Problems installing OSX to new hard drive (MacBook Pro)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by thomasp, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    I've got an original unibody Macbook Pro (late 2008 variant), and the hard drive has started to fail. I've taken this opportunity to upgrade it to an SSD. However I'm unsure as to the best way of installing OSX onto this new drive. The laptop was running 10.10 (I also have an iMac running 10.11).

    I have a time machine backup to a NAS of the original hard drive, and a USB caddy that I can use to boot from the failing hard drive (it still works, but has quite a few bad sectors on it). Additionally, I also have a bootable version of 10.5.8 on an old firewire hard drive.

    What is the best way to get OSX onto the new hard drive? I could clone the original but am worried that'll also copy any potential corruptions over. The laptop does also support 10.11, although I never got round to upgrading. Given the age of my computer it doesn't support internet recovery.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here

    I would use the iMac to download Yosemite or El Capitan from the Mac App Store (Purchases tab), then create a USB stick installer using Apple method, then boot the Macbook Pro from the USB stick, format the SSD and install the OS.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    My suggestion:

    Don't swap the old drive for the SSD just yet.

    Get a new SSD, -AND- get (if you don't have one) either:
    a. An external USB3 enclosure
    b. A USB3/SATA "docking station"
    c. A USB3/SATA "adapter dongle"

    Put the SSD into the enclosure/dock/dongle and connect it to a working Mac (could be the old MacBook Pro). Initialize it with Disk Utility.

    Install a CLEAN COPY of 10.10 or 10.11 onto the SSD (whatever you wish).

    Now, connect the [external] SSD to the old MBP, if it's not already connected.

    BOOT FROM the new OS on the SSD and begin the initial setup procedure.

    At this point you need to make a decision:
    Either use "setup assistant" in an attempt to bring over your existing accounts, apps, settings, and data, or...
    ..."manually migrate" items from the old drive to the new one.

    I would try setup assistant first.
    See how it handles things with the bad sectors.
    I'll guess you get -most of- your stuff migrated.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Option key boot to the recovery partition on this drive then use Disk Util to format the new drive then quit Disk Util and click restore and point to the Time Machine backup as the source of the restore.
  5. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the replies. I started the upgrade about 23 hours ago, with around 400-450Gb data on the original hard drive, and only a wireless network between the NAS and the MacBook Pro (no spare ethernet cables sadly!).

    At present, it's reporting around 163 hours left to go in transferring the data, and was reading 24 hours to four hours ago! From memory I encountered a similar problem when I jumped from 10.6 to 10.10. Due to LaTeX creating several gigabytes of tiny files, most less than a kilobyte in size, the last one percent of that OS upgrade (which it reported would take "less than a minute") took three hours!

    Still, is this sort of behaviour on a time machine restore normal, with the time remaining clock increasing quite dramatically?

    I did try this, but unfortunately the iMac (21.5" retina) wouldn't download 10.10, as it wasn't compatible, and 10.11 wasn't listed as "purchased", as I'd never downloaded it on either Mac. Thankfully, the recovery partition on the MBP was sufficiently intact.


    In the time it's taken me to type this post it's now reading 182 hours! The NAS is showing some network traffic, albeit not a lot (50Kb/sec, rather than the previous 8Mb/sec). I suspect it's bogged down with those tiny files.
  6. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    All sorted now, those final 741 minutes really flew by! All seems to be working fine, and depressingly my 7 year old Macbook now seems faster than my brand new iMac!

    I'm now going to go and obliterate all those annoying log files...

    Thanks for the help everyone.

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