Cross-hardware harddrive swap

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CrzyCanuck72, May 22, 2010.

  1. CrzyCanuck72 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2003
    I have a late-2006 C2D MacBook with a 500GB internal drive (running the latest version of 10.6). I'm looking at replacing it with a 13" MB Pro, which comes with a 250GB HD. I want to put my 500GB drive in the Pro while keeping all its contents.

    Is it possible to just pop the 500GB drive into the new machine? Will there be issues given the differences between the machines?
  2. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    Of course, you can "just pop the 500GB drive into the new machine" but the question of whether or not the installation of 10.6 will work with the new machine is another matter, so... Maybe. The hardware is different especially the graphics chip, so i doubt you could just startup without any issues. However, if you startup from a Snow Leopard DVD Install disk after putting the old HD in, and do an OS installation, which works like an archive and install, leaving the user settings intact, you may be OK. In any case, I suggest doing a backup of all your data on the old disk before you try installing it in the new machine. Then, in case a clean install (format and install) is necessary you will be OK.
    Still, depending on how old that 500GB disk is, you may be better off buying a new 500GB (Hitachi or Seagate recommended) as the HD technology has improved a lot in the last 4 years since 2006.
  3. piwi macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2006
    It will work, without a doubt.
    Mac OS X has this awesome ability to work on any Mac as long as the Mac has been released before the current build of OS X you are using.
    When I was inbetween Macs, I kept my HDD into a USB enclosure and went to the Apple Store, booting off my HDD and using the hardware as if it was my own computer. It worked on any given one, be it a Mac Pro, a MacBook or an iMac.
  4. swish2351 macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    Yes it will work fine. If you know what you're doing. I do that for all my laptops. If you mess up though... you're S.O.L.

    Nice choice on the 13" though;)
  5. silencer88 macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2009
    Sorry guys, but i disagree. The new MBPs came with a new build of 10.6.3 which includes hardware support for the new systems. I don't think the standard 10.6.3 that the previous models run right now includes the new drivers/kexts for the newer systems. It is only a matter of an update before they do include those drivers, but as far as I know, that update has not yet happened.

    Maybe someone with further knowledge on the subject can comment. I've swapped drives between machines before, and it's always worked, but since new hardware just came out, support may not yet be included in the standard 10.6.3 installation.
  6. trondah macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2008
    I can confirm that 10.6.3 will work on the new 13" but the new inertial trackpad feature won't be there.

    What I did was swap the drive and then do an installation with the DVD that comes with the 2010 MBP. It will upgrade your installation and retain all your files and settings.
  7. lucifiel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2009
    In your basement
    If the OP buys a HDD enclosure, there can be a few swapping arounds of OSs and HDDs with relative ease in an admittedly time consuming process.
  8. piwi macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2006
    Well if all comes to worse, you can still make a fresh install from the DVDs that came with the new Mac and use the Migration Assistant.
  9. CrzyCanuck72 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2003
    It sounds like there's no consensus on whether it'll work 'out-of-the-box'. I think my best bet might be to pick up a new 1TB external drive, make a full Time Machine backup, wipe the 500GB drive, and migrate it over. I need a new external HD anyway.
  10. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    ditto, worked like a charm ... put old hd in new machine, then insert new install disk do archive and install and you're all up to date, trackpad, battery meter all accurate no problems.
  11. trondah macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2008
    Read my post :) It will work out of the box except for inertial trackpad. You can do an upgrade with the install DVD to get the missing feature, much quicker than TimeMachine. Although you might want to do a backup first anyways.
  12. LedCop macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2008
    This is what I believe too. Once 10.6.4 is released, hard disk swapping can be done with impunity. Until then...

    I once swapped hard disks in a similar scenario; the new machine came with a slightly updated Mac OS that wasn't released to the public yet. When I swapped the hard disks, the monitor wouldn't display colors correctly as the Mac OS installation didn't have the display profiles for the new hardware.
  13. CrzyCanuck72 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2003
    Ah, that seems to be good news - I probably wouldn't pick up the new machine until after 10.6.4 is released anyway.
  14. mfnewbie macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2009
    I want inertial scrolling on my 2009 MBP!!!

    I have a '09 MBP 13" 2.26/4/500@7200 running 10.6.4 and I want inertial scrolling bad!

    Can I borrow the DVD install from a friend's 2010 13" MBP and install something from it to make the scrolling feature work on mine?

    If so - great please tell me what to do.

    If not next question is - if I swap my HDD into his machine (and buy it from him) will all my files, applications (CS 5) etc. automatically be there like it's my present one?

    My 500/7200 HDD is one week old so it's a current generation.

    Thanks guys!
  15. mfnewbie macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2009
    about the desired momentum scrolling...

    myself and someone else on these forums tried the 13" 2010 MBP's at two different Apple stores where they were not scrolling with the new feature.

    After 30 minutes of deliberation the genius's consensus was that future "updates" would enable the momentum scroll feature like the new 15" and 17" models on display.

    Hope this sheds some additional light on this! :)
  16. CrzyCanuck72 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2003
    Now that 10.6.4's been released, any further thoughts/experiences on whether swapping a harddrive from an old Mac to a brand-new Mac will result in all features being enabled on the new machine (eg. inertial scrolling)?

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