How to prepare for installation of an SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Stiltzkin, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Stiltzkin macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2012
    I've figured out that I am saving hundreds by buying the baseline mid-2012 13" MacBook Pro (non-Retina Display) and doing the internal upgrades myself with my own parts. I've ordered a Samsung 830 128 GB SSD, and 2x4GB sticks of RAM. Now I am just needing to buy the MacBook and do the installation.

    Now, I've never done work on a computer before in any capacity. I am scared stiffless that I will mess something up and that my brand new $1200 laptop will be ruined. I am sure the installation of the harddrive itself will be easy, but I'm concerned about the preparations involved before the process begins, and immediately after the drive is installed.

    -Will my MacBook Pro come with a Lion install disc? If not, do I need to download a Lion install file and move it to an external before the install?

    -I've read a ton about cloning drives, but do I even need to do this considering it is a brand new computer (I'm not even going to use the 500GB mechanical drive it comes with)?

    -How do I designate the new SSD as my boot drive once it's installed? Ideally, I want to use the SSD for all of my data-heavy apps and the OS, and my 2 TB external drive will be all of my photos, music, videos, etc. How do I make this work?

    I'm sorry if these are questions with very obvious answers. Most of the results on Google use terminology I'm not terribly familiar with. I just want to make sure everything turns out fine. Thanks for your help in advance!
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    1. Yes. Once you have the notebook start it up. Open the AppStore and download OSX. Next you should just find some flash stick that is big enough (I think 4GB is enough) and pull the Install file on. There are other ways but this one is the fastest and easiest.
    One just has to start disk utility via spot light and drag & drop the image inside the install package. See DIY way.

    2. No you don't. If you have some kind of way to put the SSD into an external enclosure, it might be quicker than redownloading Mountain Lion depending on your internet connection.

    3. You don't have to do anything. You just boot it up and the system will by default use the same selection the next time.
    For the external files you will effectively have to change the settings in the Applications. Apple doesn't let you easily manage multiple file locations like the Windows libraries. You need to go into the iTunes preferences and change the location of the Music library. iphotolibrarymanager can do the same for iphoto.
    Video files outside of itunes you can just manage manually.
    There are a few threads that five detailed answers to this problem. The gist is though their is no really simple perfect way.

    PS: I forgot the MBP should probably come with an install disk. So just swap the drives. Put the disc in and follow the instructions.
  3. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Ever since Apple started shipping computers with Lion, they have not included restore discs. It's not a big deal though, you are able to boot into Internet recovery and install OSX even with a blank HDD.

    You don't need to clone anything. Just use Internet recovery as I said above.

    During the install process, OSX will select your boot drive. You can also do this manually, but it isn't required.
  4. jetty293 macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    I am in the same situation, I just bought new 2012 macbook pro 13.3 base and i am doing the upgrades myself. I bought crucial m4 256Gb SSD, i know how to do the physical installation but i am worried about the drive after being installed i wont have it formatted to work properly when i boot up.

    I read about having to clone the hard drive before installing the new SSD or can i just use the OS X Internet Recovery, if i can use the OS X Internet Recovery then i do not have to do anything to the factory HDD before installing the SSD? Or do i need to first start up my macbook and download OSX to a flash drive then install the SSD and boot Lion from the flash drive?

    THanks for the advice. :confused:

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