A little birdie of ours has managed to snap a page from an internal AppleCare manual detailing OS X Lion’s brand new recovery system, invoked by holding down Command-R during startup. Upon entering the new recovery mode, you can restore your system to any point in time from a Time Machine backup and run Disk Utility to check, repair, erase or partition volumes. In addition – and this is obviously your key takeaway – users can“reinstall Lion over the Internet from Apple’s servers”.┬áThe ability to reinstall the operating system directly from the recovery partition without having to boot into Lion and run the Mac App Store is a neat addition whichever way you look at it.

Remember, OS X Lion will be sold exclusively on the Mac App Store as a digital download rather than being distributed on physical media.┬áThe recovery mode almost certainly boots from an invisible recovery partition 9to5Mac first spotted back in February. It was also revealed that Find My Mac, a new Lion feature for locating and wiping your Mac remotely, also works when one boots into the recovery partition. This lets a Mac owner use another machine to locate and wipe out their stolen Mac’s hard drive even if the person using it is not logged in. 9to5Mac discovered the existence of a new process called Find My Mac Messenger which presumably sits in the background. Upon receiving a ping from the Apple cloud to initiate the wiping procedure, the process presumably reboots the machine into recovery partition, which takes over to erase all user data.

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