How To Install back MacOS After a SSD Upgrade

audiotek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2015
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What's the best way to get MacOS on a fresh SSD after after an upgrade? Is buying the install disk from Apple online the easiest thing to do?
 

Nermal

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Dec 7, 2002
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If your system supports Internet Recovery (some 2011 models and all 2012+ models do) then it'll automatically walk you through reinstalling the OS when you turn the computer on. This will typically install the same version that the computer originally came with.

The other option is to download the Sierra installer from the App Store and then use the createinstallmedia tool to put the installer on a USB drive.
 
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audiotek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2015
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Perfect I have 4 iMacs I want to do eventually. Can I just burn Sierra or Mountain Lion from Apple.com on a DVD as an install disc? Also with a clean drive would Time Machine works as a way of reinstalling MacOS?
 

Nermal

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I'd suggest using a USB drive; last time I used a DVD (probably around the OS 10.8 era) it was horrendously slow and I don't know whether it's even possible anymore.

I can't comment on Time Machine as I've thankfully never had to restore from it.
 
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garysauctions

macrumors member
Dec 15, 2010
65
4
Perfect I have 4 iMacs I want to do eventually. Can I just burn Sierra or Mountain Lion from Apple.com on a DVD as an install disc? Also with a clean drive would Time Machine works as a way of reinstalling MacOS?
I do not believe you can.

If you have, as said earlier a 2011 or newer ( I have a mid-2011 ) you connect to the internet ( I used ethernet connection ) and do an over the internet install. Then I believe you had to imitate an OS upgrade to download the next version. DO NOT LET IT INSTALL, abort the install. Then you have to extract the install file from the downloaded package to a USB flash drive. You can look up the procedure by googling " how to do a clean install Mac OS X <insert name here> " You need to insert the OS name because the procedure as I recall is slightly different for each version.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
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Yes, but use a flash drive for that, rather than a DVD. Find a new 8GB USB flash drive to create your bootable installer.
It's much more reliable (also faster!) than a DVD, particularly if you are installing on older Macs with possibly flaky optical drives.
If you want to continue to pursue making a DVD installer, then you will need a dual-layer DVD for that (won't fit on single-layer disc)

If you are installing Lion on several Macs, keep in mind that version is no longer supported, and software for that (such as internet browsers) are getting older, too --- and possibly not as secure as you might hope a browser should be.

All this also depends on WHICH Macs you have. Some will be too new for a 5-year old Lion install.
I really like going to the newest version you can. Again, this depends on which Macs you have...
And, finally, OS X (now macOS) has been free to Mac users since Mountain Lion and later versions.
Lion was the last version that you had to actually pay to get the first download.
 
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audiotek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2015
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I have a 2009, 2011, 2013 I believe and one from 2 years ago. If I get Mountain Lion as an install disk (USB) can I make my way up to the latest MacOS with upgrades?
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
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I have a 2009, 2011, 2013 I believe and one from 2 years ago. If I get Mountain Lion as an install disk (USB) can I make my way up to the latest MacOS with upgrades?
You don't need to use an older version like Mountain Lion for the USB installer; get MacOS Sierra free from the App Store, an 8 GB (or larger) USB drive, and run createinstallmedia (info linked in @Nermal's post above) to make a USB installer that will directly install the latest version.
[doublepost=1501996831][/doublepost]These instructions may be a bit easier to understand than Apple's: https://www.lifewire.com/create-bootable-mac-os-sierra-installer-usb-flash-4055632
 
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Nermal

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If you see Open then it's probably already downloaded; see whether you have "Install macOS Sierra" in your Applications folder.
 

Nermal

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Not for Sierra. There was a bootable InstallESD.dmg in Lion and I think maybe Mountain Lion, but then the structure changed. The .dmg is no longer sufficient to install the system; you need to use the createinstallmedia tool to copy everything onto a USB drive.
 

audiotek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2015
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But the InstallESD.dmg is the right file? That's the file that got downloaded from the App Store. Internet Recovery will work on a 2009 iMac? I think that's how I will have to do it!
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,131
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No.
The file "InstallESD.dmg" is only a part of the installer app, which is named "Install macOS Sierra"
If you click on "Open" in your App Store, the app will launch. When that happens, there will be an icon for that installer in your Dock. Right click that installer icon in the Dock, then choose Options, then Show in Finder.
That will show you exactly where the installer (Install macOS Sierra) is located.
And, now you can use the various steps to use that app to make a bootable USB installer that you can use on any other Mac.

Keep in mind that if you run that Sierra installer on the Mac where you downloaded it - it will install on that Mac, then delete itself. You want to quit the app before you install, so you can make that USB installer (handy to keep a copy, even if you didn't have other Macs to install :D )
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,141
6,573
OP:

Is there anything "wrong" with the OS installation you're using now, other than the speed (of a platter-based hard drive)?

If not, why not do this:
1. Get CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper
2. Use either of the above to clone the existing drive to the new SSD
3. Swap the drives
4. Done.
 

audiotek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2015
26
0
What's the trick to stop before it install? I tried twice and couldn't catch it in time. Would force quit work when I see it's ready to install?
[doublepost=1502144522][/doublepost]
OP:

Is there anything "wrong" with the OS installation you're using now, other than the speed (of a platter-based hard drive)?

If not, why not do this:
1. Get CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper
2. Use either of the above to clone the existing drive to the new SSD
3. Swap the drives
4. Done.
I want to start from fresh Too much junk on that HD that's one of the reasons I'm OK with not being able to re-install with Time Machine
 

Nermal

Moderator
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Dec 7, 2002
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New Zealand
What's the trick to stop before it install? I tried twice and couldn't catch it in time.
This doesn't sound right; it starts with a "welcome" screen and gets you to confirm the installation (and I think agree with the licence) before it continues - you can quit at this point without any rush.

To confirm: You're looking at the Sierra Installer, not the 10.12.6 Updater, right?
 

b06tmm

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2009
236
23
South Louisiana
What's the trick to stop before it install? I tried twice and couldn't catch it in time. Would force quit work when I see it's ready to install?
[doublepost=1502144522][/doublepost]
I want to start from fresh Too much junk on that HD that's one of the reasons I'm OK with not being able to re-install with Time Machine
Why would you want to stop it? I thought that was was you wanted.

Do a Time Machine backup first and then you can pick and choose what you want to be restored. If you don't need all of the settings restored set it up as new and then select the files from your backup and do a copy and paste to the new installation.

But...

Once you do the backup, browse the backup folders to make sure the files you want to restore are there.
 
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