replacing internal disk under Mavericks

Discussion in 'Apple' started by J Burns, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. J Burns

    J Burns Guest

    When I set up Time Machine, I thought it put a Recovery volume on the
    disk. I thought that if I had to replace my internal disk, I could boot
    from my the Recovery volume on my Time Machine disk and set up my
    internal disk from there.

    In fact, my Time Machine disk has an EFI volume but no Recovery. If I
    had to install a blank internal disk, what would be the procedure to get
    my system and files onto it?
    J Burns, Apr 9, 2014
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  2. J Burns

    David Empson Guest

    You're looking in the wrong place.

    (For those doing network backups with Time Machine, the following only
    applies to a directly-connected Time Machine backup drive, and it was a
    new feature in OS X 10.7.2.)

    Time Machine keeps a copy of the recovery partition in a hidden folder
    on the same volume as the backups, not as a separate partition on the
    backup drive.

    It can store multiple recovery sets, e.g. for different computers or OS
    versions which need different versions of the recovery partition.

    The copies of the recovery partition are here:


    Inside that are sequence numbered folders (0, 1, ...) each of which
    contains a copy of a recovery partition.

    The volume containing the TM backup is bootable, and the boot code (in
    the hidden "tmbootpicker.efi" at the top level of the drive) works out
    which recovery set it should use for the computer, by looking inside
    each one to find the latest one compatible with the Mac which is booting
    from the TM backup drive.

    Once booted into the TM copy of the recovery partition, the usual
    interface is available for restoring from the TM backup, running disk
    utility, running a limited Safari, or downloading the full OS X

    One oddity I noticed with mine is that my previous MacBook Pro put a
    10.7.3 recovery set on the TM backup drive, but it was never updated or
    replaced with a later version, even after I upgraded that computer to
    10.8. That might have been because the 10.7.3 recovery partition was
    sufficient to restore or repair 10.8.

    My Late 2013 MacBook Pro running Mavericks added a 10.9 recovery set,
    which was required because the existing recovery set wasn't able to boot
    this model (and might have been needed anyway if 10.9 needs a newer
    recovery partition to restore correctly).
    Even if TM didn't have a copy of the recovery partition, most Mac models
    introduced from mid 2011 (and a few earlier ones that got firmware
    updates) are able to do Internet Recovery, which downloads the recovery
    partition from Apple. This would of course require an Internet
    connection, and it may not work behind proxy servers.

    If you are planning ahead, another option is to use Apple's Recovery
    Disk Assistant to create a copy of your recovery partition on a 1 GB or
    larger USB flash drive:

    Yet another option would be to create a bootable installer for your OS X
    version on an 8 GB or larger USB flash drive, or a dual layer DVD
    (assuming you have an optical drive).
    David Empson, Apr 9, 2014
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  3. Salut J

    since about 10.7.3 "local" Time Machine Backups are bootable, no
    specific need of a recovery partition.

    The procedure would be to format the new disk.
    Put a recovery partition on to it:
    Install it to your Mac
    Boot from Time Machine Backup (keep the Option Key pressed druring start
    Rebuild from time Machine Backup

    Andreas Rutishauser, Apr 9, 2014
  4. J Burns

    J Burns Guest

    Wow! Thanks David and Andreas!
    J Burns, Apr 9, 2014
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