New MBA Bootable Backup- How big?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Scylax, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Scylax macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    Got my brand new MBA today. I want to make a bootable backup asap, since internet recovery will never be feasible for me (I dread to think how long it would take over my often 5kb per second connection). Ideally I want to use a flashdrive. I have read the posts here about it, but I'm still not clear how much space it needs to backup lion- will an 8GB drive be big enough? Apologies if someone has already dealt with this, but I couldn't find a clear consensus.

  2. idroid84 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    I currently have a 4024 sync, which is around 4MB and it's took 7 hours (was using the connection on another system at the time for browsing e.t.c).

    If you browse your system can you see a file called InstallESD.dmg? It should be in a folder somewhere, maybe do a search? This file needs burning or copying to an external device as this is the OS.
  3. sloan47 macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2011
    I have a 13" 2011 Ultimate and this terminal command: "diskutil list" gives me the following:

    0: GUID_partition_scheme *251.0 GB disk0
    1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
    2: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD 200.0 GB disk0s2
    3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3
    4: Microsoft Basic Data 50.1 GB disk0s4

    (Note, I have a 50gig bootcamp partition)

    SO... my recovery hd looks like it's 650 MB. You could just do a DD copy of disk0s3 and back it up that way.

    EDIT: That *does* seem really small to be a recovery partition but I'm not sure what compression they are using. :/
  4. idroid84 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    disk0s3 is just the recovery tools not the OS. On the new MBA's the OS is required to be downloaded from the net before install but once the first recovery has been done you can restore the system from the InstallESD.dmg file that it gets during download.

    I'm sick as I have been downloading it for hours now and it keeps getting chunk validation failed errors, but then its fine and then bombs out again on each chunk.

    Also disk0s3 (Recovery HD) get's installed on OS install.
  5. sloan47 macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2011
    That makes sense. I'll dig around a bit more and figure out where it all lives.
  6. idroid84, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011

    idroid84 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    I have been reading up on it all from this morning 10AM, it's now 11:30PM. I have also been on the phone to support. The new lion usb boot disks are not for the new macbook air 11" or 13" since these models are OTA only at present.

    Here is something useful, very important.
    IF lion model = 11A2063 OSX Lion, then currently Internet Restore Mode only
    Unless, done once and InstallESD.dmg is backed up.

    else = 11A511 or 11A2061 OSX Lion, then App Store/developer OS release can be used.

    This may help;
  7. sloan47 macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2011
    Well I stumbled upon this: (nevermind...)

    It looks promising.

    EDIT: *sigh* Not enough coffee for today. That's the old MBA. Sorry..
  8. idroid84 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    I have some rather interesting info, when using the Internet recovery.... it deletes the restore image InstallESD.dmg. I have looked for the links from the logs where it pulls it from, I found a link but can't download the dmg file because it must be using some secure file transfer protocol to pull the image down.

    My macbook is now restored but took 7 hours in total to download the 4GB image. I am awaiting a phone call from Apple Support with how to make a USB boot. I will be asking about offline restores. I will update everyone with any info I find.
  9. idroid84 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    OK, I have spoke to a member of the Apple Support. They appologised about the restore taking so long to restore and they have asked if everyone could fill out a feedback regards to the restore on and how they feel and if they require any new functions.

    This is to allow the team to sort out an offline image, however I have also been informed that a Time Machine backup does MAC OS X restores from partitions / files so I suggest people use TM for now.

    There is currently no solution to give their users the OS or if there will be even a USB feature in the future.

    I hope this helps people who ask about creating a restore offline.

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