Upgrading HDD: Wanting to verify steps

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DdMac679, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. DdMac679 macrumors member


    Jul 25, 2009
    United States
    I am going to be upgrading my stock 160GB HDD to a WD Blue 500GB using Time Machine and I want to make sure I have all my eggs accounted for before I begin. At the end of the day I want to have the 160GB drive reformatted to factory settings and then stored all w/o using an external casing. I know this will take extra time but I can't think of another solution w/o buying more accessories.

    1. Back up current 160GB HDD w/ Time Machine
    2. Reformat 160GB HDD
    3. Remove 160GB HDD and install 500GB HDD
    4. Format and restore using Time Machine
    5. Store 160GB HDD
    6. Enjoy

    Have I left anything out or can this be done a different way w/o excess cost?
  2. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Everything looks OK. But I would not do step two until I was certain that the new 500 GB drive is working OK and that Time Machine has restored all my data.

    I know you said you didn't want to spend extra $$, but what if you format your 160 GB drive and later find out that the Time Machine backup didn't work or something else went wrong. You know how evil Murphy can be.... :mad:

    Besides, an external SATA carrier is inexpensive.

  3. DdMac679 thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 25, 2009
    United States
    Yeah I didn't even think about that. I am so use to just reformatting and starting fresh on my PC I was just going to take the external drive for granted. Thanks again for the heads up and I will look into the external caring case.
  4. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Another option:

    1. Reformat the TM drive (so till step 8, you won't have TM, but read on).
    2. Create a bootable backup of your machine on that (ex-TM) drive (using CarbonCopyCloner or Superduper).
    3. Make sure it boots from that external.
    4. Reformat the (now internal) 160GB drive (while booted from step 3) [optional step, if you want to store a 'clean' drive]
    5. Replace the 160GB with the 500GB internal.
    6. Boot from external (ex-TM) drive, clone back to the internal 500GB.
    7. Disconnect external, boot from internal and verify everything works.
    8. Connect & reformat the eternal, use as TM drive (ok, it takes a while for a full backup).

    [I assumed your TM drive isn't used for storing anything else.]
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    RE: Upgrading HDD

    "Have I left anything out or can this be done a different way w/o excess cost?"

    I think you're doing it the wrong way.
    I would never never NEVER trust a Time Machine backup for a critical job like that.

    There's a BETTER way, that's also absolutely FREE.

    1. Have your external enclosure ready to accept the old [currently internal] drive.

    2. Download SuperDuper from here:
    Put it on your internal drive.

    3. Remove the old internal drive, put it into the external case. At the same time, install the new internal drive.

    4. With everything closed up, boot with the Option key held down. Keep holding it down until you invoke the "startup manager".

    5. You should see your OLD drive in the startup manager. Click on it to select it, then press enter or return.

    6. The Mac should now boot from your OLD internal drive (which is now in the external enclosure).

    7. When you get to the Finder, go to Disk Utility and initialize the NEW internal, and get it set up as you wish it to be.

    8. Now launch SuperDuper. You should set it up to "clone" the contents of your OLD external (which you are booted from) to the NEW, initialized drive. Although you must register SuperDuper to use all of its features, it will let you do this withOUT having to register it.

    9. SuperDuper will create an exact, bootable copy of the contents of your OLD drive to the NEW one. When it's done, you will actually have TWO copies of what was on the old internal.

    10. Now you can go to the StartupDisk pref pane and re-designate your [new] internal drive to be the boot drive. Boot up from it to test it. You may want to run a permissions repair after booting. My guess is that it will look EXACTLY like the drive that was replaced.

    11. You can then use the external for backups, or whatever. I strongly suggest that you eschew Time Machine backups in favor of a regular "dupe" with SuperDuper. If you register it, you can then do "incremental" backups which will go much more quickly than a "full clone". And you will ALWAYS have a fully-bootable backup drive close-at-hand if you encounter problems with the internal. You CAN'T do that with Time Machine.

    - John
  6. geoffshep macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2007
    Why boot from external? I did mine the other way round.

    Start from normal and clone your internal drive to the new external one.

    Then put the new drive into the machine and check that it boots and runs normally (all this time you have your old 160Gb drive safe and sound in case you need to pop it back in). Once everything is all fine you can format the old drive and use it as a portable drive - or just keep adding newer files to it.

    Either way you will need something to connect the new bare drive to your current Mac. Or is it an external drive in a housing?

    If the new drive is just a bare drive, I'd get one of these: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149275

    You can use it to connect the new drive when cloning, and once you've done it all, use it for the old drive to make it a portable spare drive. And this one works with just the single usb lead - no need for extra leads for power.

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