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Integrate Casper Suite into Apple's Recovery Partition

It would be great if Casper Imaging and Self Service could be an option from the Apple Recovery Partition's Utilities menu.

This could potentially provide a manner to "reimage" Macs without a NetBoot server.

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Posted: 3/29/12 at 7:05 AM by jarednichols

Hell. Yes.

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Posted: 3/29/12 at 9:05 AM by Matt

I remember we had this discussion before about how amazing this would be!

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Posted: 3/29/12 at 9:10 AM by nessts

i have an amazing co-worker who has made a custom USB restore using apple's restore partition, to install a custom OS with extra packages, he has changed the tools that are available in the boot menu. so i am confident it is possible, that customer does not have a JSS installed we have to use a tool that is in house to support their macs, but if and when i get a few minutes, i will try to expand on his work and make a Casper enabled version of the tool. once we have that i would assume that we can migrate it to the on disk copy, i just wonder if some os update won't overwrite that periodically.

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Posted: 3/29/12 at 10:12 AM by jarednichols

@nessts (Todd)

I bet you could instead make a "break open glass" usb stick that I'm looking to do with that! Can't wait to see what you folks have cooked up.

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Posted: 10/15/12 at 3:50 PM by jafuller

@nessts and @jarednichols: any updates on your manual efforts with this?

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Posted: 10/15/12 at 3:55 PM by nessts

My update is Apple hates us doing anything useful with their OS and they have made the work we did on the lion USB based recovery tool useless. so no, Apple just seems to see useful things and then find a way to break them. Just have not had time to do much else sorry. i suppose first step is see if i can resize the existing recovery partition to be big enough for any use. second would be just copy the compiled image dmg to that system and then just use disk utility to restore that image to the other partition, if i ever get to it...

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Posted: 10/15/12 at 3:56 PM by nessts

or heck just make another partition that has the compiled image on it, and i would think that disk util is going to be able to mount all the partitions that are there and then just do a restore...

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Posted: 10/16/12 at 10:06 AM by jarednichols

I haven't done anything with it as for us it turns out to be sort of a fringe scenario and I haven't put the engineering effort towards it as there's bigger fish to fry.

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Posted: 10/25/12 at 3:00 PM by clifhirtle

Do you guys know if the restore partition get updated alongside of any of the incremental 10.8.x updates? I cannot recall at moment. If it does get recreated, w/every service update that could quickly become a losing game. Anyone have connections with the DSS guys? Perhaps there is a way to tap the code they use to generate DSS USB keys / hard drives in this capacity as well.

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Posted: 7/17/13 at 6:24 PM by jstrauss

This is an old thread, but as of 10.8.4 this still works and you can take it and run with it, if anyone's interested: http://jeffstrauss.com/?p=216

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Posted: 4/28/15 at 10:42 AM by techgeek

Hi Jeff. Your link is no longer available. Any chance you have put it elsewhere? I am quite keen to look at the contents to see if I can use it for my new Casper system.

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Posted: 4/28/15 at 11:03 AM by jacob_salmela

I haven't been able to access his link for a while, but I tried something similar but haven't gotten it to work. Someone said it's because Imaging wasn't made in Xcode.

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Posted: 4/28/15 at 3:43 PM by bpavlov

Seems like a pretty cool idea. And if your employee works off site I can see this being really neat if you have an external facing DP. Imagine Casper Imaging getting an image over HTTP? Sure there may be other pieces you may need to get worked out if for example you need to do binding to a directory service, but still a neat concept nonetheless. It would be almost like an Internet Recovery.

The only worries I would have is what effect it may have on FileVault that requires the Recovery Partition which everyone in this thread wants to modify. And more importantly, what would happen if Apple pushes out a Recovery Partition update. Maybe there are ways to modify it on the fly if a change is detected in the Recovery Partition through some sort of policy/scripting. But those are some of the problems I could see coming up regardless of what JAMF does.

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Posted: 4/29/15 at 5:44 AM by bentoms

@bpavlov that's some of the reasons I was asked for AutoCasperNBI to create restorable OS for restoring to removable media.

And, yes.. With a clustered JSS you can image. But takes a heap of time.

In those situations you may find shipping macs back & forth is quicker!!

Or... If this REALLY is a want/concern.. Look at DEP.

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