Creating a Restore Partition for Mac OS X

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ikonq, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. ikonq macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2006
    Hi all,

    This is an endearing little 'feature' of some Windows notebooks that I can't help but find myself wishing I had from time to time on my Macs. I wanted to pick the community's brains as to how you would set this up...

    For those not in the know, a restore partition is essentially a partition (sometimes hidden) that contains an OS installer. It's quite common on Windows Machines. I'd love to be able to have a bootable OS X Installer on my MacBook Air's SSD– Just so I have the flexibility of reinstalling, or booting from the 'install disk' wherever i please, regardless of whether I have the MBA Superdrive with me.

    I would think that the solution is basically making an image of the OS X 10.6 installer. Partitioning the MBA SSD, restoring the OS X 10.6 installer onto the smaller 'Restore Partition'. Potentially even calling the smaller partition ".Mac OS X Restore", as the period at the beginning of the volume name will stop it from appearing on the finder desktop.

    So macrumors forum members, How would you do this? What problems can you foresee?
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    That's fine for if you screw something up in software, but what if the HDD goes bad?

    There's nothing stopping you from doing it. Just partition your disk and then install the OS to that partition.
  3. ikonq thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2006
    @Tallest Skil,

    I have an external backup. If something goes majorly bad, I can reinstall from DVD and restore data from external HDD. (Or if something goes majorly majorly bad, then I let Applecare deal with it.)

    Having a restore partition onboard is just about convenience for me.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    There is restore partition in Windows laptops because they don't give you Windows disks anymore. You get OS X disks with Mac
  5. ikonq thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2006
    I am aware of this. I'd like to replicate this on my Mac, as it's more convenient than keeping discs and an external drive with me.
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Well, it's no problem whatsoever. Use Disk Utility, create a partition that is big enough, insert the installer disk, copy it to the new partition with Disk Utility. The only thing this won't copy is the Windows drivers for Bootcamp; an original installer DVD is very cleverly formatted so that a Mac sees it as a Macintosh DVD, and Windows sees it as a Windows DVD containing drivers for Bootcamp.

    I've done the same but on my Backup drive, so that I don't need to look for the installer disks if something goes wrong.
  7. ikonq thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2006

    I thought that would be the case. Thanks for the verification. :)

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