No Recovery Partition

Hello, I’m a SysAdmin for an IT company that refurbs/repairs cellphones, iPhones, iPads, TVs, laptops, and MacBooks. If this is a repeat post forgive me, I thought I had posted previously a couple months back before the pandemic settled in but I cannot find that post and I’m just now getting back to this

At some point we are supposed to start getting used MacBooks, and which need to be wiped, and then a reinstall of the OS. The wipe process was set up with a 3rd party, and it works very well, but unfortunately it completely wipes out the Recovery Partition as well. Would it be feasible to use MDS in this scenario? To complicate matters, we’ve set up a couple of isolated LAN networks, one for the wipe process and one for the OS reinstall and it’s all wired LAN, no wireless. The reasoning for this was security and speed, as the machine that hosts the OS images is connected via fiber to the isolated network. However, most of the MacBooks we have received don’t have an RJ45 so we are using USB to RJ45 (Startech) adapters and these are not recognized out of the box by the MacBooks. I’ve worked around this by installing the drivers and then putting the OS onto a USB drive, but it’s not a particularly graceful solution

I’ve just about convinced them of the necessity of having a wifi network available for this, at least long enough to get the drivers installed for the USB-RJ45 adapter

Is there any hope in this scenario or do we really need that recovery partition? Got a meeting soon with my bosses and if I know that MDS will work I know they will ante up for the base support package, so that we can start testing

Thanks much

It definitely should work, but you’ll need to either boot to an external drive or internet recovery. When the MDS workflow runs, the macOS installer will put the recovery partition back on the drive. For older (non-T2), booting externally works fine but for new T2, you have to boot to recovery (internet or otherwise) and enable external booting (which can be a pain).

As for 3rd party USB dongles, I have not had one that required drivers and everyone we have used seems to work out of the box in recovery without any drivers. That would be the optimum solution.

Let me know if you want to set up a web call and we can discuss further.