This week I ran into some issues with my tricked out Mac pro tower that I use for editing images. Long story short, a "new" replacement SSD drive from www.macsales.com (see https://plus.google.com/+ShawnClark86/posts/TEcMg2Kh7xy for the details as to why I no longer purchase from macsales) failed in the same manner as the old drive.
Since I had 4 photo shoots last week and was a little behind on editing, I thought I would try reformatting the drive and doing a clean install of the OS. This usually isn't a problem because all of my data is on a separate hard drive, so its just a matter of reinstalling the OS and applications. I rebooted the machine and held command+R to enter the boot options and start the recovery process. After many tries and nothing working, including trying to reset the PRAM and using command+option+R for the internet recovery, I gave up and ordered a replacement drive from Amazon.
What I didn't realize is that without a OSX recovery partition on the drive, you can not use any of the boot options to start the recovery process. The failed "new" drive was a clone of the operating system partition from a previous failed drive which did not include the recovery partition. When the new drive arrived, I had the same issue. Usually this would not be a problem because if an operating system is not found, OSX should automatically boot to the internet recovery system. In this case, again, it did not boot to recovery and no key combination would load the recovery system either.
After some time searching the Apple.com forum (no link saved, sorry) I found a single comment that suggested using a Lion recovery disk to boot to the internet recovery system. Since I did not have any of the old install disks handy - I do keep both disks and images of Snow Leopard and Lion - I chose a different path: TechTools ProToGo.
When I originally purchased TechTools pro by Micromat (https://www.micromat.com/products/techtool-pro) it was over $125.00 but it was the best program for what I needed at the time. The price has come down a bit now but it is still the best tool I have found for a testing memory, SSDs, HDDs, and other hardware for Mac. Most importantly, the ProToGo features will create a basic recovery start-up disk on a flash drive. Once I had that created, I popped it in and booted straight to the internet recovery system; partitioned the disks using Disk Utility, performed a clean install in a matter of an hour or so and was back up and running.
So far, I am very pleased with the Samsung SSD drive I purchased from Amazon - very fast, very small!