13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2012 2:14 PM by julian206
Admiral Nelson Level 1 (0 points)

I recently purchased a new hard drive for my macbook pro and restored my system to the new disc via a Time Machine backup of the old disc. Everything worked fine and my mac is running faster than ever thanks to the new drive


I just recently realized, however, that by using this method of restoration, the Lion recovery partition that was created during my first install is gone. This is probably due to it being a hidden partition that disc utility on my install disc was unable to recreate.


I verified that the partition is missing by downloading the new recovery tool that Apple released a few days ago. It failed to work because the partiton could not be found.


My question is if anyone else has realized this issue and if there is a solution. Is it possible to recreate the partition without going through an archive-and-reinstall routine? In my opinion this is a bit of a blunder by Apple as it renders Time Machine usless.


Thoughts? Suggestions?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,914 points)

    Read the instructions for using the Recovery HD installation tool. You must make a small partition on the new hard drive of about 1 GB or so on which to install the Recovery HD.


    To resize the drive do the following:


    1. Open Disk Utility and select the drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list.


    2. Click on the Partition tab in the DU main window. You should see the graphical sizing window showing the existing partitions. A portion may appear as a blue rectangle representing the used space on a partition.




    3. In the lower right corner of the sizing rectangle for each partition is a resizing gadget. Select it with the mouse and move the bottom of the rectangle upwards until you have reduced the existing partition enough to create the desired new volume's size. The space below the resized partition will appear gray. Click on the Apply button and wait until the process has completed.  (Note: You can only make a partition smaller in order to create new free space.)


    4. Click on the [+] button below the sizing window to add a new partition in the gray space you freed up. Give the new volume a name, if you wish, then click on the Apply button. Wait until the process has completed.


    You should now have a new volume on the drive.


    It would be wise to have a backup of your current system as resizing is not necessarily free of risk for data loss.  Your drive must have sufficient contiguous free space for this process to work.

  • Admiral Nelson Level 1 (0 points)

    I understand what you're saying, and I suppose I could go that route, but I was hoping there was a method to create the recovery partition on the local hard drive as the Lion installer originally did.


    My problem if I chose to use an external disc is that I do not have a recovery partition right now. I tried the method you outlined above and the recovery tool did not recognize the new partition.


    Thanks for your help

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,914 points)

    The Recovery HD will only be created if you install Lion on the drive using the Lion installer. Restoring a backup will not create the Recovery HD.

  • Admiral Nelson Level 1 (0 points)

    Alright then. So in that case would reformatting the drive, freshly installing Lion, and then restoring from the TM backup work? Would the recovery HD that was created with the fresh install still work with the restored system?

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,914 points)

    Yes, that would work. The Recovery HD should be created during the Lion install process. Although, frankly, it would take less time and trouble to create a new partition on the drive and use the Recovery HD Assistant. On the other hand fresh installs of Lion certainly reduce the potential for problems.

  • Admiral Nelson Level 1 (0 points)

    Good to hear! Thanks for all your help mate!

  • rocksr Level 1 (0 points)

    Kappy, I had the same problem (no Recovery HD partition after hard drive replacement), and have followed your suggestion and created the new partition. How does one go about getting the recovery HD stuff installed on it? When I try to run the Recovery Disk Assistant app, I get this error message:


    "The Recovery HD on this computer is damaged or not present. Recovery Disk Assistant requires a functioning Lion Recovery HD to create an external Lion Recovery."


    Of course, I knew there wasn't a Recovery HD on the drive, as that's what I'm trying to recreate. I do notice that you mentioned running the Recovery HD Assistant. Is that different than the Recovery Disk Assistant? If so, where can I get it? If it's the same thing, how can I get it to run and install the Recovery HD stuff on my new partition? Thanks!

  • Stress Test Level 4 (1,265 points)

    The Recovery Assistant only copies an existing recovery HD to another:


    Note: In order to create an external Lion Recovery using the Lion Recovery Assistant, the Mac must have an existing Recovery HD.


    So when you didn't have a recovery partition, the assistant would create a new one! It's just for duplicating the recovery partition from an existing one.

  • whittaker007 Level 1 (0 points)

    So just to be absolutely clear then: the only way to create a recovery partition if you don't already have one is to format your hard drive and reinstall Lion from scratch.


    If you restore from a time machine backup during this process the recovery partition may or may not be destroyed or rendered useless, taking you back to square one.


    This seems to be my situation - I installed Lion from scratch and restored from an earlier time machine backup. I have what appears to be a recovery partition on my hard drive, but it is not recognised by Lion and I can't boot from it. If I reinstall lion again (the third time for me) does that mean I can't restore from time machine backups without losing the recovery partition again?


    Can anyone confirm this?

  • gr8day Level 1 (0 points)

    I had this exact issue on my iMac and I simply reinstalled Lion over itself (instead of formatting and starting again) and it worked perfectly.


    For the record, I had created a Lion DVD (there's lots of instructions online for this) which probably made it a little easier, but I assume you could do it either way.

  • menores Level 1 (0 points)

    Same issue for me. Now with the new iCloud service I cannot even activate Find My Mac.


    A time machine restore should have put the mac right back into the same state as it was when the backup was done. Anything else is a bug apple needs to fix.

  • allensood Level 1 (20 points)

    I am having the similar problem that Recovery HD is not found.

    Today when i try to boot my system and found that Recovery HD is not showing on boot option. Earlier i had reinstalled my Lion from Apple Store for which thanks to Kappy




    Even i have already created a Boot DVD of Lion Installer still if anyone can tell me why my Recovery HD is not there..!!

  • julian206 Level 1 (5 points)

    thanks... was wondering for a while why my recovery partition dissapeared after a time machine restore.


    Bit annoying to be honest