Swap HDD from one MBP to another.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by spectreracing, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. spectreracing macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
    Hello all,
    I have a question: Can I remove my hdd from my mid 2010 MBP and put it in my girlfriends 2012 MBP and it just "work?" I have a few reasons for wanting to do this, but one reason is BootCamp/Windows. I have Windows 8.1 (legit copy) on my computer, but since this is a mid 2010 model MBP, it has quite a few "kinks" that I would LOVE to have resolved. Aside from that, I would like to have features such as Airplay mirroring that I do use/will use WAY more than she does (she doesn't use the feature at all).

    Like I said, those are just a couple reasons, but certainly not all. If it was just a matter of cloning the hdd's, then I wouldn't be asking, but when it comes to BootCamp, that's a beast I'd rather not tackle again if I don't have to. it was hard enough just getting it on there (I had Win7 on there, then upgraded to Win8 then to Win8.1). Since all of the drivers don't work (yes, I have actually tried everything I know to do and was suggested to do) because my hardware is a bit older than hers, I figured if I could simply swap my hdd out in place of hers, I could have a working Windows 8.1 OS after I'm able to actually update/install the proper drivers.

    Both are running Mavericks 10.9.2. Any assistance/info would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, even though I have a legit copy of Win8.1, it was installed last semester in college, since I'm not in school this semester, I no longer have access to the website that I downloaded the OS from, so I can't simply backup my Windows, go through the BootCamp process again, then restore the backup because I can't redownload the OS. And I have no idea where the install disk is that I made. Thanks in advance!
  2. Dovahkiing macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    The 2010 and 2012 have pretty different internals.

    I suspect you might have some issues with kernel extensions in OSX, but I'll let somebody who knows more speak to the OSX side.

    For Windows, I know at the very least you'll definitely get the pop-up to re-enter the installation key to validate whether or not the copy is genuine. Again, my expectation would be that there would be additional driver issues, but I could be wrong.

    I'm just pointing out that even if it works from all other standpoints, you'll still have a problem because you don't have access to the windows disk (and I assume therefore the installation key).
  3. spectreracing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
    I DO still have the key (wrote it down). just not the install disk.
  4. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Mac side should work fine - I've done the same thing in the past.

    No idea re Windows.
  5. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Safer to backup hers, then clone yours to hers via an external HDD. OSX should be fine, no idea about Windows....
  6. Dovahkiing macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    Oh, well then I think you'll be fine. I assumed because I figured you'd have kept the disk with installation key that goes with it. I would download and re-run the bootcamp software to make sure it installs the new appropriate drivers though.
  7. spectreracing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
    Losing everything on Windows is mostly what I'm worried about. Since the Army doesn't play well with Macs, I NEED Windows for mandatory online classes/digital signatures/Etc.


    I'm going to remove my internal hdd and connect it to her MBP via the Apricorn 2.5" SATA to USB cable I have. If I hold down the Option key on start up, it should give me the "Boot to Windows" as an option right? Hopefully it will. I'm going to do the same on the OS X side also. Doing this SHOULD give me a definite answer? Any opinions on this?
  8. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I think you will find that Windows is very unlikely to boot from an external USB, particularly when you have set it up on a completely different computer.
    It's REALLY likely that you will need to boot to your Windows installer disk, for the purpose of a Windows repair (if you can get that work at all.)
    I suggest that a full swap, with your hard drive installed in your G/F's MBPro, is the most likely to function in Windows (but the drivers will need to be updated)
    The OS X install will likely work in the new system, the first time you try. Windows, on the other hand, I would not be confident at all. I doubt you will get by without needing to find your Windows installer disk.
  9. spectreracing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
    Swapped it out!

    Ok, I did it! It took a bit of trial and error, but everything works. Here are the steps:

    First and foremost, make sure you have a Time Machine backup, or your hdd backed up via Carbon Copy Cloner.

    1. First thing I did was pull the SSHD from my mid 2010 MBP.
    2. Using a 2.5" SATA II to USB cord, I plugged in the SATA to the 2012 MBP, and did a reboot.
    3. Holding the Option Key on the reboot, I had 5 options to boot to: the internal HD, internal Recovery HD the external OS, the external Recovery HD, and Windows.
    4. I booted into Mac OS X, everything worked.
    5. I restarted and booted into Windows 8.1, everything worked.
    6. Then I shutdown the computer. and opened up the bottom.
    7. I then replaced the HDD with my SSHD. (1TB SSHD).
    8. I also replaced the RAM in the 2012 MBP with the 8x8 GB RAM from my mid-2010 MBP.
    8. Booted up perfectly.

    Now, this is where I ran into a snag. I upgraded the RAM on my mid 2010 MBP, from 2x2 GB, to 8x8 GB a while back.
    After I verified that my SSHD would simply swap out and work on the 2012 MBP, I put both of the HDD's back in their original computers. But I left the 8x8 RAM in the new comp, and placed the 2x2 RAM from the 2012 into the 2010. (still following me? lol). 2012 MBP would boot up, no joy on the 2010.
    After trying to start up with every start up command I knew of, I started thinking about the RAM. Luckily I kept the original 2x2 GB RAM from the 2010.

    I replaced the 2012 2x2 GB RAM with the original mid-2010 2x2 GB RAM, put the 2012 HDD into the mid-2010, and it started right up, no problems. I'm currently typing this from the 2012 MBP.

    After doing these swaps, I booted via the CMD + R command and ran Disk Utility. Verify & Repair Disk and do the same for the permissions. Prolly not necessary, but it makes me feel better. My 1TB SSHD didnt need any repairs, but the 2012 HDD did. But that is normal for her MBP anyway (I'm the one who does all the updates and repairs on her computer).

    So there you go, does anyone have any questions? I assume that it will be best to attempt this with the same OS version. Windows 8.1 works perfectly, I was able to update all of the drivers in Windows and everything works great!

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