Hard drive swap between 2011 Macbooks (15" to 17" and vice versa)

derrick1985

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 20, 2010
3
0
Hi,

My wife might be getting her first Macbook computer, a 17" 2011 model (not sure if it's the early or late one). I currently have a 15.4" Macbook Pro early 2011 model. If she gets the late one with the slightly better graphics card (6770m vs 6750m) I might trade with hers and use the 6770m since I do game as well on my Mac, and she mainly wants to use hers for personal. Is it possible for me to just swap the hard drives between the two Macs around, without having to reinstall the OS/Apps/ Restore documents and files?
 

srexy

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2006
536
1
Hi,

My wife might be getting her first Macbook computer, a 17" 2011 model (not sure if it's the early or late one). I currently have a 15.4" Macbook Pro early 2011 model. If she gets the late one with the slightly better graphics card (6770m vs 6750m) I might trade with hers and use the 6770m since I do game as well on my Mac, and she mainly wants to use hers for personal. Is it possible for me to just swap the hard drives between the two Macs around, without having to reinstall the OS/Apps/ Restore documents and files?
You should be able to do it - yes. I just did it from a late '08 15" to a late '11 13" and that was even with Snow Leopard on the drive rather than Lion. Had to reset the PRAM a couple of times but now it's all sorted.
 

spacedrabbit

macrumors member
Nov 7, 2011
37
0
You can certainly try and see how it goes, however it is not a supported method. The the kext files used in booting the OS look for specific hardware components, and if they aren't found you may experience weird issues down the line : airport card cutting in an out, internal camera not found, etc. You may even find yourself booting to a prohibitory symbol. In the other post, resetting the NVRAM perhaps cleared out the system settings responsible for the macbook booting, and allowed it to start up.

with regards to install snow leopard on a lion machine, it is not recommended installing an OS made prior to the manufacture of the machine.

lastly, if you need to go in for service, if the serial # on the HDD doesn't match the one on record for the machine, they will deny service on the HDD. Though if the reason for service is for a different component, this issue doesn't matter.

The preferred method is using sneakernet (external usb/hdd) for important docs/photos/music/movies, or migration assistant over ethernet/wifi or firewire.
 
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