Mid-2009 13" Macbook Pro SSD Upgrade Install Question?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jazz1, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. jazz1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2002
    Mid-West USA
    After giving my kid the 12" rMB I have in my possession and old Macbook Pro. I will install El Capitan on the original HD, but will be getting an SSD drive to replace it.

    My question is do I have to clone the original hard drive to the new SSD, or can I just slap the new SSD in there and OS X will be installed via the cloud. I'm guessing not?

    I do have one of those external hard drive "toasters" than can mount drives to the laptop. So unless I can do a cloud install on a totally empty drive I'll clone the original hard drive to the new one with Carbon Copy Cloner and then install the new drive.

    Thanks for any advice. I think a memory upgrade and the SSD upgrade will give this old mac a new life.
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    You can clone, that'll work fine. If you've got an external HDD dock, you can do one of the below:

    1) Plug in the SSD to the dock. Hold Cmd+R on your Mac on startup to boot into OS X Utilities. Format SSD through Disk Utility and select 'Install OS X' onto the SSD. OS will install, then you can swap out the drives and the Mac will boot into El Cap (providing you already have 10.11 installed on the Mac).

    2) Fit SSD, HDD in USB SATA dock, hold 'Alt' on startup to boot into recovery volume on the external HDD - same OS X Utilities, format internal SSD, install El Cap to that.

    3) Clone using the toaster

    4) Backup existing HDD using Time Machine. Fit SSD. Plug in Time Machine backup. Hold Alt on startup to boot into Time Machine backup. Format SSD in Disk Utility, then select 'Restore Time Machine backup' to the SSD.

    Honestly sky's the limit, you can pretty much do it any way. Whatever's easiest for you.
  3. jazz1 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2002
    Mid-West USA
    Thanks! I'm hoping 8GB RAM and the 256GB SSD will make it useful again. I have to admit getting this machine is kind of like "Hot Tub Time Machine" as my main devices now are a 2015 iMac and iPad Pro. I'll try not to navigate on the 2009 machine via the screen ;)
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I suggest that you "prep and test" the new SDD in the "toaster" (dock) BEFORE you "do the drive swap".

    The reason:
    If you run into any problems, you'll still have a bootable and working MacBook.
    Things just go MUCH easier this way if there's a hiccup.

    You may find that El Capitan installs ok, but then runs very slow on the original platter-based HDD in the MacBook.
    This is par for the course.
    Speeds WILL improve GREATLY once you get El Capitan onto the SSD (and then into the MacBook).

    I'd recommend using CarbonCopyCloner to clone the HDD to the SSD.
    CCC has the ability to clone the recovery partition as well as the main partition.
    VERY convenient.

    An alternative course of action would be to initialize the SSD first (in the toaster),
    Then install a "fresh copy" of the OS,
    Then (at the close of the install) use Setup Assistant to "Migrate over" your accounts, apps, data, etc. to the new drive.

    But if the old drive boots and runs fine on El Capitan (remember again that it may be slow), you can probably just "clone it over" without difficulties.
  5. jazz1 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2002
    Mid-West USA
    I wondered if I was taking a chance by running up to El Capitan. I've got a late 2008 15" MBP with memory and HD upgraded to SSD and it runs well. Though this was a 2.93 with the dual booting graphics card. I also plan to run Clean My Mac on the old fellow.

    Thanks, at this point my expectations are tempered and will probably only use it to run music to some headphones. We shall see how well it works bringing in music from a small Lacie server. I might even try to hook it up to an old Rotel Receiver, via optical, for fun. I guess I'm assuming it has optical out of the speaker jack like my iMac.

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