Getting a new hard drive for my 2007 laptop with Lion. How to restore the system?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by msharp, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. msharp macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2004
    Hey guys, I'm getting a hard drive upgrade from my late-2007 macbook pro. I've searched tons of articles online about restoring the system using Time Machine backups, but none of them addresses the scenario for restoring Lion to a brand-new drive on a pre-lion mac. So no internet recovery, no recovery hidden partition. Just a brand new drive with a huge Time Machine backup.

    So, how should I proceed? Has anyone done this before? I would hate it if I had to fresh install snow leopard, upgrade to lion, and then reinstall all my apps and restore the preferences.

    Thank you all!

    - msharp
  2. AmbiguousNinja macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2011
  3. msharp thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2004
    Many thanks for the tip! I'll for sure look it up. I've heard of it many years ago and didn't know it was still the best option for system restoration.

    After mirroring all the content to the new hard drive, I would also need to do some micro surgery with my time machine backup so that it can recognize the new hard drive and keep writing new data to it. Am I right?

  4. msharp thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2004
    Question for using CCC: As far as I know, CCC duplicates entire volumes to new drives. What about that invisible Lion recovery partition? If I just carbon copied the entire Macintosh HD, wouldn't it mean that I'll lose the recovery partition on my new drive?

    This isn't a big deal, but I'm wondering if it's the best/right way to migrate a lion system to a new drive.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot!
  5. msharp thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2004
    Okay, here's me answering my own question. Hopefully it'll be helpful to others.

    To migrate all my stuff to the new hard drive, here's my plan:

    1) Use CCC to clone all my data to an external drive;
    2) Install the new hard drive to my late-2007 MBP;
    3) Startup the computer and install Snow Leopard;
    4) Update the Snow Leopard, and install Lion through the App Store;
    5) Once get back into Lion, use CCC (or Time Machine) to restore the system.

    This way we can restore my data and have the Lion recovery partition after the HD upgrade. It's a big hassle, but I just hope it'll work out without any issues. If you have any better ideas, please do let me know.

  6. Jamie0003 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2009
    Norfolk, UK
    If you don't mind redownloading the whole OS, you could alternatively download the firmware update Apple released a little while ago that lets you install Lion over the web, and then restore onto your new HDD. You would need to backup first though of course.
  7. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    This seems needlessly complex and would take a lot of time. Here are two faster options:

    1) Use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper! to clone your current system to your new hard drive. This will require a SATA to USB adapter (like this one, which I own and which works wonderfully) or an external drive enclosure - something that will allow you to have access to your current drive and the new drive. Once you've cloned the system, you just install your new hard drive and you're good to go - you can boot directly from it, and all of your data is there. It's a "clone" of your present hard drive.

    2) Install your new hard drive, install Snow Leopard (or Lion, if you made an install disc), and then use the Migration Assistant to pull the data off of your Time Machine backups. Migration Assistant can be found in your Utilities folder. I did this back on 10.5 when changing computers, and it was flawless. When it was finished, it was as if I had cloned my previous system.
  8. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2009
    New York, USA
    If Lion is already installed:
    This will create a backup of the hidden Recovery partition (on a USB ThumbDrive) letting you reinstall via Internet Recovery.

    If you still have the Lion Installer App:
    This tutorial will show you how to make yourself a full Lion Installer DVD / USB stick.

    (If for some reason you need to restore the Recovery Partition to a CD instead of a USB drive, post back and I'll walk you through it.)

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