Formatting new SSD for clean install of macOS?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by KieranDotW, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. KieranDotW macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2012
    Hi, I'm looking to replace my mid-2012 "fat" MBP's HDD with an SSD and figured while I'm at it I'd just do a clean install of macOS since I already have copies of my important files on an external drive.

    Since I won't be cloning my existing HDD onto the SSD, will I still need a SATA to USB dock or can I just pop the SSD in right away and install macOS directly from a USB key?

    Or will I still need to format the SSD before installing it into my MBP?
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    You can pop the SSD in straight away. You can use either a USB drive or Internet Recovery to format and install OS X.
  3. TomH TX macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2010
    My understanding is that if you are doing a "clean" install, you DO still need to format the SSD, but can then install OS X from the USB. You will need to select the USB as the disk to boot from until you get the OS transferred to the SSD.
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Anything you want, really. It's very versatile.

    If you want to do a clean install, I'd recommend getting a SATA>USB dock. Then hold Alt on startup and boot into the Recovery partition from the external HDD. Then you can format the SSD through Disk Utility and reinstall a fresh copy of OS X (whichever version you had on your old HDD) onto the SSD.

    If you've got an existing Time Machine backup, you can plug that in and again hold Alt on startup to boot into the TM volume. It will take you to an identical OS X Utilities page. There you can again format SSD through Disk Utility and either restore from TM backup, or install a fresh copy of OS X.

    You can hold CMD+ALT+R on startup to boot into Internet Recovery and reinstall the original version of OS X, which came with your machine.

    You can plug in the SSD and reinstall OS X from a USB drive. You can even plug in a USB drive now, hold CMD+R on startup, and install OS X to the USB key. Then you can boot into the Recovery OS on the USB drive by holding Alt on startup and format/reinstall to the SSD.

    Whatever is easiest for you, really.
  5. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    The file system must be HFS Plus. Recovery OS, Disk Utility, partition the new disk, quit, install the operating system. A separate drive is not required.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    i generally recommend that one buy a usb3 enclosure, and then 'prep and test' the drive externally before doing the drive swap.

    this way you still have 'an intact macbook' at your disposal if anything doesn't go as planned.

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