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  1. #1
    Question How do I install the OS on a new hard drive? Other noob questions.
    I bought a Mac Book Pro 2009 from a friend and want to put a new hard in and start with a clean install. This is my first Mac, so not familiar with the process. My friend already backed up his data, don't need to save anything.

    I have worked as a Network Admin for many years, so I know how to physically replace the hard drive. Just need to know how to get the OS on the disk. I've already created an admin account on the Macbook. Mostly wondering if I just need to burn a disk image to a flash drive and boot to it? Do I need a license key? If so, where can I find it.

    OS: Which Mac OS is suggested? I will put in an SSD. When it's open, I'll see if I have more RAM for it (assuming it can take RAM from a PC laptop). It has 4GB now, might be able to do 6 or 8GB.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    How do I install the OS on a new hard drive? Other noob questions.
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    4,959
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Well, the only legal way to put any version of Mac OS X onto the MacBook Pro, would be to purchase a Snow Leopard disc from Apple. Or eBay if you want a used version.

    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/M...6-snow-leopard

    You can check out ifixit.com, https://www.ifixit.com/, for great repair guides for Macs of all types. And also look at everymac.com, https://everymac.com/, to identify your model and see the complete specs along with possible upgrade options.

    If you already have a version of Mac OS X/OS X/macOS on the MBP, then you will need to create an Apple ID and use the macOS App Store, to get newer versions of the macOS. Depending on which version is already installed on there, and since the device is 9 years old, I believe El Capitan, is the most up to date version of OS X that will run on that MBP.

    https://everymac.com/
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Yes, it is El Capitan 10.11.6.

    I did create an Apple ID when I logged for the first time. Does that mean I can do a clean install?

  4. #4
    How do I install the OS on a new hard drive? Other noob questions.
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    4,959
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Since El Capitan is already installed, you can boot into Recovery, launch Disk Utility, and erase the drive. Then. You can reinstall El Capitan.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  5. #5
    How do I install the OS on a new hard drive? Other noob questions.
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
    Posts
    9,811
    And just some additional information from Apple:
    How to reinstall macOS from macOS Recovery
    https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204904


    PS: it sure doesn't hurt to have a separate bootable backup drive handy. Just in case. Text







    - Patrick
    ======

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Since El Capitan is already installed, you can boot into Recovery, launch Disk Utility, and erase the drive. Then. You can reinstall El Capitan.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314
    If I want to use a different hard drive (SSD), can I use a USB drive to make a bootable El Capitan installer?

  7. #7
    How do I install the OS on a new hard drive? Other noob questions.
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    4,959
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Yes, you will need to create a bootable USB installer. You will need to download the OS X/macOS version into your Applications folder, and also a 8GB (or larger) USB flash/thumb drive. Look for Install OS X El Capitan, in your Applications folder, if it is already there, you should be good to go.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Yes, you will need to create a bootable USB installer. You will need to download the OS X/macOS version into your Applications folder, and also a 8GB (or larger) USB flash/thumb drive. Look for Install OS X El Capitan, in your Applications folder, if it is already there, you should be good to go.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372
    I was able to login to the app store and download the El Capitan image and I have a flash drive I can use, will use the instructions above.

    So it won't need an installation/registration key? I just want to make sure I don't need anything from the old hard drive before I remove it.

  9. #9
    How do I install the OS on a new hard drive? Other noob questions.
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    4,959
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    No, Apple does not require registration of an OS, they're included with the Mac.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    No, Apple does not require registration of an OS, they're included with the Mac.
    Ok, great. I guess that makes sense since you can't really build your own like the PC world.

  11. #11
    How do I install the OS on a new hard drive? Other noob questions.
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    4,570
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Apple will, when you install it, ask for your Apple ID. At that point Apple associates that installation to your Apple ID. Not a big issue, but when/if you decide to sell or give away the machine you will need to take some steps to disassociate that installation from your Apple ID. (Basically, reinstall but not create any users.)
    Jake

  12. #12
    I got it installed, definitely an easy install. I ended up trying Linux Mint first. That worked ok, but getting the wireless driver was a minor hassle.

    The MBP '09 runs pretty well with an SSD. Thought I had RAM, but didn't realize the 4GB included was 2 X 2GB and not 1 X 4GB. Had one 4GB stick, but the wrong speed. I'm also impressed that El Capitan only takes 16GB of disk space. That's pretty slim!

    This is my first experience with a MAC since the late 90's. Definitely more similar to Linux than Windows. Nice to have the 'real' terminal command line.

    Thanks for the help!

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