow could do everything on your own if you wanted to. Wrong. If you want to use the product of an industry than guess what? You're going to be using a whole lot of stuff you got from other people. In fact, unless you're a developer, that is entirely ALL you have been using. Just because now you can have their products delivered to you faster doesn't change that they, and only they are the ones making all of it. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That's not true for the base installation. It only does that if you are installing Server.

Not in my experience. Server was just an add-on app. The basic Lion DVD burned by Disk Utility hung waiting for the internet connect. There was nothing "serverish" on the DVD.

Edit: Re-tried this 0n 7/21. Made a new DVD. Cloned internal drive on my iMac to external drive. Install from DVD to external drive. But I disconnected the ethernet cable BEFORE I started. (Thinking back I believe I disconnected ethernet on the Mac mini DURING the install !) Install completed with two restarts to the external drive, with no complaints. So my error.
iMac, MacBook Air, Mac mini
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iMac, MacBook Air, Mac mini
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post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasparilla View Post

I can totally feel the vibe you have here. Obviously Apple is starting to eliminate the avenue (by default) of physical software media from Macs (new Mac Mini).

Apple is running to make the Mac a walled garden (like other iThings), but doing it via convenience (so far, instead of by no choice as with iOS) moving the customers to where we only get software through their store and anybody that doesn't go through their store will be at a decided disadvantage long term. Will they take it to the next step and make it like iThings and only their walled garden in the next OS release or two? I don't know.

All those people coming to Mac's from iThings will think its great (works just like their phone, pad or iPod).

This is a bit disheartening from the perspective of many long time Mac and Apple users, as it feels very big brotherish (alot of older users ran to Apple to get away from that feeling from Microsoft) - everything is based on you being plugged into and buying from Apple's cozy network.

On the other hand I can see how convenient it will be and how Apple now regards the Mac as just a supporting character for selling customers more iThings (this is more confirmation of the fact that they see the Mac that way - and I'm not saying that in a mean way, I'm running a Mac and love it).

Apple will always throw away what they regard as the past and run to where they think they want to go - based on that I wouldn't want to bet whether they'll still be making Mac's in 10 years (most companies you could bet on it, but I don't think you can with Apple).



Sheesh. Make you're own recovery disk. The walled garden hyperbole is getting tired as well. You can buy all of the software you want on disk, just not from Apple. Mac sales are growing year over year. I'm Pretty sure Apple wouldn't be working so hard to make those sales numbers if they had any plans of ditching Macs.

Macs are a huge portion of their sales figures why on earth would anyone think Apple would lob off such a sizable percentage of their profits? iDevices are great and all, but even with the coming features they'd be useless without Macs to do the heavy lifting. 10 years is way to far off to predict anything. We might not need desktops at all in 10 years. We could end up working remotely from virtualized servers. The Lion server features kind of hint at that. TB monitors with all of the ports. Dock you're iPad, use the server for the horsepower. If we did away with desktops in 10 years it would be because we developed a new model and it wouldn't be a bad thing.

Ya'll correct me if I'm way off base, but this fear mongering that Apple isn't loyal to anyone logic is BS iMO.
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post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Having an irrational fear of the Internet is scary.

having a real fear of my isp charging me a small fortune to restore my mac...
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post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by prw View Post

Even if you create a DVD image of the InstallESD.dmg file, You will not be able to install Lion on a new hard drive without a WORKING internet connection.

I tried this on an older Mac mini with the ethernet cable disconnected and Airport off and the installer just waits patiently for the internet to appear. No internet, no install unless Apple has some work around they haven't given away yet.

This means under Lion, your computer is tethered to the internet and can't be repaired without a connection. This is not a good idea in my opinion.

Why not just create a mirror of your system drive and clone it if you need to do a recovery? Then you can include all of your specific device drivers etc. So much faster that way.
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post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Who else thinks this is scary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Having an irrational fear of the Internet is scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doh123 View Post

I'd rather have a recovery utility on a bootable USB stick...

This so reminds me of the transition from DOS.

Many extremely intelligent people argued at the time that being unable to stick a floppy disc in a computer and reboot from it was pretty much the end of the world. "CD's are unreliable!" "What if the main partition is corrupt?" etc. etc. Lots of these folks carried around boot floppies of various kinds as if it were their keys to the kingdom sort of speak.
post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

having a real fear of my isp charging me a small fortune to restore my mac...

OMG. How much are you charged for a few gigs DL'd? Please.
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post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by prw View Post

Not in my experience. Server was just an add-on app. The basic Lion DVD burned by Disk Utility hung waiting for the internet connect. There was nothing "serverish" on the DVD.

If you burn InstallESD.dmg to a DVD and do the basic install you don't need an internet connection. I've done this many times throughout the betas, including build 11A511.
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post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

Macs are a huge portion of their sales figures why on earth would anyone think Apple would lob off such a sizable percentage of their profits?

perhaps go back and check apples revenue per product, and profit per product.

If Apple finds that investing their r&d, marketing and other dollars in a different sector with larger profit potential, where do you think their priority lie?



Now where is that Macbook
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post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

OMG. How much are you charged for a few gigs DL'd? Please.

While it is getting slight better, NZ$100 for phone and 45GB data
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipodguy.1804 View Post

Does this mean internet recovery isnt available for other macs than mini and air?

Yes, that's what it means. It's because this feature is implemented entirely in the firmware of the device, out of necessity given that it is used when a bootable disk cannot be found. As it is a new feature, it is not available in previously released Macs. (I suppose hypothetically if it could be made small enough it could be reverse-engineered into previous Macs' firmwares and released as an update by Apple for those Macs. But I'm not holding my breath. They want to sell new Macs not extend the life of already sold ones.)
post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

perhaps go back and check apples revenue per product, and profit per product.

If Apple finds that investing their r&d, marketing and other dollars in a different sector with larger profit potential, where do you think their priority lie?



Now where is that Macbook

Am i misunderstanding Ai's article? Or did Apple have a kick ass Mac sales quarter?

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...3_million.html

I should have added; the Macbook was made obsolete by both (or either) the iPad and the MBA. Why would anyone buy a Macbook at this point when for the same money (or less) you have two superior choices depending on your needs?
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post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

While it is getting slight better, NZ$100 for phone and 45GB data

45GB data cap huh? Ugh. I thought ISP's in the states were bad. Still a restore shouldn't take up more than 10 percent of that unless you'd have to DL the apps too. Hopefully you aren't punitively charged for overages. It's kind strange feature anyway; obviously designed for users who don't know how to back up their data.
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post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wonder if the same people that complain has dumbed down their systems are the same people acting too dumb to create their own bootable installer.



The funniest, most insightful. concise comment in the history of rebutting people who complain about change and progress. Bravo.

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post #29 of 64
Will people give the "walled garden" thing a rest? It makes no sense here... it barely even described AOL that it was named after because even then you could minimize AOL and launch another browser and do whatever you want on the WWW.

Being able to get another copy of an OS if you screw up is LESS restrictive then before (or now with Windows) because before you'd have to buy another disc if you lost or broke/scratched yours.
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post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

Create one on a thumb drive for yourself...

There's a difference to what you CAN do or what Apple provides as a standard. I don't like this at all. Call me traditional, but I want my OS on an USB sticky or DVD provided by Apple.
Having an Internet connection is not something you can always rely on.
post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacloo View Post

There's a difference to what you CAN do or what Apple provides as a standard. I don't like this at all. Call me traditional, but I want my OS on an USB sticky or DVD provided by Apple.
Having an Internet connection is not something you can always rely on.

It sounds like this is an additional feature, rather than a replacement feature.

Ie, if you have made a bootable drive, you can use it, if you don't have one around, you can try the internet route as a last ditch.

So long as that is the case in practice, then it's a good development of what I would call a "real" OS feature.

If I were to pick a gripe of my own, it's that these instructions will probably be hidden in support documents rather than up front and central where users ( that don't spend their days hanging around Apple forums ) can appreciate them.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #32 of 64
If that would be the case, that be great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

It sounds like this is an additional feature, rather than a replacement feature.
post #33 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

Create one on a thumb drive for yourself...

I'll be doing that asap.

Thank the Lord I'm someone with nothing better to do with my time than hang around Apple forums.

I'm really looking forward to resizing windows from any corner.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #34 of 64
WHAT?!?!? No Floppy drive? OH THIS IS THE LAST STRAW! It's the nail in the coffin! Next thing you know, they'll be dropping ADB ports and SCSI, forcing us to replace everything we own with USB.

Somewhere, in a darkened basement, someone is still running OS7 and stupidly grinning. If the apocalypse comes, he'll probably be safe in that pseudo bomb-shelter, but in the meantime, tech marches on without him. And no one cares.

Sure, I wish Lion came on a flash drive, but geez, I can always load it onto a 4 gig flash card I have lying around. Problem solved.
post #35 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Who else thinks this is scary?

I'm glad I've ripped all my CDs to iTunes as they're about 80% of my library.

I'm not so sure I'd want an iMac or MBP without an optical drive.
post #36 of 64
Will Lion Recovery and Internet Recovery include the Apple Hardware Test?

Will Lion Recovery and Internet Recovery let you reinstall iLife and the other applications that are included with the Mac but not part of Mac OS?

If you upgrade an older Mac to Lion using the App Store, does it create a Recovery partition?

If you download Lion from Mac App Store and create a bootable disk, does it let you do an Erase and Install? Does it create a Recovery partition?

If a Mac supports Internet Recovery, will it let you reinstall the OS that originally came with that Mac if you do not have an Apple ID?

According to the article for installing Lion on an external disk: "Using this Lion system with a different kind of Mac may produce unpredictable results." Does this mean it is no longer possible to create universal boot disks that can be used to boot any Mac? What about companies that set up Macs using disk images? Instead of a single universal Mac image, they now have to maintain several different images like IT departments currently do with PCs?
post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Who else thinks this is scary?

ME!!
post #38 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

OMG. How much are you charged for a few gigs DL'd? Please.

my base data fee is womwhere around 40$ for 5gigs, only goes up from there. some providers still charge by the megabyte.
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post #39 of 64
How large is the recovery partition?

It should be a simple matter of cloning this to a USB stick to making an external one.
post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasparilla View Post

I can totally feel the vibe you have here. Obviously Apple is starting to eliminate the avenue (by default) of physical software media from Macs (new Mac Mini).

Apple is running to make the Mac a walled garden (like other iThings), but doing it via convenience (so far, instead of by no choice as with iOS) moving the customers to where we only get software through their store and anybody that doesn't go through their store will be at a decided disadvantage long term. Will they take it to the next step and make it like iThings and only their walled garden in the next OS release or two? I don't know.

All those people coming to Mac's from iThings will think its great (works just like their phone, pad or iPod).

This is a bit disheartening from the perspective of many long time Mac and Apple users, as it feels very big brotherish (alot of older users ran to Apple to get away from that feeling from Microsoft) - everything is based on you being plugged into and buying from Apple's cozy network.

On the other hand I can see how convenient it will be and how Apple now regards the Mac as just a supporting character for selling customers more iThings (this is more confirmation of the fact that they see the Mac that way - and I'm not saying that in a mean way, I'm running a Mac and love it).

Apple will always throw away what they regard as the past and run to where they think they want to go - based on that I wouldn't want to bet whether they'll still be making Mac's in 10 years (most companies you could bet on it, but I don't think you can with Apple).

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Totally agree with everything you say. But I also think that in 5 years we'll all be telling the Wintel folk that we've been downloading our OS from the internet for ages when Microsoft finally give up optical media and switch to internet delivery. Your argument about Apple's walled garden App Store policies still stand, of course.
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