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tywebb13

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Apr 21, 2012
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Updating to 10.12.4 via the mac app store or delta or combo updater will not update the recovery partition.

However for many years since 10.7.2 we have been able to update it for EVERY point release using the method I describe below - and 10.12.4 is no exception.

Also with 10.12.4 there is a new functionality of macOS Recovery:

Command-R : Reinstall the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac, without upgrading to a later version.

Option-Command-R : Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac. (whereas for previous versions this reinstalls the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available.)

Shift-Option-Command-R : Reinstall the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available.

More documentation on this change to macOS Recovery with the 10.12.4 version is here: https://support.apple.com/HT204904

So here is how to update the sierra recovery partition to a 10.12.4 version:

1. Download the Lion Recovery Update from https://support.apple.com/kb/dl1464?locale=en_US . Put it into the downloads folder if it is not there already.

2. Download the full Sierra 10.12.4 installer from the mac app store and right click on the Install macOS Sierra.app file and click Show Package Contents. Go to Contents/SharedSupport/. Copy the InstallESD.dmg file into your Downloads folder.

3. Download and decompress the file recovery.sh.zip from http://4unitmaths.com/recovery.sh.zip and move recovery.sh into your Downloads folder if it's not there already.

4. Open Terminal and type the following commands:

chmod +x ~/Downloads/recovery.sh

sudo ~/Downloads/recovery.sh

5. Wait a few minutes for it to finish and return back to a prompt. Reboot with holding down the option key to test your 10.12.4 recovery partition.

Here are before and after photos:

Before:

recovery10.12.3.png


After:

recovery10.12.4.png
 
Last edited:

chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
11,831
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Also with 10.12.4 there is a new functionality of macOS Recovery:

Command-R : Reinstall the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac, without upgrading to a later version.

Option-Command-R : Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac. (whereas for previous versions this reinstalls the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available.)

Shift-Option-Command-R : Reinstall the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available.

More documentation on this change to macOS Recovery with the 10.12.4 version is here: https://support.apple.com/HT204904
This change to internet recovery functionality is done in firmware, and doesn't require updating the recovery partition to work.
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
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Apr 21, 2012
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This change to internet recovery functionality is done in firmware, and doesn't require updating the recovery partition to work.

Yes well of those three key combinations only the first one, i.e., Command-R, boots up the recovery partition which is currently installed on your computer. It is this one which can be updated to a 10.12.4 version using the method I wrote about in the first post in this thread.

The other two, Option-Command-R and Shift-Option-Command-R are two different versions of internet recovery, the former being to install the latest version supported by the mac and the latter to install the version which came with the mac, or the one closest to it which is still available. Both of these would work independently of whether the recovery partition had been updated or not.
 

daihard

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2008
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Seattle, WA
Where do I see the recovery partition? I went to Disk Utility --> Partition but only saw the main partition that takes up the entire SSD.
 

tywebb13

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Apr 21, 2012
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Where do I see the recovery partition? I went to Disk Utility --> Partition but only saw the main partition that takes up the entire SSD.

The main partition doesn't take up the entire SSD. There is a recovery partition which is usually invisible to Disk Utility.

Nevertheless you can make it visible in Terminal.

Just type the following command in terminal and you will be given infomation on your partitions, including the recovery partition:

diskutil list

Furthermore you can mount it as follows:

diskutil mount /dev/disk0s3

(or instead of disk0s3, if your Recovery HD has a different identifier as reported in the previous command, use that instead)
 
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daihard

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2008
973
7
Seattle, WA
The main partition doesn't take up the entire SSD. There is a recovery partition which is usually invisible to Disk Utility.

Nevertheless you can make it visible in Terminal.

Just type the following command in terminal and you will be given infomation on your partitions, including the recovery partition:

diskutil list

Furthermore you can mount it as follows:

diskutil mount /dev/disk0s3

(or instead of disk0s3, if your Recovery HD has a different identifier as reported in the previous command, use that instead)
Nice! Thanks for the tips. I see that my recovery partition is on /dev/disk0s3 as well.
 

davvanc

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2015
56
6
Where do I see the recovery partition? I went to Disk Utility --> Partition but only saw the main partition that takes up the entire SSD.
Edit: Tywebb13 got his post above in while I was typing in the dark! And his solution is better!
1. You can "see" that you have that partition by: Pull down the Apple menu, and select "About this Max"
Then choose the "System Report" item, followed by selecting the SATA/SATA Express item on the left. That will give you a list of drives installed. Unfortunately, you cannot see the version of the partition there.
2. You can try booting up with the option key held down, which will show you a line of connected drives, internal and external, if your Mac does not use Apple's Core Storage system. Core Storage is used for Macs that have fusion drives, etc., but somehow you cannot see the connected drives if Core Storage is enabled.
It is possible to undo the Core Storage setting, but that will be dangerous if you have a fusion drive, so don't do it unless you know what you are doing.
Tywebb13's method works:D, so don't worry about not seeing the recovery partition. You can access it even if you cannot see it.:cool:
 
Last edited:

dianeoforegon

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
907
137
Oregon
Furthermore you can mount it as follows:

diskutil mount /dev/disk0s3

(or instead of disk0s3, if your Recovery HD has a different identifier as reported in the previous command, use that instead)

After mounting the recovery drive, select drive in Finder > Get Info to find version.
Recovery Drive Version Get Info.png
 
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tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 21, 2012
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After mounting the recovery drive, select drive in Finder > Get Info to find version.
View attachment 694125

Another way to do this is to open the folder com.apple.recovery.boot and inside is a file called SystemVersion.plist. Open that with textedit and near the bottom you will see the version of the recovery partition is listed as

<key>ProductVersion</key>
<string>10.12.4</string>
 

m4v3r1ck

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2011
2,416
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The Netherlands
FWIW! A more permanent solution for showing ALL partitions in Disk Utility.

After the below terminal command you'll be able to see and check the "Show every partition" option, making ALL partitions visible!

Enable the Debug Menu in Disk Utility
  1. Quit Disk Utility if it is open.
  2. Launch Terminal, located at /Applications/Utilities.
  3. Enter the following command at the Terminal prompt: defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled 1.
  4. Press enter or return.
  5. Close Terminal.
YMW!

Cheers
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 21, 2012
2,671
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FWIW! A more permanent solution for showing ALL partitions in Disk Utility.

After the below terminal command you'll be able to see and check the "Show every partition" option, making ALL partitions visible!

Enable the Debug Menu in Disk Utility
  1. Quit Disk Utility if it is open.
  2. Launch Terminal, located at /Applications/Utilities.
  3. Enter the following command at the Terminal prompt: defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled 1.
  4. Press enter or return.
  5. Close Terminal.
YMW!

Cheers

Are you sure that works in sierra?

My understanding of it is that this stopped working in el capitan. So I'd be surprised if it started working again in sierra.

There is a workaround, which is to install a modified version of the yosemite version of disk utility into el capitan or sierra and run it from there, but that is not only undesirable, but also dangerous and so is not recommended.
 
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m4v3r1ck

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2011
2,416
416
The Netherlands
Apologies Tywebb13! I totally disregarded the OS! Yes, this terminal tweak I posted is in Mac OS X 10.10.5, the OS I'm still on.

Cheers
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 21, 2012
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The method is still working for 10.12.5.

I updated the recovery partition, version 10.12.5 now:

recovery10.12.5.jpg
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G5
May 16, 2015
13,222
7,425
Is there any benefit of upgrading recovery partition version to the latest one?

I am in a battle against iTunes so can't upgrade Mac OS X at all but still wonder to know.
 

dianeoforegon

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
907
137
Oregon
I updated to Sierra beta build 1 (16G8c) this AM. Just checked my Recovery Drive and it is showing 10.12.6 without me doing anything.
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 21, 2012
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I updated to Sierra beta build 1 (16G8c) this AM. Just checked my Recovery Drive and it is showing 10.12.6 without me doing anything.

Sometimes apple make an update for the recovery partition available to developers via the mac app store, but not always.

It is a more convenient method, but is certainly not available for all point releases.

I don't think that it is available for 10.12.6 build 16G8c though. Are you sure it is the recovery partition version that is 10.12.6, or is it just the system version?

If it is the recovery partition version then this would be a new way to update it.
 

dianeoforegon

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
907
137
Oregon
Are you sure it is the recovery partition version that is 10.12.6, or is it just the system version?

If it is the recovery partition version then this would be a new way to update it.

Yes, it is the recovery partition. I'm on public beta too. Perhaps this is a new feature.
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 21, 2012
2,671
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Yes, it is the recovery partition. I'm on public beta too. Perhaps this is a new feature.

That would be a cool feature. If it happens for all point releases it would obviate the need to use a separate method to update the recovery partition.

Even though it would render the method in this thread obsolete, nevertheless I support the idea that the recovery partition automatically gets updated at the same time as the rest of the system.
 

lumos

macrumors member
Mar 10, 2016
91
66
Hello, I have updated the recovery partition. Now I see the correct icon and version but when I press the icon, the recovery partition does not boot.
It show the follow icon.

Please, anyone has a fix?

Thank you.
 

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