Transplant Old Macbook HD to New Macbook Pro w/o reformatting???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pflau, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. pflau macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2007
    Hi. I am thinking about upgrading from my Macbook 13" Aluminum to the new Macbook Pro 13" and I don't want to go through the trouble of reinstalling everything. Can I just take the hard drive from the old one and put it into the new old? Thanks!
  2. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    You can do that, but you eventually should make a backup and do a reinstall of the OS with the grey install discs, because the drivers might be slightly different between the two computers.
  3. gatepc macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA
    You can try it but I would not recommend it why don't you just use target disc mode and have the OS transfer everything during the setup of the new computer.
  4. pflau thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2007
    That is because my current HD is an aftermarket 500GB. I want to keep that HD.
  5. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    I wouldn't try it. There might be system specific files that will cause problems. I've tried it before from an aluminum MBP to a MB, and that did not even boot. Also, if you notice, different laptops sometimes have specific install disks (i.e. the 17 inch aluminum MBP). That suggests that some system builds are specific for certain machines.
  6. Z06jerry macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    NO, (at least not without also re-installing the OS from the new MBP Discs). I did this exact swap. Your new MBP will boot but won't work properly because the hardware is different (FW & SD). I had usb issues and other problems. In my case I just re-installed the OS from the new discs after the swap and everything is working perfectly.
  7. ddeadserious macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2008
    Plymouth, MI
    Another NO.

    I tried swapping my HD from my Aluminum Macbook and neither the Firewire or the SD card slot worked properly. It also caused the battery to read incorrectly.

    I just did a fresh install and used Migration Assistant with Time Machine and it was all good.
  8. groove-agent macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    Best thing to do is time machine backup the computer and restore during the install process. I've done this a few times between a mbp and an iMac and it works really well.
  9. kuwxman macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    Olathe, KS
    Dang it. I was going to do the same thing (transfer HDD from Late 2008 Unibody MacBook to new MacBook Pro), but didnt even think about the addition of the SD Slot and Firewire. Guess I have an excuse to upgrade to an aftermarket 500GB HDD now. :)
  10. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    Time Machine is a great way to transfer stuff over. Do a full TM backup on an external drive, then put the install disk in the MBP and choose restore from TM.

    If you don't have an exteral disk, here's what you can do. Assuming everything on the 500gb will fit on the disk in the new MBP, boot the MBP in Target Disk mode and do a TM backup to that. Swap the disks and put the MB in Target Disk mode (with the TM backup, on the smaller disk) and boot the MBP from the CD and restore as you normally would from a TM backup. This will wipe out the data (along with the wrong drivers) on the 500gb disk and do an installation with the right drivers and all the data from the backup.
  11. Z06jerry macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    You can do the swap as long as you re-install (archive and install) from the new MBP discs after the swap. If you don't re-install the OS you will have problems.
  12. pflau thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2007
    Hi. Thanks for all the comments. I guess my safest bet would be to do a full time machine backup and do a restore-during-install on the new Macbook Pro?

    Or should I do a clean install of the OS FIRST and THEN do a restore from the OS itself instead of the from the installation process?
  13. ETID macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    I realise this is slightly different but I swapped the HDDs between a SR macbook and a pre SR macbook and both worked fine, except one took slightly longer to boot.

    Is there any harm in trying it? Can the mac or data be damaged?

    If it works excellent, if not try something else.
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Just transfer the drive over and perform an Archive and Install; that's what I just did and it fixed any driver issues; of the parts they changed was the sound card, so your older HDD's sound drivers will not work and therefore will require the installation to fix that issue.

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