View Full Version : Possible to Replace MacBook Hard Drive without External HD for Backup?

03-18-2009, 09:11 PM
With apologies in advance for the unbearable newbieness of this question...

I've got a 13" MacBook, 2.16 GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo laptop with an 80GB internal hard drive. I recently purchased a 500GB Western Digital 5400RPM Scorpio internal HD to replace it, along with an Other World Computing On-The-Go USB 2.0 SATA HD Enclosure Kit to allows me to use the current 80GB internal drive as an external drive. Finally, I've also got a WD Passport external HD but it's only got about 30GB free.

In order to preserve all my data and applications, do I need to:

1) copy the contents of my current 80GB internal HD to an external HD, install the new 500GB internal HD, then transfer the data from the external HD to the new internal HD; or can I

2) somehow directly transfer the contents of my current 80GB HD to my new 500GB HD, remove the old internal HD, and install the new HD?

In short, do I need an external HD in order to replace my internal HD and keep all my data?

Thanks a lot for any help!

03-18-2009, 09:14 PM
You need something to put the new drive in, like an external drive dock. Then, partition properly, copy, rename to the same name as the original and swap (see various other examples on the forums).

03-18-2009, 09:23 PM
Thanks Dave.

Can I use the Mercury On-The-Go portable case kit (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MOTGSU2/) I purchased as the 'external drive dock' you mention? The Mercury kit is what I got so that I'll eventually be able to use my current 80GB internal HD as an external HD once I've taken it out.

03-18-2009, 09:27 PM
Yes, that should work fine.

03-18-2009, 09:30 PM
Thanks Dave!

03-18-2009, 10:23 PM
Dave, I've got a couple of dumb questions and also wanted to list out the steps as I understand them and see if I'm missing anything.

Please tell me if this is the correct plan:

1. Put my new blank 500GB internal HD into the OWC Mercury enclosure.
2. Plug that into my MacBook.
3. Launch Disk Utility
4. Select the new HD
5. Partition [Here's where I could use some clarification. I've never partitioned a hard drive before and wasn't intending to partition my new one--at least not beyond whatever the default is. What do I do here?]
6. Launch Super Duper
7. Do a full copy of all files to the new HD
8. Rename the new HD [How do I do this? And is the name of my original HD simply 'Macintosh HD'--which is what I see now in my Finder window?]
9. Eject new HD and shut down Macbook.
10. Remove original HD, install new HD, power on the computer. Anything I need to do then or will it operate just like it did before, except with a bigger HD?

Thanks for your patience. I've never done anything like this before and am kind of terrified of destroying my data and/or hard drive(s)!

03-19-2009, 08:30 AM
There are a ton of examples of how to partition on the forums, procket, so do a bit of searching and I think you'll find exactly how to do it. The key is to make sure you partition as "GUID". It's easy to do.

Renaming the disk is also easy - you use Finder, and name it "Macintosh HD", yes, if that's what it's called now.

Once you start up the computer again, make sure you select the new internal drive as the startup drive in the Startup Disk preference pane.

You're going to be surprised at how easy this is. Don't worry, but treat your old disk with care until you're sure you're happy.

03-19-2009, 01:26 PM
Thanks Dave. I swapped the drive and everything is working great. The only problem I had was that during cloning SD seemed to hang around 90%. I checked the forums and saw that other people had encountered this issue and that it was a display problem and the copy was still in progress. Glad I saw those posts because otherwise I would have hit Stop (after having spent several hours already on the copy). I let it keep going and eventually the copy completed. Anyway, I agree with some of the other forum posters that it would be helpful if you prominently posted some sort of note about that.

03-19-2009, 02:10 PM
Glad you're all set!