Upgrading 2011 MBP with SSD and Mavericks

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MaskAndWig, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. MaskAndWig macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2009
    My 2011 13-inch MBP is presently running Snow Leopard and sporting the original 5400rpm hard drive. It does what I need it to do for the most part, but performance has been flaky (more hard crashes and forced shutdowns than I'd like). I'm thinking of replacing the hard drive with a Samsung 840 EVO (or Pro) SSD and upgrading to Mavericks -- preferably at once.

    The laptop is a secondary computer to me, my main machine is an iMac. I'm thinking I'd just drag-n-drop copy data files I want to keep to an external hard drive, then make the swap to SSD. But then what? Can I use the original install disc to format the SSD for Snow Leopard and then upgrade to Mavericks? Or is there a way to pop in the new SSD and format directly to Mavericks bypassing Snow Leopard?

    I'm looking at this as an opportunity to manually clear out unneeded files, and I don't want to simply "clone" my present HD to the new SSD. I'd like to start fresh. Any tips?

  2. JunkyJeff macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2014
    I think you can make a bootable USB with mavericks. Check youtube or search around here. After that just boot holding option and you should be able to setup the SSD and do a fresh install of mavericks.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes... but it will require a bit of a run around in your case since you are still on SL. The problem is there is no way to make a proper Mavs installer from SL.

    Do a backup first just to be safe.

    Here is what I suggest. Go ahead and get Mavs now from the App Store in SL. Once the installer is finished downloading it will launch and ask permission to go ahead with the install. When that happens do a command-q to quit the install.

    Now go to your /Applications folder and copy (not move but copy) the installer to your Desktop. Then go back to the /Applications folder and run the Mavs installer. After the install is over and you have rebooted into Mavs you will find that the installer in the /Applications folder has deleted itself as part of the install.

    Now get the app DiskMaker X and use that with a 8GB USB key to make yourself a Mavs installer from the install image you kept on the Desktop.

    Now go ahead and copy whatever data you want to save to an external drive then swap in the SSD. Plug in your Mavs USB key and option key boot to it. Once the installer comes up run Disk Util and erase the new SSD to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format. Now quit Disk Util and click install OS.

    When that is done go ahead and setup your account then manually drag your data back in from the external disk.

    Unless you are doing a HUGE amount of data writes to that SSD, there is really little reason to spend the extra money on the Pro over the EVO. Give this a look.
  4. MaskAndWig thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2009
    Thanks so much, Weaselboy. That's very helpful and I'll give it a try as you suggest. I had been thinking about the EVO Pro for reliability (hoping to get 5+ years out of it), but it seems that may be overkill. I'm especially tempted by the 1TB option with the EVO. Many thanks again!
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
  6. mneblett, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014

    mneblett macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2008
    Weaselboy's suggestions are very good.

    Another, perhaps simpler, way is to:

    1. Purchase and install Mavericks on your existing machine/HDD.

    2. Install the SSD in an external enclosure, connect it to your machine and use DiskUtility to format it HFS+ and GUID. (instructions from the makers of Carbon Copy Cloner here: http://help.bombich.com/kb/overview/preparing-your-backup-disk-for-a-backup-of-mac-os-x).

    3. Clone your internal hard drive to the SSD (for example, using Carbon Copy Cleaner).

    4. Install the SSD in your machine.

    That should be all that is required. You can then put the HDD into the external enclosure and make it a back-up disk.

    Note: You cannot put the HDD in the external enclosure, boot from the enclosure, and try to make a bootable clone with the SSD in the laptop -- the cloning will proceed, by the SSD won't be bootable. The SSD must be cloned outside of the laptop first, then installed.

    Note2: I'm not a shill for CCC, I just used the above process to clone/install an SSD in my late '08 MBP.

    Note3: You can do the cloning/SSD installation before buying/installing Mavericks.
  7. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I bought my 840 Pro before the Evo was available. If I were buying one today, I would go for the Evo 1tb instead.
  8. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I think you missed the part in the OP's post where he said he did not want to clone, but wanted to start over with a new install.

    If that were not a requirement, I agree your method is easier.

    I have done this (cloned external to internal) and it works fine. Not sure why you would have had troubles with it. This is the way I prefer to do it to avoid taking apart the enclosure twice.
  9. RMXO macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2009
    just install the new SSD and do a fresh install of SL then upgrade to Mavericks via Apps Store unless you already have a bootable Mavericks install USB. Then use your old HDD as an external drive to drag & drop your data files back. You could also use Migration Assistant to copy the files over but the choice is yours. I'm kinda old school where I prefer to drag & drop my data back.
  10. Johbremat macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2011
    If you want straightforward...

    • Clone existing disk to SSD
    • Upgrade SSD to Mavericks
    • Reboot, holding the Option key
    • Select recovery partition
    • Format disk using Disk Utility
    • Reinstall Mavericks from recovery
    This way, if anything goes pear, you still have your spindle as a base to work from. Just don't upgrade the source first.

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