3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 12, 2012 9:59 AM by dalstott
ashmatt04 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Thank you in advance for any help offered!   I have a Macbook unibody 5,1.  The original hard drive is in it and full at this point (about 1g left).  I have purchased a 750GB HD.  I have everything backed up on a time capsule via time machine.


I have read about cloning (super duper!, etc) vs time machine restore method for the new hard drive.  My question is, since I have an express USB 2.0 and the new hard drive can I do the time machine restore via disk utility and simply put my current hard drive as the source and the destination as the USB hard drive?  Then I could simply change out the hard drives once the process is done (will this transfer my files/pics/music as well as OSX 10.6.8 info needed)? 

Most of the methods I have read require using my OSX 10.6.3 start up disc to go through the process- disc utility formatting, then installing the OSX, then updating OSX, then using time machine to restore, and possibly going through a process of re-authorizing software agreements, or using SuperDuper! (additional cost for the software) cloning the drive and simply changing out the drives- sounds easier. 


2nd, some of the articles I have read mention partitioning the hard drive when formatting and GUID partition, while others just mention formatting it via- erase and format to Mac OS extended (journaled).  It doesn't appear I need to do a partition, but thought I would ask. 


Basically I would like to get the hard drive all set up, before I even install it into the Macbook.  I thought I should be able to do this via the USB 2.0.


Thanks for any help!


(here are some for link I have used, as well as reading in these forums)


How to Transfer Your Data From Your Old Drive to a New Drive


The Secret of the Time Machine-Assisted Hard Drive Swap

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • dalstott Level 4 Level 4 (2,625 points)

    The easiest way is to clone your internal hdd with SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to the new external hdd via USB 2 connection. Then replace the old drive with the new cloned drive. 


    First use Disk utility to partition the new hard drive and select GUID as your Partition Type. It will not start up otherwise. Depending on the size of the disk contents it can take several hours to complete.

  • ashmatt04 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the response!  Yes, it was very simple.  It did take over 3 hours total with disk formatting (10 min), downloading SuperDuper! (Free! 5 min), running super duper-cloning the HD (2hr 50min for 157 gigs), booting from my external hard drive with cloned HD to verify it worked (5min), and finally replacing the old HD with the new bootable HD.  My Mac is faster and everything appears exactly the same.  I wish time capsule/time machine had a way as simple as cloning.

  • dalstott Level 4 Level 4 (2,625 points)

    Glad it worked so smoothly for you.