Swapping unwiped HDDs between Macbook pros?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thurston b, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. thurston b macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2017
    Hi everyone,

    I replaced my macbook pro mid-2010 15" HDD for an SDD last year. I kept the old HDD un-wiped in case and it's fully working.

    The HDD is failing on my late-2011 13" macbook pro.
    Can i simply place the HDD from my 15" HDD into the 13"?
  2. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    Yes, with exceptions.

    - The OS from the 2010 MBP cannot be older than the one that the 2011 MBP initially shipped with.

    - The HDD will have the network configuration of the 2010 MBP and if you run it, un-modified, on the same network as the 2011 MBP, you may have conflicts. I ran into this problem with the computer name and found that the typical ways to re-name the computer didn't work (it wanted to use the old name) and I had to edit one of the configuration files (can't remember which one) to make it work. I haven't investigated that deeply into the issue but you should probably be sure that the other computer with the same name isn't running, rename the computer to something different, restart to make sure the new name has taken hold and then try running the other computer. I was doing this as a test so maybe if you do some research, there's a better way to handle this or maybe somebody on the forum will respond with a better way to handle this. Or, because I use a static IP address vs. DHCP, maybe that's the issue. Also, if you configured the router specifically to the IP address or MAC address of the old computer, then that has to be taken into account.

    - If you have any programs or cloud services that use the MAC (media access control) address or the serial number of the old computer, then there may be an issue there. I think software protection keys rely on one or the other so if you have software like that, it won't run. I think I've read that some of the Apple cloud services rely on the MAC address for identification, but that's another issue I haven't researched since I don't use any of the Apple cloud services.
  3. randomgeeza macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2014
    United Kingdom
    I second that about app registrations etc. Try to deregister whilst the old machine (HDD) is running in it's original device. And then re-register once it is in the new machine. Likewise with iTunes authorisations etc.

    Aside from that you should be good to go...
  4. thurston b thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2017
    Thanks for all the comments and help. So I'll stick the old hd in my old mac and deregister the old machine. What programs should i de register? And is it straightforward?
  5. Eerriikkoo macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2017
    I would not do this. All hardware specific prefs that are stored in various places will have to be re evaluated by the system if you swap out harddrives. It might work. Ymmv. Why not do a clean install.
  6. thurston b thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2017
    If I put the old HD in the new machine and it doesn’t work, it won’t damage anything for me to put the original one back in?

    Also, Is it possible to insert the old Hd from my 2010 mac into the 2011 mac and boot it up in a way with the latest OSX to do a clean install? I don’t have a SATA cable btw.
  7. Eerriikkoo macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2017
    Of course you can just try. Nothing will be damaged. All settings are stored on your hdd.

    For a clean install without sata cable you can make a usb bootable installation image. Check here for instance: https://www.google.nl/amp/s/www.mac...le-macos-high-sierra-installer-drive.amp.html

    Good luck!

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