Transfer harddrive to a different MB

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I was wondering whether or not I could take my current harddrive from my MacBook and physically transfer it to another MacBook (same model, specs, etc.) with no issues.



My MacBook is having wireless issues and I have a friend who has a MacBook with a crashed harddrive. She got a new MacBook, so her old MacBook is just lying around. I figured if I could, I would just move my harddrive to her MacBook without any issues/loss of info. Is this feasible?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    woohoo!woohoo! Posts: 291member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rafa View Post


    I was wondering whether or not I could take my current harddrive from my MacBook and physically transfer it to another MacBook (same model, specs, etc.) with no issues.



    My MacBook is having wireless issues and I have a friend who has a MacBook with a crashed harddrive. She got a new MacBook, so her old MacBook is just lying around. I figured if I could, I would just move my harddrive to her MacBook without any issues/loss of info. Is this feasible?





    This thread is supposed to be in the Genius Forum, it might be moved later by the moderators so look there later if you can't find it here.



    Yes, you can move the hard drive over to the other MacBook.



    However the problem lies if the hard drive is user accessible or not. Depending upon the model of the MacBook, some hard drives are easily user accessible through the battery bay. Do take great care not to lose the tiny screws, use a sheet or something to catch them and see them. You'll need a magnetic micro-screw driver set most likely, sold in electronics stores like Radio Shack.



    If this is not possible, or if you encounter screws with star like shapes, then it's not considered "user accessible" beyond that point, (thus the different screws) and one will have to open the MacBook up with specialized tools (micro magnetic torx set sold at Sears), risking damage if one isn't properly trained. (there are videos at OtherWorld Computing).



    If not done by Apple personnel, it will void the warranty or Apple Care. Apple will know because you will disturb glues and inks on parts needed to get inside.







    If your MacBook is having wireless issues, it might not be the MacBook or it could be a software issue and then by transferring the hard drive, just porting the problem to another machine.



    If your under warranty (1 year from purchase) or Apple Care (3 years) let Apple take care of your problem instead, is the best way to go. Especially if your not inclined to take chances.





    If not under either, it's next best to take to someone who is skilled in service, even Apple.





    There is a few things you can do in software before taking it in for hardware service.



    You can backup your whole drive to a external drive by cloning the whole drive using Carbon Copy Cloner and repairing permissions in Disk Utility afterwards on both. This way you can hold option and boot from the external drive, even boot the other MacBook from the clone and see if your problem is really a hardware or software issue. (and test the other MacBook if it works)





    If it is a software issue after doing the clone, then all you have to do is hold c and boot from the MacBook install disk and select Disk Utility and Erase with Zero the MacBook's hard drive (only need to do it once for a drive) and reinstall the OS using the same user name and hard drive as before the erase and simply transfer your user folders over from the clone (the OS on the clone will have the same software OS problems so you need to reinstall the whole OS from the install disks to get a clean copy).



    You can also chose to just to reinstall the OS from the install disks too using the Archive and Install method. But if you don't have the drive space it might be a issue, also you don't get to Erase with Zero, which greatly improves data retention by testing the drive.



    Reinstalling the OS from a clean source is usually a great cure all method to solve software issues, there are rare times the install disk is bad, but Apple is checking that now before it installs.



    Also with cloning, you can have a bootable copy of your hard drive, to reverse clone or keep as a backup. For privacy in case you need to take your machine in for service, you can erase the hard drive from the install disks, keeping the clone at home.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    What would be the advantage(s) of using CCC over Time Machine, Woohoo!? Apart from CCC being capable of creating a bootable disk which Time Machine isn't.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    woohoo!woohoo! Posts: 291member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post


    What would be the advantage(s) of using CCC over Time Machine, Woohoo!? Apart from CCC being capable of creating a bootable disk which Time Machine isn't.





    Advantages for cloning a boot drive is the ability to image that drive to multiple Mac's, keep date stamped OS versions of particular boot configurations for testing, image the clone onto a RAID 0 set for speed, reverting a machine back to a earlier state, finding out if a particular problem is a hard drive issue or not etc.



    For instance, Apple is pretty good about OS updates not bricking machines, but it has occurred. A clone would allow one to get online fast, warn others etc. and revert back before the update without having to go through the whole install and setup with the OS install disks and restore with TM. Also if one likes to experiment, toy with dangerous sites and questionable programs, it could allow a faster way to get back to a clean slate after Erase with Zero while booted from the OS install disks, (which are naturally write protected) and then reverse cloning. (still a lot of time, but less than a rebuild would be)



    For Mac Pro users who upgrade their video cards, have specialized cards installed or even specialized monitors that require drivers/software not included on OS X install cd's, might find it difficult or even impossible to boot their Mac's from disk if their boot drive fails without reverting the hardware specs back to the original configuration. For some this is impossible as they sell the old equipment or toss it if it's damaged. With a clone they can simply hold option and boot and reverse clone onto a new drive.



    Where Mac's are used in time stressed environments, like in publishing. It only takes under a minute to boot from a clone and get that machine back in use and schedule the repair at a later time. With the Time Machine concept, when a boot drive fails, most Mac's are useless, the whole machine has to be taken in for service, then the drive rebuilt from OS install disks and then backed up from Time Machine.



    Another advantage to a clone is it's security. Mac's are pretty immune to malware, but there are plenty of rootkits available, a disgruntled employee could install a rootkit on one Mac and it would spread to destroy anything and everything connected, including Time Machine drives. Once malware was suspected, the drives could be erased from the OS install disks and reverse imaged from the master clone with significant time savings that having to rebuild each drive manually. Having more than one master clone in a multi-user environment is a wise policy.



    Clones give the option to bypass the Superdrive and OS install disks as a bootable alternative, just in case something happens to either. Firewire and USB ports rarely fail, but Superdrives fail often and disks are vulnerable to being lost or misplaced, scratches and warping.



    For most general users, Time Machine is very good, as it will save users files in a easy and automatic manner for later recovery by the more skilled technicians. If one is a advanced user, or desires to learn to be one, cloning one's boot drive is a significant advantage as it is bootable, allowing one to at least use their machine to get online and seek help or order service. Reverse imaging is much faster and effortless, set it and walk away, compared to sitting there for hours, reinstalling the OS via disks and then using Time Machine to restore from.



    In fact I had a boot drive fail in my PowerMac one morning. I simply booted from the clone, verified the drive was indeed dead from Disk Utility and other utility software, wrote down the error codes and called Apple with the information. From that info they send out a new drive the next day, which I switched and returned the old one in the same box. Reverse cloned and was back exactly where I was a day earlier. There was no downtime, as I reverse cloned at night when I wasn't needing the machine, it only took a hour. I didn't have to take the machine in, or revert the machine back to the original video cards which I didn't have anymore or drive 300 miles and wait in line with a bunch of other people dragging a heavy tower or anything, didn't cost me a thing neither.



    I encourage those who wish to learn about cloning to do so, it can save them considerable time and effort. However Time Machine has it's place and purpose too, as a easy way to revert to earlier states of files and to restore from. If the two could be combined, it would be awesome.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rafa View Post


    I was wondering whether or not I could take my current harddrive from my MacBook and physically transfer it to another MacBook (same model, specs, etc.) with no issues.



    My MacBook is having wireless issues and I have a friend who has a MacBook with a crashed harddrive. She got a new MacBook, so her old MacBook is just lying around. I figured if I could, I would just move my harddrive to her MacBook without any issues/loss of info. Is this feasible?



    The drive will physically fit so if you're relatively competent with screw drivers and instructions, the swap shouldn't be a problem.



    To transfer her data onto the new drive, my suggestion would be to use an external USB drive and TimeMachine. Make a complete backup from her computer. Replace the drive. Reboot from the Mac OS DVD. Restore from the time machine backup.



    CCC is a great tool but time machine is even simpler for this purpose.



    Edit: Given that she just suffered a crashed drive, now might be the time to start using time machine anyway.
Sign In or Register to comment.