Moving to SSD - without cables & enclosures


macrumors regular
Original poster
May 31, 2005
London, UK
I've just ordered a 480GB SSD for my MBP (13", early 2011)

I'm comfortable with physically installing it, but a little unsure about moving my current data over to it (sites mentioning enclosures and cables)

Won't this be easier nowadays? I'm hoping that the upgraded mac will automatically use internet recovery to install Mountain Lion and from there I can further upgrade to Mavericks. And finally, I can restore from a Time Machine backup of my MBP.

Is that how it should work?


macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
Doesn't internet recovery still need the drive to have the recovery partition with the internet recovery sw on it? Or is that function entirely in firmware?

Edited: nope, seems all firmware based so that method should be viable.

If all fails you could then get an enclosure...


macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
The solution with no enclosure should work using recovery + time machine.

The thing with the enclosure is that if you want to use that HDD that you take out from the MBP, you need one anyways...


Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
...And finally, I can restore from a Time Machine backup of my MBP.

Is that how it should work?
Just so I am clear... you already have a TM backup on a external USB drive?

If you do, just pop in the new SSD then option key boot to the TM drive. This will boot to a copy of the recovery partition that is on the TM disk, and from there you can use Disk Util to erase the new SSD to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Then quit Disk Util and click restore.

This will copy the OS and all your apps and data onto the new SSD and you will be in business.

After you first boot to the SSD, go to System Prefs and in the Startup Disk pane set the SSD as the boot drive.


macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
I updated the niece's 2010 white MB 7,1 from a 250GB HD to a Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD. Piece of cake.

I purchased a Samsung SSD laptop upgrade kit. It has the SSD, a USB-SATA cable, and cloning software (which you don't need).

I connected the SSD via a USB 2 port (the machine don't do USB3) and used Disk Utility to make one large GUID partition. Then I rebooted into Recover mode by holding down Command and R keys. In Recovery mode I started Disk Utility and selected the Restore function. I used the Macintosh HD as the source and the SSD as the Destination. The cloning took around 45 minutes.

After the cloning was over I rebooted into Startup Manager mode by holding down the Option key. I selected the SSD as the boot drive. Boot went just fine. So shutdown the machine and physically swapped the drives. You need small Phillips and Torx screwdrivers for the swap.

After doing the swap and putting the cover back on, I turned the MB over and booted. I had timed the boot using the old HD. That took 1:08. The boot from SSD took 0:25. Opening apps was also much faster.

Last steps for her machine was to upgrade to Mavericks (that took around an hour to download and install) and downloading and installing Trim Enabler. After I booted on Mavericks with Trim Enabler on I checked in System Report and made sure trim was on. It was.

She was a happy camper with the significant performance improvement. :D


macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
Is something like this:
...available in the UK?

You're going to need a place to keep the old drive once you do the swap.

My suggestion, if your current drive is working fine:
- Get the new SSD and the enclosure
- Put the SSD into the enclosure first
- Initialize it with Disk Utility
- Use CarbonCopyCloner (if you don't already have it, it can be freely downloaded and used for 30 days) to clone the contents of your old internal HDD to the SSD
- Do a test boot: restart, hold down option key until startup manager appears, select externally-enclosed SSD, and hit return
- If the MacBook boots up from the SSD, you know you're "good to go".
- Now it's time to "do the swap".
- Get the MacBook closed up, put the old HDD into the external case, and you're done.


macrumors regular
Original poster
May 31, 2005
London, UK
Thanks all. In the end, this is how I did it

  1. remove the HDD and store in an enclosure
  2. install the SSD and option-boot
  3. format the SSD
  4. Let Internet Recovery handle OS X restore
  5. restore from a time machine backup

Dropbox and Google Drive were minor re sign-ins, but everything else was easy