SSD Data Transfer Questions

browerjs

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 25, 2011
62
0
So I'm planning on getting my first Mac when the new MBPs are released. Assuming that they don't come stock with an SSD, i'll be buying a SSD drive from Amazon and tossing it in right away.

My question is what is the best way to transfer the data? Should I get the Crucial M4 with data transfer kit? I assume this just plugs in via USB, you transfer data and then swap drives?

I've also seen references to use Time Machine. What's this process?

This is pretty much the first thing I'll want to do when I receive my new Mac, so I would like to know what my process will be before receiving it.

Thanks!
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
Every person that care for data has some kind of backup drive at home. You use that and transfer copy the whole sys drive with a tool like CCC. Timemachine recovery works too. It just means that you boot OSX into the recovery mode (install disc or recov. partition) and select the external timemachine and tell it to restore everything.
Take longer but works just fine.

I think some kind of hybrid ssd solution will come with the new MBPs. Simply because that is a great upgrade, they can make money from and anything else is ridiculous for a pro machine. Lenovos deliver it standard, many others too. It is old tech at release if they stick to the usual.
 

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,251
17
Orlando
What data are you looking to transfer? If you install the SSD before you've used the Mac, it'd be better to simply format the SSD and install an OS fresh, because it'll be simpler (of course, factor in the time to download it since you'll have to use the Recovery Partition unless you make an install disk yourself). I can't see it being necessary to transfer from the drive that comes in your Mac.

If you have a PC, you can use Migration Assistant (after all of that) to transfer from the PC over a local network.

jW
 

browerjs

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 25, 2011
62
0
Every person that care for data has some kind of backup drive at home. You use that and transfer copy the whole sys drive with a tool like CCC. Timemachine recovery works too. It just means that you boot OSX into the recovery mode (install disc or recov. partition) and select the external timemachine and tell it to restore everything.
Take longer but works just fine.

I think some kind of hybrid ssd solution will come with the new MBPs. Simply because that is a great upgrade, they can make money from and anything else is ridiculous for a pro machine. Lenovos deliver it standard, many others too. It is old tech at release if they stick to the usual.
Yes, I have a 6TB NAS and 1.5TB USB HDD. So if I backup to my NAS or USB HDD, put in the SSD, I'll still be able to boot to Timemachine recovery (assuming no install disc)?

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What data are you looking to transfer? If you install the SSD before you've used the Mac, it'd be better to simply format the SSD and install an OS fresh, because it'll be simpler (of course, factor in the time to download it since you'll have to use the Recovery Partition unless you make an install disk yourself). I can't see it being necessary to transfer from the drive that comes in your Mac.

If you have a PC, you can use Migration Assistant (after all of that) to transfer from the PC over a local network.

jW
Forgive me for my ignorance on Mac. So when I buy the MBP, I'll essentially get a bootable DVD that will have the Recovery Partition on it, which will allow me to download and install the OS? I'm used to Dells/HP that have the recovery partition on the actual HDD that ships with the laptop.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,986
9,640
California
Yes, I have a 6TB NAS and 1.5TB USB HDD. So if I backup to my NAS or USB HDD, put in the SSD, I'll still be able to boot to Timemachine recovery (assuming no install disc)?

----------



Forgive me for my ignorance on Mac. So when I buy the MBP, I'll essentially get a bootable DVD that will have the Recovery Partition on it, which will allow me to download and install the OS? I'm used to Dells/HP that have the recovery partition on the actual HDD that ships with the laptop.
The current Macbook Pros have recovery software built into the firmware of the device and all OS and applications are downloaded. So you just hold down command-r at boot to get into Lion Recovery mode. From there you download and install the OS if you want to start fresh or select a Time Machine backup to restore from. It really is pretty easy.

I assume the new models will be the same
 

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,251
17
Orlando
Forgive me for my ignorance on Mac. So when I buy the MBP, I'll essentially get a bootable DVD that will have the Recovery Partition on it, which will allow me to download and install the OS? I'm used to Dells/HP that have the recovery partition on the actual HDD that ships with the laptop.
No disk. I mistyped, you'll use what's known as Internet Recovery instead. Simply hold Cmd-R during startup, and it will boot into a special mode that allows you to reinstall the operating system, among other things. It mimics the behavior of a recovery partition without needing an actual partition on a drive, which means it works even if you've pulled the stock drive and inserted a blank, unformatted disk.

I should add something that I forgot: it'd be best to boot from your new computer at least once before you do all of this, and sign into the Mac App Store, go to the Purchased section, and accept the iLife apps that come with the computer. They're already installed, but if you don't do this, you can't go and redownload and install them on the SSD, or if something happens in the future.

Actually, having said all of this, if you get a drive that comes with the little USB transfer kit, it might be easier just to go ahead and transfer the system and apps that way. I would recommend Carbon Copy Cloner if you do that, and if you run it while booted from the drive you're copying from, it works in file mode by default, which will avoid any issues with placing the files on the SSD.

jW
 

browerjs

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 25, 2011
62
0
No disk. I mistyped, you'll use what's known as Internet Recovery instead. Simply hold Cmd-R during startup, and it will boot into a special mode that allows you to reinstall the operating system, among other things. It mimics the behavior of a recovery partition without needing an actual partition on a drive, which means it works even if you've pulled the stock drive and inserted a blank, unformatted disk.

I should add something that I forgot: it'd be best to boot from your new computer at least once before you do all of this, and sign into the Mac App Store, go to the Purchased section, and accept the iLife apps that come with the computer. They're already installed, but if you don't do this, you can't go and redownload and install them on the SSD, or if something happens in the future.

Actually, having said all of this, if you get a drive that comes with the little USB transfer kit, it might be easier just to go ahead and transfer the system and apps that way. I would recommend Carbon Copy Cloner if you do that, and if you run it while booted from the drive you're copying from, it works in file mode by default, which will avoid any issues with placing the files on the SSD.

jW
I get it now...

Thanks!!!
 

mikepro

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2010
424
17
Basically, reiterating what Mal said. Easiest way is this:

- Get your new Macbook pro. Power it, get it all configured, iLife registered, etc.
- Download and install Carbon Copy Cloner.
- Connect SSD with USB transfer cable. Clone existing disk onto new SSD. (Note - CCC will probably ask you if you want to clone the recovery partition first. Do that, then clone the main disk).
- Install SSD.

This leaves you with your stock drive that is all setup and bootable, and you could connect the USB transfer cable and boot off it if you ever needed to. Or, you could re-install it and have a working machine if your SSD ever failed.
 

browerjs

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 25, 2011
62
0
Basically, reiterating what Mal said. Easiest way is this:

- Get your new Macbook pro. Power it, get it all configured, iLife registered, etc.
- Download and install Carbon Copy Cloner.
- Connect SSD with USB transfer cable. Clone existing disk onto new SSD. (Note - CCC will probably ask you if you want to clone the recovery partition first. Do that, then clone the main disk).
- Install SSD.

This leaves you with your stock drive that is all setup and bootable, and you could connect the USB transfer cable and boot off it if you ever needed to. Or, you could re-install it and have a working machine if your SSD ever failed.
If the recovery partition is in the firmware why would it need to be backed up to the SSD?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,986
9,640
California
If the recovery partition is in the firmware why would it need to be backed up to the SSD?
It is not really backed up to the SSD, it is installed and running on the SSD in its own hidden partition. You are correct though, with newer MacBooks that have the recovery in firmware you don't really have to install the recovery partition on the disk drive.

The only case you would need the recovery partition on the SSD is if you decide you want to your Filevault2 full disk encryption. That uses the recovery partition on the SSD to boot into the Filevault2 encrypted image.
 
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