10 Replies Latest reply: May 14, 2013 5:54 AM by QMD
QMD Level 1 (0 points)

Hello everyone,


I currently have a Macbook Pro (purchased back in 2009) for which I am planning to upgrade the original HDD for a brand new SSD.


Now of course, I am thinking about the best way to restore my system afterwards. Ofc, you'll tell me : Time Machine.


However, afaik, Time Machine needs a proper partition/HDD to save the system. And uses 2 to 5 times more space than the original data itself.

I currently have 200Gb of data of my HDD : which means I would need a min of 400Gb to save my system thru Time Machine (I will let you confirm this one or not, as I don't have any previous XP with Time Machine).


Now, I do not have :

     # an external HDD with 400Gb or more of free space

     # the intention to buy a new external HDD just to restore my back-up


So here's my question : I was thinking about buying a small external enclosure for my old HDD (the original one, the one I am supposed to throw away for the new SSD ) and just plug it in thru USB to restore my system. IS IT ENOUGH ? WILL OSX DETECT IT AS A "NATURAL" TIME MACHINE BACK UP (it's not really one, but the HDD contains the whole system in its "purest form).


Or is Time Machine MANDATORY to restore the system ?


If you guys have any other idea that I have not thought of, plz let me know


Thanks in advance for the help.



MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (45,207 points)

    I will assume that the new SSD has the capacity to copy all of the data you currently have on your MBP.


    The simplest way of transferring you data to the new SSD is:


    1. Insert it in an enclosure and connect it to your MBP.


    2. Format the SSD in Disk Utility>Erase to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).


    3. Copy the data from the internal HDD to the SSD via Disk Utility>Restore.  Some people use Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper for this step.


    4. Test the new SSD to see if it will boot the MBP.


    5. If it does, perform the physical swap.



  • QMD Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks OGELTHORPE for the tip.


    2 more questions :


    -Step 3 : if you can use Disk Utility --> Restore to copy the data...then what's the use of the Time Machine ? What is the difference between these 2 Mac utilities.


    -Step 4 : this would mean there's a way to perform a boot from an external HDD for Mac OSX Snow Leopard...which I don't know how to do.

    Can you just elaborate a little more on this one ?


    Thanks a mil !

  • mende1 Level 10 (92,236 points)

    The step 3 can only be applied if you have made a backup with SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. It's not valid if you have made the backup with Time Machine. Disk Utility's Restore feature allows you to copy all the content of one partition to another one.


    It's easy to start Mac OS X from an external disk. Just install Mac OS X there and start your computer from it holding the Option (Alt) key

  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (45,207 points)

    Time machine stores your data in the event that you need to resurrect some information for what ever reason.  You may have deleted a file and find that you still have a need for it or perhaps there is a malfunction and items have been inadvertently been deleted, then Time machine is there to provide a backup.


    Disk Utility>Restore just copies data from one HDD (SSD) to another.  The end result is that you have two HDDs (SSDs) with identical data on them (clones).  After you swap in the new drive, the old one may be used for any purpose that may suit your needs.  It is assumed that at all times you will have a backup just in case a mistake or problem  occurs.


    One may install an OS on a new drive and then use Time Machine as the source to transfer user data, but I find that adds unnecessary steps to the process.


    To test the new SSD, Start the MBP holding the OPTION key.  This will result in a display showing two HDD icons.  Select the new one.  If it boots the MBP, it should respond the same as your internal HDD.  If so, then you can physically swap the two drives.



  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (45,207 points)

    mende1 greetings:  I am not sure that your first paragraph is clear to me.  The premise of my instructions are that there is a backup available at all times.  Whether is is made with CCC, Super Duper or Time Machine is immaterial.  All that is being done is copying data from one drive to another without engaging any backup device.


    Am I missing something here?



  • mende1 Level 10 (92,236 points)

    What I understood is that you can use Disk Utility's Restore feature to restore a Time Machine backup, and that's incorrect. Please tell me if I didn't understand the reply, and sorry if I had a mistake ;-)

  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (45,207 points)

    mende1, greetings;  You did misunderstand my suggestion.  (You are correct that you cannot use Disk Utility to restore a Time Machine backup.)  No apologies necessary.  I have made enough of my own.  Can you show me anyone who has not? 



  • QMD Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks OGELTHORPE and mende1, great help here. Will close the topic once I tried on my side and it works

  • mende1 Level 10 (92,236 points)

    You are welcome

  • QMD Level 1 (0 points)

    Everything went great, now enjoying my SSD and my 8Gb RAM Thanks once again