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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Swapping hard drive to replacement laptop

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Member Since: Mar 24, 2010
Posts: 1
jona-than is on a distinguished road

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I have purchased a replacement macbook (core 2 duo 2GHz) for one which has a broken chassis and screen, and would like to retain the old OS and applications in the new one.

Is it possible to remove the hard drive of the broken laptop (it is still in working order) and put it in the replacement laptop? The two laptops are the same model. I know that Windows is locked to the specific hardware configuration but am not experienced with OS X.

If this cannot be done, what method can be used to transfer applications and user data? I had purchased a copy of Leopard 10.5 for my old laptop, but the replacement one still contains the copy of Tiger 10.4 which came standard with the machine.

One of the primary reasons I would like to retain the old hard drive is that it has many applications which I am not want to reinstall and reconfigure, including an install of Windows XP using Parallels.

Thanks in advance.
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Mac Specs: MacMini 2.4, 8 Gb, OS 10.10 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.6.8

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To your first question, yes, especially if the two machines are the same model. There are probably videos of How To on YouTube.

Another way of transferring from old to new is in Target Mode with the two computers connected via firewire. Since both machines are in working order, it doesn't really matter which one you boot in TM. One machine should mount to the desktop of the other, and then you can transfer files to your heart's content.

A second method is to remove the hard drive from the damaged machine and then connect it via SATA-USB adaptor to your replacement as an external drive. Data transfer could be a tad slow.

A third method is to connect your two machines via ethernet. For that you'll need an e'net hub (switch) or a multi-port router.

Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

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