Second Mac questions

Discussion in 'macOS' started by shurcooL, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. shurcooL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #1
    What would happen if I were to take the SSD from my Late 2008 Aluminum 13" MacBook and swap it into an Early 2011 13" MacBook Pro?

    I know, from experience, you can do this with Windows machines when the two have similar motherboards/hardware, as in it will boot and you can reinstall appropriate drivers and so on. However, it's an ugly hack and obviously the recommended course of action is to install Windows from original install source on the 2nd computer, then transfer your programs/files/settings somehow.

    But what about the Macs? Perhaps, since they're all made by the same company and OS X is Unix-based, swapping drives might be okay if they keep all drivers and figure out components dynamically, rather than only having the model-specific drivers.

    On a related topic, what happens if I choose the "transfer from another Mac" option at the end of a fresh Lion install? Does it work well even with Internet-syncing programs like Dropbox, Chrome with sync, etc.?

    I've never done anything like this on Macs before, and I recently got my second ever Mac, so I'd love to hear some info on the topic of what's possible. Thanks!
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    I would not swap the drive. First of all it probably has some hours on it already. Second of all while I'm sure it might boot just fine, I think you'd be better off powering on both Macs and telling your new Mac to "migrate" your data from your old Mac via a firewire cable or even over the network. I've done this more than once. Another option would be to start a brand new Time Machine backup from your old Mac and let it finish. Then migrate from that TM backup to your new Mac. Lastly there are third party options like Carbon Copy Cloner and Crashplan.

    With all these options, why even give a passing thought to putting an old drive in a new machine? If it's time you're trying to save, migration over the network or via firewire might wind up being quicker than drive swapping.
     
  3. shurcooL thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #3
    Fair enough, so you're recommending to do a normal install and then migration.

    But wouldn't using CCC be effectively the same thing as swapping the drive in? Except it would just copy the exact contents, byte for byte, to a different HDD.

    I've never done any kind of migration process with Macs, so I'm trying to learn about what's possible and get some advice from people who've done this before. I'm not yet comfortable with using a migration "wizard" that I'm not sure what it does, but it seems to be highly vetted.

    In any case, the drive in my original MacBook is a recently purchased fast SSD, whereas the one in the new MacBook Pro I just got is a standard hard-drive, so I want to swap the physical drive regardless.
     
  4. shurcooL thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #4
    Screw it, I just took the risk and tried it. Nothing bad happened so far, and everything seems to work fine.

    I've swapped the SSD and HDD between my two MacBooks, and each one booted up nicely after the fact. They recognized the new hardware, while the software and drive contents obviously remained as expected.

    The only side-effect of the swap that I could notice so far was that some of the System Settings got reset to defaults: for example both Time Machine and Bluetooth icons appeared in menu bar (I had hidden them) and trackpad's "tap to click" option got set off. Although the sensitivity was left as I had configured it. This only happened on the first boot, not the following ones.

    I've even tried booting in verbose mode and I couldn't spot any glaring error messages.
     
  5. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #5
    CCC does not copy block for block unless you are copying a drive other than the drive you booted from. I would never want it copying block for block or it would be the same as simply swapping the drives. I prefer to leave all those temp files behind and for me CCC is close to a "clean" install with considerable time savings.

    Glad it worked but I'm concerned that you might wind up with an "old" drive in your newer Mac. If you have a good backup strategy then it's no big deal if it dies sooner than it might have died if you stuck with the newer drive in the newer machine. Of course if you swapped in an SSD, ignore all my concerns about the age of the drive.
     

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