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Non-standard Boot Camp prevents Lion Recovery HD and FileVault

Monday, July 25, 2011

Having a non-standard Boot Camp partition will prevent the Lion installer from creating a Recovery HD hard disk partition, according to an Apple tech article. It will also prevent you from using the FileVault feature to encrypt the data on the drive. The fix that Apple suggests could take up a whole day or more.

When such a Boot Camp partition is detected, the Lion installer will display a message, "Some features of Mac OS X Lion are not supported for the disk." This occurs if the Boot Camp partition was created with manually modified Boot camp setting or if further partitioning was done after Boot Camp was set up.

The Recovery HD partition allows you to boot from it and run Disk Utility to repair the Lion partition or repair permissions. It also lets you restore the drive from a Time Machine backup, or re-download the Lion installer (all 4GB of it) if you need to reinstall. It does not let you reinstall from a copy of the installer you may have made.

The fix that Apple suggests could take a whole day or more.

  1. Back up the Mac and Boot Camp Windows partitions separately
  2. Erasing the disk and repartition to a single partition
  3. Reinstall Snow Leopard
  4. Download and install the Snow Leopard version 10.6.8 Update.
  5. Re-download the Lion Installer (You can avoid this step: see below.)
  6. Install Lion
  7. Run the Boot Camp Assistant to create a new Boot Camp partition
  8. Restore Windows to the new Boot Camp partition.

Apple points out the Recovery partition is not necessary to install Lion. Neither is FileVault. This procedure is only necessary if you want these features.

TIP: we recommend that anyone installing Lion make a copy of the Lion installer before installing Lion. That's because the installer deletes itself after installing. The only way to make a copy is before installation starts. When the download is complete, the Lion Installer launches automatically. When it does, quit the Installer (called "Install Mac OS X") and copy it from the Applications folder on to a DVD or USB flash drive or storage. If you need to install it again, copy it to the Applications folder of Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or later.

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