Problems Swapping HDD into new MBP!
November 5, 2008 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Why am I having problems changing my new MacBook Pro's hard drive?

I bought a new MacBook Pro. It came with a 250gb hard drive. I wanted to put it in my (one month old) 320gb hard drive that came out of the old MacBook.

So, I did the following:
  • Removed 320gb hdd from old MacBookM/li>
  • Put 320gb in external USB enclosure
  • Connected 320gb hdd to new MacBook Pro
  • Formatted 320gb hdd and zero'd out data, using Journaled Mac formatting
  • Used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my internal hdd to the 320gb external hdd
Then I tried booting from the 320gb external hdd and it didn't work. Grey screen with the apple logo and the spinning progress meter. Then the computer restarts and boots from the internal drive.

I also tried with the drive in the new MacBook Pro directly. Same thing. Spinning progress meter - nothing else.

This is exactly the process I used when I upgraded my MacBook last month and put this 320gb hard drive into it and it worked just fine.

Any ideas?
posted by brandoniain to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My advice: skip the CCC stuff and boot off DVD and install a clean OS on the new drive.
posted by troy at 7:05 PM on November 5, 2008

Response by poster: That's the next step if I can't get this working - but if this hard drive is all setup - why not just clone it?
posted by brandoniain at 7:08 PM on November 5, 2008

The 320GB HD has an OS on it that's for an older machine. The newer MacBook Pro almost certainly has a version of Mac OS X that contains files for the newer hardware (different video card, multi-touch display, etc.) that are lacking in the older Mac OS X build from the older MacBook.

This is likely why it boots to the spinning gear and then a reboot.

Troy has it right. Boot from the Restore DVD that shipped with the new MacBook Pro. Format the HD and install a fresh copy of Mac OS X from the DVD; which will contain the required drivers, software, etc. to drive the newer hardware.
posted by at 7:11 PM on November 5, 2008

Response by poster: If I'm copying the existing data from one hard drive to the other - which was completely zeroed out beforehand - there is NO os on the 320gb hdd.
posted by brandoniain at 7:15 PM on November 5, 2008

Right; theoretically copying the original NEW MB's drive onto the OLD external should work.

But CCC is not a bulletproof program so removing it from the chain of casuality when possible is generally a good idea.
posted by troy at 7:30 PM on November 5, 2008

I did the same thing with Super Duper and it worked fine. I'm not sure why it's not working. Have you tried booting into safe mode? I think you hold shift right after it turns on.
posted by meta87 at 7:35 PM on November 5, 2008

I've had issues with CCC sometimes not properly cloning a live OS (the one you're booted into) off to another, which it sounds like you're doing. Yes, it *should* work and I have had it work, but I've also had it fail and result in non-bootable systems like you're describing.
posted by at 7:37 PM on November 5, 2008

When you format the new drive, make sure it's partititioned with a "GUID Partition Table", not "Apple Partition Map" or "Master Boot Record". I think it might Disk Utility might default to Apple Partition Map. Everything will apparently work that setting, but it can't be a boot drive. (I swear, that issue lost me a few hours when upgrading my MBP's drive)
posted by todbot at 7:38 PM on November 5, 2008

Skip CCC. Here's what I always do (I'm a Mac IT guy)
  1. Connect the external drive to the new computer and then boot from the new MBP's included OS Install DVD.
  2. After the OS installer loads, choose Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.
  3. Select one of the disks on the left and then click on the Restore tab on the right.
  4. Drag the internal drive to the Source field and then drag the external drive to the Destination field.
  5. Check the Erase destination box and then click Restore.

posted by pmbuko at 7:44 PM on November 5, 2008

Response by poster: pmbuko,

I tried your steps and it didn't work. The drive did not show up in the options when I option-started the mbp.

Also, when my internal drive booted, it said that the external drive was not readable and required initialization. I'm not sure how to do this.
posted by brandoniain at 10:27 PM on November 5, 2008

? your new drive is fuxxored, possibly by CCC, it is not going to be bootable now.

You're going to want to boot from the install DVD, as described in step 1 above.

If I were you I'd put the new drive in the machine, put in the DVD, and just do a clean install from DVD.

IMO & IME, copying crap over from full install images is poor backup hygienics.

You should always be able to recover your environment from a scratch install + optical media backups.
posted by troy at 1:03 AM on November 6, 2008

troy, there is absolutely nothing wrong with cloning drives, especially if you are not booted from the master drive. In IT, it would be horribly time-consuming to have to configure each new computer when it came in the door. I regularly dump images of fully-configured computers onto hard drives.

The problem now seems to be that the external drive wasn't formatted properly. Fix that and it all should work.
posted by pmbuko at 8:22 AM on November 6, 2008

Response by poster:
If I were you I'd put the new drive in the machine, put in the DVD, and just do a clean install from DVD.

I was going the lazy route. IT's worked for me in the past - le sigh. This is my plan for tonight.

Thanks for the help.
posted by brandoniain at 8:23 AM on November 6, 2008

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