Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Issues with cloned SSD drive

I duplicated a High Sierra system from my 2011 iMac onto a new Samsung 860 EVO SSD using SuperDuper. My plan was to then install it into my 2011 MacBook Pro.

At this point it wouldn’t function as a startup drive - either internally or from an external dock, switching the two,

Again, only if the original drive were present would it boot and mount the SSD as an external volume. In summary, the new SSD would mount, but not boot (startup the MacBook Pro).

Dave Nanian of Shirt Pocket, the author of SuperDuper, advised that I perform a Install High Sierra because only then would the computer’s BIOS be updated to have the necessary code to execute a boot. After doing the install the SSD started up and is working like a champ.

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With High Sierra Apple intro’ed a new format called APFS. So if you swap drives around you can indeed encounter issues with the given system not having the update with the newer firmware so the drive can be recognized.

  • GUID/HFS+ (Journaled)
  • GUID/APFS

But beyond this you also need to be careful as these cloning software often don’t have the smarts about APFS as well as often won’t recover the hidden recovery partition in the process. Its always a good idea to review the update notes on the given cloning software, as I’ve seen so many issues with them I just prefer using the tools Apple supplies Disk Utility as well as Migration Assistant which offers some additional benefits as unlike an image or block cloner it does a file copy, while a bit slower it also does a CRC of the discreet file so you know the files integrity is assured. This is more important when swapping out a HDD for a SSD.

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