12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 14, 2012 11:12 AM by DM Ward
DM Ward Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I found the following sequence in a review on Amazon to replace existing 750GB hardrive with a Crucial, 520GB SSD (Solid State Drive).  Will these steps listed in the review actually CLONE my existing hard drive?  Will I be able to use all my applications in Mac OSX and Windows [via Parallels] the moment I finish the data transfer and the actual hardware swap WITHOUT a hickup?  Not having to reload apps and what not?



I originally intended to just swap drives and boot up w/ the OSX DVD and restore from TimeMachine. I re-thought that and here is what worked well for me:

I have Lion installed. Not sure if the Recovery option was introduced before Lion or not [...]

1. make a backup of your existing drive (TimeMachine or whatever)

2. shutdown your laptop

3. get an external 2.5" usb 2.0 drive enclosure - since I didn't plan for it I got one at a local electronics store for $10. You might find one cheaper here.

4. put the SSD into the enclosure and attach via USB

5. Power on your laptop and hold down Command-R during start up -- you will get booted into Recovery mode

6. Select the Disk Utility option

7. In Disk Utility you should see both your original drive and the new SSD

8. Select the original drive and click the Restore tab

9. Drag the original drive to the Source and the SSD to the Destination -- there are instructions on the window -- this is going to make a duplicate copy of the drive. Click the Restore button and sit back and wait.

10. when the copy/restore is complete power down.

11. replace the old drive w/ the new one [...] she uses the proper torx driver to remove the mounting studs from the old drive. i just used a small pair of pliers and a 0.5 allen wrench since I didn't have the correct size torx bit)

I went ahead and put my old drive in the external drive enclosure so now I have an extra backup drive.

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion, Swap existing HD 750GB to 520GB SSD
  • 1. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,505 points)

    No-one can guarantee WITHOUT a hickup However, the sequence looks reasonable, and should work OK. Note that if it doesn't, you can swap the disks around again and still have your present system. Also, if I were doing it, after step 10 I would restart with the option key held down. This will allow you to select a startup disk, so choose the SSD and verify that everything is working OK - it might be a bit slow, as it is on the USB connection. When happy, shut down and continue at step 11.

  • 2. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    DM Ward Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you VERY MUCH, Austin!


    I expect to receive everything I need via FedEx Monday.  Thank you for taking the time to respond.  It makes sense about still having my existing HD as a backup incase the other malfunctions.  Time is not an issue with me.  I would rather do it the "right" way! 


    However, a "thunderbolt" 2.5" enclosure would be awesome!  If there is such a thing?  I'll check it out!


    Thanks for the heads up with the new step 11:  "Option" key. 


    My computer has had problems since day-one with not shutting down properly.  [I have to hold down the power button for 5 seconds almost 60% of my shut downs.] 


    If you want to know: I did not want to return my new one because I just shattered the display on another 17" MBP in for repairs at Best Buy [Dropped it].  I had to have the new one ASAP for travels across the country as I trained telephone technicians.  Had no time to take in for maintenance at Best Buy.


    I get a single "click" noise if I move my 17" MBP arround with average speed of motion.  I have 2 other 17" MBP's and one 13" MBP.  Neither one of the other MBP's make that noise.  I assume the noise is coming from my hard drive.  I have to hold down the power button to shut down almost anytime I hear that single "click" noise. I'm hoping this SSD install might put an end to its ocassional lack of shutting down properly and the "click" noise! 

    I'll let you know how it turns out if you like?   I think Crucial might give the opportunity to do a Firmware Update if needed during the initial install of the SSD?  [I read some reviews on Amazon who had to get a firmware update when rainbow balls frequently appeared on their screen.]  I'll let you know if that occurs as well if you like?



  • 3. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,505 points)

    Yes, interested in hearing the follow-up.

  • 4. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    DM Ward Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just purchased an MCE OptiBay for Unibody 17" MBP for $49.99 from:


      http://store.mcetech.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=STORHD OPTIBAY 


    I also got their unibody superdrive enclosure for $29.99 to put the superdrive into once I take it out of the MBP. 


    I just purchased another Crucial m4 512GB SSD from Amazon and had it shipped 2 to 3 business days.  The expected delivery date is Wednesday, August 8, 2012. 


    I wanted to tell you this so you will know I will start my MBP upgrade on Wednesday instead of Monday.  I just did not want to leave you hanging a couple of days. 


    This means I will have a total of 1TB of SSD space inside my MBP and a 1TB LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt I purchased on eBay as a backup. 


    I might have some questions later to add to the board for you to answer about how I might want to configure my new internal SSD's.  Such as using one to back up the other automatically through Time Machine, a Raid configuration, etc...? 


    Have a nice evening.  I got to sleep!  It is very late:  1:23 AM Central Standard Time.

  • 5. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,505 points)

    I hope it goes well. I'm thinking of using the Optibay myself, keeping the original HD and adding a 750GB 7200rpm in the dvd slot. SSD is still a bit pricy for my pocket!

  • 6. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    DM Ward Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    Today is Tuesday.  I hope all went well with your day!



    I received my USB 3.0 (steps down to 2.0) enclosure yesterday.



    I received one of the Crucial 512GB SSD's and a LaCie 1TB Little Big Disk Thunderbolt today.



    I installed the SSD into the enclosure about 45 minutes after I got both packages from UPS.



    I'm gonna swing by the Apple Store this evening to pick up a couple of Thunderbolt cords.  Then come back home to clone my hard drive.






    Question One:  Can I CLONE my existing hard drive to the 1TB LaCie using somewhat the same steps mentioned in the first "bubble"? 



    The reason I ask, the steps in the first bubble tell us in Step 1, ...to BACK UP existing hard drive to Time Machine or whatever. 




    Question Two [is a multi-question]:  Does Time Machine CLONE our hard drive?  If not, can I not CLONE through Thunderbolt into the 1TB LaCie; then, use that as my BACK UP? 






    must I actually have a back up of my documents and what-not through Time Machine FIRST, before I do any kind of cloning?





    Question Three:  Would you recommend I get a cloning application that specializes in cloning PARTITIONED hard drives (i.e., Parrallels with two additional OS's - Windows 7 and Windows XP)?






    Do you believe the steps mentioned in the first "bubble" will do fine with my partitioned hard drive without software to aid in the cloning?




    Question Four:  How long will it take to CLONE approximately 270GB of data from an existing 750GB 5400 RPM HDD to the 512GB SSD via USB 2.0 enclosure before I can actually do the install into the MBP?


    Have a great evening!

  • 7. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,505 points)

    1) Basically, a clone is a just bootable backup.


    2) No, Time Machine doesn't make a bootable copy, and is intended to be used continuously, so that you can step back to yesterday or last week or last month, if needed. But if you have a bootable clone, that is all the backup you need.


    3) Yes. I use Carbon Copy Cloner, which in its latest version knows about recovery partitions. Note that it is partitions rather than entire drives that get cloned. My internal disk has two partitions, as does my external backup. I clone each of the internal partitions to their corresponding external separately.


    4) Not a clue! Except that USB is not particularly fast. CCC's website has some indicative figures.


    If you have 4 assorted MBPs, maybe you should be looking at some sort of common networked backup eg Time Capsule.


    Have fun playing!

  • 8. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    DM Ward Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm in Disk Utility looking around.


    After clicking one of the 500GB drives (have 2 in the 1TB LaCie); I THEN clicked on "partition."


    Out to the left [Partition Layout], where one can choose the number of partitions.


    HOW do I know how many partitions I should have, if any?


    Should I leave it on "Current" OR should I select a certain number of partitions.


    I was thinking about using the Lacie to Back Up before cloning; as CCC recommended.

  • 9. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,505 points)

    For each partition that you want to back up, you should have a partition of about the same size to back up to. I went for two partitions a few years ago as my backup disks were smaller than my new internal disk. Now my backup is the same size, but I have retained the two partitions from laziness. There are physical limits on the size of a partition, but I don't think they are a real concern except for the likes of data centres.

  • 10. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    DM Ward Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've replaced the HDD with the 1st SSD and it works wonderfully!


    Right now I'm having trouble with the 2nd I've installed into the superdrive slot with the OptiBay.


    I got the following at the bottom of Disk Utility about my 2nd one that it sees but I can't get it going.


      Disk Description : M4-CT512M4SSD2 Media  Total Capacity : 512.11 GB (512,110,190,592 Bytes)

      Connection Bus : SATA  Write Status : Read/Write

      Type and Location : Solid State Disk, Internal  S.M.A.R.T. Status : Verified

      Partition Map Scheme : Unformatted



    The only thing I can see is it is "Unformated"


    Does that mean anything?


    I hope this does not mean I have to take the thing back out and put it into that USB closure I got in order to format it?


    Any thoughts?




    PS -  I'll get into details about what all I did and went through once I'm finished.  I only need to get this 2nd SSD going and use a "schedule" through CCC to CLONE the 1st SSD on a regular basis.


    CCC does not even see the 2nd SSD but Disk Utility does.  I can't verify or repair disk permissions either one in disk utility.


    When I created the first drive with CCC I called it CLONE 1.


    When I go to RAID in Disk Utility "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" and "Striped Set" it will not let me "Create" it.


    I'm stuck at the moment.

  • 11. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,505 points)

    I think you should be able to format it with disk utility. Use the same format that is on the other SSD. Once formatted, CCC should see it.

  • 12. Re: How to replace hard drive without losing data?
    DM Ward Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Austin,


    I finished my install of the two SSD's.


    The second SSD was not formatted.  To get it formated, I went to disk utility and erased the SSD.  When Disk Utility erases an HDD or SSD, it will format it AFTER it erases it.


    Once I had it formatted, I had no problems cloning the first SSD onto the reformatted second SSD with CCC.  It took a little over 31 minutes to CLONE the 1st SSD onto the 2nd SSD while they were both installed inside my MBP.  I have it scheduled to clone once a week now. 




    I also got a 3rd party software called "Trim Enabler."  WHY?


    TRIM is important for longevity and maintaining the speed of an SSD [from what i've read].  My MBP offered NO TRIM SUPPORT for the two SSD's I put in at first; even though the Crucial 512GB m4 SSD's I purchased can be TRIMed.  I had to get "Trim Enabler" to tell my MBP to TRIM the SSD's.  I had to change factory default security of 3rd party downloads not certified by Apple.  It was defaulted to Apple and/or approved developers.  I changed to all developers for that initial install of Trim Enabler.  Changed it back now.




    I have one (1) Mac Pro; three (3) 17" MBP's; one (1) 17" PowerBook G4 and one 13" MBP.  I've never got as involved, as I have recently, learning about Mac's.


    I'm beginning to have some concerns about APPLE's treatment towards the "CUSTOMER's."  I'm getting tired of all the work arounds one must go through to get PERSONAL UPGRADES (other than memory) going on a Mac.  Apple, seems to WANT to make it difficult to upgrade their lap tops; or anything else for that matter! 


    I did not realize Apple was THIS BIASED towards others who do not want to buy a new Mac, but would rather update their present one.  This HIGHLY concerns me!  WHAT HAPPENED to looking out for what's best for the customer?  It appears Apple ONLY WANTS WHAT IS BEST FOR THEM and their share holders! 


    Nothing wrong with making money!  HOWEVER, I use this cardnal rule when making money in my own business:


    When in business with a client, NEVER gratify myself (my company) at the expense of my customer!  ALWAYS GRATIFY THE CUSTOMER in an arrangement that is WIN / WIN!  The customer gets what they want [they paid for it] and the business gets what they want - a LOYAL customer and money!  The business will flurish if they keep the customer #1 instead of the company and its share holders.  The CUSTOMER makes the company!  The company will not flurish without a LOYAL customer!  When a company goes PUBLIC (on the stock market) they tend to focus on the company and its share holders MORE THAN THE CUSTOMER!  I'm sick of this!


    Apple is not building customer LOYALTY if they try to force the customer to upgrade to a new Mac rather than upgrade their existing Mac by putting in lines of code for "permissions" and things of that sort, which discourage customers from going to 3rd party manufacturers and/or developers.


    I could have bought ANOTHER new MacBook Pro, but not a 17 inch.  We should be allowed to upgrade on our own without hassles; PERIOD!  I want to buy a new Mac Pro (tower) with Thunderbolt ports, but not available yet.  Apple even makes it where we have to do "work arounds" on some things in the Mac Pro when upgrading.  Not as much, but it's still unneccesary.


    Cook (Apple's CEO), did a good thing in giving 25% raise to all employees at the Apple Store locations, etc.  That was putting the EMPLOYEE ahead of the company and its stock holders.  NOW, Apple, how about putting the CUSTOMER ahead of the company and stock holders to give us more FREEDOMS to upgrade our computers without hassels or push us into buying a new Mac.


    The arrival of SSD's changes things considerably even if Apple adds Thunderbolt to a new Mac Pro tower.  Replacing the HHD's with SSD's in my own Mac Pro would be quite an upgrade in speed without buying a new Mac Pro tower THAT includes Thunderbolt.  IF Apple includes Thunderbolt in a new Mac Pro, I'm curious if they will sale the cards necessary to upgrade previous models with Thunderbolt?  Will they allow other manufacturers to make and sale these cards for Mac Pro upgrades?


    I don't see Apple selling as many New to come Mac Pro's with thunderbolt BECAUSE OF the arrival of SSD's.  Many may resort to upgrading their existing Mac Pro tower with Thunderbolt cards and SSD's rather than forking out another $6,500.00 for a 3.06 GHz 12 Core without a display.  I'm sure the new Intel 16 Core will fly in the new Mac Pro's when they come out.  However, the boost in speed by switching from HDD to SDD is quite a boost without the boost in price of a new Mac Pro.  I wish Apple would offer TRIM support to NON Apple SSD's.  So, we would not have to seek out third parties to do a work arround to get TRIM support.  It's things like this that bother me!


    Anyway, the SSD's work fine.  I learned a lot and found I need to learn more!


    I'm reading up on things about servers, raid configurations, etc...


    I might just use the 2nd SSD in my 17" MBP as additional storage space rathr than cloning the first SSD all the time.  I don't know?  What do you think I should do with it?


    A.  Use it for lots of audio/video editing?  I'm creating approximately 36 hours of HD videos to teach telephone technicians how to use their meter to identify and locate troubles.  They can view these videos on-line at my server I'm creating.  I'm not sure how many terabytes of date I may need for 36 hours of HD.  I'm pretty sure all of it will not fit in 1TB.  But it might?  It will be more than 36 hours in the beginning; maybe 45 hours.  But then it would be edited down to about 36 hours, covering approximately 65 subjects.


    B.  Use it for cloning?  If CLONE 1 (primary SSD) goes down for whatever reason, I have CLONE 2 as another bootable SSD.  That MAY be a big IF.  I don't know?


    C. Is there a "C" you have to offer?