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10.7: Create your own Recovery HD
Authored by: simplebeep on Jul 26, '11 09:45:38PM

An interesting dilemma, indeed. The configuration of the Recovery HD seems convoluted and backward; why they'd put the entire startup system inside another disk image is beyond me--unless installing extra utilities is exactly what they're trying to prevent. I see two possible solutions:

  1. After backing up BaseSystem.dmg, try using Disk Utility to convert the image to a read/write format. Make your mods, and convert it back. This option, of course, is highly tricky, and it’d be difficult to keep the volume bootable.

  2. Use Disk Utility to create a new (standard, visible) partition in HFS+, and Restore from BaseSystem.dmg to it. You’ll now effectively have two recovery partitions. This new one, though, not being wrapped up in an image, should be free to add files to. It seems like Mac OS X Base System has all the requisite files for starting up from, all the way down to boot.efi. You might have to also jump through a few hoops in order to get it bootable, but it should be far more straightforward than using option 1. Once you’ve done that and tested it thoroughly, you could remove the “official” Recovery HD partition.

Might I stress: I have tried neither of these, and I’m running purely on speculation based on past experience. Proceed entirely at your own risk, and only if you know exactly what you're doing!

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