Released April 2010 / 2.4, 2.53 GHz Core i5 or 2.66, 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processors

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Can I swap out Hard Drive from old MacBook into new MacBook?

My Macbook Pro just died from liquid spill, but the 500 GB hard drive is unscathed, and all my data is intact. When I get a new Macbook, can I take out it's 500 GB hard drive and replace it with the old one? Would that work?

Would the new laptop start up as if it was the old laptop?

If I can't do that I'll have to transfer everything over manually and sift through all the old files to try to find software keys and serial numbers, etc.

The old drive is currently in an external drive housing and is working fine.

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It should work but I'm not sure because you're changing processor types to the i5. You could also use Time Machine to move all your data over. To test if the old hard drive will work, start up holding down the Option key and select the external drive. You can also use something like SuperDuper to clone the old drive.

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Great advice! I'll see if the old drive will boot up my loaner duo core 13 MB Pro now.


On the loaner MB Pro my old drive booted up and ran like a champ. Thanks for the great advice.

I wonder if I could bring the old drive to the Apple Store and try it on one of the new i7 quad core MB Pros before I buy....


Even if it won't boot from the old drive (which it probably will) you can still use Time MACHINE TO MOVE YOUR USERS AND APPS.


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Yes, this can be done.

Depending on how different the new system is, you may need to reload Mac OS X. Mac OS X is more receptive to a total hardware change compared to Windows, but it doesn't always work. In some cases, an OS reload is still required. You can generally migrate the drive to a system that is similar (or is only slightly different compared to the "dead" system), but a hardware change where the hardware is grossly different from the dead system you are replacing may not work.

If you can, I would get the system working well enough to do a Time Machine backup and have that as a safety in the event the old installation doesn't carry over. If you can't, the old OS should work well enough to do a Time Machine backup so you can reload the OS on the new system.

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That sounds encouraging.


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I did this and though it will 'work' by booting up, it ended up being way (way) slower than moving the files/apps over using Time Machine or manually. I'm guessing the drivers or something on the old OS aren't optimized for the new hardware. So essentially don't do it - start from start from scratch or re-install the OS on the old hard drive!

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