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

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
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 you?ve 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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I was kind of hoping they?d 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. I?ll 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 can?t find my DVD or thumb drive!
  • Reply 2 of 63
    kfurykfury Posts: 13member
    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*
  • Reply 3 of 63
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Who else thinks this is scary?
  • Reply 4 of 63
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,236member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Who else thinks this is scary?



    Having an irrational fear of the Internet is scary.
  • Reply 5 of 63
    doh123doh123 Posts: 323member
    I'd rather have a recovery utility on a bootable USB stick...
  • Reply 6 of 63
    Does this mean internet recovery isnt available for other macs than mini and air?
  • Reply 7 of 63
    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...
  • Reply 8 of 63
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 63
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    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. "
  • Reply 10 of 63
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 63
    sasparillasasparilla Posts: 121member
    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).
  • Reply 12 of 63
    prwprw Posts: 31member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 63
    prwprw Posts: 31member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 63
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    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...
  • Reply 18 of 63
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 63
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 63
    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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