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The recovery partition in Mac OS X is an important part of a system installation because it allows you to troubleshoot a computer, repair drives, restore from backups and even reinstall Mac OS if necessary. Nevertheless, in some specific situations, there may be times when a Mac does not have a recovery partition, usually because it was accidentally deleted or because a drive was cloned and the recovery partition was not included in that duplication process.
If you are in a situation where a Mac is missing the bootable partition of the recovery drive, you can recreate the recovery partition in two different ways as we are showing you here.
The first method to rebuild a recovery partition is to simply reinstall OS X on the Mac. The obvious problem with that approach, of course, is that unless you’re using Internet Recovery mode or a USB installer, you can’t access the reinstall feature. While using a bootable USB Mac OS X installer or Internet Recovery works fine for those with good Internet access or a separate installation drive, another option is also available by using a third-party tool available for free on the Internet . That’s what we’ll focus on here primarily, as the third-party solution doesn’t require the full reinstallation of Mac OS X to repair and rebuild a recovery partition on a Mac.
How to Create and restore a recovery partition in Mac OS X
Are you missing a recovery partition? Here’s how to quickly recreate one on a Mac:
- Download a copy of the “Install OS X” or “Install Mac OS X” from the Mac App Store under the “Purchases” tab that matches the version of system software on your Mac (for example, the “Install OS X Mavericks” app, or Install macOS Sierra app)
- Visit the developer’s website here (or use Dropbox direct download link here) and download the latest version of Recovery Partition Creator, it is an AppleScript that will handle the recovery drive rewriting
- After the app is downloaded, right click on “Recovery Partition Creator.app” and choose “Open” to bypass Gatekeeper
- Follow the on-screen instructions and select the primary drive to which you want to recover a recovery partition (usually Macintosh HD unless you rename the drive or use a separate drive)
- Point to the Mac OS X installer application you downloaded in the first step and let AppleScript do its work
- When the Recovery Partition Creator app is done, restart the Mac and hold down Command + R to boot into Recovery and confirm that the recovery partition now exists and is working as intended
The re-created recovery partition is identical to the one that comes with modern versions of Mac OS X to start with, providing full access to the recovery, testing, and reinstallation features you would expect to see.
I recently had to go through this process on a Mac that switched from physical hard drives where the drive was cloned first, which works fine, but routinely doesn’t bring the recovery partition along with that procedure. However, it doesn’t take long to recover and it is fairly easy to rebuild the recovery drive so if you are in a situation where the recovery partition is missing or you (or someone else) accidentally deleted that critical drive from a recovery partition Mac, (or maybe deleted it intentionally as well), just go through the above process to create a new one and restore that functionality again.
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