Can I swap my current HDD to different model imac without reinstalling OS X?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pubjoe, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. pubjoe, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011

    pubjoe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #1
    I have a 2006 core2duo white 17 iMac here that I put a 1GB drive into not long ago. It has OS X 10.7 Lion installed. I recently purchased an aluminium core2duo 2007/8 iMac from ebay (due to arrive today or tomorrow) that apparently needs a new hard drive.

    Rather than spending a day backing up the hdd, reinstalling OS X and migrating all my files, can I just plop my current hard drive into the newer iMac and leave the OS X install and files as is?

    Now if this was Windows, I know this would be an insane question, but I have used target disk mode before on various macs and it almost seems that one install of OS X can fit all models. Although I don't know much about this to be honest. Maybe target disk mode boots into a limited safe mode? I dunno?
     
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #2
    Yes. The general rule of thumb is as long as the destination computer came with a version of OSX older than the one you are trying to transfer (10.6.6 versus 10.6.7 for example), it will work fine. You might have to reactivate certain programs like Office and Parallels. So with those two older computers with Lion, it'll be fine.
     
  3. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #3
    That's how I do it all the time. It is not the suggested method but I say ^%#63 conventional wisdom because my personal convenience comes first! :D

    It should work. The easiest way to test is to use the target disk mode on the old system and boot the new system from it. If it comes up fine you're in good shape.

    Cheers,
     
  4. pubjoe, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011

    pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #4
    Thank you both. The iMac has just arrived. I started it up with a snow leopard dvd, went to disk utility and ran repair disk for less than ten minutes, and, what would you know, a completely fine aluminium iMac (with the BTO 2600pro graphics card) is now sitting in front of me and it booted up from it's original hdd fine. :)

    But anyway, I still intend to install the 1TB hard drive into it, but at least now I appear to have a spare 320GB to swap back into the older iMac.

    panzer06, That's a good idea to try target disk mode first, just incase. I will do exactly that.

    Blevins321, it's funny you mention parallels as I do actually make use of virtual machines and it did occur to me that the vmware software wouldn't appreciate waking up in a strange place.

    Lastly, the drive I want to swap in does have a windows 7 partition. I imagine this part of it won't be so straight forward due to driver issues, but I'll see what happens.
     
  5. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #5
    I give those odds about 30/70 of working. If it does, just reinstall the Boot Camp drivers and it should be fine. I'd suggest backing up needed documents and files off of Windows 7 and being prepared to wipe the partition and reinstall if necessary.
     
  6. panzer06, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011

    panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #6
    Yeah, you could run into a boot issue but since they are older machines Windows 7 most likely has the right chipset drives built in so you will probably be ok.

    On the VMware front, I went from Fusion on a C2D to the i7 2010 and it popped up an error message that my VM could not resume. I started it from scratch and it came right up. You'll probably be fine. As long as you don't go from AMD to Intel it usually works.

    Enjoy your "new to you" system.

    Cheers,
     
  7. pubjoe, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011

    pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #7
    I did this yesterday and there were no problems at all. VMware Fusion was fine. Thanks again.

    I have not yet tested the windows partition though. I'm thinking I probably shouldn't touch it until I have cloned it back to the 17 inch imac - as getting the old (out of support) ati card to work properly in windows 7 64-bit was painful.

    ...Ahh bugger, I've just noticed the winclone problems with Lion. :rolleyes:

    ---

    P.S. I once got my Mum an aluminium 20" a few years ago and had noticed the TN panel had pretty small viewing angles. Now that I have it right next to the 17 inch white imac it's pretty shocking how inferior the aluminium 20 inch screen is! Still a nice lovely tidy computer and it's not a problem sitting at it straight on (or maybe tilted up just slightly), but it's a surprise that apple didn't put a better panel in to be honest. Apple's screens, in both older and newer machines, I've generally found to be very good.
     

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