Installing HDD - New Mac man.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mcphee7, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. mcphee7 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    Hi All

    I have been a reader on this forum for a little while and it is a wealth of knowledge for me, a current windows user. I am currently a Microsoft Certified Professional but I want to get involved with Mac's and so I am soon to purchase a 13" MBP i5. I have done lots of research, but still my Windows expertise is useless here and so please treat me as a beginner.

    Anywho, I think the HDD that comes with the base model 13" is a bit of a joke to be honest. For the money you put down for one of these machines, I personally would expect better. That said, I realise the machine makes up for this in many other ways, build quality for example.

    I plan to immediately change the drive myself. I have earmarked a Seagate 750gb 7200rpm drive. However, the problem comes with Lion. What do you think would be the best method to change since Lion doesn't come with physical media.

    1) Install Carbon Copy Cloner onto the stock drive, put it in an enclosure, boot from this then clone it to the new drive I will have installed.

    2) Put the stock drive in an enclosure, boot from this, "Command +R" run the recovery partition included with Lion and install Lion to the new target drive. (will it let me do this?)

    3) Navigate to the App store, redownload the Lion Installer, show package contents and create a USB drive boot image?

    4) Buy refurb and hope it comes with Snow Leopard, install the new drive, install snow leopard to the new drive with the DVD's and use the Lion up to date program offered by Apple to "update" to Lion?

    Sorry for the long post but its Apples fault for thinking the world is ready for a physical medialessness ;)
  2. gr8tfly, Aug 23, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011

    gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    The fastest way would be to put the new (or existing) drive in an enclosure and image the shipped drive's contents to the new drive using Disk Utility - which is included in the Recovery HD toolset.

    (I believe new Macs can netboot to a Recovery HD, if there is no partition found - as the case would be on a blank HD. IIRC, cmd-R on startup will work for this mode too. Once there, you would be able to download and install Lion. Not sure if that's the route to restore iLife, or if you are given access to it through the App Store. This stuff is still new to us verterans - and I'm not quite ready to upgrade my MBP to get first-hand experience. ;) )

    Whichever way you want to do it (install new drive; put old drive in enclosure or vice-versatile), you can still boot tom the Recovery HD partition on the original drive by starting up with either cmd-R or opt and select Recovery HD.

    Once there, use Disk Utility to:

    Create a partition on the new drive. Select the new drive, then click on the Partition tab. Set the layout to "1 partition", format Mac OS Extended (journaled), and set the partition table to GUID by clicking the Options... button.

    Restore the original drive's contents to the new drive. Click on the Restire tab. Select the source and destination partitions and check "erase destination..." to enable block copy (much faster than file copy).

    You should now have a bootable exact copy of the original drive on the new one. You won't have the Recovery HD partition, but you can use Apple's Lion Recovery Disk Assistant tool to create one on a USB stick (It should work on an external USB drive, too, though I've only actually used the tool on a USB stick. It doesn't work on FireWire drives.)

    You can also create an image of the existing Recovery HD partiton on the new drive using command line tools in Terminal. I'll leave the reasearch up to you, but diskutil should be all you need (Disk Utility is the GUI front-end to diskutil). Just man diskutil for details.

    Enjoy your new Mac!
  3. mcphee7 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    Thank you very much, you have provided some good info there.

    You didn't mention Carbon Copy Cloner, would this not be a good idea?
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I personally don't care for it for cloning, and don't need the other backup features.

    Disk Utility works 100% of the time when creating bootable image backups/clones. Behind the scenes, it uses Apple System Restore (ASR) to create the image, either to a physical partition or an image file. It's the same tool Apple uses itself. One difference between DU and CCC is that DU requires booting off a 3rd partition, since both source and destination partitions must be unmounted (when using block copy).

    That isn't a problem, since all Macs have shipped with bootable DVD's. Now with Lion, using Disk Utility is actually easier, since the Recovery HD on either the internal drive or on an external USB stick, includes Disk Utility.

    Myself, I've always had a bootable partition available on several external drives, either a clone of the install DVD or a small install containing some tools (my "Emergency" volumes). I've added a Lion install and recovery USB stick to my collection (though, I still use the installs of Lion I have on an external drive - or the Recovery HD on the internal drive). One advantage to an Emergency Boot partition is I can still use iChat and Safari to keep me occupied while a Restore is in progress.

    I make a bootable clone of my internal drive every so often - at a minimum, when an OS update comes out. I use Time Machine to keep up-to-the-hour backups. This way, the entire partition is doubly backed up. In addition, I have extra copies of media, such as music and photos.

    Anyway, enjoy your new Mac!
  5. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Disk Utility's Restore feature does the same thing. It clones one drive/partition to another.

    If this is your first Mac:

    Just boot the Mac, follow the setup (you can leave the registry info blank and skip it entirely), then go to Disk Utility, and with the new drive plugged in via FireWire or USB, use Disk Utility to restore to it. Make certain that you format the new drive to Mac OS X Journaled and use the GUID partition map.

    When you are done, swap the drives. OS X won't know the difference :)
  6. mcphee7 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    Ok guys, i'll give it a go using Disk Utility. It seems easy enough to do!

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