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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Installing Lion with "no recovery" error


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Wenfuli

 
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Member Since: Dec 05, 2010
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Mac Specs: 21.5" iMac, Lion, 3.06GHz Core i3, 6GB RAM, 500GB HD

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I haven’t seen this solution posted anywhere so I thought I would post it here as a public service. Hopefully it will help someone out who has the same problem I had.

I at first could not install Lion on my iMac as the installer told me (and I forget the exact wording of the error message, I’m sorry) that Lion could not be installed as no recovery partition could be made. This would be, I believe, what is now the infamous no recovery scenario, detailed at http://www.apple.com/support/no-recovery. That page, however, while it does say that Lion can be installed without the recovery partition, does not detail how to continue the installation. I was not given an option to continue installation without a recovery partition; I was only given the option to restart into my previous Snow Leopard setup.

So, after much searching on this forum (so if this is a redundant post and the solution is here, then I guess I didn’t search hard enough) and the Internet and worry that I just spent money on an upgrade that I couldn’t do, I came across this solution: I created an extra partition on my Mac OS X HD. Simple and easy. I don’t know the exact magic number for the size of partition needed, but I remembered seeing the size 60GB somewhere out there, and that is what I used. I created a 60GB partition from my OS X drive and then ran the Lion installer again. That worked, and I am now running Lion on my iMac.

If anyone else is having the same problem I had and can’t find the answer elsewhere, I hope this post helps him or her out.
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chscag

 
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The 60 GB partition was overkill. The Lion recovery partition only requires 650 MB of disk space. And there are several reasons a recovery partition can not be made: Too little disk space remaining or drive fragmentation resulting in not enough contiguous space for the recovery partition to be made.
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scbevans

 
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I have experienced exactly the same problem as Wenfuli. Frankly, I expected better of Apple. It takes hours to download the software (on typical UK broadband speeds), another half an hour to install it, only to be told at the last hurdle that Computer Says No. And very poor advice about what to do. The No Recovery page you are directed to suggests a somewhat different problem from the one encountered but seems to advise the rather frightening prospect of wiping your hard disk and starting over. Well, thanks a bunch!

The support page says you can install Lion without a recovery disk but there is no clue as to how you can do that. As Wenfuli found, your only option in practice seems to be to return to the old operating system.

The advice given by chscag here suggests that the reason Lion will not install may actually have nothing to do with recovery at all but to do with disk space or other unspecified failings.

Why can Apple or their software not check your system first to discover its failings and then report them and advise what to do about them? Had I known it was going to be this painful I would not have started any downloading and I would have kept my money. Now I feel I have to persevere just to get my money's worth and not to let the oppressive system get the better of me.

As usual with computers, there is still an assumption that end users must be deemed capable and willing of getting under the bonnet. Tssk!
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JaDaar

 
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I got the same error as you did, and on reboot the appstore and the software installed indicated that Lion was installed onto the computer even though I got that error that said it could not be installed because of the recovery error.

So, I can't tell if I need to install it again...
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chscag

 
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Quote:
So, I can't tell if I need to install it again...
Test the installation. Hold down the OPTION key as you boot the machine. You should see two choices: Lion and the recovery partition. Boot to the recovery partition as a test.
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Gumby

 
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I downloaded Lion just after release and tried to install only to receive the error message “cannot install – no recovery” or words to that effect. I was also not given the option to proceed without creating the recovery and instead the system was restarted in Snow Leopard.

After potentially giving up and accepting that I had wasted A$31, I tried again 2 months later.

Before I did, I read many forums indicating that Lion could not be BOOTCAMPED with Windows XP. I also found forums saying it could, but only from an older Mac such as mine shipped with Snow Leopard. If you have a newly shipped Mac with Lion pre-installed it appears you must use Windows 7.

First step was to upgrade my Parallels to the new Version 7 from 5. I suggest you do this and ensure that all upgrades are also performed on the Windows side.

Then, the most useful forum I found was this one.

To create the partition, use “disc utilities” and articles on the Apple site if you are unsure how to do it.

I then had 3 partitions: Mac HD, new partition, Original BOOTCAMP.

Now proceed to install Lion, which worked perfectly.

After installation I found that the new partition was also labelled BOOTCAMP. The BOOTCAMP I wanted to use was the 3rd partition, the original BOOTCAMP.

After no success launching my BOOTCAMP but knowing it was still there, I decided to delete the 2nd partition and take this out of the equation (make sure you resize your MAC HD partition afterwards to take up the empty space this leaves). I’m not an IT expert so it’s possible I don’t have recovery anymore but I did copy Lion to a USB and I have Time Machine doing regular backups.

I also referred to Parallels - KB Parallels: Virtual machine stops working after upgrading to Mac OS X Lion and Parallels Desktop 6. I removed Hard Disk 1 and replaced with Hard Disk 1 that seems to direct it to the newly installed Lion. I could not link it with BOOTCAMP as stated in the article.

Once all this was done, it still wouldn’t boot my Windows and I was ready to give up. I left it for a couple of hours to decide whether to reinstall Snow Leopard, then tried one more time with SUCCESS! I think what was happening is that Lion was still busy indexing and that everything took time to catch up. This is my only explanation.

So now everything is working exactly as before with no issues, very happy I persevered!
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M@Cguy

 
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I have had the Lion upgrade fail and tell me it could not create a recovery partition. The only option was to revert to Snow Leopard. That was fine, but I still wanted to get this upgrade to happen. I found many things to try and also found people with the same scenario.

This is what I did and was able to keep my Boot Camp partition. I ran Disk Utility and ran a repair disk permissions on the main OS partition. I then ejected the Boot Camp partition so it doesn't show and it is not mounted during the install. I just went ahead and fired up the upgrade for Lion and it went through without a hitch. I also had my Boot Camp partition when all was said and done.
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jaserad

 
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The prior post re: unmounting the bootcamp partition did it for me. Didn't even bother with the verifying stage.

Intel imac running Snow Leopard and XP SP3. Plus re the first post I still had plenty of contiguos soace.

This was driving me crazy. Dropped the ball on this one Apple. So much for migrating windows users and keeping them. The support article reminded me of why I broke my exclusive arrangment with Microsoft in the first place.
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surfer106

 
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I wanted to share my Lion upgrade experience, because the people in this thread provided some **** good info. Far better than Apple's info. I have an early 2007 MacPro w/Intel core Duo processor and 2 early 2007 17" MacBook Pros. All 3 machines came with Leopard and I upgraded with minimal issues to Snow Leopard and during that process I loaded Boot Camp with Windows XP SP3. All 3 machines have been rock solid and robust in both Mac and Windows mode. Basically, I'd like to change NOTHING on the machines, but I love Mobile Me and I'll will be forced to migrate to iCloud soon enough I bit the bullet and downloaded Lion on my MacPro. I got the "no recovery" message and followed Apple's instructions and loaded LIon on an 80GB external drive. It installed smoothly and I was able to boot from the drive, but that wasn't what I was shooting for. Taking tips from this forum, I unmounted the Windows partition, which sounded promising, but didn't work. Same "no recovery" message during Lion install. Next I created a 1GB partition which seemed to do the job. The Lion install finished and I was stoked. The final test of course, was to fire up windows. My first 3 tries saw the old windows "previous session did not shut down correctly" message. I tried "start windows normally" twice and "safe mode" the 3rd time. All 3 attempts saw a quick flash of a blue screen with error messages I couldn't read in the 1 second it was on the screen and then the machine rebooted and took me back to a normal Lion boot. From Disk Utility, I deleted the 1GB partition I created for the Lion install. Disk Utility took about 10 minutes to resize the volume. When that process was complete, I rebooted in Boot Camp, fired up WIndows and got the same result as my previous 3 tries. Another boot to Lion, then into Disk Utility where I ran "Verify Disk" on the Windows partition which took about 20 minutes and found no errors. Next, I ran "Repair Disk" on the Windows partition which never gave me a "completed" message, so after 15 minutes, I figured it was done. I rebooted in Boot Camp and BAM! Windows was back to life. I guess the repair process did what was needed. I was very pleased to not have to run a Windows recovery or worse yet--a reinstall of Windows. Now, I need to figure out why Lion is not seeing my 4GB of RAM (4@1GB modules in tray 1 that WERE being seen by the machine with Snow Leopard) It sees 2GB for some reason. Sorry for rambling, but I wanted to share my success story. I had low expectations that doing some targeted processes would solve the problem. It never seems to be that easy.
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harryb2448

 
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Windows installed as 32bit will only see 2GB memory. For Lion remove 2x1GB and see if 2GB is recognized, add 2x1GB and see if four recognised. If no joy download and rum Memtest.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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