Replacing HDD on a mid 2010 MBP with Lion

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by al82, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. al82, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

    al82 macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2008

    I have a 2010 MBP with lion on it. I have a time machiene back up of it. Problem is my MBP came with Snow Leopard, so i can not simply replace the HDD and boot from dvd.

    What is the easiest way for me to do this?

    I have read 100 different ways to do it online. What is the easiest? i read with some macs you can put in a new HDD and boot up holding down some keys and it will allow you to install the os using a wifi connection. But, i do not know if i can do that on a 2010 model.

    I dont know if i should be suing Lion Disk Maker or Recovery disk assistant :-S
  2. iMacDragon macrumors 68000


    Oct 18, 2008
    If you have the original installer still, then the best thing to do is use diskutility to write out the ESDInstaller.dmg that is hidden inside the installer ( whatever it was called exactly ) out to a ~8gb usb stick or sd card, to run installer from.

    internet recovery might work on a 2010 model, I can't recall which ones got it retrospectively added, but will take longer anyway, and use up bandwidth.
  3. Retrostarscream macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2010
    Miami FL
  4. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
  5. wethackrey, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

    wethackrey macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2007
    Redondo Beach, California
    So what you're trying to do is replace your internal HDD with a different, probably larger HDD, correct?

    Doing this the fastest, safest way requires two things:

    1) Some way to mount your internal drive as an external drive. There are a bunch of ways to do this but these days I suggest a Seagate GoFlex USB adapter. It's designed to work with their GoFlex portable external disk line but a bare drive plugs right in to them. And they're cheap at $19. You could also just buy a GoFlex external drive and use the USB adapter that comes with it.
    2) Carbon Copy Cloner from Bombich Software. About $30. Or SuperDuper which is shareware.

    The steps are simple:

    1) Plug your new drive in to the Seagate adapter and format it with Apple's Disk Utility. Remember to click on the Options button and select GUID partition map.

    2) Using CCC, clone your existing drive over to the new one. You can do this while booted from your exiting drive. CCC will create a Recovery partition for you on the new drive. You now have an identical clone of your smaller drive on the new, larger one. Be sure to close applications while you do the clone so you don't have mismatched support files copied.

    3) Shut down the Mac and swap in the new drive.

    That's it. You're done. Your old drive is a bootable backup of the new one.

    By the way... hold the Option key on boot to select the boot volume. With the old drive plugged in via USB you should see two boot volumes and two Recovery HD volumes.

    This is a MUCH simpler, less risky and far less time consuming way to swap in a new hard drive than using Time Machine.

    If your goal is to do a clean install, then you'll need to grab a copy of the Lion installer using the method suggested in the link on the other post here. You also may want to have two drives so you can do a clone to one of them. That isn't mandatory though.

    For a clean install do this:

    1) Obtain a copy of the Lion or Mountain Lion installer and put it on an 8GB USB key
    2) Mount the new drive with the Seagate adapter and format it as a GUID volume using Apple's Disk Utility.
    3) Shut down the Mac and swap in the new drive.
    4) Holding the Option key select the USB key to boot from. (Actually it will boot from this without the Option key as it's the only viable boot volume connected.)
    5) Install the OS on the new drive.
    6) When the installer asks if you want to migrate from another Mac, select the hard drive option.
    7) Attach the original drive with the Seagate adapter and select this at the drive you want to migrate from. Alternately you can migrate later using Apple's Migration Assistant. You could also have mounted the old drive with the Seagate adapter back before Step 4, but you would need to be careful to select the correct volume to boot from.

    You're done. Personally I'd still make a clone for backup, but CCC really isn't mandatory for the clean install method.
  6. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Agreed as it pertains to clones. I prefer that method and have used it for years. As much as some folks swear by clean installs I haven't done one since in a long long time. Of course it means I have to delete or uninstall old and unused apps on occasion but I get up and running faster every time I upgrade drives.

    Also, I most always perform drive swaps or restore clones from one machine to another. Again, many people disagree with this but I find it one of the best features of OS X. No having to deal with setting everything up from scratch on my new machine. I just select option at boot with the old machine in target disk mode and test to see if the old drive will boot on the new machine. If it does, in it goes (or it gets cloned to the drive in the new machine). Either way, new equipment is up and running much faster with no need to re-install applications (some copy protection schemes make you re-input license keys but that's a minor nuisance).

    Good luck with the new drive.


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