Swapping HDD for SSD and how to migrate?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by snerkler, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. snerkler macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2012
    I'm looking at buying a MBP and buying an aftermarket SSD straight away (can't justify the cost of the Apple SSDs) so won't have any data such as music, video, documents etc to transfer. Obviously though they'll be the OS and programs that will need to be transferred to the new SSD. How do you do this?

    Also I'm currently on a Windows/PC Laptop and have external hard drives to back up all my personal data such as music and photos. I'll just use these to transfer this data to the new SSD. However, my external drives are currently configured to NTFS and I was told that I need to format the drives to FAT32 in order for them to be compatible with both Mac and PC. However, when I go to the format settings for the drives (using windows 7) the only format options are NTFS and exFAT. Is exFAT the same as FAT32?

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! backups of Mac internal hard drive.
      [*]To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
      [*]To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    • You can use this format if you only use the drive with Mac OS X, or use it for backups of your Mac OS X internal drive, or if you only share it with one Windows PC (with MacDrive installed on the PC)
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

  3. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2012
    Thanks for this. From this is does look as though FAT32 is the best format for me. I don't think I have a single file that's over 4GB. I'll have to check my RAW video footage but I don't think I have.

    I know this is a Mac forum but does anyone know if windows 7 has a similar feature/program that allows you to format drives in any format you want. As I said I can only find the options for NTFS and exFAT ( I do this by right clicking on the drive in my computer and selecting format).

    As for swapping the HDD drive for SSD how do I do this and migrate all the OS and programs across?
  4. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2012
    Well I came across this to format to FAT32. Really easy, took less than a minute to format a 1TB iOmega external hard drive, and seems to have worked :)


Share This Page