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How to Recover Mac OS X Lion

MacBook doesn't have a Blu-ray or DVD drive, so that left me wondering, how am I going to recover my MacBook Air if it ever stopped working correctly?

We know Apple is more interested on tying its business into broadband and operating in a world where all files from eBooks to apps are downloaded online. To upgrade an app you need the Internet. After scratching my head for a while, I decided to get down to work and come up with a solution. Here is what I did:

Step 1 - I found out that there is a recovery tool hidden on a separate partition that was created on my MacBook Air after I upgraded to Mac OS X Lion. This extra partition that Mac OS X Lion created is not noticeable on the Start up Disk. It also doesn't appear on the Disk Utility.

Step 2 - I rebooted the system holding down alt. That will make the computer display a list of available drives.

Step 3 - Next, I selected the drive called Recovery HD and clicked on the arrow beneath. Since I'm using a trackpad, I enabled the proper clicking action, and during the entire process, the tap-to-select and Lion gestures were disabled.

The machine started booting but in a stripped-down version of OS X located on the recovery, partition called the 'Base System'. It simply dumps core operating-system features, leaving me with a few set of system utilities, network preferences, and other features. This 'Base System' reminded me a lot of the safe mode in Windows.

Step 4 - I used the Airport menu to select my local network. I entered the security details, which allowed me to use the online help and reinstall the system using the Internet.

Step 5 - Next, I launched Disk Utility or disk1.

So, at this point, I decided to use a fresh install. (You can also repair your system without losing your personal files and settings.)

Step 6 - In order to perform a fresh install, I clicked on boot drive, then the 'erase' tab. I choose Mac OS Extended (Journal) as format type. Then I gave the drive a name and then clicked on the erase button. From here you can follow the wizard to install your fresh copy of Mac OS X.

    - OR -

If you want to retain your data by repairing the system instead, click the partition that has your operating system. Under the First Aid tab, click Repair Disk Permissions. Now the Disk Utility will examine each system file on the partition and repair where necessary.

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