Rerunning the Installer works for OS X 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9 - running the recovery disk assistant isn't a good idea if you are running 10.8 or newer OS as well as hardware that ships with newer builds of OS.
The Lion Recovery Disk Assistant can make a backup copy of the recovery partition.
The Lion Recovery Disk Assistant lets you create Lion Recovery on an external drive that has the same capabilities and limitations as the built-in Lion Recovery. Just as a backup copy of a good file needs to be made before the file comes upon it's demise, this tool will not help if you start with a partition that is missing or broken.
Re-running the Lion installer will create a workable recovery partition.
To get the Installer (since we didn't save it and it deletes itself on running the first time).
- Start the App store and pick any view except Purchased.
- Hold the option key while selecting Purchased.
- Download the Lion Installer
It took a good 35 minutes to run the installer again. Disk Utility hides the Recovery HD (and other partitions by default) unless you enable a debug menu. You can use the
diskutil list to see the Recovery HD if you don't mind terminal.app commands.
mac:~ mike$ diskutil list
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: GUID_partition_scheme *1.0 TB disk0
1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
2: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD 999.3 GB disk0s2
3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3
The debug menu looks as follows - selecting show every partition will let you see whether your Recovery HD is on your drive.
http://apple.stackexchange.com/users/8527/z4mba pointed out these hidden commands from this MacWorld article. I only needed to turn on/off the one command:
defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled -bool true
I don't know if you can move a Recovery HD around like a normal partition or need the other defaults write command to roll your own recovery HD, running the Lion installer a second time was fine for my needs. As many have pointed out, it appears that the recovery contents are not universal and instead customized for the specific hardware, so recreating it from the official tools is much preferred unless you wish to test well and are saving time by automating tens or hundreds of macs and can control for hardware differences in your process.