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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Aug 14, 2013
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    3
    How can I put a windows formatted HDD in my MacBook Pro
    Hi, first post!

    I have a mid-2009 macbook pro running version 10.8.4, internal 160 gb HDD is maxed out. I also have a internal 500gb HDD from a Sony Vaio which works perfectly but computer is smashed. Been searching and searching and can't figure out how I can put the PC HDD in my Macbook. Put it in and did command-r and just got a question mark symbol. I was under the impression that it should have worked. How can I format the PC hard drive to work in my Mac, is it even possible?

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    34,839
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Two things first:

    1. It must be an SATA hard drive (sounds like it is).
    2. You must have some way to boot the MacBook Pro other than the internal HD. You need a bootable Mac OS DVD...or a bootable USB stick with a Mac OS installer on it.

    FYI..."command r" is a Macintosh thing...not a Windows thing...that's why it don't work.

    Once you have a bootable Mac OS install DVD or USB thumb drive...then you reformat the hard drive...then you install the Mac OS.

    - Nick
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  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    48,514
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    You can't put the 500 GB hard drive in your MacBook Pro and try to boot to recovery (command + r) because it won't work. The drive is formatted to NTFS and must be reformatted to the Mac file system.

    You have a Mid 2009 MacBook Pro so you must also have either your Leopard or Snow Leopard install DVD, right? If you still have that DVD, with the 500 GB drive in the MBP, boot with the DVD. Go to Utilities, Disk Utility, and erase, format the drive. Format it with the Mac HFS Journaled file system, GUID scheme.

    Or.... you can download either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. (Neither is free.) Use the software to clone your 160 GB to the 500 GB drive. (You will need an external carrier or adapter.) After cloning, just swap drives. That should work and may be easier.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Aug 14, 2013
    Posts
    3
    Yes, I have the Snow Leopard install cd but I'm currently running newest version of Mountain Lion. If I use the S.L. cd can I then update everything from time machine backup?

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Aug 14, 2013
    Posts
    3
    Could making a bootable mountain lion install drive be an option, then use disc utility from that?

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    48,514
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Quote Originally Posted by Tola View Post
    Yes, I have the Snow Leopard install cd but I'm currently running newest version of Mountain Lion. If I use the S.L. cd can I then update everything from time machine backup?
    Yes, but you'll still be running Snow Leopard because Time Machine backups are not bootable.

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