Like any other drives, Mac drives are also prone to the situations of extreme disaster. However, there are different ways of overcoming such situations. Earlier, we used to use an installation disk to boot the system. Such practice is not very common these days, as most Mac machines are no longer shipped with any disk utility. However, there are other ways of doing this. May be, you need another drive to start up your Mac.
Creating a recovery drive is always considered a good option in recovering data from such situations. You can use any drive with sufficient space having the required software to boot your Mac. Any device with a minimum of 8GB space is ideal. However, you should avoid using drives with large volumes, as the majority of its space would be unutilized. The best way is to use a USB flash drive with around 8GB of space.
There are many ways of creating such emergency recovery drives. Apple provides a utility to be supported by its Mac systems, which can be used to create an emergency drive.
Apple’s Recovery Disk Assistant
This disk assistant tool requires you to have a Recovery HD partition, which is an already created partition on your Mac hard drive. Such GUID based partitions are usually present when you install Mountain Lion operating system on a Mac system. However, you can also check for the presence of such partitions by holding down the Command-R after restarting the Mac system. Alternatively, you can hold down the Option key while restarting your system.
Once you do so, you will get a screen providing you with a ‘Recovery HD’ option. In case, you are not able to get this option, you would not be able to create any recovery drive using this utility by Apple. The present partition on the Mac system acts as a source, and is required to create a partition on an external drive.
In order to use this utility to create recovery drive, you need to follow the below mentioned steps.
- Go to the Apple’s support site and download the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant
- Connect the external drive to your Mac
- Open the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant utility
- Choose the drive and follow the on-screen instructions
Note: There are instances where your created emergency drive would work only on the system, which was used to create that drive.
In case you are not able to find the Recovery HD partition after starting your Mac, there is still a possibility of creating recovery drive. However, the approach is little different from the one mentioned earlier. You need to follow the below mentioned manual steps to create a recovery emergency drive.
- From the Applications folder, you need to copy the installation files of OS X Mountain Lion app
Note: In case it is not present, you can re-download it from the Apple’s store by following the below steps.
- From the Apple menu, select App Store
- In order to show up the app, you might need to choose Purchases by holding down the Option key
- From the app’s package, extract the InstallESD.dmg file to create the drive
- Right-click the Install OS X Mountain Lion app
- From the appeared contextual menu, choose Show Package Contents that appear
- Open Contents from the appeared folder
- Open Shared Support to see the InstallESD.dmg file
- Go to Applications/Utilities, and launch Disk Utility
- Drag the InstallESD.dmg file in the Disk Utility window
- Select the file from the Disk Utility and then mount the disk image in the Finder
- From the Disk Utility sidebar, select Mac OS X Install ESD option
- Click Restore
- Hold and drag the Mac OS X Install ESD icon into the right side of the Source field
Now, you can prepare your flash drive to be used. The flash drive should not contain any data or any virus. In case it holds any data, you need to copy it to a separate location. Follow the below mentioned steps to make the external drive ready to be made as a recovery drive.
- Find the drive in Disk Utility after you connect it.
- Drag it to the Destination field.
- Click Restore.
- A dialog box appears. Erase the data.
Note: In case it is protected, you might have to enter a username and password. In addition, this process might not work for everyone. For example, this method is not supported on OS X 10.8.2version. In such cases, you need to either use the Recovery Disk Assistant method or wait for OS X 10.8.3.
The above mentioned methods are some of the common methods that can be used to recover from data loss situations by creating a recovery disk. However, such methods are usually time taking and requires a lot of manual interference.
Alternatively, you can always make a clone of your startup drive. A clone is an exact replica of the drive, which you want to clone. A clone drive can be used to boot your Mac in case of hard drive failure. It also acts as a backup disk, which includes all your data from the original drive. There are various ways to create a clone of your Mac drive. However, the best possible way is to use a professional and reliable tool.
Stellar Drive Clone is an advanced tool to create a mirror image of Mac drives and logical volumes. The software also allows you to create a Bootable DVD of Mac hard drive.
In order to create a bootable DVD with required system files, you need to follow the below mentioned steps.
- Launch ‘Stellar Drive Clone’ software. The software displays five options to work with: Clone, Imaging, Restore, Tools, and Backup.
- From the ‘Tools’ option choose ‘Bootable DVD’. This option allows you to create a bootable disc of your computer having the entire required configuration to boot the system.
- Click ‘Continue’. The ‘Create Bootable DVD’ dialog box is displayed.
- Click on the ‘Create Image’ option to open up the ‘Open Directory’ dialog box.
- Choose the destination with a minimum of 5 GB space to save the disk image.
- Add the required applications or Remove the unwanted applications.
- Once done, click ‘Finish Install’ to initiate the image creation process.
- After the image has been created, click ‘Yes’ on the message which says “Do you want to burn image into DVD?”.
- Insert the DVD to start burning the disk. The DVD will get automatically ejected, once the process is completed.