Can I hot-swap my old HDD into a new unibody?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FuNGi, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. FuNGi macrumors 65816

    FuNGi

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Hi,
    A replacement to my girlfriend's pre-unibody 2.5Ghz (4,1 with the 8600GT) macbook pro is soon to arrive (thanks Applecare) and I'm really hoping I can just "hot-swap" the old (but newish) 500GB 7200 rpm HDD (bootcamp partitioned :() into the new unibody replacement. Does anybody think this will work? Will there be :apple: EFI/hardware issues?

    FYI (this is due to 4 ongoing graphics/screen issues)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    I might not work as the older drive might not have the correct drivers. For this, I would do the swap and then perform an Archive and Install; this would retain your applications, files, etc. while installing the correct system drivers, etc.
     
  3. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #3
    "Hot-swap" implies switiching/swapping the HD without shutting down the system... How you gonna manage this while the system is running?
     
  4. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #4
    Hehe, I had the same reaction after reading the first post. The term the OP is looking for might be retro-fit or something similar. In that case, I would have to say that your best bet is to back up the drive and then try it. You could also buy an enclosure and use the old drive as an external one.
     
  5. cwykoff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #5
    I replaced my early 2009 13" MacBook (pre-unibody) with a 13" MacBook Pro, and swapped out the 500Gb HD I had in the old one into the new one. Zero issues. I then took the 250Gb that came with the new MacBook Pro and put it in the old MacBook. Booted up fine. The 500GB HD did have Snow Leopard on it already, so if your old one doesn't that might be an issue. I did have to swap around the brackets on each HD, the newer MBP has a different design than the old one. All in all, the hardest thing about it was getting one of the tiny screws out of the new MBP... it seemed to be in there extra tight.

    I did have both computers shut down when I did this. ;D

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    Having swapped a few mac laptop hard drives I doubt there will be a problem, however the only real way to know is to find out. Put in the new hard drive, don't seal it up, and fire up the computer. If it works, great, if it doesn't you'll have to go to plan B.
     
  7. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #7
    I think preunibody and unibodies have totally different drivers so uhhh.... yeah, it will work, but not well. It might be much wiser to just get a external hard drive enclosure for that hard drive and pull stuff you need from it with the new compter.
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    We're suppose to assume that the OP didn't mean that ;)
     
  9. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #9
    ... Silly me, why didn't I think of that? :rolleyes:

    the answer to your question is this. It's entirely possible but you'll have to experiment, due to the nature of our Macs, no physical harm will be done should the system software on your older HD if it's incompatible... it'll simply halt, worst case scenario, it'll have a hard crash due conflicts. From experience, I can tell you Mac OS installed on a MBP HD doesn't work on my MacPro!! :rolleyes: It crashes too!! :eek:

    Example 1:
    [​IMG]

    Example 2:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. FuNGi thread starter macrumors 65816

    FuNGi

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Thanks all. I didn't realize "hot-swap" literally meant while it was still on. I thought perhaps while it was still warm ;)

    Both are of course running the most recent version of Snow Leopard. I will try to just swap them and turn it on. With regards to the qoute:

    This implies attaching the old harddrive as an external then going through the archive and install utility correct? Also, this wouldn't bring back the bootcamp partition. I guess if the "warm-swap" doesn't work then I could bring the bootcamp back with WinClone.

    Cheers everyone for your advice.
     
  11. FuNGi thread starter macrumors 65816

    FuNGi

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #11
    And the answer is....not exactly.

    So my new 15" 2.53 Ghz, 330M i5 arrived and I turned it on, turned it off, and immediately took out it's Hitachi harddrive. Then swapped in my bootcamp partitioned 500GB 7200 Seagate drive. Turned her on and OSX booted up just fine. I needed only to reenter my license codes for a Aperture and Papers.

    Windows 7, however, freaked out given all the new hardware drivers required. Had to reinstall the OS, then restore to files from a backup, then reinstall all programs separately.

    Hope this thread is informative to those in a similar situation. And remember, always backup. Twice.
     
  12. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #12
    You can even clone a PPC Leopard boot disc into an Intel system and it works because it's Universal.

    When I did this, the new Mac started (or run?) slowly. There was a lot of junk in the old system, so I reinstalled from scratch.

    Caveat: Your Intel Mac must have been released before Snow Leopard.
     

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