Resolved Reformat MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Scuba629, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Scuba629, Jun 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    Scuba629 macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    I did some searching and it looks like to reinstall Lion on my MacBook I press cmd + r while its booting up.

    If this is correct how to I wipe the drive? Is there a utility that fully formats the drive? Or does it only do a quick format?

    I'm kinda crazy when it comes to left over files and or old data do a full format is preferred.
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Make a USB Lion drive by following the steps here:

    Boot whilst holding down the Option key.

    Perform a claen install

    If you wish, format the drive first by entering disk utility from the screen that appears whilst holding down that key.

    Then shut down, insert the USB stick boot whilst holding OPTION again and re-install Lion.....Remember....You need an internet connection to do this.
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Be aware that doing this might remove your restore partition. That happened to me when I had to reformat my drive (because a Boot Camp installation was screwed up). Internet Restore still works, but having a restore partition makes things a little easier. There is a way to put the restore partition back, but I don't recall how to do that.
  4. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    I just did this last night to my MBA2010. You don't even need the USB stick if you are not in a hurry. Lion will be brought down from the Internet as well.
  5. Scuba629 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
  6. Scuba629 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    What's the restore partition? Is that the cmd+r at reboot?
  7. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    It is called "erase".

    In disc utility you get the option to do a quick erase, a 3 pass erase and a 7 pass erase.
  8. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    When you reboot while holding down Command-R, you will get several options. One is Disk Utility. If you click on that, you will see the standard Disk Utility. It will show (at least it did on mine) your hard drive and the recovery partition. Only erase the HD partition not the recovery partition.

    I have done this several times. On a 128 gig SSD, on a MBA2010, it takes about 2 - 3 hours, start to finish, with downloading everything from the Internet.
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Can I ask why?

    It worries me that people seem to have a need to completely reinstall the OS. That was a pain on Windows XP but it was easy to see why people did it. OS X doesn't have the same "registry bogging down" issues. I trust the reason for your reinstall(s) wasn't anything like that?
  10. Scuba629 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    So if I remove the recovery partition I will have to download everything from the internet each time I want to reinstall?

    Will Mountain Lion be the same way?
  11. Scuba629 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    I found the erase button but can't find the 3 or 7 pass option. Is there a sub menu? should it ask me after I click erase? Can I only do a 3 pass on the full drive?
  12. Yawn66 macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2012
    IIRC the recovery partition does not contain the installer either. It can boot your Mac and gets the stuff off Apple's servers.


    Is there any way to restore the restore partition? My understanding is you can only create the USB restore disk if your recovery partition is still working.

    And what can you do if you go out and buy an entirely new HDD? And way to set up a brand new recovery partition?
  13. Scuba629 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    Doesn't sound like the recovery partition is needed? Is there anything an average user would need it for?
  14. Yawn66 macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2012
    If you screw up your installation it will allow you to nevertheless boot your Mac and reinstall.
  15. Scuba629 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    Oh so I couldn't just reboot and use cmd+r again? Would the apple store be able I help?
  16. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    In my case, I needed to reinstall OS X because I botched the re-installation of my Boot Camp partition. :eek: While Boot Camp itself works fine, don't try to use the Windows Setup repair tools to do a clean reinstall of Windows. It will overwrite the GUID table in the boot partition, which is what tells the Mac which partition to boot into first.

    As for OS X, I have never had to reinstall it because it slowed down. However, before I sell an old Mac, I will usually "restore" it by reformatting it and reinstalling OS X.


    It makes re-installation a bit quicker since it doesn't have to download the entire OS (though it still needs Internet access to download some components).
  17. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    Troubleshooting a software problem that's unrelated to the MBA or OSX.
  18. falterego macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2008
    Southern California
    Also, you don't have to worry about the 3 or 7 pass. Even on a normal hard drive those options are excessive for over 99% of the population. The only reason a person would do that is to make sure any slight variation in the magnetic charge of each bit wouldn't be detectable. SSD doesn't rely on magnetic charge for storage, so once you wipe it is wiped. There is no CSI type scenario where you could still read the data of a properly erased SSD.
  19. Scuba629 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    Ok I won't bother.

    Thanks for all the info everyone!
  20. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    If you have a 2010 or newer Macbook you have a recovery system built into the system hardware (firmware/EFI) and it can perform the same function as the recovery system on the disk drive partition. The only thing you really require the drive partition version for is if you are going to enable Filevault2 as that boots from the drive recovery partition and then into the Filevault2 encrypted image.

    It is the same. They both just access Apple's servers to redownload everything.

    IMO Apple has caused a lot of confusion having Apple Recovery in firmware and duplicating the same function on a drive partition and calling it the same thing.

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