Move SSD from 2011 13" to 2012 15" macbook pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by richb330, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. richb330 macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    Gosport, England
    Hi all. I've just ordered a 2012 (non retina) 15" macbook pro. I have a 2011 i7 13" macbook pro with an after market 256Gb ssd installed. Do you think it would be possible to move the SSD into the new macbook without reinstalling Lion, or should I TM, trash ssd and reinstall lion after installing it in the 15"?

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You can always try but there is a chance that the 2012 MBP is shipping with a newer version of OS X. As long as you have a backup, there is nothing to lose.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    You can move the SSD, but since the 2012 MBPs come with a special build of 10.7.4, you need to either wait for the 10.7.5 update to run on your 2011 MBP and SSD and then switch, or you have to reinstall Mac OS X onto the SSD and then use Migration Assistant.

    Migration Assistant / Setup Assistant information:
  4. richb330 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    Gosport, England
    Thanks for the replies. I've done a number of rebuilds of Lion so no problem with migration assistant etc, I just wanted to make life easier. and save a bit of time. I was concerned about drivers for the usb3, chipset, cpu & graphics, also the 13" lacks the advanced graphics that features in the 15". but i suppose worst case is that the system rejects the lion build and I have to go through the rebuild process anyway..

    Once the 15" arrives i'll give it a go and let you know how I get on.

    interesting re the unique build of Lion on the new macbooks. is this a pre- 10.7.5 build?

    Thanks again.
  5. vladzaharia macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2010
    When the computers are just released, they always come installed with a version that is newer than the latest released version of the OS, mainly because of the drivers to support the new hardware. These are then added to the next update when it is released. A 10.7.4 default install right now won't have any of the drivers needed to run a new MBP (you will probably get a kernel panic), but 10.7.5 should, whenever it gets released.
  6. richb330 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    Gosport, England
    Do you think i'll be ok installing the SSD in the new macbook and completing and Internet recovery or should I wait until 10.7.5 is released?
  7. pr9000 macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2012
    Very odd thing happened to me this morning with the same MBP:

    I Thunderbolt disk image booted it, connected it to my i5 iMac and used Disk Utility to put our base client image on it. Of course the MBP would not boot, so I thought "No big deal – I'll just use Internet Recovery to reinstall a clean Lion OS on it."

    But the MBP will not boot. Circle-slash even after the Lion app does its download of the OS installer from Apple. I figured the Internet Recovery process (IR) would be the catch-all for when admins like me do dumb things ... I've even used Disk Utility in IR to delete the drive AND create a brand new partition, ensuring its GUID ... still nothing.

  8. firmansolutions macrumors member


    May 31, 2010
    I tried but it doesn't work

    I put an SSD clone from my 2011 MBP into my new 2012 MBP and it wouldnt boot up. It would boot my existing machine fine. If you can wait, then fine, but if you want to proceed, try this ...

    If you have another ext drive preferably FireWire, then get hold of Carbon Copy
    Cloner (CCC) and clone your SSD whilst in the 2011 machine to the ext drive. If you don't want a FireWire drive and could suffer the USB 2 speed making the clone, then you could invest in a USB 3 ext drive. Good price and faster than FireWire apparently and wil lbe great on your new MBP.

    I would advise doing this (CCC cloning) as part of your own backup regime, in addition to using TimeMachine. With a decent FireWire drive (or USB 3) you can boot and run your machine from that ext drive in case your internal disk goes Pete Tong. This is especially useful if you use your machine for work or anything else critical.

    Test the clone first, before proceeding, by restarting your machine (ext FireWire disk connected), whilst holding down the Alt key. This presents the option to startup from all connected bootable disks. Chose your clone disk. It should boot and operate as normal. Don't start any program's and immediately turn off wireless so your machine doesn't do any changes to your clone you just made (ie. iCloud syncs, email etc - leave it all off, it is a sufficient test to just ensure it boots). Shut your machine down when it's tested and leave your old 2011 machine alone until your are happy with your data on your new one. It's your fallback to restart in case you go wrong.

    Then on your new machine, create a Temp user and then connect your ext FireWire drive containing your SSD clone. Then in the Applications/UTILTIES folder, open the Migration Assistant. Migrate your existing user, choosing existing disk. It will find your cloned image on the ext drive and perhaps even your time machine if it's wirelessly available.

    This will move all your stuff across including software. Just remember to deactivate your Adobe CS software (on your original machine before cloning) if you have it.

    You should start using your new machine and give it a good shakedown to make sure everything is functional. This includes iCloud, iPhoto libraries, iTunes libraries etc. Perhaps give it a week before decomissioning your old machine. You now need to keep in mind that you have two machine that's think they are the same. They may both try to update the same Time Machine backup. They are both likely to have the same machine name in the Sharing settings. One might have had a number appended to it.

    To get your SSD into the new machine, do this;

    Use your ext drive to take a new clone from your new MBP. Shutdown the new machine, remove the HD and put your SSD in it. Boot from your 2012 machine clone (now on the ext drive).

    This exposes your SSD inside the new MBP as a normal data drive. It currently has the 2011 image whcih i hope at this stage is no use to you. The TimeMachine backup is now your own version of the 2011 stating point unless you opt to use two ext disks for cloning. Your could partition one big ext drive to hold two clones.

    Using CCC, clone the image from your ext drive (the one you are currently booted from) onto the internal SSD. CCC warns you it will overwrite everything on the target. Alternatively you could have formatted it first using disk utility. Remember that your stable system, OS X 10.7.4, from your new machine and updated via migration assistant, is now safely on your HD that you just removed.

    One last tip, you could get a bare drive ext caddy to use the HD's made redundant by your SSD's as backup storage.

    So hopefully this will either scare you off or get your on your way. Just take care and make yourself a dot point list of steps from this. Measure twice, cut once as they say.

    Please ask me if any of this appears to be inaccurate or confusing. It's easy once you are comfortable with this, but don't relax and write a list. Even pro DBA's go wrong if they don't pay attention and follow scripts.
  9. firmansolutions, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    firmansolutions macrumors member


    May 31, 2010
    Advice from Bombich (CCC)

    It seems an update from Apple may already be out. It is suggested by Bombich that installation of this update onto the source system, then a re-clone will solve the issue under discussion. Then you could potentially move the SSD directly into the new 2012 MBP.
  10. firmansolutions macrumors member


    May 31, 2010
    Just tried booting my new MBP, after applying 10.7.4, and I still can't boot from the 10.7.3 clone image of my 2011 system.

    So I don't think this update deals with the issue as suggested by others previously in this thread.
  11. onerovico macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2012
    what is about installing this on a 2011 machine before swapping the ssd??

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