Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Accessing the Recovery Partition on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Lion includes a small recovery partition which is there in case you irreversibly screw up your main install. This is nothing new to PCs but it's 100% new to Apple.

By default, the Recovery partition is not mounted (ie. it is not visible to the operating system), but mounting it is an easy job: -

1 - From Finder, go to your Applications > Utilities folder

2 - Launch Terminal.app

3 - Run this command to mount the Recovery HD partition: -

diskutil mount Recovery\ HD

4 - You're done!  BaseSystem.dmg contains the (very) cut-down version of MacOS that is used to connect to the internet and download the full Lion install.


  1. Hello. Should the Recovery partition be mounted before there is a problem or is that something that can be done after a problem has occurred?
    Thanks! Excellent blog!

  2. It doesn't need to be mounted up front. Should you get in to trouble (ie. your computer wont boot), you can hold down ALT which will allow you to choose to boot from an alternative partion, eg the recovery partition or a usb device etc.

  3. Codeus, thanks for the reply and the information. I really appreciate it!