Installing a new Hard Drive in my MB Pro

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Javelinadave, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Javelinadave macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2008
    I want to install a 1TB hard drive in my MacBook Pro in the next week or so. I downloaded Mountain Lion a month or so ago so I don't have an install disk for it. The guy at the Apple Store told me that I could just install the new HD, plug in my Time Machine USB HD and it would transfer the OS and all the files automatically.
    Is the Apple Store guy correct or blowing smoke my way?
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    He is half right. :)

    If you have a 2010+ Macbook it will have Internet Recovery built into the firmware, so if you put in a blank drive the computer will boot to recovery and allow you to format the blank drive then download the OS from Apple. Problem is, your Macbook came with Lion and an Internet Recovery is going to install Lion and you don't want that. (Although you could download and install Lion then from there download Mountain Lion from the App Store and reinstall).

    If you want to avoid downloading the OS again, just go to the above link and make yourself a recovery USB key (1GB USB key required) and boot the machine to that after the drive install. Then use Disk Utility to format the new drive and restore from Time Machine.

    The screen will look like this.

  3. natd1993, Aug 30, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012

    natd1993 macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2011
    I recently upgraded my MPB with a 1TB with no issues. Instead of using a Time Machine backup, I simply downloaded an app called SuperDuper! which allows you to copy the existing contents of your HDD to a new one, and is free.

    In my case, I bought a 1TB hard drive, along with an enclosure (which allows the HDD to act like an external). I then plugged this in to my MacBook (via a standard USB to mini USB cable), ran SuperDuper! and then put the new drive in. It booted up perfectly and my system was exactly as it was on the old drive. I didn't have to install anything new, or reinstall the OS.

    The whole process took me about 3 hours, and was very painless. I'll provide links below for the things I used.


    1TB Samsung Drive:

    HDD Enclosure:

    Torx Screwdriver Set (for removing and replacing the HDD):

    These are products on the UK Amazon site, so they may not be applicable to you OP, but hopefully they'll point you in the right direction.
  4. Javelinadave thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2008
    Thanks all! I'm not sure which path I will take but it sounds like the Apple Store employee was misinformed himself.
  5. 2square macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    i'd suggest doing a clean install of the os, either via internet recovery or a usb image of ML.

    there have been known to be issues with some advanced format drives if you're moving data from an older drive, via cloning/duplicating.

    make a time machine backup, buy a sata enclosure.

    install the new drive into your mbp, hook up your old drive to your mbp via the sata enclosure and migrate your data from there to your new system.
  6. Javelinadave, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

    Javelinadave thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2008
    I just finished upgrading via this method and it appears to have worked as advertised.
    Simple steps too:
    1) Download and install Mountain Lion Startup file on USB
    2) Install new HD
    3) Format new HD
    4) Install ML from USB
    5) Restore files from Time Machine

    Thanks all!

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