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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive Storage Devices
With the arrival of Lion, you might be stuck with a recovery USB drive that came with your Snow Leopard pre-installed Macbook Air. Seeing as these are slick little gadgets, it might be nice to use them for other purposes. After all, it's an 8 Gb flash drive just sitting there. Here's how.

Firstly one needs to remove the lock used by Apple. To do this, download sm32xtest (no need to look, Google has already found it) and open in Windows, for example through Boot Camp or on another PC. When you plug in the flash drive it will appear in the first line of the program. Hit 'start' and wait for the program to flash a big green OK.

Now you're ready to use Disk Utility. In Disk Utility, you'll see the flash drive mounted as 8.02Gb, so erase it and re-partition to your liking.

Thanks to many other posters on other fora; I found this, I didn't invent it.

[crarko adds: Try this at your own risk, although I suppose there isn't much to lose by it. Exercise whatever usual cautions you have in running Windows software.]
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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive | 10 comments | Create New Account
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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: lar3ry on Aug 29, '11 08:29:57AM

Well, if you blow away the recovery partition on your USB stick, you have no "emergency" solution if something goes awry with your main storage. I suggest you use Disk Utility to repartition the newly cracked USB stick to 1GB/7GB, and then use Apple's Recovery Disk Assistant to turn the 1GB partition into a recovery partition. That way, you still have the ability to boot from it in case something goes horribly wrong with your main drive, and also have 7GB of "free" media for portability.

Interesting side-bit: I recently (20-Aug) purchased the new i7 Mac Mini that came with Lion Server. In the box was no media whatever--no optical disk, which I figured wouldn't be there, nor any USB stick. Apple's App Store shows Lion as installed, and if I double-option-click the product name, I get the ability to purchase it for $29.99. It's not listed as one of my purchases.

Instead, I went to WalMart, got an $8 4G USB stick, and repartitioned it using my suggestion in the first paragraph. I now have a Lion Server backup, plus 3GB for portable documents. If anything happens to the main drive, I can either give the whole unit to AppleCare to replace, or if I want to do it myself (outside of warranty), I now have the backup recovery partition.

I'm surprised Apple includes a USB stick with the notebooks, but not the minis. But then again, the mini IS supposed to be a bare-bones system (with a blazin' 2Ghz i7 processor!). Also, I might have purchased within the one or two day window before Apple released their "Lion on a Stick."

-- lar3ry

Edited on Aug 29, '11 08:32:11AM by lar3ry



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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: leamanc on Aug 29, '11 08:54:41AM

I just got two new 13" Airs and two new 15" MacBook Pros with Lion, and no USB stick was included with any of them. So don't be surprised that it's not included with the mini...it's not included with the laptops either!



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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: mr_kitty on Aug 29, '11 09:28:53AM

ALL new Macs ship without recovery media.

The 10.7 install creates a hidden recovery partition on your system drive that you can boot from, reinstall or repair your system with.

If your computer did not come with Lion pre-installed and the system media (hard disk drive / solid state drive) has to be replaced, you need to boot from something 10.6.6 or later, redownload the 10.7 installer and rebuild.

If your computer came with Lion pre-installed and the system media (hard disk drive / solid state drive) has to be replaced, your computer will boot to a minimal system and redownload the Lion installer from Apple's servers and rebuild.

This has been discussed previously on this forum; this hint is written assuming you are familiar with this info.



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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: benwiggy on Aug 29, '11 09:25:04AM

Why is there no such utility on OS X to remove the lock? Is it simply that no one has written the software, or does OS X lack the capability?



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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: Wuffel on Sep 01, '11 05:57:46AM

There actually might be, but I've so far had nothing but positive experience with the software I mentioned. I'd be very interested if you were to find a Mac equivalent!



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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: skapplin on Aug 29, '11 03:38:44PM

The main reason NOT to do this is that your iLife bundle is also on that USB stick. Although it's easy to create a new boot disk, it's another to replace the lost iLife bundle.

This is really a poor idea.



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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: David Allen on Aug 29, '11 10:03:26PM

It is difficult to loose something if you are properly backing it up.

---
Dah•veed |David Allen|
Monterrey, NL, Mexico



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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: makip on Aug 30, '11 05:21:17PM

Actually the Apple Store serves as your iLife backup.

Although I've never purchased the iLife apps from the Apple Store directly, I was pleasantly surprised to find all the iLife apps available for download and registered to my Apple Store ID. This happened after I set up my wife's new MacBook Air using my own Apple ID as part of the initial registration.

We share the same ID for convenience, but whichever ID we chose to use as part of this initial registration automatically has the iLife apps assigned to it as purchased apps.



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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: Wuffel on Sep 01, '11 05:54:36AM

I get why you would think this is a poor idea, but that would also explain why it's a "hint" and not a "must". You can do whatever you like.

With the release of Lion all software you mentioned became obsolete (as it's included in a Lion recovery disk) and with that the software on that nifty little flash drive. That, no less or more, was reason enough for me to 'free' it from it's original purpose. If it's not for you, that's quite alright with me.



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Re-using your Macbook Air 10.6 recovery USB drive
Authored by: ezmac on Aug 31, '11 09:07:23AM

I need to make opposite process: to block anUSB pen drive for some proprietary recovery tools ... I don't know why but after USB drive use, it stop to work ... And just one solution: rebuild it, a very long time consuming for a 100 iMacs park.



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