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OS X: About Recovery Disk Assistant

The Recovery Disk Assistant lets you create Recovery on an external drive that has all of the same capabilities as the built-in Recovery.

With Recovery Disk Assistant, you can create Recovery on an external drive that has all of the same capabilities as the built-in Recovery: Reinstall OS X, repair the disk using Disk Utility, restore from a Time Machine backup, or browse the web with Safari. This drive can be used in the event you cannot start your computer with the built-in Recovery HD, or you have replaced the hard drive with a new one that does not have Mac OS X installed.

System requirements

  • A Mac running OS X Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks with an existing Recovery System on its startup volume.
  • An external USB hard drive or thumb drive with at least 1GB of free space

How to use Recovery Disk Assistant

The Recovery Disk Assistant will erase all data on the external drive when creating the Recovery HD. You should either backup your data before running the Recovery Disk Assistant, or create a new partition on the external drive.

If you need to create a new partition on the external disk

  1. Open Disk Utility, located in the Utilities folder in Launchpad.
  2. Select the drive on which you would like to install the Recovery HD and add a partition. Note: Partition should be at least 1 GB in size.
  3. Click Options and make sure GUID Partition Table is selected.
  4. Make sure the format for the partition is Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  5. Click Apply.

Open Recovery Disk Assistant and follow the on screen instructions to create a Recovery HD on the external drive.

When the Recovery Disk Assistant completes, the new partition will not be visible in the Finder or Disk Utility. To access the external Recovery HD, connect the drive, then restart the computer and hold the Option key. Select Recovery HD from the Startup Manager.

Notes

  • If the computer shipped with OS X Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks, the external recovery drive may only be used with the system that created it.
  • If the system was upgraded to OS X Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks purchased from the App Store, the external recovery drive can be used with other similarly-upgraded systems.

Learn more

To download the Recovery Disk Assistant, click here.

Last Modified: Jul 14, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jul 14, 2014
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