14 Replies Latest reply: Jul 6, 2012 5:09 PM by Gab
Gab Level 1 (15 points)

I will be installing a new internal hard drive to my MacBook Pro (early 2008 or 2007 laptop?).

  • I do not have the CD’s that originally came with it. What steps should I take to install the OS to the new HD? How do I install a new OS, if I am not installing a clone of the one I had in my old HD?
  • I already backed up to a new, external HDD.
  • Note, I will be upgrading to 10.6.8 from 10.6. When I download it, is that a full replacement of 10.6 or is it simply supplemental? I cannot install 10..6.8 until I have the new, larger HDD.
  • I'll either be installing the HDD myself or will bring it to a third party store (Apple won't support this laptop, since it's old).
  • Any advice regarding OS and replacing HD is welcome. (Note: this laptop cannot upgrade to Lion, but will run Snow Leopard). I already backed up to an exernal HD.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6), MacBook Pro early 2008 or 2007
  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 (30,000 points)

    What did you use to make your back-up? I know that Time Machine was supported in Snow Leopard and that is the scheme I would recommend. Your problem is not having any boot media. I believe that you can still buy Snow Leopard on disc format through the Apple Store. Yes, it will cost you but it will be money well spent.


    I would buy the Snow Leopard disc.

    While awaiting it's arrival, back-up using Time Machine onto an external disk.

    Once you have the SL disc in hand, replace your hard drive.

    Boot from the SL disc and format your new drive.

    Using the SL disc, restore your Time Machine back-up.

    Reboot and you'll be in business.


    Good luck,



  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,275 points)

    As Clinton states or if you don't want to buy SL disc and want to download it instead (i'm assuming from App Store) here's what you do:


    Install your new hard drive on the external enclosure you have.


    Connect the new drive to your MB.


    Launch Disk Utility


    Erase/format the new drive using MAC OS Extended Journaled.


    Close Disk Utility.


    Launch Carbon Copy (download it for free if you don't have it)


    Clone your old drive to your new drive.


    Close carbon copy.


    Turn off your MB.


    Install your new drive.


    Turn on your MB and you're up and running.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (45,200 points)

    You indicate that you are already using Snow Leopard (10.6).  What prevents you from running a software update to go to 10.6.8?  That is an issue that is independent of installing a HDD in your MBP. You should be able to do it now.


    As for installing a HDD, there is no reason why you can not do it your self.  Since you have a pre-unibody MBP you will need a 00 Phillips and a #6 Torx drivers plus a thin stiff piece of plastic.  Go to the OWC web site and view the video for your MBP on installing a HDD.  I have done this a number of time.


    If you use the following instructions, you have no need for outside software and the process is failrly simple:




    1. Make certain that you have backed up all of your important data.


    2. You will need a HDD enclosure.  One with a USB connection will do.  A 9 pin Firewire is better.


    3. Install your new drive in the enclosure and connect it to your MBP.


    4. Open DISK UTILITY>ERASE.  From the left hand column drag the new drive into the 'Name' field.  Make sure that the format is 'Mac OS Extended (Journaled)'.  Click on the 'Erase' button.


    5. Click on the 'Restore' button (on top).  Drag the old drive into the 'Source' field and the new drive into the 'Destination'  field.  Click on the 'Restore' button on the bottom right hand corner.


      Depending upon the amount of data you are transferring, this may take a couple hours or more.  A Firewire will speed up the transfer.  This will result in both drives having identical information on them.


    6. After the data transfer has completed, you may swap the drives.  Start the MBP and you have finished the installation.  The initial boot may take a bit longer than you are accustomed to, but that is normal.


    7. When you are satisfied that the new hard drive if functioning properly, you can erase the old drive and use it for any needs that you may have.



  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    If you do not have the original system disc then you will need the Retail 10.6.3 Snow Leopard disc which you can buy from Apple at there web store (Note NOT the Mac Apple Store).


    But then you will not have access to the iLife programs tjhat originally came with your system and no way to get them other then buying them again. And even then you can't get all of them as Apple no longer sells iDVD or iWeb.


    Best thing to do is contact Apple and order replacement system disc and then also get, if you don't already have, the Snow Leopard 10.6.3 retail DVD.

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 (30,000 points)

    You can also buy Snow Leopard through Amazon - if you're an Amazon Prime member, you'll get free shipping. This link also helps out MacInTouch!



  • Gab Level 1 (15 points)

    Thank you all!

    I backed up to an external HD using Time Machine. I don't have the new internal HDD yet. I have 80GB on the internal HD and 1TB on the LaCie Rugged HDD. I deleted and compressed some files, so that I now have over 11GB free, more than twice as much as before, and my HDD is doing better. LaCie also has a cloud I can back up to. Perhaps I'll back to that if I cannot back to iCloud by the 29th.

    1. Confused as to whether I should install 10.6.3 or 10.6.8. Is it necessary?
      1. How much extra space do these take? Perhaps I have space on my HDD prior to getting new internal HDD for the 10.6.X upgrade. I didn't see it on the site. Perhaps I can load it before I install the new HDD.
      2. After being told at Genius bar that I cannot load Lion on my MBP, I looked at the system requirements for Lion, and it looks like if I had 10.6.8, it accepts Lion. Does MBP not work with Lion? Is Lion necessary?
      3. Are these the versions that have trouble with MS Office 2004 after upgrading? I use MS Office 2004 (primarily for Word) and read that someone was directed to MS's site (away from Apple discussions) to solve their problem on that one.
    2. How to back up Mail contacts and Calendar to external HDD and to (currently) a third party cloud? Mail contacts are important, Calendar contacts are not as important. My iCloud email account reflects the contacts from my iPhone but not from my MobileMe mail account.
    3. The tech at Genius bar set me up presumably with iCloud email sitting on my desktop. It works fine.
    4. Do I sync my iPhone to my laptop to back it up to laptop and then ultimately to external HDD?

      Thanks again for your advice.




    Message was edited by: Gab

  • Gab Level 1 (15 points)

    Thanks! It seems like you prefer 10.6.3 to 10.6.8   Is there a reason to use that one? Does it take much less space?

  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (45,200 points)

    10.6.3 is the Snow Leopard version that is on the retail install disk and it also can be found on the original install disk.  10.6.8 is the latest update of Snow Leopard and I would suggest updating it because there are some security improvements, among other things.  In this case, space should not be a consideration and the differences at best will be minimal.


    Your MBP can run Lion but personally I see no need to do so.  Lion has a number of features that add to the HDD size and some what lesser performance of the MBP.  I am not certain that MS office 2004 is compatible with Lion.  It is with Snow Leopard (I have it on mine).


    I do all my backups via Time Machine and redundant ones using clones or drag and drop.  I do not use iCloud so I cannot comment on that.


    IPhones should not be considered backup devices.  Use external HDDs for that purpose.  It is best to have two sets of backups for a secure data environment.



  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    Gab wrote:


    Thanks! It seems like you prefer 10.6.3 to 10.6.8   Is there a reason to use that one? Does it take much less space?

    I don't prefer 10.6.3. to 10.6.8, not sure where you got that impression. They are the Same Major Version of OS X, only 10.6.8 is a point release update to Snow Leopard, they are both OS X Snow Leopard.  if you DO NOT have your original system discs then the only version of OS X available is the Retail 10.6.3 disc that you buy from Apple.

  • Gab Level 1 (15 points)

    How can I backup my MobileMe contacts?

  • Gab Level 1 (15 points)

    I found the article regarding backing up: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1063#

  • crampy Level 4 (1,135 points)

    you have only a few more days to get you info from MobileMe and it is gone forever...

    HOW? I advise log in and they will tell you I think...

  • Gab Level 1 (15 points)

    I installed 10.6.8 simply by using software update! Apple will install the software after I install the new HDD.

  • Gab Level 1 (15 points)

    Results: I downloaded 10.6.8 for free using Software Update. I used Time Machine to backup to my external HDD. I used Carbon Copy Cloner to copy to my new internal HDD in the enclosure. I bought a 750GB 7200RPM Seagate Momentus DIY kit from OWC after reading another discussion about HDD's for MBP. I asked OWC about the computer getting too hot, and the salesperson said that the heat comes from the CPU, not from the faster HDD. So, I bought the 7200RPM instead of the 5400RPM, a mere $2 difference. I did see some spinning beachballs after starting up with the new HDD, but I haven't seen any lately.

    So, everything works, and my computer is running quietlly! Thanks all for helping.