Like Windows 7, the Lion installer creates a small hidden system partition on your hard drive - in Lion, this recovery partition is to be used in lieu of your install CD in the event that you need to run diagnostics or reinstall your OS (if you burned Lion to a DVD, booting from it will get you the same interface and tools as the recovery partition, so pay attention). This partition is normally hidden from the end user in the Finder and Disk Utility, but is selectable when pressing the alt/option key at boot (and visible in System Profiler as a 650MB partition on your hard drive).

 

From the recovery partition, you can run Disk Utility, the Terminal, the Network Utility, and the Firmware Password utility, you can connect to wireless networks and launch Safari, and you can also restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup. The Safari option is a new one, but otherwise these tools should look familiar to anyone who has installed OS X before.
 


Missing from this list are the System Profiler and the Password Reset utility - I don’t know why the former is gone, but the latter is presumably missing for security reasons, since basically anyone armed with the Password Reset utility and physical access to your machine can change any local account’s password at will. To replace the functionality of this tool, Lion now gives you the option to recover your account password if you associate it with your Apple ID, which should work fine for most individuals (though perhaps not so much for system administrators).

If you didn’t burn a disc as outlined previously, the recovery partition also gives you your only option for a clean install of Lion - erase your hard drive using Disk Utility and then elect to install a fresh copy of Lion. At this point, you will be prompted for your Mac’s serial number, which is then communicated to Apple, and if it clears your Mac will re-download (sigh) and re-install the OS. This serial number check is OS X’s first real implementation of what anyone could call activation, though it’s worth noting that if you install Lion from a .DMG copied to another disk, the OS will still install without any checks.

The last thing the recovery partition is used for is to store FileVault information, which we’ll talk more about later on in the review.

Once the installer is complete, people who did an upgrade install will be able to start using Lion pretty much immediately - aside from the (optional) registration form, there’s not really anymore to it. People who did a clean install (or who have new Macs preloaded with Lion) will be taken through the standard first-time setup process, which is mostly identical to that of OS X versions past with a couple of changes: first, the customary OS X welcome movie has been completely removed (possibly in another effort to save on download size). Second, users are now given the option to associate their Mac with an Apple ID, and to give that Apple ID the ability to recover their local account password. Last, on Macs with multitouch-enabled trackpads and mice, the OS literally forces you to use a two-fingered scrolling gesture to click the “Start Using OS X” button. How’s that for pushing new features?

 

Installation General OS Appearance
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  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    $29 is indeed a solid improvement. However, given the Mac Store now being out there, their desktop OS should follow the formula of their mobile OS: Free to upgrade. These features are nice but I can't help shake the feeling that these are Service Packs (because they are). And with their "app" store available on the OS and the means of most of their cash inflow, it makes more sense to make this a free upgrade for everyone instead of a $29 upgrade. Reply
  • xype - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Service packs? Are you serious? Read up on the changes and try to come up with one service pack that changed as much.

    Some people…
    Reply
  • danielkza - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    XP SP3 would be a good candidate, but yes, 10.7 is a bit beyond what one could reasonably call a Service Pack. Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    You're thinking of XP SP2, and if you have to go back 7 years to come up with a comparable "service pack", it's certainly fair to say OSX 10.7 is more than a service pack. Reply
  • AfroPhysics - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    I fail to see how the age of the service pack matters. Xype asked for an example and qualified nothing. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Are we really going through the tired argument that every 10.x update to OS X is just a service pack and should be free? Then at what point should Apple try to recoup costs for OS development, because even if individual point updates are evolutionary, going from the original 10.0 to 10.7 has got to be a major change in anyones eyes. And the same questions could be raised about Windows NT 6.1 aka Windows 7 where the server version is bluntly labeled Windows 2008 R2 and Windows NT 6.0 aka Vista/2008 or Windows NT 5.1 aka XP and Windows NT 5.0 aka 2000.

    Besides, even if you discount the user facing changes, Lion has seem some major security infrastructure changes. Both the 32-bit and 64-bit kernel have been rewritten with full NX-bit and ALSR support as in place in Windows Vista/7 addressing the major security complaint Charlie Miller had with OS X. Application sandboxing frameworks are now available and soon to be mandatory for Lion apps in the Mac App Store which I believe is a security feature that even Windows isn't pushing yet. With the dropping of the Core Duo, the Lion has also be rewritten to make more use of SSSE3 instead of just SSE3 as pointed out by the Hackintosh community. Lion isn't just Snow Leopard with a few features added on top, but the entire OS has seem updates at a low level even if the user might not necessary see all the differences.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    And about the App Store being a major source of income for Apple, Apple has consistently said they aim to run their stores as a break even venture.

    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/07/19/apple-reports-...

    I'm not clear if the iTunes Store in the graphic in the above link includes the App Store, but at the very least as an example of Apple's digital store, the revenue stream really hasn't increased in the last 2 years. Apple's sales growth is clearly from their hardware, iPhone, iPad, and even Mac.
    Reply
  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    $1,634,000,000 in revenue from Other Music Related Products and Services (3)

    (3) Includes sales from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore in addition to sales of iPod services and Apple-branded and third-party iPod accessories

    I'd say their goal of a break even venture is not an accurate description of their stores. Hence the creation of the MAC Store. It sounds like a nice thought, but Apple is in business to make money and it seems their VERY good at it. Perhaps their projection analysis was a bit off.

    Hey, this is good news for the investors and I understand that they are a business. Lets not be too naive and just don't drink the cool-aid.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Perhaps my finance terms are wrong, but I'd hope the Apps Store is taking in revenue. But if Apple should be offering some of their other products like OS X updates for free, shouldn't we be concerned with whether the App Store is making major profits, such that there is money to spare to pay for OS development? Reply
  • solipsism - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Revenue ≠ Profit

    They've paid billions to both developers, and music and video cotent owners. They've also spent money on the infrastructure to support their stores. I'm sure they're making a profit as all good for-profit companies should, but it's not the cash cow you've attempted to present here.
    Reply

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