New MacBook Air features USB software reinstall drive

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Rather than relying on an external optical drive or another computer sharing its DVD drive, the new Mac Book Air supplies a solid state reinstallation drive the plugs into the USB port.



The new drive, a naked mini USB dongle without the usual shielding, is pictured on Apple's MacBook Air product page as among the items included in the box. The new MacBook Air, with screen sizes of 11.6 and 13.3 inches, was introduced Wednesday.



The new USB device eliminates any need for optical media, without taking up storage space on the sold state hard drive as many other PC do with their factory reinstall partition.



Apart from USB 2.0 ports on either side of the unit, the new MacBook Air design uses a conventional MagSafe port for power (using a 45 watt adapter), a MiniDisplay port that supports DVI, Dual-link DVI, HDMI (with audio), and VGA signaling with the use of external adapters, and a standard headphone port (which supports iPhone-style headphones with a remote and integrated mic). There is also an integrated microphone built into the side of the unit.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    adamwadamw Posts: 114guest
    That's cool... A restore USB drive included with the new Macbook Air as a standard feature. I call that brilliant, imaginative engineering!



    Here is more about the Macbook Air Software Restore Drive from Apple at:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4399



    Note: This special USB software restore drive includes Mac OS X and iLife and is READ-ONLY. You CAN NOT write to it!
  • Reply 2 of 56
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    it’s USB. I was thinking it was SD. I thought I saw an SD slot on the new MBA.
  • Reply 3 of 56
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    it?s USB. I was thinking it was SD. I thought I saw an SD slot on the new MBA.



    Only on the 13" model.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    emacs72emacs72 Posts: 356member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by adamw View Post


    That's cool... A restore USB drive included with the new Macbook Air as a standard feature. I call that brilliant, imaginative engineering!



    booting / restoring an OS from a USB / flash device has been done before (e.g., VMware and a few distributions of Linux).
  • Reply 5 of 56
    May I be the first to say that the picture makes the restore tool look tiny. If it's as small as it looks, it's bound to be lost pretty damn quickly...
  • Reply 6 of 56
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,580member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emacs72 View Post


    booting / restoring an OS from a USB / flash device has been done before (e.g., VMware and a few distributions of Linux).



    But its about time this was made standard. I would like to see this with all new macs rather than DVD's. (the dvd recovery set i got with my iMac were scratched and unusable. I had to go back to the Apple store to get replacements)



    @bobmarleypeople



    Handy too that it has a hole through it so you can stick it on a keyring or lanyard or hook on your wall etc so you dont lose it.
  • Reply 7 of 56
    .



    Mmmm...



    So, you have this personal computer, without an ODD, that can be setup by plugging in, and booting from an inexpensive solid-state USB drive -- instead of attaching it to another computer.



    Why, that little sucker doesn't even have a connector -- just some contacts built into the case...



    ... I wonder if...



    .
  • Reply 8 of 56
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    if it just had built in 3G it would be perfect.
  • Reply 9 of 56
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    .



    Mmmm...



    So, you have this personal computer, without an ODD, that can be setup by plugging in, and booting from an inexpensive solid-state USB drive -- instead of attaching it to another computer.



    ... I wonder if...



    .



    shhhh....



    They're working on it.









    On a separate note. I'm hoping that the next rev of the Macbook Pros brings higher resolution screens standard.
  • Reply 10 of 56
    .



    Shazam !





    Get th' kids Mabel, we're goin' inta' town!



    .
  • Reply 11 of 56
    Sexy.
  • Reply 12 of 56
    emacs72emacs72 Posts: 356member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    But its about time this was made standard. I would like to see this with all new macs rather than DVD's.



    twenty (20) years ago we were glad to use CDs instead of a stack of 3.5" diskettes. and, yes, i very clearly remember those days (and several years prior when 5.25" and 8" floppy disks were the norm)
  • Reply 13 of 56
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobmarleypeople View Post


    May I be the first to say that the picture makes the restore tool look tiny. If it's as small as it looks, it's bound to be lost pretty damn quickly...



    It's got a hole in the handle. Nail it to your forehead.
  • Reply 14 of 56
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,200moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by adamw View Post


    That's cool... A restore USB drive included with the new Macbook Air as a standard feature. I call that brilliant, imaginative engineering!



    I prefer the idea of putting a ROM chip on the motherboard so that it never gets lost. It would only need to be a small 8GB chip. If your Mac ever went wrong you just reboot, hold the right keys and it boots your recovery without you having to think about plugging it in. With it being soldered, it does present a security risk and the fixed battery prevents password protection so I guess USB is the next best thing unless they put a reset button on the motherboard to flush the password.



    USB is at least better than a DVD though by far. I reckon they'll do this through the whole lineup.
  • Reply 15 of 56
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    I found it interesting few months ago when I found a video on Apple.com giving step by step constructions on how to create an Mac OS image from the DVD. I think a USB restore/reinstall drive is the way to go.
  • Reply 16 of 56
    The only thing that it needs is firewire, and before everyone starts up with the "usb is fine" story, let me explain: As an apple tech, firewire target disk mode is the BEST feature EVER. If a mac won't boot, you can start it in target disk mode, copy data off, re-install patches etc etc, I use this feature quite alot, but on the current MacBooks, and the MacBookAir's, I can't.
  • Reply 17 of 56
    .mac.mac Posts: 44member
    wow amazing... we can expect more from the next macbook refresh !



    i am saving my money to get a new macbook next summer with Lion pre installed

  • Reply 18 of 56
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    Only the genius over at Apple engineering could have thought of this. Great feature, I love it.
  • Reply 19 of 56
    Next, let's do this with MBP's. Keep the optical drives for the MacBooks and iMacs, let's give the MBP ridiculously long battery life.



    I'm still operating on the early '08 MBP, with 2-4 hour battery life. Won't be upgrading for another two years or so, would love a huge jump in battery life if I did.



    Most CD/DVDs are coming with a digital download in terms of music and movies, and if I buy the CD I don't feel bad about downloading a copy of the album off the internet - I have little to no use for DVDs if they bring the USB restore to all Macs.
  • Reply 20 of 56
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Drow_Swordsman View Post


    Next, let's do this with MBP's. Keep the optical drives for the MacBooks and iMacs, let's give the MBP ridiculously long battery life.



    I'm still operating on the early '08 MBP, with 2-4 hour battery life. Won't be upgrading for another two years or so, would love a huge jump in battery life if I did.



    Most CD/DVDs are coming with a digital download in terms of music and movies, and if I buy the CD I don't feel bad about downloading a copy of the album off the internet - I have little to no use for DVDs if they bring the USB restore to all Macs.



    Hear, Hear!



    I would settle for a single external ODD to use across all Macs (like I share a single printer) -- to support the occasional DVD creation for others, or reading a DVD received from others.



    .
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