Is it possible to put old HD into a new mac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mrkgoo, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    So my old MacBook Pro (non-unibody, core 2 duo) died in what I assume is a logic board failure.

    I wanted to get a new computer and was considering just a new MacBook Pro and sticking my old hard drive in.

    Now I've researched a little and I've heard two camps. Some say you can't do that because of driver differences. I've also heard that you can as Mac OS X has all the drivers for everything anyway.

    Note I am running latest version of mountain lion.

    So I guess the question is can you swap mac hard drives around, provided the OS is new?

    Would you be able to do this between mac types?(ie iMac and MBP)

    The reason if rather do this than migration assistant or something is that my drive is a sshd hybrid, so is faster AND larger than anything a MacBook Pro ships with.
  2. tjgonzo macrumors member


    Mar 14, 2013
    You could do this, I've done this in a similar situation when I put my SSD from a unibody MBP in an older MPP for trouble shooting. Although it was just temporary. I don't know how it would play out other than, I know it booted. I think the best bet would be to install the faster drive, wipe it and start fresh with all your apps and clean install of OSX.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Yes, you can, provided the new MBP is not a MacBook Pro with Retina Display but a classic MBP that still accepts 2.5" S-ATA drives and that you have at least the Mac OS X version the Mac comes with, better with a one point update higher than the new Mac came with (if the new Mac comes with 10.7.4, it is a special build of 10.7.4, thus the old Mac should have at least 10.7.5, the same goes for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion too, if you intend to buy a 2013 MBP, since they are probably just four days away).

    Yes, but know, that the iMac is primarily using 3.5" S-ATA HDDs and the current 2012 iMacs are hard to get into.
    No, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display use a different kind of storage system (a slate with flash storage on it) than other computers.
  4. mrkgoo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    Hmm. Interesting stuff.

    So if it CAN be done, does that mean when you update OS X, it downloads all the drivers for all the macs then?

    I'm concerned that since uninstalled from 10.8.0 and kept it up to date that it doesn't download the drivers for the newer macs.

    That said, I might be out of luck anyway, because if I get a new MacBook Pro after anything new next week, they'll probably come with 10.8.4 or even a special version that I'm unlikely to have the components for in my 10.8.3 install. It would probably be a risky proposition.
  5. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    The OS installs and associated updates are not model-specific, they contain all the drivers for all the Macs. This is not Windows that only installs drivers for the detected hardware, making it very frustrating to move drives between disparate hardware.

    My concern is more of a performance/capacity one, if your existing HDD is smaller and slower than what would come in a new Mac then why would you want to put the old one in the new hardware? I'd recommend connecting the old HDD up via a USB enclosure and then using Migration Assistant to copy your data over.
  6. mrkgoo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    Thanks for the input.

    Like I said (I think) my old hard drive is a 1tb SSHD hybrid. It is likely faster and larger capacity than anything the MacBook pros ship with.

    But yeah it's interesting about the installers. Of course, as I mentioned this technique may not be useful if the new MacBook Pros next week have newer builds of the is to accommodate new drivers.

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