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Old May 2, 2013, 03:57 AM   #1
macrumors 68030
wonderspark's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Find My Mac without Recovery Partition

Ok, so this is interesting...

I have two 2012 MacBook Pros. I cloned over the original HDDs (using SuperDuper!) in both of them to SSDs, and then swapped them into the cMBPs. When I did this, neither laptop had a recovery partition any longer.

I went to the iCloud 'Find My Mac' webpage, and it found my iPhone, but no laptops, as expected.

So, I thought it would be fun to reinstall the Recovery Partition on the 15", just to see how Find My Mac works. I did so using Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC), and now I have the Recovery Partition on one of the two SSDs in the 15", but it's still not on the 13". I went back to Find My Mac, and now BOTH of the laptops are showing the location!

This intrigues me, because the 13" is in Brighton, UK... where I left it. My girlfriend there used it when she woke up a couple hours ago, and it shows that it's greyed out/offline, but last seen there two hours ago. I suppose she turned it off or it's asleep. The thing is, there is no recovery partition on that Mac, so how is Find My Mac seeing it?

When I boot into the second SSD on the 15", the one without a recovery partition, it shows that it's still active. It seems it should be greyed out. I expected it to show up as 'last seen X minutes ago' since I'm booted into the SSD without that partition installed.

Both laptops are named identically, which may have something to do with it, but I just find it really, really curious that it can see that 13" MBP over there in England without a recovery partition on it, and that it DIDN'T see it until I reinstalled it on the 15".

How is this possible? I submit that Find My Mac does NOT require a Recovery Partition, and that there is some other code somewhere that is actually allowing the device to be found. Thoughts?
Wait a second... So you're telling me anything that happens in the sky is legal, and there's a giant crime-blimp flying around this place? I don't know how I missed that.
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Old May 2, 2013, 04:03 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: 7 Km South of an active upside down (boat) volcano.
The Recovery Partition has nothing to do with it AFAIK, it is the Hardware/Firmware (Not HD/SSD) and your AppleID which makes this work.

Edit: Now I think of it, maybe I am wrong, there is a long thread here on bypassing locked Macs and they warn you not to wipe the disk, says something about encrypted data on the disk somewhere, this indeed may be on the Recovery HD and/or the normal partition.

Last edited by justperry; May 2, 2013 at 04:09 AM.
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