What is Recovery HD?
‘Recovery HD’ or ‘Lion Recovery’ is a partition that helps in recovering your Mac following logical failures. This is an invisible 650 MB bootable partition, which automatically gets created while installing Mac OS X Lion. In order to create the ‘Recovery HD’, the OS installer separates a portion of the boot drive and includes some essential utilities in it. The Mac operating system treats this partition as a separate volume, but it is not even visible to the default Mac application, the Disk Utility.
Requirements for Recovery HD creation
There are few conditions, obeying which this special partition can be created. The ‘Recovery HD’ is created by the OS installer only when you install the Mac OS X Lion onto an internal hard drive, which has been initialized with the GUID partition scheme. Apart from this, the internal hard drive must have a single partition or in case of multi-partition, it must be partitioned using Boot Camp Assistant. Moreover, the drives with Boot Camp partitions must not be further modified.
How Recovery HD is Helpful?
The Recovery HD can be immensely helpful, when your Mac encounters any serious trouble and you fail to boot from your start-up volume. In such situations, you can boot from Recovery HD and perform few really workable trouble shooting operations, without looking for any OS X installation disc. In brief, this OS X recovery helps in repairing and reinstalling Mac OS X, without needing a physical installation disc. As Recovery HD is invisible to Disk Utility, it is free from any accidental modification or deletion. Moreover, this partition is not even lost after formatting the drive and retains various information that can be helpful in fixing logical errors, restoring lost files, browsing web, reinstall the Lion operating system etc.
How to Boot from Recovery HD
There are two methods to access the recovery mode of Recovery HD.
- Restart Mac, while holding down the ‘Command+R’ keys.
- If the above method fails, you follow the below method:
- Restart your Mac while pressing down the ‘Option’ key until it displays the Start-up Manager with all connected bootable volumes. You can find one of the volumes labeled as ‘Recovery HD’.
- Select the volume and click the upward-pointing arrow below it. This will boot Recovery HD within few minutes and the Mac OS X Utilities screen is displayed.
Options Available in the Recovery Mode
On successful booting, the Recovery HD shows the below four options to perform:
- Restore From Time Machine Backup
- Reinstall Mac OS X
- Get Help Online
- Disk Utility