Apple debuts Lion Recovery; lets users repair disks or reinstall Mac OS X Lion without physical disc

Apple’s just-released Mac OS X Lion includes a new feature that lets you restore system software to your Mac with just a few clicks, without having to bother with install discs or drives.

Built right into OS X Lion, Lion Recovery lets you repair disks or reinstall OS X Lion without the need for a physical install disc. Since Lion Recovery is built into your Mac, it’s always there when you need it. Even if you don’t need it, it’s good to know it’s there. And you don’t have to search through original packaging to find install DVDs to get your Mac back up and running.

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Just hold down Command-R during startup and Lion Recovery springs into action. It lets you choose from common utilities: You can run Disk Utility to check or repair your hard drive, erase your hard drive and reinstall a fresh copy of Lion, or restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup. You can even use Safari to get help from Apple Support online. And if Lion Recovery encounters problems, it will automatically connect to Apple over the Internet.

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. Internet Recovery is built into every newly-released Mac starting with the Mac mini and MacBook Air.

More info and download link for Mac OS X Lion via Apple’s Mac App Store here.


  1. I’m just glad they have a usb install version (phew!)

    I can just imagine going on a trip somewhere there is /no/ internet and accidentally nuking my hard disk!

  2. So that means it’s in the firmware then? If a hard drive dies and it’s still able to connect over the Internet, there’s got to be something in firmware. And in that case, it won’t work on older Macs (read: any Mac that did not ship with Lion). Right?

    Am I missing something here?

    1. Nevermind, somehow missed that last line.

      A good plan, but still an issue for people with other Macs. And from what I’ve seen, no one has been able to burn the Lion disk image to a DVD and get it to boot.

      1. I will boot and install from an external USB, Firewire, or Thunderbolt drive.. I don’t see why a DVD wouldn’t work. But then again, I stopped using DVD’s for system recovery a few years ago.

        1. Yeah, it seems weird to me. People are saying they’ve burned it to a DVD, but when trying to boot, the drive spins up and continues to spin, but nothing actually loads.

  3. I’m fresh-installing from the disc image as we speak. There does appear to be something wrong on initial “C” boot up though. I hit power off and it went to the install screen immediately.

  4. So now you can walk up to any Mac (that doesn’t have the open firmware password set) and hold down Command-R and you have the ability (Using Password Utility) to change the password and get into any account on the box. VERIFIED. Better put open firmware passwords on your Macs…

  5. And if you want to reinstall OS X Lion without erasing your hard drive? There’s no mention of this option in the descriptions of Recovery mode that I’ve read. One thing we know for sure: One size never fits all. I smell trouble down the line.

    And for any moron tempted to reply with some half-assed version of “stop whining”: STFU.

  6. Hmm weird Eh , with a slew of recovery options it just makes me wonder … Is apple
    Forward looking or do they expect trouble ?

    Apple pls just make it SIMPLE ,,,,, what is happening to the simplicity!!

    Is it because they have been hiring Windows engineers?

    Apple just sell the Lioned USB sticks!!

  7. “Internet Recovery is built into every newly-released Mac starting with the Mac mini and MacBook Air.”

    Okay, what about my MacBook Pro I just bought two weeks ago? And the same MacBook Pro someone else will buy two weeks from now?

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