Hard Drive Replacement Using Time Machine?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Mr. Monsieur, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Mr. Monsieur macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    Hey folks!

    So...I bought a new internal hard drive for my Macbook and am trying to figure out how to backup my present hard drive, so I can switch it out.
    It seems like a bit of a no-brainer, since I have already been backing up to a 500GB external hard drive using Time Machine...but I haven't found anyone referring to Time Machine as a way to back-up before switching hard drives.
    Is it possible to back-up using Time Machine, or do I have to use Super Duper, or some other back-up app?
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Download the free Carbon Copy Cloner. Best tool there is for what you need to do.
  3. chscag macrumors 68000

    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I agree with Cave Man. I just want to point out that Carbon Copy Cloner is donation ware, however, you can certainly use it for free (no nags or registration).

  4. shmutheprophet macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008
    You can use Time Machine just fine as well, or carbon copy cloner, doesnt matter. For Time Machine, when your reinstalling OS X, just select "copy from a [time machine] backup" or w/e. It will restore everything - all your files, settings, looks, etc.

    So yes, time machine will work fine for this.
  5. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    It's easy to do with Timemachine just whack in the OSX dvd and make the appropriate choices.
  6. Mr. Monsieur thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    Thanks, folks!

    OK...so...just to clarify (since I haven't seen this written anywhere...I suppose those writing the manuals figure *everyone* knows how to do it?!)

    I'm going to:

    1) Back-up to Time Machine

    2) Switch out my hard drive

    3) Turn on my Macbook with the OPTION key held down

    4) Put the OSX Leopard DVD in the drive

    5) Follow the prompts

    Is that it? Am I missing something?

    *Thanks* again!
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    The problem with the Time Machine route is that you have to (1) reinstall the OS from your Installer DVD, then (2) reboot and use Migration Assistant, then (3) update the OS with Software Update. With the flurry of updates from Apple this year, that could be a real time killer.
  8. KoolStar macrumors demi-god


    Oct 16, 2006
    I would go with the route of CCC or superDuper.
  9. Mr. Monsieur thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    Argh. OK...so there's a difference of opinion...and, unfortunately, still a number of gaping holes (due to my own newbie ignorance, I'm afraid!)
    Namely...if I were to go the route of cloning my hard drive using CCC or Super Duper...how, exactly, will this work?
    That is to say...I've got three hard drives at present:
    1) an empty 320GB internal drive that I'm going to install
    2) a 500GB external drive to which I back-up using Time Machine, and
    3) the 80 GB internal drive in my computer
    (FWIW, I also have an enclosure for my internal hard drive, so that when I take the 80GB drive out, I can use it as an external drive.)

    1) Can I clone my drive to my 500 GB external hard drive without it interfering with Time Machine? Or do I need to partition the drive first?
    2) If I go this route, will I still need to begin the reinstallation by installing OSX first and *then* syncing to the cloned back-up, once I've used the two OSX reinstall DVDs? What's the exact order of how this works?

    My apologies, again, for being dense...but unlike many things Mac, this is not really very intuitive...
  10. SwitchingtoMAC macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2006
    you can restore your machine using the latest back from time machine when you boot form the install disc and pick that as an option it will look at the Hd you were using for time machine then give you the full lists of back up pick the most recent one and let it do its thing, you will not need to run updates after
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    1. Put your new drive into the extra enclosure that you have. This drive should be a SATA drive and your enclosure should have an internal SATA interface. If it has firewire, use that as it's faster than USB. But USB will work, too.

    2. Boot up your Mac and launch Disk Utility. Click on the new drive, then click on the Partition tab. Click the Option button to make sure it's set to GUID partition table (otherwise will not boot your Intel Mac). If you want more than one partition, this is the time to do it. Otherwise, choose one partition from the pull down and initialized the drive.

    3. Run Carbon Copy Cloner. The source is your 80 gig drive, the destination is the new 320 gig drive. Should only take an hour or so to clone the drive.

    4. Once done, launch System Preferences and choose the external 320 gig drive as your boot device and then reboot. This step ensures the cloning process went as you expected. If it's successful, then swap out the 80 gig for the 320 gig.

    You're done.
  12. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
  13. shmutheprophet macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008
    Nothing against CCC - but honestly I don't see how anybody could say that its difficult to use the Time Machine route.

    If you have broadband internet (and im assuming you do in 2008) - you will everything fully restored and updated and exactly how it was on your previous hard drive in under 30 minutes. At least thats how long it took me 2 weeks ago - and I had never done it before either.
  14. acrahm macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2007
    if i dont have the external enclosure, would time machine be a better option?

  15. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    The Time Machine route is a viable option, and is just as easy, really, but the clone route does streamline the restore process IMHO. And having a bootable backup is always nice to have in case of emergencies (e.g. you absolutely have to work on your computer but your hard drive died and you don't have another computer you can use).
  16. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    It would be your only option, unless you wanted to erase your Time Machine volume and use CCC twice (once to put onto TM, once to put onto new drive).
  17. Mr. Monsieur thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    *Great*! Thank you, Sir Cave Man!

    One (hopefully) last question...once I've switched in the new hard drive, with the cloned OS, etc., how do I turn on the computer? Do I hold down the Option key and then ________ (not sure what should go there!)
    I'm guessing that I'm going to need to tell my Macbook that the 320GB drive is no longer external, but internal?
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    If there's only one drive with the OS connected, it'll boot from it. You shouldn't have to do anything other than turn it on.
  19. Mr. Monsieur thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004


    OK...I'm pretty darn mad at whoever screwed the EMI shield connector screws into my hard drive...I mean really...is there *such* a great chance that those screws are going to fall out? Sorry...I don't think so...
    So...I spent *way* too long sweating (literally) all over my hard drive (still works, at least!) and chewing up the screws badly...I'm about to post a warning to anyone trying this: Apple's instructions for replacing the Macbook hard drive don't even mention the EMI shield:

    nor the fact that a specialty screwdriver is necessary...MacInstruct recommends a Torx T8 screwdriver (and this is, unfortunately, not really negotiable!):


    Needless to say, MacInstruct's instructions are much better than Apple's...
  20. bobcan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    Sunny but Cold.. Canada
    Good Tools...

    Hello and YES I unfortunately agree with you... However, the use of GOOD Quality Tools is ABSOLUTELY required and will allow all of the Repairs I am fairly certain... DO NOT expect a "complete" screwdriver set that Costs $5.00 to be Tempered Steel and be capable of Un-Doing all the WEE screws in these things... It is generally a "get what ya pay for" world... Your $2,000.00++ computer DESERVES better!! Good luck and I guess you can replace the Screws, should a Warranty Repair be req'd this would be a necessary idea!!
  21. m1ss1ontomars macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2006
    What's with all the CCC and SuperDuper suggestions? Seriously, what's the point? He already has a freaking backup that he can restore with the Mac OS X Install DVD; why waste time making yet another one? He didn't ask for a bootable backup. Sheesh; have some common sense.
  22. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    It would take more time doing the fresh install from the DVD, then Migration Assistant (which can result in re-entering serial numbers), then all the updates. Talk about wasting time. :rolleyes:
  23. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    Indeed. When I upgraded my hard drive last year, I ran CCC to clone the drive, swapped out the drives, cloned the backup to my new drive, and was up and running with a system that just as it was before (only with more disk space). No mucking with an install disk and then restoring from a backup, and no applying updates.
  24. Mr. Monsieur thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004

    *Thanks* folks! I can happily report that the hard drive upgrade seems to be a total success! I should probably apologize, as well, to the technician that I blasted for having screwed in the EMI shield screws in too tightly...once I had the proper tool (the Torx T8 screwdriver), the screws came out like butter. Another lesson learned...

Share This Page