With the 2011 MBP (Lion), why would you need a boot disk?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Adamantoise, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Well I know how to take out the old hard drive and put in a new one, but I don't have a boot disk for Lion.

    I've heard Lion downloads and installs itself or something like that. If I put in a brand new hard drive will I still need to create a boot disk for Lion?
  2. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2010
    I'm going off of memory here. The mac mini and macbook air (and future released Lion Macs) are able to restore from the internet. I don't know how much of that is tied in with the hard drive, so I don't know if that would even work if you replaced the hard drive on one of those machines.

    In general, you would need the boot disc if you replaced the hard drive for whatever reason (drive failure?) and wanted to do a time machine restore or fresh install. Apple has released a tool to assist in creating a USB Boot Disk. This is assuming you have installed the new HDD into the machine, because you would need some way of getting the computer to load some software to allow for a time machine restore or installation.

    Of course there are a couple of apps, such as SuperDuper and CarbonCopyCloner, to allow one to clone their hard drive and bypass the need for a boot disk. However, I have not even considered if either of these apps could clone the entire drive (including restore partition that the Lion install creates) and not just the usable Macintosh HD partition.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Because apart from the new MacBook Air's and Mac Mini's that can restore themselves from the internet when you stick a new hard drive in, you need a disk to format and install OS X Lion on a new hard drive.
  4. Adamantoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Okay, that makes sense.

    I have a 2011 MBP that came with Lion, and I'm about to replace the stock hard drive with a Momentus XT.

    I'm guessing the best thing to do here is format a USB thumb drive (what format should I use?) and download a copy of Lion from the App Store to create a boot disk.

    Since Lion came on my MBP, I should be able to download Lion for free right?
  5. falterego macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2008
    Southern California
    I thought the 2011 MBP that came with a Lion DVD, or a Snow Leopard DVD and the upgrade could be downloaded from the App Store. I personally would use CCC or SuperDuper to clone your drive and then swap it.

    It is my understanding that if you clone the drive of a Mini or MBA, you will be able to boot the respective computer from the clone, but if you make a clone of your MBP, the Mini or MBA wouldn't be able to boot from it. They have the recovery console option (Command+R) or the internet recovery option (Hold Option) to do a reinstall of the OS.

    I'm in the process of finishing my 2011 Mini's configuration so I can make an image and swap to a SSD. Once I do I'm going to first try the internet recovery to see how it works and how long it takes, before cloning my backup to the SSD.
  6. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    ASFAIK, CCC will only clone the main partition and so in your proposed procedure, you may end up with a disk that boots the machine, with no Recovery partition. Not sure if you can use the Apple tool to create the recovery partition first on the new disk while connected via USB, then use CCC to clone the main partition, effectively cloning the whole disk.
    Someone clarify this point? :confused::eek::confused:
  7. Synergie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2011
    Halifax, Canada

    Get an external Hard drive enclosure (or a dock like I did). Seriously the easiest way by far to do this is to:

    1) Connect the new HDD through USB in the dock (or external enclosure - though a dock is much quicker, you just pop it in!)
    2) Use Disk Tools to format it (takes 30 seconds or less)
    3) Your computer should now see the new HDD as an external hard drive
    4) Load Carbon Copy Cloner and clone the entire internal HDD to the new one. (Depending on how full your current HDD is, it could take a couple hours... but you can see the progress on the bar...Mine took just over an hour for ~80GB worth of data.)
    5) Carbon Copy Cloner will automatically make the new HDD bootable!!!!
    6) Power down, remove the mag safe adapter, and swap out the HDDs (takes less than 10 mins even for someone who's never done it!)
    7) Do SMC reset (plug in mag safe adapter, hold down shift-ctrl-option+power for 10 seconds then release all at once)
    8) Power up as per normal but do a PRAM reset when it starts up (Option-Cmnd+P+R hold until you hear the boot chime twice then let go)
    9) Your computer will boot as if nothing has happened!!! All your apps, settings etc will ALL be there as they were on your old HDD!! No need to reinstall anything!!!!

    This really IS the easiest way to do it! two thumbs up for Carbon Copy Cloner!
  8. Synergie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2011
    Halifax, Canada
    I don't think it copies the recovery partition... but I am not 100% sure. But I am just gonna keep my old HDD as a backup anyway, since it's not worth a whole lot to sell. That way if I have any issues, I can just boot through USB on the old HDD and re-clone with CCC to a new HDD - and then just restore from Time Machine to get my current info / apps back.

    That way I never have to worry about reinstalling the OS!

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