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iCloud: "Find My Mac" service is dimmed, "Recovery system update required" appears in OS X Lion v10.7.2 or later

Symptoms

In the iCloud pane of System Preferences for OS X Lion v10.7.2 or later, "Find My Mac" may be dimmed and not selectable, with "Recovery system update required." text and an "Update" button.

Clicking the "Update…" button opens Software Update, which may show an "OS X Recovery Update" to install. Or, Software Update may state "Your software is up to date."  If Software Updates shows an "OS X Recovery Update" to install and you attempt an installation, it may appear to complete the installation. However, iCloud's "Find My Mac" service remains dimmed and "Recovery system update required" continues to appear. Clicking the "Update…" button again opens Software Update that may continue to show an "OS X Recovery Update" to install.

Resolution

Use these steps:

  1. Restart your Mac and immediately press the Command and R keys. Your Mac should start from the OS X recovery partition.
  2. Open Disk Utility and click your OS X volume, typically named "Macintosh HD". Note: If FileVault 2 is enabled, you will need to click "Unlock" on the toolbar, and then enter your admin password to unlock the drive.
  3. Click the "Repair Disk" button and let Disk Utility complete a repair of the drive.

    If you are unable to complete a repair of the drive

    1. Start your Mac from an external Recovery Disk. See this article for details and information about how to download the tool needed to create an external OS X Recovery Disk.
    2. Open Disk Utility on the external OS X Recovery Disk and then click your OS X volume, typically called "Macintosh HD." Note: If FileVault 2 is enabled, you will need to click "Unlock" on the toolbar, and then enter your admin password to unlock the drive.
    3. Click the "Repair Disk" button and let Disk Utility complete a repair of the drive.

      If you are unable to complete a repair of the drive while started from an external OS X Recovery Disk

      1. Restart your Mac normally.
      2. Back up your Mac via Time Machine.
      3. Start your Mac from an external OS X Recovery Disk. See this article for details and information about how to download the tool needed to create an external OS X Recovery Disk.
      4. Open Disk Utility on the external OS X Recovery Disk.
      5. Repartition and reformat your OS X volume. This will erase all information on the volume.
      6. Install OS X from your external Recovery Disk.
      7. At first startup, when you have an option to migrate data from a backup, choose the Time Machine backup to restore the user account and data.
      8. Use Software Update and install all updates until Software Update reports "Your software is up to date." Once all updates are installed, the "Find My Mac" service should be selectable.
      9. If the "Find My Mac" service is still dimmed, take your Mac to an Apple Genius or Apple Authorized Service Provider to have the drive serviced.
  4. Restart your Mac and let it start up normally.
  5. Download and install the manual update "Recovery Update;" see this article.
Last Modified: Jul 14, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jul 14, 2014
  • Article: TS4065
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