New MBP, migrating SSD - is it simple?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by steve-p, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    I have ordered one of the very last 2.5 GHz 17" MBPs to replace my mid 2009 17", which should keep me going for another 3 years and will arrive tomorrow.

    In the old one, I have a 512GB SSD running 10.7.4, and I'm wondering if all I need do is take it out of the old one, put it in the new one and boot up, or will I get any driver issues?

    The alternative I guess would be to put the SSD into the new MBP and then set it up all over again, using the Time Machine backup, but I'd like to avoid that step if possible.

    Thanks for any tips or advice :)
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That should work fine.
  3. emailsfh macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Just run software update after putting it in and it should probably fix all the drivers. I've done that before.
  4. mikepro macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    The other (and arguably safer/more prone to work without issues) alternative is to just boot your new computer, set it all up, use Migration Assistant or time machine to restore your stuff. Once it is all set up to your liking, use carbon copy cloner to clone it to your SSD and install the SSD in your new machine.

    I say safer/more prone to work, as it's possible there may be some drivers or special version of the OS that your disk currently lacks. This is usually only the case during a new model release, like now. I have seen issues here where new 2012 owners had trouble with their systems booting off their old drives. My guess is that the OS on those might have some drivers or something that is lacking...
  5. steve-p thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Thanks for the tips. I am going to force a Time Machine backup and then immediately swap the drive over, I think. If it boots, then job done. If not, I should be able to reinstall onto the SSD from the Time Machine backup as if it were a new disk. I did that once before and discovered issues with the Apterture backup, so I hope it will just boot first time. I expect it wouldn't do any harm to reset the PRAM before the first boot.
  6. jeffh macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2004
    Baltimore, MD, USA
    I believe the new MBPs are running a custom build of 10.7.4, so the suggestion to use Migration Assistant and CCC is probably your best bet (even though it will take a little longer).
  7. DougFNJ macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    I just tried this with my 13" and it didnt work....may not be the case in every case, but it gave me the opportunity to clean the drive up and organize a bit.
  8. dsciel macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2011
    Doesn't work on mine either.....shows a stop sign
  9. Greymarch macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2012
    I tried putting the SSD in my 2011 MacBook Pro into my 2012 non-retina MacBook dice. Didnt work. Wouldnt even try to boot. Got the dreaded circle-with-a-slash icon.

    The reason is because the 2012 MBPs require a super-new version of Lion. I tried downloading Lion from the app store on my 2012 MBP, and the app store wouldn't let me. The app store said the app-store version of Lion is not compatible with my 2012 MBP.

    The following steps did the trick for me:
    1. Put the SSD back in the 2011 MBP.
    2. Boot the 2011 MBP from an external drive.
    3. Using disk utility, re-partition and format the SSD.
    4. Put the SSD back into my 2012 MBP.
    5. Turn on the 2012 MBP, and use internet recovery to install the super-new version of Lion onto the SSD. As far as I know, the only way to get the version of Lion that works with the 2012 MBP is to use internet recovery.

    Oh...and if the SSD you want to put into your 2012 MBP is file vault 2 encrypted? Oh boy. Plenty of extra steps beside the ones I listed. (The SSD from my 2011 MBP was encrypted.)
  10. steve-p, Jun 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012

    steve-p thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    On reflection I'm going to do what you suggest because it has the advantage of being non-destructive since I can get the new machine up and running on the hard disk that it comes with, without the old one ceasing to work in the event that it doesn't go smoothly.

    According to Apple's support documents I shouldn't need to set the new machine up in any way. I ought to be able to just turn it on and boot into the recovery partition (Command R) and from there, restore from the Time Machine backup. This should give me a fully working clone of the old MBP, and I can worry about swapping the SSD over in a few days once I am satisfied all is OK. I will probably use CCC when I do that, I have used it once before to replace a disk with a bigger one and it worked fine.

    Edit: Having read a bit more, this probably won't work either. Restoring from Time Machine in the recovery partition actually replaces the whole Lion partition from the backup, which will end up with something that presumably won't boot. So Migration Assistant may be the only option. I guess it's lucky I didn't get a retina MBP since they have removed two of the fast connection options (Ethernet, FW) and I can't imagine how long it would take to transfer 450GB over wireless.
  11. steve-p thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    I'm part way into this using Migration Assistant and that part didn't go as smoothly as it maybe could have. It did a reasonable job, but failed to copy over a few settings:
    • Desktop wallpaper - first thing I saw, so didn't give me too much confidence
    • Firewall settings
    • Dropbox password
    • Some iCloud configuration
    • Dropbox credentials and settings
    • Aperture serial number
    Aperture was pretty annoying because I had to go and find the box I installed it from to get the serial number before it would run. And because it was an upgrade from 2, I had to find that box and serial as well. Also, it lost the location of all the referenced masters and I had to reconnect them again.

    It took about two hours to copy 450GB over Ethernet though, which isn't bad at all. Maybe Ethernet isn't as dead as some people think ;) Anyone with a retina MBP and a lot of data might want to get that Ethernet dongle just for this part. You don't even need a physical network as you can just plug one Ethernet cable into both Macs.

    Now I have everything working on the normal 750GB drive the MBP came with, the next phase is cloning it onto the SSD and doing the physical swap. I had forgotten just how slow, noisy and hot non-SSD disks were. Did I mention slow? Boy is it slow :)

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