As the title says, I have an MacBook Air (Late 2010 - MC505LL/A*), with preinstalled OSX Lion. Also it shipped with an USB key called "Recovery Key", and afaik, I'm supposed to use this key if I restore/format my Mac

The problem is that I can't find the USB key, and I'd like to know if I can do a fresh install of Lion without it. I have an ISO image of Lion (to use with an external reader)... and I've read that there's an Internet process, where I can press CMD + R while booting, to perform a fresh install with a internet downloaded image, but it's not avalaible on all models.

Will this work ? I'll try it this weekend, but I'd like to know if anyone has experience in something like this.

Thank you all !

2 Answers 2


Using ISO

If you restore the ISO to a flash drive or other drive partition, you could ⌥ alt-boot from it and erase & install OS X.

Disk Utility Restore

In my example I selected a random DMG, however in your case you would use the ISO image as the Source.

Internet Recovery

Yes, but only if you install the Internet Recovery firmware update for your MacBook Air.

Once you have, hold ⌘ cmd + ⌥ alt + R on boot to begin.

Internet Recovery Progress

An image of OS X will be downloaded from the internet, and can be installed normally.


Yep, you've erased the drive (not securely) so now it's not bootable. Again, boot into the Recovery HD by restarting and after the chime press and hold the COMMAND and "R" keys until it boots from the Recovery HD.

Follow the previous procedure from Steps 4-6 to simply do a secure erase of the Macintosh HD volume.

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