Ok, got the SSD, now what?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PNGento, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. PNGento macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #1
    OK...I've got a Crucial 512GB drive and have the install kit ordered (connection cable, suction discs, screwdrivers, tweezers, etc). I am not worried about the installation process itself...but what about after the install (or before) to get it operating correctly?

    1. Since I'll be leaving the current HDD in place to serve as extra storage and just adding the SSD, how will I get the iMac to know to boot from the new SSD?

    2. What about formatting and getting the SSD to begin its life as if it were taking up where the current HDD left off. In other words, I'd like for the SSD to have all the data, OS, etc. so that when I first boot up, it will be as if there was no gap. I have a transfer cable that will allow me to hook it up as an external HD, so I think I will initially connect the new SSD as an external drive, format it, then do a clean install of the Mountain Lion OS. After that, I will use migration assistant to transfer data from the original HD to make it ready to pick up where the old drive currently exists. And once I see it is working correctly, THEN I will do the permanent installation. Is this the approach I should take? Or should I just use Carbon Copy and make an image of the current HDD and restore that image to the SSD and go that route?

    3. Of course, before I begin any switch, I will do both a backup of the current HDD to an external HD using time machine...as well as make an image of the current HDD to that same external HD using Carbon Copy.

    4. So, based on what I've put above, is there anything I'm overlooking or one method that is better than another (ie. use carbon copy rather than clean OS install with use of migration asst)?
     
  2. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    1. Since I'll be leaving the current HDD in place to serve as extra storage and just adding the SSD, how will I get the iMac to know to boot from the new SSD?
    Under Setting -> Startup Disk, choose the drive to boot from.

    2. What about formatting and getting the SSD to begin its life as if it were taking up where the current HDD left off. In other words, I'd like for the SSD to have all the data, OS, etc. so that when I first boot up, it will be as if there was no gap. I have a transfer cable that will allow me to hook it up as an external HD, so I think I will initially connect the new SSD as an external drive, format it, then do a clean install of the Mountain Lion OS. After that, I will use migration assistant to transfer data from the original HD to make it ready to pick up where the old drive currently exists. And once I see it is working correctly, THEN I will do the permanent installation. Is this the approach I should take? Or should I just use Carbon Copy and make an image of the current HDD and restore that image to the SSD and go that route?
    I just hooked my SSD up externally, formatted it, and then cloned it with CCC...works fine.

    3. Of course, before I begin any switch, I will do both a backup of the current HDD to an external HD using time machine...as well as make an image of the current HDD to that same external HD using Carbon Copy.
    Good idea...can't have too many backups.

    4. So, based on what I've put above, is there anything I'm overlooking or one method that is better than another (ie. use carbon copy rather than clean OS install with use of migration asst)?
    I think you will be happy using CCC...just remember to be careful with the LCD screen when you disassemble...don't touch it or get dirt, etc. on it.
     
  3. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #3
    Just go ahead and install the SSD in your iMac since you are leaving the original disk in there as well. Boot your system (it will still start with the HD), then run disk utility and format the SSD drive. After that you can use CCC to clone your HD over to the SSD ... or you can install fresh as desired. Then switch the startup drive as suggested above and reboot. You should now be running on the SSD and everything should be just as it was with the HD. CCC will also create the recovery partition for you if you are running Mountain Lion.

    If you have an external drive enclosure, it would be desirable to initially format and test the drive before you disassemble the iMac for installation. That could save you a lot of words if the SSD turns out to be defective. :rolleyes:

    -howard
     
  4. PNGento thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #4
    First...I don't have an external enclosure, but the SSD is pretty much self enclosed and I do have the SATA/USB cable so I can hook it up externally. I tried this when I put a SSD in my MBP, but it was weird as I was able to format the drive, install the OS, but when I was ready to do the migration assistant, it wouldn't allow me to do it with it connected to the MBP. I had to move it to my iMAC and then do the migration assistant process via air drop. I expect that would be the same if I did this...ie. I could format it while attached to the iMac, install the ML OS, then move it to my MBP and do the migration assistant via air drop. Doesn't make sense why it wouldn't allow me to run migration assistant on the drive attached via the USB cable, but not that big a deal...just takes a lot longer. If anyone knows a solution to allow the migration assistant to be run while it is attached to the iMac, please let me know. I will have CCC as standby, but have always heard that it is better to do a fresh OS install and let migration assistant do the data transfer, but then have heard from MANY people who have used CCC and have never had trouble, so maybe it is more of a "in theory", but in reality, CCC works just fine. But, as best as I can tell, people who are most Mac "eduMACated", seem to favor the fresh install as being preferred.

    Regards and thanks.
     
  5. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #5
    The "fresh install and migration assistant" approach is desirable when the target and destination machines differ in hardware and/or OS version. Since in your case you are dealing with the same machine, just switching disks, the CCC proceedure will work quickly and be fine ... or install fresh and migrate from your HD disk drive.


    -howard
     
  6. Redbeard25 macrumors regular

    Redbeard25

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    #6
    I just did this on Saturday. Here's how it worked for me:

    1. Carbon Copy Cloner - it will prompt you to create a recovery partition if you have L/ML.
    2. Crack the Mac. Probably the most unnerving part, but I followed the iFixIt instructions for my model and didn't run into any problems. The screen and frame were much easier than I thought. The wires were a little tough. I didn't have to actually unplug my LCD to get the old drive out.
    3. Figure out how to put the new one in. The mounting bracket that came with my SSD lined up with the stock bracket holes, but the screw holes in the bracket were smaller than a standard 3.5 drive screw hole. (Thanks, OCZ!!) So, I ended up putting command strips on the drive and sticking it to the back of the iMac case.
    4. Put it all back together. The microphone cord is the hardest part not to pinch.
    5. Boot. CCC makes almost everything seamless. I didn't even have to reauthorize iTunes. MS Office wanted the key again though.

    ProTip: There is room for two 2.5" drives... maybe even a 2.5" drive and a 3.5" drive... but there are not two SATA cables or two power cables. So even though you could squish it in, you're not going to be able to connect an SSD and a spinning drive inside. Oh, I imagine you could route a USB cable inside and an adapter if you're really hardcore. (I'm not.)

    All in all, I downgraded my in-Mac space to 90GB, but the late-2007 thing FLIES. I am SO glad I did this (and I should have done it sooner!)
     

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