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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

n00b question.... swap 750GB Sata drive with 640GB SSD drive...


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alex9719

 
Member Since: Dec 14, 2011
Location: The Netherlands
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Hello all,

My name is Alex and I'm a new member here on this forum. As most people I registered not only because I'm turning into a Mac lover more and more, but also because Google can't answer all my questions anymore, hahaha.

I recently got myself a MBP 13" with 750GB HDD (currently 450GB in use) but I notice read/write delays (running multiple VM's) so I'm looking to upgrade my HDD to a SSD drive (500-640GB preferably) but I don't want to reinstall everything...

Can I use tools like Acronis to make a clone of the current drive and place that clone on a brand new SSD drive?
Will my machine boot up after this or does even Mac OSX freak out about different drivers?

I didn't get an OSX dvd when I got my MBP, do I need it for this operation?

I'm using a Timecapsule and can make a full backup, maybe it's a better idea to install OSX on the SSD drive and to transfer the backup to this drive, does that work? In my windows time (sorry for the W-word) I experienced that I needed to reactivate several windows components (like office etc), how's this handled by OSX?

Thanks all!
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chscag

 
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You can certainly swap out your old drive for a 500 - 640 GB SSD if you have a nice bank account. Have you checked prices for a SSD that large?

Also, Acronis True Image will not work with Mac OS X. Not because of the file system specifically but because Macs use EFI not a BIOS. However, there are similar programs for the Mac such as SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

Your new machine has Lion pre-installed. Lion does not come on disk but you have a Recovery partition on your hard drive that can be accessed during boot up that will allow for reinstalling and disk repairs.
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microsnook

 
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Get an external drive, like 2tb if you can, and then download CarbonCopyCloner and it will clone you're entire HDD!

After it clones, you will be able to boot up from your external drive (its an exact clone).

If you get the new SSD, you can just import the clone from your external drive to the new SSD and you're good to go

CCC is free, also.

Hope this helps
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alex9719

 
Member Since: Dec 14, 2011
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Hello chscag,

Thank you for your quick and clear response, I know it's a lot of money, but there's still an interesting dollar-euro rate (I'm from The Netherlands) and it's a business expense, so in the end there's a tax benefit as well (I'll spare you the details)

When I use the apps you mentioned, they also make "sector-level" copies of the drive, so the recovery partition is transferred as well?

(is there any way I can see the recovery partition during normal operations? My disk utility says that there's only 1 partition with 749,3GB space. I just noticed that in the same screen, there is an option to copy the disk and restore it, so that can be an option too?)

The last remaining question is if the currently installed OSX "accepts" the SSD drive without installing new drivers?

Thanks!



edit: Ah while typing, I missed the other comment, thanks for that! It's all clear now!
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microsnook

 
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CCC should make a clone of your entire drive. So backing up to the external drive will be an exact copy of your HDD. Double check to see if it copies the partition. (although you mentioned only having a single partition). You can tweak the settings.

The SSD should automatically work. No drivers should be needed. Make sure you FORMAT the SSD before importing the clone to it. It might not be in the right format and it's good to have to start fresh. The format should be Mac OSX extended (journaled).

I think I covered everything. Good luck!
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harryb2448

 
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Do not clone to the SSD as it will slow it down. You do not have install discs which presents a problem. If you have Lion installed, Recovery will download a fresh copy, install that and use Migration Assistant in utilities to transfer applications, network settings etc over.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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alex9719

 
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Thanks Harry for your comment. Using the migration utility, does that also migrate all the passwords etc?

thanks!
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harryb2448

 
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On most occasions it does. Have noticed that MS Office and some Adobe applications will ask for the activation code after migration.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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microsnook

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
Do not clone to the SSD as it will slow it down. You do not have install discs which presents a problem. If you have Lion installed, Recovery will download a fresh copy, install that and use Migration Assistant in utilities to transfer applications, network settings etc over.
Cloning to the SSD will cause it to slow down?

Even if its just completed a single time? What is the difference between cloning the data back to it vs Migration?

Just want some enlightenment!
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alex9719

 
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So, the new drive arrived today and I decided to follow harryb's advice.
I took a small USB HDD to recreate the recovery partition and than I took out the original harddrive and placed the SSD drive.

After booting the recovery drive, I first formatted the SSD drive and I chose the option to restore a timecapsule backup of this morning. It took some 5 hours to complete but it was all there....

the only thing was that I had to re-activate the Office for Mac (but I expected that and it's no problem) but nothing else, brilliant!!

I would say that my MBP is "all done"... I have the MBPro 13", Intel Core i7 2.7GHz version, 16GB of RAM and now the 600GB SSD drive. I can't imagine anything else to further improve it.....

(I'm using it 80% for work purposes and I run 3 to 4 VM's almost constantly)

Me happy!

Thanks for all the help here!
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microsnook

 
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Wow, thats a beast set up!
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alex9719

 
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Thanks, I'm very happy with it!

My previous machine was a Dell M6500 with a core i7 2.1GHz, 16GB RAM and 2x500GB drives (non-SSD), but that was packed in a 17" body and was more than 4 kg's.... even Dell didn't call it a laptop anymore, it was a "mobile workstation".... (the charger alone was almost just as heavy as my current MPB)

This is a monster, wrapped in a cinderella costume :-D
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microsnook

 
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Thats ridiculous!

Did you install the 16Gb ram yourself? (i guess thats the only way you can get 16gb anyways..)

How was installation? I am considering moving up to 16, in the future if I need it or want it
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alex9719

 
Member Since: Dec 14, 2011
Location: The Netherlands
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Yep, I got the modules at OWC computing (macsales.com) and replaced them myself, it's very easy.

In fact, I think it's the only two things that Apple 'allows' you to upgrade, the RAM and the HDD.

The only frustrating thing is that when I bought the RAM, it was some 650 dollars and now it's around 300 dollar..... Grrr....

Good luck!
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microsnook

 
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Sweet thanks!

That is frustrating lol. but thats how it works!
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