Owners of late 2012 Macs like the Mac mini, the new iMac or the MacBook Pro with Retina Display are reporting a major problem with their machines: they can’t re-install Mountain Lion or even re-install from a Time Machine backup if their systems get corrupted.
Apple’s new MacBook Air models don’t ship with OS X Lion on a USB thumb drive like they used to. That diminutive little white wedge of flash storage is gone, no where to be found inside of the box that these computers ship in. If you want one, you’ll need to pay Apple $69 for the privilege in August.
That’s a potentially big problem for some users. Yesterday, I found this out the hard way after an attempt to install Mac OS X Lion onto a 32GB Class 10 SDHC card failed. Apple’s failure to ship their new Macs with any media can leave you with a hosed Recovery HD partition, and a potentially lengthy fix may be the only way to get it back.