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View Full Version : does new MBA come with a thumb drive to reformat?




unlimitedx
Jul 24, 2011, 03:23 AM
the specialist at the apple store claimed that that MBA comes with a thumb drive in the box to allow reformatting by myself. but the MBA didn't come with one and i couldn't find any reference material online to confirm..



iVeBeenDrinkin'
Jul 24, 2011, 03:27 AM
The 2010 MBA did. I haven't bought the 2011, so I am not sure. I can tell you that you do not need it. You can do a clean install of Lion with an iTunes account and an internet connection, very easy and convenient.

peskaa
Jul 24, 2011, 03:35 AM
The 2011 doesn't. There's a 650MB recovery partition on the SSD instead.

petvas
Jul 24, 2011, 03:36 AM
The 2010 MBA did. I haven't bought the 2011, so I am not sure. I can tell you that you do not need it. You can do a clean install of Lion with an iTunes account and an internet connection, very easy and convenient.

No, it doesn't come with a thumb drive. If you need to reinstall then you can use the recovery partition to do that. There is also the ability to install Lion on a new drive directly from the Internet.

SwedeMac
Jul 24, 2011, 03:37 AM
No, the new MBAs do not come with a thumb drive. Instead you get the Lion Recovery partition, that installs the OS directly off of apple's servers.

If you do want to create a bootable thumb-drive, I'm sure that's possible. Though it might require you to download the OS X Lion install file from the Mac App Store, making a disc image out of it, and using Disc Utility to create the bootable drive.

FrankHahn
Jul 24, 2011, 04:08 AM
Obviously, Apple does not provide OS thumb drive anymore for 2011 Airs. I did get one with Snow Leopard when I bought my 2010 Air in April. I already updated my 2010 Air to Lion.

unlimitedx
Jul 24, 2011, 01:27 PM
thanks, all!

ZBoater
Jul 24, 2011, 01:30 PM
No, it doesn't come with a thumb drive. If you need to reinstall then you can use the recovery partition to do that. There is also the ability to install Lion on a new drive directly from the Internet.

I tried that over the internet thing and it didn't work for me. Mainly because I couldn't find it. You can connect to a wireless network during boot up, but I am guessing that is more to access a Time Capsule or a network drive.

If you do want to create a bootable thumb-drive, I'm sure that's possible. Though it might require you to download the OS X Lion install file from the Mac App Store, making a disc image out of it, and using Disc Utility to create the bootable drive.

There is no option to create a bootable thumb drive that I could find, and the Lion build in the AppStore is a different build that what comes with the MBAs.

I too am looking for a better catastrophe recovery solution....

petvas
Jul 24, 2011, 02:15 PM
There is no option to create a bootable thumb drive that I could find, and the Lion build in the AppStore is a different build that what comes with the MBAs.

I too am looking for a better catastrophe recovery solution....

The best thing you can do is get Carbon Copy Cloner and copy your main installation to an external drive.

gostan
Jul 24, 2011, 02:24 PM
My own opinion is that for the price of admission, Apple should definitely supply a thumb drive with the 2011 MBA just as they did with the 2010 MBA. I am not satisfied with the Internet Recovery solution,
as I should have the ability to do my own self-controlled complete erase & restore when I want to, locally, without being forced to the "cloud".

ZBoater
Jul 24, 2011, 02:25 PM
The best thing you can do is get Carbon Copy Cloner and copy your main installation to an external drive.

That's not going to help me if the whole drive goes south. I need something that will let me repartition the drive so I can restore that image.

On my PC I use Acronis True Image. When you boot into the Acronis CD it has tools that let you delete/recreate partitions, etc.

It would also be nice to have something that would put the drive back to its original factory state, including the recovery partition.

mkelly
Jul 24, 2011, 02:46 PM
It would also be nice to have something that would put the drive back to its original factory state, including the recovery partition.

In addition to the recovery partition, the new MBAs (and all future Macs) have the ability to partition/download/install directly from the net, via the machine's firmware.

eg: You completely replace the drive in your machine (so no recovery partition) - you can still boot into the firmware OS installation tool and download/install Lion (and future versions of OS X).

It still requires you to have an internet connection, but you aren't stuck if you accidentally blow away your recovery partition or install a new drive.

As for me, when I pick up my new MBA next week I'm going to hook up an external USB drive (or maybe just an SD card) and use SuperDuper to make a bootable image of the default factory install as well. Because I like having a local copy of the OS to restore from, "just in case".

petvas
Jul 24, 2011, 03:09 PM
That's not going to help me if the whole drive goes south. I need something that will let me repartition the drive so I can restore that image.

On my PC I use Acronis True Image. When you boot into the Acronis CD it has tools that let you delete/recreate partitions, etc.

It would also be nice to have something that would put the drive back to its original factory state, including the recovery partition.

You would boot from the external drive into Lion, or go to the recovery partition and install Lion to your new drive.

hehe299792458
Jul 24, 2011, 03:22 PM
You would boot from the external drive into Lion, or go to the recovery partition and install Lion to your new drive.

how'd he do that if he doesn't have another mac?

aristobrat
Jul 24, 2011, 03:24 PM
If anyone's fuzzy on the specifics, Apple wrote a really good support article about Internet Recovery (which includes how to get iLife back via the App Store):
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718

petvas
Jul 24, 2011, 03:44 PM
how'd he do that if he doesn't have another mac?

Why would he need another Mac to do that? I said before that he could get an external hard drive and use Carbon Copy cloner to create a copy of his main SSD. If the SSD dies and he get a replacement, he could then use the external drive to install/recover his installation to the new SSD...(assuming that the SSD can be somehow replaced on the Macbook Air).

robby818
Jul 24, 2011, 03:48 PM
What about waiting until 10.7.1 or 10.7.2 is released. That build should support clean installation on the 2011 MBA. Is there a way to apply the update to the installer? This is called slipstreaming in the Windows world.

petvas
Jul 24, 2011, 03:56 PM
What about waiting until 10.7.1 or 10.7.2 is released. That build should support clean installation on the 2011 MBA. Is there a way to apply the update to the installer? This is called slipstreaming in the Windows world.

If doing internet recovery, then that won't be necessary. The newest build will be downloaded from the Apple servers.

stevenpa
Jul 24, 2011, 04:33 PM
My own opinion is that for the price of admission, Apple should definitely supply a thumb drive with the 2011 MBA just as they did with the 2010 MBA. I am not satisfied with the Internet Recovery solution,
as I should have the ability to do my own self-controlled complete erase & restore when I want to, locally, without being forced to the "cloud".

This, especially since I travel quite a bit and internet / speeds can be iffy a lot of times. It costs Apple almost nothing to give it to us, they just want everything to be Mac App store and make it more difficult for everyone.:mad:

aristobrat
Jul 24, 2011, 04:36 PM
This, especially since I travel quite a bit and internet / speeds can be iffy a lot of times. It costs Apple almost nothing to give it to us, they just want everything to be Mac App store and make it more difficult for everyone.:mad:
IMO, if you actually bring your Mac's restore DVDs with you every time you travel, then you're in the .0001% club. :eek:

stevenpa
Jul 24, 2011, 04:40 PM
IMO, if you actually bring your Mac's restore DVDs with you every time you travel, then you're in the .0001% club. :eek:

I would bring the jump drive, it takes up no space.

EDIT: And when you're in different areas, a lot of data is shared via jump drives, which half the time are loaded with viruses. Better to be safe than have a brick for another week with nowhere to get support.

gostan
Jul 24, 2011, 04:48 PM
Apple cannot be omitting the thumb drive in order to further enhance the bottom line profits........the only reason for the omission appears to be.........well, we all know what the real reason is......and I may be an older long time Mac user, but I purchase CD's, Blu-ray movies and some real printed books, so I want my physical recovery media!;).....

Stan

ZBoater
Jul 24, 2011, 05:15 PM
In addition to the recovery partition, the new MBAs (and all future Macs) have the ability to partition/download/install directly from the net, via the machine's firmware.

eg: You completely replace the drive in your machine (so no recovery partition) - you can still boot into the firmware OS installation tool and download/install Lion (and future versions of OS X).

It still requires you to have an internet connection, but you aren't stuck if you accidentally blow away your recovery partition or install a new drive.

I tried this, and I couldn't figure out where to make it do this. Do you have a link to some instructions?

ZBoater
Jul 24, 2011, 05:18 PM
You would boot from the external drive into Lion, or go to the recovery partition and install Lion to your new drive.

In my case I lost my recovery partition. The version of Lion that comes with the 2011 MBAs is a different build number than the one you can buy from the AppStore. I'd prefer a method that simply "resets" the machine to the way it came from the factory. Short of a trip to the Apple Store (and even they can't do it yet, as I went there yesterday to have it done and they had not received their Lion images yet) there doesn't seem to be a viable option right now.

ZBoater
Jul 24, 2011, 05:21 PM
I tried this, and I couldn't figure out where to make it do this. Do you have a link to some instructions?

Ahh, never mind. I just saw the link. All I can say is I tried that and it didn't do anything for me. :(

Lion Internet Recovery

If you happen to encounter a situation in which you cannot start from the Recovery HD, such as your hard drive stopped responding or you installed a new hard drive without Mac OS X installed, new Mac models introduced after public availability of OS X Lion automatically use the Lion Internet Recovery feature if the Recovery HD (Command-R method above) doesn't work. 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 described above.

As with the Recovery HD, reinstallation of OS X Lion from Lion Internet Recovery requires an Internet connection. See "Supported network configurations and protocols" below.

Rigby
Jul 24, 2011, 07:30 PM
Ahh, never mind. I just saw the link. All I can say is I tried that and it didn't do anything for me. :(What are you trying to do? If you still have a valid recovery partition, boot into it (Cmd-R) and choose the option to reinstall Lion. It will recreate the OS partition and download and install Lion. If your recovery partition is corrupted, the MBA firmware will detect this and first prompt you to connect to a WLAN. It will then boot a recovery system from the Apple servers, from which you can proceed with the installation as described above.

ZBoater
Jul 24, 2011, 08:06 PM
What are you trying to do? If you still have a valid recovery partition, boot into it (Cmd-R) and choose the option to reinstall Lion. It will recreate the OS partition and download and install Lion. If your recovery partition is corrupted, the MBA firmware will detect this and first prompt you to connect to a WLAN. It will then boot a recovery system from the Apple servers, from which you can proceed with the installation as described above.

The recovery partition was wiped out by an ill fated button push in Windows Disk Management. When I rebooted, the only thing left was a corrupt Windows 7 install. I held down the option key but didn't hit Cmd-R. You have to excuse my noobness, but this is my first Mac.

When do I hit the Cmd-R? I already had the MBA replaced but I am interested in learning how to access that menu!

Rigby
Jul 24, 2011, 08:21 PM
When do I hit the Cmd-R? I already had the MBA replaced but I am interested in learning how to access that menu!Just press and hold Cmd & R while booting. After 30 seconds or so you will get into the recovery system (which is essentially a stripped-down mini version of Mac OS with only a number of system utilities like the OS installer and disk utility).

ZBoater
Jul 24, 2011, 08:49 PM
Just press and hold Cmd & R while booting. After 30 seconds or so you will get into the recovery system (which is essentially a stripped-down mini version of Mac OS with only a number of system utilities like the OS installer and disk utility).

Rigby, you are a lifesaver! Too bad I didn't know this yesterday, or i would have tried it before I went to the Apple store. Are these utilities that come up resident in the hard drive do you know, or are they part of some firmware? It lets me do the restore from a Time Machine or reinstall Lion. Excellent piece of information!!!

Thank you! Today is a good day. I learned something new (and useful). :D