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Question: Clean Install of SSD in a MacBook Pro Mid 2112

I'm getting more confused the more I read. I know this is easy, but can someone give me a line by line instructions to install a Crucial MX 300 525 GB SSD in this machine? The easiest most reliable way to do this. I want a clean install of El Capitan or Sierra. I'm using El Capitan right now and I have the install app copied to a thumb drive. And does Sierra run or load any faster than El Capitan? I want to keep the current HDD for a backup. Appreciate any help, sorry to rehash.



Mid 2112 MacBook Pro, Intel I7 2.9 GHz, 16 GB DDR3, 750 GB HDD, No Full HD, Intel Graphics 4000

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.8)

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My apologies, I think I understand you now:


The best way to clean install:

Create a bootable USB using create install media or DiskMaker (Install El Cap will need to be in your Applications folder, or on an attached drive)

Once successful, open System Prefs>Startup Disk

If you see the USB drive, you were successful

Shut down your Mac

Install the SSD

Boot your Mac while holding Option

Boot of the USB drive

Make sure your SSD is Mac OS Extended formatted in Disk Utility

Install El Cap on the SSD

When this completes and your Mac restarts, go through the setup procedure

Personally when I clean install, I transfer my applications by connecting the old drive, in your case, via an adaptor

If you don't transfer anything, make a new account and boot into the OS

Reinstall applications and transfer data as needed from the old drive

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Dec 12, 2017 4:41 PM in response to kountry In response to kountry

When you have installed the OS onto the new drive, it will offer to migrate data. I choose from another Mac, plug in the old drive, then check ONLY applications. It will look something like this

https://support.apple.com/library/content/dam/edam/applecare/images/en_US/macos/ macos-high-sierra-migration-assistant-se…

I do not copy and paste as that may not properly transfer everything. This is part of the set up process.


This transfers applications but allows me to set up a new user account. Once booted up, I copy user data into corresponding folders via copy/paste as needed, i.e. documents into Documents.

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Nov 13, 2017 9:41 AM in response to kountry In response to kountry

This will vary a little by opinion, so here's mine:


1) buy a SATA - USB adaptor, or SATA USB enclosure

2) install a trial of Carbon Copy Cloner

3) clone your Mac HD to the SSD, connected via USB

4) install the SSD into your Mac

5) boot back up and your Mac will be identical 🙂

Nov 13, 2017 9:41 AM

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Nov 13, 2017 9:52 AM in response to minacrime In response to minacrime

That would be great, but I want a "clean new install". I have the drive and SATA cable. My OS has gotten a little bogged down and want to start from scratch. I saw the instructions to make a bootable USB, but I'm not comfortable with my command line skills. Is DiskmakerX reliable?

Nov 13, 2017 9:52 AM

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Nov 13, 2017 10:00 AM in response to kountry In response to kountry

I just upgraded my 2012 13-inch non-Retina MBP to a 500GB OWC SATA6 drive and it went well. All I can add to minacrime's sage advice is to allow Carbon Copy Cloner to create a Recovery partition on the new drive at the end of the cloning process. It should prompt you so don't be too hasty about dismissing informational windows that CCC displays at the end of the process.

Nov 13, 2017 10:00 AM

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Nov 13, 2017 10:01 AM in response to kountry In response to kountry

I know this has been gone over and over. I guess I'm looking for someone to say "THIS is the BEST way to do this and most reliable". To boost my confidence. If I mess it up and it takes a couple days to sort it out, I will catch h**l.

Nov 13, 2017 10:01 AM

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Question marked as Solved

Nov 13, 2017 10:18 AM in response to kountry In response to kountry

My apologies, I think I understand you now:


The best way to clean install:

Create a bootable USB using create install media or DiskMaker (Install El Cap will need to be in your Applications folder, or on an attached drive)

Once successful, open System Prefs>Startup Disk

If you see the USB drive, you were successful

Shut down your Mac

Install the SSD

Boot your Mac while holding Option

Boot of the USB drive

Make sure your SSD is Mac OS Extended formatted in Disk Utility

Install El Cap on the SSD

When this completes and your Mac restarts, go through the setup procedure

Personally when I clean install, I transfer my applications by connecting the old drive, in your case, via an adaptor

If you don't transfer anything, make a new account and boot into the OS

Reinstall applications and transfer data as needed from the old drive

Nov 13, 2017 10:18 AM

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Nov 15, 2017 11:01 AM in response to minacrime In response to minacrime

Personally when I clean install, I transfer my applications by connecting the old drive, in your case, via an adaptor


Do you mean you copy the contents of your Apps folder and paste them into your new Apps folder? And do you do this after you run the setup procedure? Is this to restore my old installed apps and account settings? Thanks

Nov 15, 2017 11:01 AM

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Dec 12, 2017 4:41 PM in response to kountry In response to kountry

When you have installed the OS onto the new drive, it will offer to migrate data. I choose from another Mac, plug in the old drive, then check ONLY applications. It will look something like this

https://support.apple.com/library/content/dam/edam/applecare/images/en_US/macos/ macos-high-sierra-migration-assistant-se…

I do not copy and paste as that may not properly transfer everything. This is part of the set up process.


This transfers applications but allows me to set up a new user account. Once booted up, I copy user data into corresponding folders via copy/paste as needed, i.e. documents into Documents.

Dec 12, 2017 4:41 PM

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Nov 29, 2017 4:58 PM in response to minacrime In response to minacrime

I'm all up and running great. Boot time is about 15 seconds and programs and apps open in an instant. I ended up using disk maker, copy and paste in terminal seemed to work but I think I changed the name of the usb drive or something I did. Thank for the tip on transferring Apps! Excellent help from everyone.

Nov 29, 2017 4:58 PM

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Question: Clean Install of SSD in a MacBook Pro Mid 2112