I am about to re-install OS Lion on my MacBook Pro. But before that I want to make sure that my data in other partition created, will that be lost to?

Example I have 3 partitions

1)Macintosh HD (OS installed in this drive)



So if I re-install the OS Lion using recovery mode from HD, will it also wipe out my other two partitions or only will clear "Macintosh HD" partition and install a fresh Lion copy?

1 Answer 1


The Lion Recovery HD can be a very misleading name. Especially if you're familiar with PC vender recovery solutions. The Lion Recovery HD [or disc] is, in functionality and feature, just like booting of an Mac OSX Installation Disc.

When you boot into the Recovery partition [or disc] and start the process, you will be asked to select which disk you wish to restore [which actually means install to]. You will see a list of your three partitions to which you select your "Macintosh HD" partition and you're good to go. Any formating that may occur will only occur on your selected partition and not affect any other partitions.

You are safe to run the Lion Recovery Partition.

  • Agreed. As long as you tell it to install to the proper partition, it should not touch your other partition(s). That said, never do anything without verified backups, right?
    – TJ Luoma
    Jan 24, 2012 at 20:56
  • It certainly isn't intended to break the other partitions, but anything that modifies the partition map can be the straw that breaks the drive's back. It won't erase data when things work well, but it can cause data loss if the drive has errors or corruption/non-standard boot headers or volume headers.
    – bmike
    Jan 31, 2012 at 18:12

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