Recovery Mode and OS versions?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Texas_Toast, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Texas_Toast macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    Let's say that my Mac came loaded with Lion and then I upgraded to Mavericks and decided to stick with that version. Then later on, my hard-drive crashed and after installing anew HDD, I was forced to use the Recovery Mode to reinstall my OS.

    My understanding is that boot Cmd+R would reinstall the OS that came with my Mac (e.g. OS-X Lion).

    If my hardware was capatible - and let's assume it was - I could also go to the App Store and install High Sierra as well.

    But in 2018, what if I wanted to get back to Mavericks? Is there a way to do that using Recovery Mode?

    My suspicion is "No" because Apple would have removed all older OS versions and I would only have access to either OS-X Lion via Recovery Mode or High Sierra via the App Store.

    Is that correct?
     
  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #2
    This will answer your questions: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904
    In summary, using internet recovery, you can either restore your computer to its original operating system (or the closest to it), or the most current that computer supports. If your computer has never had 10.12.4 or later installed on it, internet recovery will always only install the original operating system.
     
  3. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    That doesn't answer my origin question...

    I asked if it was correct that there isn't a way to get back to an "in between" OS version.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Unless you have it saved on a USB key, no.
     
  5. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    In the link above, it says...

    If my old MBP came with Mountain Lion, and I had since upgraded it to El Capitan, and then I have to use Recovery Mode to reinstall my OS, would that mean I got the original original OS (i.e. Mountain Lion) or "the latest macOS that was installed" which would be El Capitan?
     
  6. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #6
    The support link is for drives that have a Recovery Partition on it. So, in the case of a new HDD with no recovery partition, there is no intermediate OS to install to.

    If you have a Time Machine backup, you can boot to that and restore from it (TM drive will have a Recovery Partition). Or use a USB stick with an installer for OS desired. Or have a clone handy to restore back.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    In your scenario you explained in post #1, you said you put in a new hard drive. The command-r recovery is run from the hard drive and will not work with a new, blank drive. So that leaves you with command-option-r Internet recovery and in your scenario that will give you the OS version that came from the factory... and that is Mountain Lion.

    Note as @chrfr mentioned, this all works differently if you have installed 10.12.4 or later.
     
  8. Texas_Toast, Mar 31, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018

    Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    Good catch!


    The more I read and re-read the link above, the more it confuses me...

    If you read that literally, it implies that Command+R somehow knows what the latest version of OS you had on your Mac when you rebuild things.

    For example, let's say my Mac came with Mountain Lion and I upgraded to El Capitan then my OS became corrupt, so I used the "Recovery Partition" to reinstall my OS. The way things are worded above, it makes it sound like when I upgraded to El Capitan, that the "Recovery Partition" also got upgraded, so that when I run Command+R, it would reinstall El Capitan even though my old Mac originally shipped with Mountain Lion.

    Yes or no?


    This makes even less sense, because my old MBP is technically compatible with High Sierra, so again, if I read what Apple is saying literally, it implies that running Option+Command+R would download and install High Sierra on my old MBP if I had installed a new HDD and then ran "Internet Recovery"?

    Not trying to be a pain, just trying to learn how Command+R and Option+Command+R really work.

    (BTW, nothing crashed, just trying to learn more!)


    ********
    Added: I didn't see this footnote for Option+Command+R...

    So if my HDD crashed on my old MBP, and I used "Internet Recovery" (Option+Command+R), then I guess it would reinstall Mountain Lion on my new HDD in my old MBP since that is what was originally on my old MBP originally? (Assuming Mountain Lion is still available as an "Internet Recovery" option.)
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Correct. When you update, it updates the recovery partition on the drive also, so a command-r boot and install will install El Capitan if you have the El Capitan recovery partition on the drive.

    Correct. Again, all this assumes you did not install Sierra 10.12.4, because that changes how this all works.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    OP wrote in reply 3 above:
    "I asked if it was correct that there isn't a way to get back to an "in between" OS version."

    There is a way to do this, and here's how you guarantee that the OS installation is the one you WANT:
    You save an archive of ALL OS versions and their installers.
    I have such an archive and it goes all the way back to OS 10.3 "Panther".

    When you want to restore, you select from that archive and install that way.
    Any Mac user who wants to be considered a "serious" Mac user will build and maintain such an archive.

    Problems... solved.
     
  11. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    Wow, thought I had recovery mastered, but every time I come here I learn more and more!

    Thanks @Weaselboy! :apple:
    --- Post Merged, Apr 1, 2018 ---
    Yes, I am aware of that. (The reason for my OP was because I am dinking around with creating an installer, and wanted to make sure I understood how everything works in the past.)

    BTW, when you say "archive", what exactly do you mean? Do you mean generically or something specific like with Time Machine or something else?
     
  12. mikzn macrumors 6502a

    mikzn

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #12
    you can archive each OSX version - keep a copy of the disk image or downloaded installer app on a back up drive.

    Another option is check the app store - I have Lion, Mavericks, and El Capitan showing under the purchased tab of the app store and available to download.
     

Share This Page