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I boot my Mac air into recovery mode over internet command+option+R (recovery drive has been deleted/overwritten).

I am using mobile tethering to recover this device, just enquiring as to how much data will be used during this process if anyone can advise? I am unsure of the size of the recovery image it wants to download.

p.s this is my only available recovery method, there are no ethernet ports on the laptop and it will not pick up our business Wi-Fi (we use WPA2-Enterprise which is supported but on a Cisco Meraki account basis, so it's not a case of SSID / Pass).

  • If you have another Mac available that has downloaded from the App Store the version of OS X you like to have installed on your MacBook Air, then use it to download again the OS X installer and create a USB Installer from it. Directions for creating the install can be found in Create a bootable installer for OS X. Note that when downloading the OS X installer it will want to install but just force quit the app at the install screen so the downloaded installer doesn't get deleted and is then available to create the USB installer. This is safe to do. – user3439894 Sep 7 '16 at 15:54
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Each size (Internet Recovery Mode and OS X reinstall) is comparable to the sizes of the respective dmg files containing the Base OS X/full OS X install.

So booting once to Internet Recovery Mode requires the download of about 650 MB and restoring your original operating system – which depends on your MacBook Air model – requires an additional download of about ~4.7 GB (Lion) to ~5.7 GB (Yosemite).

You can't download and install El Capitan directly because the original system of the newest MacBook Air was 10.10.2.

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