'Internet Recovery' Lets New Macs Install OS X from Blank Hard Drive

Newly-introduced Macs -- namely Mac minis and MacBook Airs introduced today -- have a new feature called "Internet Recovery" that downloads and installs OS X Lion even if your Mac has a failed or blank hard drive.

internet
Much of the concern around Lion being download-only (though it will be available via USB key) was how to do a clean install after a hard drive replacement, for instance. For new Macs, it sounds like it will be very easy.

Lion Internet Recovery lets you start your Mac directly from Apple's Servers. 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. From there, you are offered all the same utilities and functions [as Lion Recovery].

This new Internet Recovery then passes off to the standard Lion Recovery mode that is available to all OS X Lion installed Macs.

Internet Recovery is only available on newly-introduced Macs. Existing Mac owners faced with a completely blank drive will have to reinstall Snow Leopard first, or install Lion from self-made DVD or Apple-sold USB key.

Top Rated Comments

ipedro Avatar
133 months ago
I called it :)

I called it in May (https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=12650332&highlight=#post12650332) :cool:


Are you guys sure you're Apple users? Think Different.

I believe that Apple will put permanent code on your Mac that will allow you to download the OS without disks or even a bootable partition. Remember that MacBookAir and probably future MacBookPro's don't have optical drives. One way to do it is to modify the firmware to include a very rudimentary Mac App Store so that if you boot without an OS present, you can log in with your AppleID and the firmware will download Lion and install on a fresh HDD. A 1MB piece of code could do this and can fit on the firmware chip so that even if you swap out the HDD, you can boot without a disk.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gen Avatar
133 months ago
Just another sign the iPad 3 is coming this fall!

why?...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wordoflife Avatar
133 months ago
It seemed like Apple first forgot about this entirely, but I'm glad they figured something [elegant] out. Gotta love that EFI.
Edit: darn, looks like it's only with new Macs from this day onwards.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeekLawyer Avatar
133 months ago
Wow. Thank you, massive NC server farm.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nishi100 Avatar
133 months ago
I called it in May (https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=12650332&highlight=#post12650332) :cool:
This made me laugh:

Posted by Bear Your suggestion is just so laughable. There is not enough room in the firmware memory to do something like that. Just think of everything that's needed in that space. That includes the public keys for the App Store.

Also, it needs to be code that can handle net interruptions and the like. And the amount of time to download an OS from the internet is not trivial.

For people who know what they're doing, have an bootable Lion DVD (or USB stick) makes sense.

For people who don't know what they're doing - they will get a bad hard disk replaced by Apple. And Apple will help them do that recovery at least up to a certain point. And hopefully they have a time machine backup to help them the rest of the way.
Just another way that Apple pushes the boundaries, and finds other (better) way around problems.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kolax Avatar
133 months ago
So instead of taking 30 mins to do a fresh install, it'll take 30 mins + up to 3 hours depending on your internet connection!

Apple should just have a utility to create your own USB key. I know it can be done quite easily, but Apple should have an official way.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
ted lasso notchless phone

No, That Notchless iPhone Spotted in 'Ted Lasso' Isn't the iPhone 13

Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production. Notchless ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...