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Chapter 16. Use Recovery Mode > Get to Know the Recovery HD Volume

16.1. Get to Know the Recovery HD Volume

Assuming everything works as it should—and, specifically, that you’re using one of the officially sanctioned volume structures as I discussed in Why to Avoid Extra Partitions—the Lion installer creates a special, hidden partition on the same disk where you install Lion itself. This partition contains a bootable volume called Recovery HD. Ordinarily you’ll never mount or use this volume directly; instead you’ll invoke the magic procedure to reboot your Mac from the Recovery HD volume, as I describe just ahead in Boot into Recovery Mode.

I know that a lot of people are concerned that Lion is using up vast amounts of precious disk space with this odd partition they might never need. But take heart: it’s quite small—only 650 MB, in fact. On the other hand, if you’re of a more geeky disposition and dream of co-opting this partition for your own purposes, I’ve got some bad news. It’s read-only, so you can’t make any changes, including installing any extra third-party software of your own. Nor can you delete it (without repartitioning your whole disk)—Apple did some seriously weird stuff to put this little bugger in place. Of course, that also means that even if you accidentally wipe out everything on your startup disk, the Recovery HD volume should still be there, which will give you a platform from which you can get back to work.


  

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