Introduction

If you are happy with your existing operating system installation and simply are upgrading your hard drive capacity, you can clone your existing hard drive to your new drive.

To clone a hard drive, you will need a way to connect the second hard drive to your Mac. Our SATA Wondercable or one of our Hard Drive Upgrade Kits works great for cloning your drive over.

To clone your hard drive, we recommend a program called SuperDuper!, by Shirt Pocket Software.

The following instructions assume you’ll be using SuperDuper!. If you are using a different setup, your installation process may be somewhat different.

Parts

No parts required.

Image 1/1: Connect the enclosure to your Mac.
  • Install your new hard drive in the external enclosure.

  • Connect the enclosure to your Mac.

  • If the installation of the new drive has already been completed; this process can be continued by connecting the original hard drive to the enclosure, and holding 'Option' when powering on the computer to boot from the original hard drive.

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Image 1/2: Open "Disk Utility" from the "Utilities" window. Image 2/2: Open "Disk Utility" from the "Utilities" window.
  • Under the "Go" pulldown menu, select "Utilities."

  • Open "Disk Utility" from the "Utilities" window.

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Image 1/1: The correct partition type needs to be set for your new hard drive.
  • Select your new hard drive from the left column in Disk Utility.

  • The correct partition type needs to be set for your new hard drive.

    • If it's a brand-new hard drive, it may have no partition listed.

    • For an Intel-based machine, you should have "GUID Partition Table" listed.

    • For a Power-PC-based machine, you should have "Apple Partition Map" listed.

  • Warning: Deleting the partition will erase the entire contents of the partition. Make sure you have selected the new hard drive!

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Image 1/2: Select "1 Partition." Image 2/2: Select "1 Partition."
  • Click on the list under "Partition Layout."

  • Select "1 Partition."

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Image 1/3: Choose the Volume format (we recommend “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”) Image 2/3: Click "Apply." Image 3/3: '''Caution:''' Partitioning the drive will also erase it.  Any data left on the drive will not be able to be retrieved.
  • Type in a name for the drive.

  • Choose the Volume format (we recommend “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”)

  • Click "Apply."

  • Caution: Partitioning the drive will also erase it. Any data left on the drive will not be able to be retrieved.

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Image 1/2: Click "Partition" on the warning window that has popped up. Image 2/2: When you are asked if you want to use the new drive to backup data with Time Machine, click "Don't Use" or "Cancel."
  • A warning window will pop up and ask if you wish to continue with the partition process.

  • Click "Partition" on the warning window that has popped up.

  • When you are asked if you want to use the new drive to backup data with Time Machine, click "Don't Use" or "Cancel."

  • After the drive has been partitioned and erased, quit Disk Utility.

  • The new hard drive should now appear on your computer’s desktop.

When I try to partition, I message comes up saying "file system formatter failed". What do I do?

Cameron Matthews - Reply

Image 1/2: Open SuperDuper!. Image 2/2: Open SuperDuper!.

With the newer OS-X & MacOS releases its wise not to use 3rd party cloning software.

A better approach is to use Apple supplied Migration Assistant during the OS install on a fresh drive, or you can do it later its located in the Utility folder.

Sadly, cloning apps don't create the hidden partition the OS installer does and if you are not careful you can wipe it out with the cloning app.

An alternative is using Disk Utilities Imaging tool which allows you to create an image file that you can then reuse over and over again if you have to manage multiple systems this offers a very quite way of cloning a standard set of config & apps.

Dan - Reply

Image 1/3: Select your new hard drive in the dropdown menu labeled “to.” Image 2/3: Select “Backup – all files” in the dropdown menu labeled “using.” Image 3/3: Select “Backup – all files” in the dropdown menu labeled “using.”
  • Select your current hard drive in the dropdown menu labeled “Copy.”

  • Select your new hard drive in the dropdown menu labeled “to.”

  • Select “Backup – all files” in the dropdown menu labeled “using.”

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Image 1/3: If prompted, provide your password. Image 2/3: Click "Ok." Image 3/3: Click "Ok."
  • Click “Copy Now.”

  • If prompted, provide your password.

  • Click "Ok."

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Image 1/3: When prompted for registration by SuperDuper!, either choose "Register" to purchase the software or "Later" to register later. Image 2/3: When prompted for registration by SuperDuper!, either choose "Register" to purchase the software or "Later" to register later. Image 3/3: When prompted for registration by SuperDuper!, either choose "Register" to purchase the software or "Later" to register later.
  • Wait for the drive to copy (this could take several hours if you have a lot on your hard drive).

  • When prompted for registration by SuperDuper!, either choose "Register" to purchase the software or "Later" to register later.

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Image 1/2: At this point, your new hard drive should be loaded with your existing software and ready to install; however, we recommend testing the software installation. Image 2/2: At this point, your new hard drive should be loaded with your existing software and ready to install; however, we recommend testing the software installation.
  • After the copy is complete, click "Ok" and quit SuperDuper!.

  • At this point, your new hard drive should be loaded with your existing software and ready to install; however, we recommend testing the software installation.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Hold down the “option” key and restart the computer to bring up the boot option menu.

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Image 1/2: Wait for the computer to boot up and verify that you are actually booting up off the new drive. If you are in fact booting off the new drive, its icon will appear beneath the internal drive's icon on the desktop. Image 2/2: Your new hard drive is now ready to be installed in your computer.
  • Select your new hard drive from the boot option menu.

  • Wait for the computer to boot up and verify that you are actually booting up off the new drive. If you are in fact booting off the new drive, its icon will appear beneath the internal drive's icon on the desktop.

  • Your new hard drive is now ready to be installed in your computer.

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Conclusion

Remove your new hard drive from the external enclosure and install it in your computer. Installation instructions are available for a variety of Macs.

22 other people completed this guide.

Mike

Member since: 11/01/2010

10,515 Reputation

3 Guides authored

Team

2 Comments

This guide was straightforward and helpful along the way when I replaced my hard drive! My only comment is that this should be a link in the "MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Hard Drive Replacement" article, since the Youtube videos link to each other, but the articles do not. Thanks for all your help with these fantastic guides!

Melissa Smith - Reply

Great except you extol the use of the SATA Wondercable but you don't sell it hen I followed the link to eBay, it listed dozens of various adapters. I did not see this SATA Wondercable.

Disappointed with the answer

jimkidd1 - Reply

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