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Find My Mac to enable remote wipe even if nobody’s logged in?

Granted, we don’t know yet whether the rumored Find My Mac feature will make it into Mac OS X Lion, but clues have been discovered all over the place in beta builds of the operating system. According to a MacRumors forum member “ArmanUV”, Find My Mac could be dependent on your hard drive partition layout. This is the warning message the poster got when attempting to install Lion on a HFS+ journaled formatted partition.

Due to the layout or type of your disk, installing to the selected disk will result in a install of Lion that is not compatible with the following features:

– Full Disk Encryption
– Find My Mac
– Recorvery System

Other posters have noted that said Find My Mac dependency on your boot drive partition layout might indicate the existence of a hidden partition. Its purpose would be to enable the ability to locate your computer and remotely wipe out its hard drive even if the person using it is not logged in. This is a long shot, but it does make sense, here’s why…


Our Mark Gurman discovered in April references to something called Find My Mac Messenger in a Lion build, quite possibly a resident process handling communication with the Apple cloud to enable remote features such as wiping your Mac, locking the computer and displaying a warning message. It could also be a way for the Mac’s finder to instant message with the Mac’s owner. Thus, upon receiving a wiping alert from the Apple cloud, the Find My Mac Messenger process would reboot into that hidden partition to wipe the entire disk. It could also lock the computer’s firmware so it only reboots into the hidden partition until the drive is wiped. Of course, it’s all speculative reasoning and your guess is as good as ours so feel free to share your two cents down in the comments. We will know for sure next week when Steve Jobs takes us through the latest on iOS 5, Lion and iCloud in a keynote next Monday. The Find My iPhone service has gone free last November so it looks like Find My Mac is one of the standard new features in Mac OS X Lion.

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