I recently wiped my MacBook Air and restored it to factory settings, a process that was necessary but added a few grey hairs to my head.
Delivered with my MacBook Air was a neat little USB stick that contained a recovery image for Snow Leopard, however, this was superseded with the introduction of Lion that creates a recovery partition on the hard drive itself. So I did the restore entirely from this recovery partition, at least that was the theory, something and I am still not clear what, went awry in the process and Internet Recovery kicked in. This simply goes to Apple’s servers and downloads everything it needs from there, clearly something that is only possible if you have an Internet connection.
At the end of the process I realised that it had all been completed without the need for the recovery USB stick so it could be wiped and used for other things. However, Apple aren’t keen on you doing this and so it is not just a case of re-formatting it, it requires a special tool and a Windows machine. I followed the instructions found over at OSXDaily but the link to the required tool didn’t work and took some tracking down (Google is your friend here).
What I am left with is a tiny, high-speed, 8gb memory stick with an Apple logo on and if you are an Apple fan boy you are definitely going to want one of them!
Hum, so that didn't go quite as planned then as Internet Recovery has kicked in and taken over! #pleasedontbrickmyMBA
— Neil Thompson (@spokenlikeageek) May 23, 2012