Installing New Harddrive and Updating OS

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Mr. Alaska, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Mr. Alaska macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2012
    Relatively new Mac user here. I have a black MacBook, probably from 2007, with the 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, running OS X 10.4.11. My hard drive has been having serious problems lately--trouble booting, losing files, etc. I took it into the Apple store and the tech there said I had at best 3 months left. He off the record advised me to buy a hard drive and install it myself, so that's what I'm trying to do.

    Here's my question: I've backed up my important files on an external HD. Since I'll be starting with a completely fresh hard drive, can I skip all the updating and jump straight to Lion as my new operating system? Should I go to Snow Leopard instead? I don't have much experience with software on the Mac, and don't want to mess anything up. And advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I've done this several times. I have 2 methods. One is to pop in the new drive, install the OS from a DVD and pick "migrate from Time Machine Backup". This is slow. The better alternative is to use Carbon Copy Cloner to make a new bootable drive that can be simply swapped in.

    Here is what I did. I downloaded carbon copy cloner. I then purchased a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive. I picked one I felt could carry me a while.

    I picked up a USB to SATA cable (about $10-15). I plugged in my new drive and formatted it HFS+ (GUID partition scheme) in Disk Utility. I then let Carbon Copy Cloner make a clone of Macintosh HD to my new drive. I did all this while I was still running Snow Leopard.

    I booted holding down option and picked the new drive to prove to myself it was bootable. Once I knew it was bootable, I opened up my Macbook and put it in.
  3. Mr. Alaska thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2012
    Ok, I think I follow all of that. My one lingering question is: what about upgrading to Lion? Would I still need to do the upgrades in stages (from Tiger to Leopard to Snow to Lion), or could I simply pop Lion onto the new drive and run with it?
  4. psxguru macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2006
    You can do a clean install with Lion.

    It's best to make your own dvd or usb installer once you've downloaded it...

    However, your problem will be the initial download from the App Store (assuming you don't want to pay the inflated price for the usb installer version from Apple)

    You will have to update to Snow Leopard from Tiger (you can skip Leopard) to get the App Store support. Then you can download Lion (and make your own dvd/usb installer if you want install media)

    Otherwise buy the official usb version

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