How to install El Capitan on new SSD?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by tirexstorm, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. tirexstorm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    #1
    The hard drive on my Mac Mini is shot. Luckily I have a spare SSD. My question is can I install OSX on the SSD prior to installing it into the Mac Mini? I have a working MBP and a USB enclosure for my drive. Can I just use the installer to install it on the SSD? If so, any special steps that I have to take?
     
  2. guychicago macrumors 6502

    guychicago

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    Create a bootable version of ElCapitan on an 8gb or bigger USB drive. You can google and find instructions to do so. Next boot the MBP with option key pressed and both the SSD and USB stick attached. If you can see the USB (SSD) once the install to option comes it should work.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    "My question is can I install OSX on the SSD prior to installing it into the Mac Mini?"

    Yes. I would recommend that you do it this way.

    "I have a working MBP and a USB enclosure for my drive. Can I just use the installer to install it on the SSD? If so, any special steps that I have to take?"

    Just:
    - put SSD into enclosure
    - "aim" the installer at it
    - let the installer "do its thing"

    Once the installer is finished, instead of just rebooting while still connected to the MacBook, I suggest you try this instead:

    - Power down, DON'T reboot to new OS
    - Connect the SSD (in external enclosure) to the Mini
    - NOW reboot to the SSD "for the first time"
    - Work through the setup assistant, which will ask if you want to migrate you existing accounts, apps, data, settings
    - Assuming that this is what you want, give it a try.

    When that's done ....
    ... Reboot from the SSD (external)
    Do you get a "good boot"?
    Look around -- are things "as you wish them to be"?

    If so, it's decision time.
    You can go two ways here...

    First way (easy):
    IF your Mini has USB3 ports, you can leave the SSD in the external enclosure and use it as "an external booter". It will boot fast and run fine. I've been booting and running my late-2012 Mini like this for more than three years, runs great.

    Second way (more difficult):
    You can open the case and do a "drive swap".
    You'll need the right tools.
    Be aware that many folks who thought they could do the job, have opened up the Mini, and then.... .... broken something inside.
    So... be careful....
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Yes you can. Just DL and run the installer on the MBP and point the installer to the SSD in the enclosure when prompted. Once it is done just pop the SSD in the Mini and you are done. No need to make a USB key installer or fuss around with anything else.
     

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