Clone existing MBP HD contents to a new HD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sprtnbsblplya, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. sprtnbsblplya macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    I have a 2008 Macbook Pro (last non-unibody aluminum one they made, 2.4ghz, 8600gt, multi-touch, LED screen) that I want to upgrade the stock 200gb 5400rpm HD in.

    I was thinking about purchasing this drive: to replace the stock one with.

    Would it be easy enough to somehow completely copy the contents of my Mac OS X partition onto the new drive and make the new drive once installed appear identical to the old one? That way I wouldn't have to reinstall everything and re-copy over all of my documents, that would not be fun.

    I do have an external 320gb firewire hard drive that I use for weekly Time Machine's, dont know if that factors into the cloning equation.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. core2duo macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2009
    There are a couple of ways you can do that.

    1. Install the new hard drive, connect your Time Machine drive, boot the system from your Leopard DVD. In the Utilities folder, you'll see "Restore system from backup..." which will let you clone your backup onto the new drive. This will only work if you didn't exclude anything from your backups.

    2. Connect your old hard drive in an external enclosure with Firewire or USB. Insert your Leopard DVD and boot the system to it. Open Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. Partition the new hard drive. Click to highlight the new drive, then click the restore tab. Drag the old hard drive's volume into the source field, and the new drive's volume into the destination. Check the box that says "Erase destination." This too will clone your old hard drive to your new one.

    Good luck!
  3. sprtnbsblplya thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    I think I may do option #1, seems to be the easiest.

    I dont ever exclude anything in my Time Machine's, I do complete hard drive backups in case the unthinkable happens.
  4. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    2 days ago i just cloned my old drive to the SSD using hard drive enclosure i bought for a merely $6. (of course with carbon copy cleaner, it's a donation ware.)

    after cloned it, i put the SSD on and put the old drive in the enclosure and use it as a time machine backup disk. you don't want to waste the old drive, better buy a cheap enclosure for a backup disk.

    cloning saves me precious time....
  5. sprtnbsblplya thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    Which enclosure did you purchase?
    I already have an external firewire 2.5" drive from the Apple Store that I use for storage, so I'm gonna stick my stock HD in the box and hang onto it in case I need to send the MBP in for warranty stuff.

    Also, are there step-by-step instructions on how to run the carbon copy cleaner method of cloning?
  6. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    it's called Lexcron 2.5inch USB SATA Enclosure. i bought it at a local computer at indonesia. it's not available outside this country since it's a local brand.

    try running carbon copy cleaner app. it's so easy that by looking at it you should have idea how to clone it.

    you just select the source disk and set to the old drive, set target disk to the new drive and press clone. that's all..
  7. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    When I bought my HD at Newegg they had a combo deal which included a usb external enclosure (SATA) for free - otherwise it was around $10 plus $5 shipping. Here's what I did:

    I put my brand new drive in the external enclosure, and using the included usb cable, connected to my MBP and it powered up fine. I ran Disk Utility to locate, and 'erase' the new drive, formatting it Mac OSX journaled.

    Using Carbon Copy Cloner, I did a complete backup using my Mac HD as the source disk and my new disk as the target. I checked the "delete items that don't exist on source" checkbox, and CCC performed a file-level copy of everything on the source disk. Since I had booted off the source disk (the internal HD) CCC did a file-level copy instead of a block-level copy, but I preferred that anyway, since it actually cleans up some fragmentation as it copies.

    When the cloning operation was finished, I re-booted my MBP from the external disk to make sure it worked, and booted up. Once I was sure the cloning was good, I swapped drives. I also made sure to re-name the new drive exactly the same as my original, and this allowed Time Machine to keep on doing its thing without having to start over by thinking it was the same drive it had been backing up all along.

    I have begun to move away from TM in favor of incremental bootable backup via CCC. Also, I schedule music backups on another external drive and photo/media backups on yet another drive which are strictly data backups, all via CCC. Each backup is a created "task" which I can schedule, or simply have it execute whenever I plug any of those drives in. CCC knows which physical drive is assigned to which backup "task" so I just plug the drive in, and it gets the right backup.

    With a large internal HD (500 gig) I've realized I probably need a second 500gig if I want a backup bootable clone which is constantly updated, but for now I'm getting by with an external 320g for the total backup, and a couple of 250g drives for the other data.

    My original 120g HD is in a desk drawer (in case of emergency and in case of any issues where I have to take my laptop in for repair (along with my original 2gig of RAM.)

    So, I really like CCC as a total solution. I haven't had to pull my original install DVDs out ever.

    Note of caution: If your MBP is still under warranty, you might want to be really careful you don't void your warranty by cracking your case yourself. I decided to not risk that, and after I cloned my new drive, I paid $40 to a third-party Apple certified shop to swap the drives to keep it "legal," since I still have two years left on Applecare. I know you can do it yourself, but know what you're getting into with it so there are no nasty surprises if/and when your 8600GT gpu decides to go out on you and you find out it's not covered because you opened up your machine. Just be careful... :)

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