Replacing Internal Hard Drive Help.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by lizzyluck, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. lizzyluck macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2010
    Hello everyone.

    I've recently made the switch to a MacBook Pro, and so am painfully unfamiliar with the insides of my laptop. What I would like to do is switch the 160GB hard drive that came with my MacBook for the larger hard drive that I used with my previous Windows laptop. They are both SATA so connecting shouldn't be a problem - but will it work? Would I have to format the larger one before putting it in the mac? Or are there any other steps I would have to follow?

    Any help and advice on this would be much appreciated. Thank you!
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    You can use any 2.5" SATA drive with a height maximum of 9.5mm, so make sure yours doesn't exceed that (there are 12.5mm drives out there).

    Once you have inserted the drive into your MacBook, use the gray restore DVDs that came with your purchase, put the DVD 1 (Mac OS X) into the drive,
    hold down "C" after the startup sound to boot from the DVD,
    choose your language, go to the Menu Bar,
    select Utilities > Disk Utility,
    select the HDD,
    go onto the ERASE tab,
    select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the Format options,
    click the Erase button and OK/Yes/Continue on the following dialog, which will say, that all existing data on this drive will be lost,
    wait until the process is finished,
    quit Disk Utility and continue with the installation.

    But know, that all the data on that Windows drive will be lost (but recoverable in some part, the one that is not overwritten by a new Mac OS X installation, by a 99USD software called Data Rescue).
  3. lizzyluck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2010
    That's fantastic! Thanks so much for your help. I'm about to start it now :)
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I hope I'm wrong, but I thought using the "Erase" tab rather than the "Partition" tab would leave the drive with whatever partition map it had before. Which, if it's a former Windows drive, would be MBR rather than the GUID you need to boot a newer Mac.

    Hopefully I'm wrong an Disk Utility is smart enough to change it (or the installer is smart enough not to install it on the wrong partition type), but if not, the one change you need to make is to go to the "Partition" tab rather than the "Erase" one (if you don't see it, make sure you click the drive itself in the left pane, not the partition indented underneath it).

    On that tab, select "1 Partition" from the Volume Scheme popup list at the top left, then click the "Options" button down in the bottom left corner. In the list that appears, select "GUID Partition Table", click "OK", then click the "Apply" button at lower right. It should format the drive properly to prep it for the MacOS.

    I could be wrong and none of this is necessary--maybe the Erase option does it for you--but it certainly won't hurt even if it's not required.
  5. lizzyluck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2010
    Ah even more help :)

    So am i right in thinking that after selecting the 'partition' tab instead of 'erase' and following these steps - It will have completed the process and I just carry on with the installation?
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yes, that should be all it takes. Once you've run through the partitioning procedure (or also the "Erase" one if I'm wrong that the full Partition step is necessary), the drive is now completely empty and prepared for a MacOS install--the installer should recognize it and offer to install on the drive.

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