Booting MBP from an external drive to install SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ciberkarlos, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. ciberkarlos macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2011
    Hi everyone, i'm purchasing a 256gb Crucial M4 next week to replace my crappy 5400rpm HDD, and i'm thinking on this installation steps:

    1. Replace my old HDD with my brand new Crucial M4.
    2. Put my old HDD in an external enclosure, and connect it to my MBP via USB.
    3. Boot my MBP from my old HDD via USB.
    4. Copy my old HDD to my brand new Crucial M4 via Carbon Copy Cloner.
    5. Put my seat belt on and enjoy!

    Is this procedure ok or there is something wrong? Will the CCC process work ok, taking into account it's running from an external HDD via USB?

    I'm not considering a clean installation, even almost everybody recommend this (i'm so lazy).

    Thank you in advance and sorry for my english.
  2. tomllama macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2007
    The path I'd follow (and have with my MBP):
    Boot from DVD or other external and ensure HDD is cleaned up using disk utility (backup first).
    Put SSD in external enclosure
    Format SSD as desired and use Carbon Copy to clone existing HDD to SSD
    Swap the drives (SSD to internal and HDD to external) and verify proper operation. Wipe HDD and use it for its new task (could be kept as a backup bootable drive if SSD issues - what I did).

    It has been over a year running an SSD in mine using both OSX (SL and Lion) with a Win 7 bootcamp install too. No issues other than it runs well and fast.
  3. ciberkarlos thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2011
    Sorry for the dummy question but, will my 2.5'' external enclosure works with my SSD? I bought this enclosure thinking on my HDD, didn't knew it will fit with my Crucial M4. Finally, which format is recommended for the SSD?

    Thank you very much.
  4. mohsy90 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2011
    New York
    Yes, the SSD should also be 2.5" and will fit.

    Format should be mac OS Extended (journaled).
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    That process will work just fine.
  6. ciberkarlos thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2011
  7. PhixionFilms macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2008
    Deployed atm
    I wouldnt do the steps provided above. The best way to do it is install your ssd, format and install.
    Then use migration assistant, dont use carbon copy cloner because SSD works differently than HDD so you will be using the lions HDD settings with your ssd and not getting the best performance. Use migration assistance and you will be fine.
  8. ciberkarlos thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2011
    Do you mean Crucial M4 migration assistance? Is this migration assistance included with all Crucial M4 models?

  9. theSeb, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012

    theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    A SSD does store data differently, but that is handled by the SSD's controller and not the operating system. There is no issues with simply cloning your HDD to a SSD and then putting the SSD into a computer. I've also never seen any verifiable evidence of performance issues related to cloning a HDD to a SSD. The only thing to consider is that if you want to keep your recovery partition, then you need to specify this in CCC's settings.

    This is my Vertex 3 and it's a clone of my mechanical HDD; it seems like it is doing just fine.



    No, he is talking about OSX's Migration Assistant. It can be found in Applications ➞ Utilities ➞ Migration Assistant. Or hit ⌘ + space bar and type Migration Assistant.

    Some people prefer to do a clean install instead of just cloning your hard drive and then using migration assistant to bring your apps/documents/etc across.

    Whichever approach you take is up to you.
  10. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Can you explain what you mean here, because I am not aware of any such settings? Many users here have used the CCC clone method repeatedly with no issues.

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