can I create a recovery USB drive for MBA 2013?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by arrowtree, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. arrowtree macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2013
    can I create a recovery USB drive for MBA 2013?

    I dont' have my MBA yet. I want to create an image of the SSD before I start doing anything. (or is that Windows talking?) :)

    I was told that current MBA does not come with the USB recovery dongle?
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The new MBAs don't come with a recovery USB drive. You can make your own though. Follow this convoluted process to grab the installer. Then use DiskMaker X and a blank 8GB USB key to make your recovery drive.

    You don't really have to do any of this if you don't want though. Even from a new, blank drive your machine can boot from firmware and redownload the OS over the Internet. Some like to make the USB key as a 5GB download would be a little rough on the road from a hotel wifi for example.

    Here is a good article that explains how recovery works.

    Also, you should get yourself a USB external drive and just use the included Time Machine backup software to backup your system. That too can be used to fully restore to a new drive.
  3. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Yeah, Apple wants you to do everything over the Internet, which is kind of rough if you don't have a speedy connection or when disaster strikes and of course that's when your Internet fails. Once I tried an Internet restore and took over 2 hours! on my 2.5 mb DSL.

    USB dongle is good for once-off, but I keep an old USB external drive to keep several versions of my backups.

    From Wintel, I used Ghost. Great that I can restore my machine in 15 minutes, settings and everything. Now OSX I use Carbon Copy Cloner for the same purpose.
  4. mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Personally, I think making USB recovery drives is a waste of time and resources these days (chucking a perfectly good 8GB thumb drive in the desk drawer) unless you administer a large number of Macs on a regular basis.

    I downloaded the Mavericks install image and copied it onto an external hard drive. If I ever need to install from scratch, I can just make the USB recovery drive when needed rather than wasting an 8GB key.

    Per Weaselboy, a more sane approach is to restore from a full Time Machine backup.

    Another option would be to clone your drive to a spare external drive using a utility like Carbon Copy Cloner. I actually keep one Mountain Lion drive and one Snow Leopard drive around.

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