Help Needed Swapping HDD for SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DJinTX, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    #1
    So my wife has a Late 2011 MacBook Pro 17 inch that she uses for graphic design (CS6 and Adobe CC). We bought this machine refurbished from Apple a couple of years ago, and its performance to date has been a bit disappointing overall.

    At the time we could not opt for an SSD, and we also only got 4GB of ram, but after lots of frustration using this machine for her side business, I am finally being proactive and doing something about it. I want to upgrade it to 16GB of ram and a 500GB samsung SSD (850 EVO). All of this is pretty much set but I need some guidance on the SSD swap. The physical swap seems very easy, so I am good there, but I am trying to figure out the best way to move her data to the new drive. I won't have an enclosure for either if these drives in order to have them both connected to the computer at the same time. We do have time machine backups, and I am fairly certain that we still have her Mac OS install disks that came with the computer. Assuming we do, can I just install the new drive, format it, and then boot to the install disk to get OS X onto the new drive. Then run updates and restore from her latest time machine backup? Will this work as I have described? If not, what do I need to know to complete this with as little headache as possible? Is a bootable flash drive a possibility?

    Thanks for your input :)
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Oregon
    #2
    You don't even need the disks.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314
     
  3. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I thought about recovery mode, but the new SSD wont have a recovery partition becsuse it won't have OS X yet. Am I missing something?
     
  4. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Oregon
    #4
    OS X Internet Recovery

     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #5
    You can always use Internet Recovery.
     
  6. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Auckland
    #6
    You should be able to:

    Take a Time Machine Backup
    Swap the SSD into the MBP
    Option-Boot from the Time Machine Drive
    Format the SSD
    Restore your backup to the SSD
    Boot from the SSD
     
  7. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #7
    Just make sure that the new drive is big enough to restore the full TM backup. Otherwise, you will be forced to skip the restore of some items in order to be able to fit it on the new drive.

    Reboot/Power on your system, Cmd-Opt-R right after you hear the chime, connect to your WiFi when prompted (unless you're plugged in), wait for for recovery environment to download and initialize, and then Restore system from Time Machine. Point it to your TM volume, pick which backup you want to restore, and then pick your new SSD as the destination drive. Then wait, and wait, and wait some more ... until it's done restoring.

    You may have to run Disk Utility from the "Tools" menu first in order to partition it (it's been a long time since I've done this on a fresh/clean, unpartitioned, factory-state drive, so I can't remember for sure.)

    Oh yeah ... if you don't plug in to the network, then be prepared for a very, very long wait. In fact, I highly recommend plugging in and forgoing WiFi completely until after the restore is complete, as doing this through WiFi is going to be painfully slow.
     
  8. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2010
    #8
    This is all really great info, Thanks guys! I had no idea that internet recovery was built into the machine as opposed to something on the hard drive. This is awesome and will be a lifesaver. Also, thanks for the heads-up about wi-fi vs ethernet. It makes sense but I don't know that i would have thought of this. I'm thinking this upgrade will go really well (fingers crossed).

    Thanks all! :)
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP wrote above:
    [[ The physical swap seems very easy, so I am good there, but I am trying to figure out the best way to move her data to the new drive. I won't have an enclosure for either if these drives in order to have them both connected to the computer at the same time. ]]

    You are over-thinking things.

    My advice on how to proceed:
    1. Get an external USB3 enclosure. It will be backward-compatible with USB2. I suggest something like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003VKTJGW...UTF8&colid=R75PP4I2A0BE&coliid=I3DOKZ31SP7539

    2. Download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
    http://www.bombich.com/download.html
    (CCC is FREE to download, and it is FREE to use for the first 30 days)
    Put CCC on the MacBook

    3. Put the SSD into the external enclosure, connect to the MacBook. Use Disk Utility to initialize it.

    4. Launch CCC. Choose the internal drive as your source and the external SSD as your target. Let CCC do its thing.

    5. Now, TEST BOOT the SSD. Restart and hold down the option key continuously until the startup manager appears. You should now see the external drive as a boot option. Click on it with the pointer and hit return. Does the MacBook boot from the external drive? Go to "About this Mac" under the Apple menu to be sure.

    6. If you get a good boot, take a GOOD LOOK AROUND on the new drive. Is everything where it's supposed to be? If so....

    7. NOW it's time to take the SSD out of the enclosure, and "do the drive swap".

    8. With the new SSD in the MacBook, try a bootup. IMPORTANT: I suggest you do the "option key at bootup" again, because the MacBook may be "looking for" the OLD drive until you designate the NEW drive to be the boot drive using the "Startup Disk" preference pane.

    Does the MacBook boot as it should?
    Does everything look as it should?

    You're done. However....

    .... take the old HDD and put it into the external enclosure. You can now maintain that as your "bootable backup". There is NOTHING that can substitute for the convenience of having a bootable external drive if you get into an "I can't boot!" situation....
     
  10. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2010
    #10
    Follow-up question:

    My wife is on Mavericks, and not ready for Yosemite upgrade. When I use recovery mode to install os x on the new ssd, will it just put the latest os (yosemite) or will it put mavericks based on that being her machine's current OS?
     
  11. RichardC300 macrumors 65816

    RichardC300

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    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #11
    I did it similar to the method outlined above, but I bought this specific external enclosure and did a clean install and just pulled whatever files I needed from my HDD. It was cheap and now I have another external.

    http://www.amazon.com/Anker-Drive-External-Enclosure-9-5mm/dp/B00H98AXOE

    1. Back up your current HDD and download the Yosemite installer.
    2. Put the SSD in the external enclosure and install Yosemite.
    3. Install the SSD and put the HDD in the external enclosure.
    4. Fix up OS X however you like and then pull files from your HDD.

    ----------

    I believe it will install Yosemite, but you can do what I did but download the Mavericks installer instead of the Yosemite one.

    Correction: Actually, it will install the OS X that your MBP came with. (Source: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314)
     
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #12
    It will load the version that it shipped with

    You may have to then upgrade it to mavericks.

    Or you could create a bootable flash drive of mavericks and use that. It will probably be quicker and easier. This is quite a nice guide for you

    http://www.macworld.com/article/2056561/how-to-make-a-bootable-mavericks-install-drive.html
     
  13. ACiB708 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    #13
    I'd do Internet Recovery, or you could also just download a copy of OS X from the App Store, make a bootable USB drive from the downloaded image, and install a fresh copy of OS X to your newly installed SSD via the USB drive you just created.
    When you have the full working system you could then just move the data you want form the external backup drive back to your new install.
     
  14. lavrishevo, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

    lavrishevo macrumors 68000

    lavrishevo

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    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #14
    Just use disk utility or carbon copy to image your existing hard drive to the new ssd and swap them. Then you are back up and running in 1/10 the time. The ram is very important. 8 will work but 16 is much better. You should be alble to run 1600 MHz I believe. My early 2011 runs it great. Remember Yosemite disables trim support on 3rd party dives. You can re-enable it with Trim Enabler. Helps a lot. Then boot into single user mode (command s) and run the disk repair to trim the unused blocks: /sbin/fsck -fy
     
  15. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2010
    #15
    Wow! Lots of different ways to do this. I think I'm leaning toward making a bootable image of the hard drive onto my external HD, then swapping in the SSD and copying the image onto the SSD. Am i understanding correctly as to the following progression?

    1. Disk utility to image internal HDD onto external HDD
    2. Swap in SSD
    3. Boot to external HDD image
    4. Use disk utility to copy image onto SSD
    5. Reboot to SSD
     
  16. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #16
    No value in doing a 2-stage copy via another disk, and you already have an external bootable copy in your Time Machine backup...

    Swap SSD in
    Boot from TM backup
    Restore
     
  17. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    #17
    Sounds good. Thanks for saving me some time. Swapouts and Backups and clones snd restoring seem to give me mental fits, so I appreciate the help.
     
  18. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2010
    #18
    I've just been reading about time machine backups and several sources are saying the disadvantage is that they are not bootable?
     
  19. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    Aug 24, 2013
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    Far from here
    #19
    The Time Machine (TM) backup is not a clone, however TM backups the Recovery partition (if it exists on the Mac).

    So yes you can boot from a TM backup (you actually boot from the TM's Recovery partition).

    NB : TM backups the Recovery partition from Lion 10.7.2
     
  20. lavrishevo, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

    lavrishevo macrumors 68000

    lavrishevo

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    NJ
    #20
    Time machine will work but it's easier to put the ssd into a usb external case and image the hard drive to the ssd. Swap drives, reset pram, and then enable trim and run the command to trim the unused blocks. You should buy a case anyway for the swap. Their like $6 on Amazon. Don't reset the pram with trim enabled. She won't be happy. You need to disable trim support if you reset the pram.
     
  21. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Auckland
    #21
    Sure but he doesnt have a USB enclosure for it as per his post, by the time he gets one he could have managed the swap with the existing TM drive he does have...
     
  22. simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

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    Sep 29, 2014
    #22
    Help Needed Swapping HDD for SSD

    You don't need an enclosure. Just connect the ssd to the MBP (you can find a piece that connects the ssd via sata to your MBP via usb), use CCC, then reboot the MBP and choose the ssd as the startup disk to make sure it boots. If so, remove hd from MBP and install ssd. Done.

    I did the same thing when I upgrade my 500GB 5400rpm HD for a 750GB 7200rpm HD. Worked perfectly.
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #23
    It is bootable in the sense that you can install a new, blank drive and option key boot to the TM drive and use that to format and restore to the new drive and get up and running again.

    But you cannot boot and operate the computer from a TM drive directly. If you have a full drive clone, you can option key boot to that drive and actually use the computer. If that is a function that is important to you, a clone can be a good thing to have.

    Many people do both a TM and CCC clone backup.
     
  24. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
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    Auckland
    #24
    If you don't refer to that as an enclosure or caddy what do you call it? Is it a bare interface?

    I'm pretty sure enclosure above is being used to refer to a USB enclosure to put a bare drive into to connect it.
     
  25. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #25
    - Yes. You can use either an enclosure or just a SATA-USB cable.
     

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