Cloning a macbook hard drive without an external hard drive.

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by electro-boy, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. electro-boy macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2008
    I'm looking to upgrade my macbook hard drive and I was wondering if it would be possible to use my brothers macbook to do this? I've been reading how toos and they all seem to include cloning to an external hard drive, which I don't have. Could I:

    1. Take out the hard drive in his macbook.
    2. Insert my new hard drive in his macbook.
    3. Run the startup disk and run firewire target disk mode.
    4. Connect my mac and copy the hard drive over.
    5. Remove the new hard drive and replace his old one.
    6. Insert the new hard drive in my macbook.

    Can anyone see a problem with this? Having never done any of these things my idea is purely theory so feel free to shoot me down. Im just looking to save some money by not paying for someone else to do it or buying an external hard drive.

    Thanks, Jack.

    p.s. Would it be possible/ easier to use a hard drive enclosure or would it need formatting?
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    The easiest is to not buy an internal drive, but an external drive. Then start from your Leopard DVD, plug in the external drive, start Disk Utility, format the external drive, and then you can use Disk Utility to copy the internal drive to the external drive.

    Try if you can boot from the external drive, then the next step is taking your screw driver and swapping the drives. You now have a big disk inside your Mac, and a spare external drive, and you know that you have a quality enclosure (you can buy good external enclosures, but there are also rubbish ones for sale. An enclosure together with drive will be quality, because they can't blame it on you if it doesn't work).
  3. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
  4. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    If you want to use your brother's MB, it is best if it's has the same hardware, so when your install OS X, it will load the right drivers that will work for your MB as well.

    I would recommend the getting the external enclosure, since you can use it afterward to house your old HDD, for general use.

    Once you have the new HDD, there are 2 ways to go:
    1. Put new drive in enclosure, format with Disk Utility to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), then use superduper or carbon copy cloner to clone. Exchange drives and done.
    2. Install new drive, put old HDD in enclosure. Boot with DVD, and install OS X. Using migration assistant to extract files from old HDD.
  5. electro-boy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2008
    I was thinking about migration assistant, but doesn't that have to be with firewire? Then again, having not looked, I'm sure there are more expensive enclosures with a firewire port.
  6. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    A regular ethernet cable can be used now to connect 2 laptops.
    A USB cable can be used to connect to an external drive in an enclosure.
  7. cellocello macrumors 68000


    Jul 31, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    Does this migration assistant cleans things up a bit?

    Like ... will the new machine feel all snappy and new? Or does it migrate EVERY last detail, sloppiness and all?
  8. electro-boy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2008
    Thanks, I think i've found a suitably priced hard drive (320 gb for £50 seems darn good value to me) and an enclosure that will do the job.

    The second part of the question is will I need the same Leopard disk that I used to install leopard on my machine to format the disk?

    To cut a long story short I was 'gifted' 10.5 as part of a server edition which I don't have access to. Conversely I do have access to both a stand alone copy of leopard and the disks that came with a mb with leopard (my brothers).

    Can anyone tell me how stringent the protection on this will be?

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