I just completed a restore from Time Machine to a newly partitioned drive and discovered that the Recovery Partition wasn't created. Other than that, the restore went well and the new drive runs fine.

I discovered that my SATA drivers don't support this new drive. It only works as an external drive. So I am going to restore to another drive, basically repeating the process. While I have a recovery partition on my original drive, I want to know how to create a restored drive that includes the recovery partition.

Other similar questions on SE don't seem to address this question, except indirectly. This one -Add recovery partition back onto drive after drive change [duplicate] - points to another, where one answer says:

you can make a new Recovery Partition by performing a clean install but if you do this via a new partition, beware that erasing that new partition in the future may also erase the Recovery Partition.

I was going to try doing a clean install to create the Recovery Partition and the main partition, but I'm not sure about this, based on that comment.

I have the following that I can start with:

  • Time Machine backup (for restoring)
  • OS X install dmg file (Lion in my case)
  • a working Recovery Partition on a USB stick
  • My original bootable hard drive with an old image with OS X 10.7.4 and a Recovery Partition (working)
  • My latest restored hard drive (working, but only as a USB drive) with OS X 10.7.5 and no Recovery Partition
  • My target hard drive, which is essentially blank (was my previous working drive, until I upgraded)

So what is the most straightforward way to restore to a virgin drive from Time Machine AND include a recover partition?

1 Answer 1


According to a post by SuperDuper's developer, reinstalling OS X over an existing installation adds a missing recovery partition:

Actually, you can easily recreate the recover partition by simply reinstalling Lion from the App Store. (This has the additional benefit of updating the recover partition with the most recent data, too.)

https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/27102 says the same thing:

I installed a larger drive in my MBP and cloned my original disk to the new drive using SuperDuper! This process doesn't create the restore partition. Reinstalling Lion onto the new drive created the necessary partition for me.

I reinstalled this using the "USB Key" installer run from a partition on an external drive. My User accounts, applications, etc. survived the reinstall but I did have to run the updaters for the OS and reinstall Java after the Lion reinstall.

Reinstalling OS X from the App Store (or using an installer app you have already downloaded) is probably easier than using an external drive though.

Above, "reinstalling OS X" means doing an upgrade install over the current installation. See Apple's KB article OS X Mountain Lion: Reinstall OS X.

Simply upgrading to 10.8 or 10.9 would probably also add a recovery partition.

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