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How to recreate Lion Recovery HD partition?

I hope this question is different enough from the others that is doesn't get closed.

I am first time Mac user, long time Linux user, so pardon my ignorance in the Apple terminology.

I have a late 2011 MBP that I replaced the drive with an SSD. I didn't care about the contents so I just stuck in the drive and Apple magically gave me OSX Lion again. The SSD was too small, so I bought a bigger one and cloned the drive with SuperDuper. It took a long time to boot afterwards, but it did so I thought everything was great. Then I eventually noticed my recovery partition was not cloned with the rest of my data.

I still have the old drive with the recovery partition and I have enough space to add the partition back to the current/new drive.

My question is: What is the easiest way to get my recovery partition back after losing it completely, without reinstalling from the internet (unless reinstalling won't mess with my data)? I have a USB enclosure for the drive that has the partition. I don't know if it matters, but I originally had Lion and upgraded to Mountain Lion.

  • What makes this different than the other questions - the other answers give a multitude of ways and "easy" depends on what you are comfortable with as opposed to some universal truth.
    – bmike
    Jan 25, 2013 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


Reinstalling over an existing system does not create a Recovery HD.

WARNING: This is low level disk editing code and will hurt your disk if not done properly. Make sure you recheck your calculations on every calculator you own.

You need to have a copy of Mountain Lion installer in your Applications folder for the following steps to work. Enter the following commands in Terminal, one by one, while following the related video. You need to fill all the X yourself by following the video.

sudo -i

diskutil list

diskutil info /dev/diskXsX


diskutil resizeVolume /dev/diskXsX XXXXXXXXXB jhfs+ “Recovery HD" 650002432B

diskutil resizeVolume diskXsX 650002432B

mkdir /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot

hdiutil attach /Applications/Mac\ OS\ X\ Lion\ Installation.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg

cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/

cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/.disk_label /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/

cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/boot.efi /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/

cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/kernelcache /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/

cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/

cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/System/Library/CoreServices/PlatformSupport.plist /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/

cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/

umount -f /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/

asr adjust —target /dev/diskXsX -settype "Apple_Boot"

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