Upgrading to SSD when optical drive is broken?

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I have a 2009 Macbook Pro 13" running snow leopard and would like to upgrade to a solid state drive, however

a) my optical drive is broken, so I can't reinstall snow leopard by CD
b) I can't use my brand new external optical drive because it doesn't work with the macbook pro with factory installed optical drives and
c) I can't change the code to get the external drive to work because i'm not good with computers, and when I try to open a terminal it says "shell set to illegal value".

I have an external hard drive and tried booting to that without success. Changing the drive is easy, but how can I install my OS?
 
M

MacInWin

Guest
1. Get an External Hard drive.
2. Get Carbon Copy Cloner (Or Super Duper!, both work)
3. Create bootable clone of internal drive on external.
4. Boot from the external, check to see it's working.
5. Power down, swap out internal drive with SSD.
6. Boot from external drive again, use CCC or SD! to clone back to the new SSD.
7. Boot from the SSD.

Done.
 
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2019 iMac 27"; 2020 M1 MacBook Air; macOS up-to-date... always.
I have a 2009 Macbook Pro 13" running snow leopard and would like to upgrade to a solid state drive, however

a) my optical drive is broken, so I can't reinstall snow leopard by CD

You could consider replacing that drive. Instructions for how to do so here:
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Unibody+Mid+2009+Optical+Drive+Replacement/1368

b) I can't use my brand new external optical drive because it doesn't work with the macbook pro with factory installed optical drives and

Uh, as far as I know, you most certainly should be able to.

c) I can't change the code to get the external drive to work because i'm not good with computers, and when I try to open a terminal it says "shell set to illegal value".

What code? There is no "code" to change. I'm not sure why you are getting that error when you open Terminal, but you shouldn't be opening it in the first place.

I have an external hard drive and tried booting to that without success. Changing the drive is easy, but how can I install my OS?

Do you have an OS installed on that external drive? Or did you clone your internal drive to that external? If not, then of course it won't boot.

If you haven't cloned your internal to the external drive, then do so now using SuperDuper. Once done, reboot your Mac and hold down the OPTION key as soon as you see the Apple logo come up. You should get a list of bootable volumes, from which you select the internal or external drive. This is the same process for booting off an external DVD drive.
 

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