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

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?

Asked by: Guest | Views: 237
Total answers/comments: 5
bert [Entry]

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.
bert [Entry]

"Yes, but there are no guarantees the system will boot with your old configuration or operating system. It typically works if the system is similar, but if it’s too radically different you may need to take a backup and start over.

The reason this generally ends up working is Max OS X is more receptive to total system changes compared to Windows. It doesn’t always work (Ex: Core Duo original to a Core 2 Duo/Core i series with a dual video subsystem may not boot), but it usually does in most situations well enough to get your data and wipe the system. PPC->Intel (or vice versa) doesn’t work. This is a well known limitation on how far you can take it.

If you can, I would see if you can get the system working well enough to do a Time Machine backup and have that as a failsafe just in case (or to have a backup to start fresh if the old install is due for a refresh anyway). If it can’t be salvaged, the old OS usually works passably to get your data backed up so you can restart with a fresh installation on the new system."
bert [Entry]

"I was asked to transplant a client’s 4TB HDD from a 20” iMac (early 2008) to a 21.5” iMac (mid-2011) and was concerned about compatibility. My client wanted to upgrade from OSX 10.11 (El Capitan) to OSX 10.13 (High Sierra), as well, and I saw this as an opportunity to experiment.

I reasoned that, if any part of the device/driver system wasn’t happy after the transplant, I could simply perform the OS upgrade (from external media, if the system really wouldn’t run properly). I figured that the upgrade process would install whatever drivers were determined appropriate by the installer, resolving any hardware/driver issues. In the meantime, I could observe the effects of performing such a transplant. (If you don’t intend to upgrade your OS version, keep reading anyway; this post is still relevant to you.)

I installed the hard drive in the later iMac and booted up; not a problem in the world. The system performed perfectly. I ran many applications and performed a number of hardware-intensive operations without a single hiccup.

Then I performed the High Sierra upgrade, using the installer file in the Applications folder to perform the upgrade. It went as smooth as silk.

Obviously, there are limits to this reasoning; this transfer was from iMac to iMac and within 4 years of each other. They both used the same graphics card, for example. But whether your two devices are compatible or not, there is a way to force the installation of the drivers and software appropriate to your destination machine. It is this:

1) Check to make sure that the destination device (the device you are moving the hard drive to) is compatible with the MacOS version you want to end up with. You can follow this link to compare device/OS compatibility, using the serial number of the device: https://everymac.com/ultimate-mac-lookup...

2) Having verified its compatibility (Step 1), download the installer for the operating system you are going to wind up with. DO THIS EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT UPGRADING YOUR OS VERSION. Follow this link to locate and download older MacOS versions: https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac-so...

3) Copy the downloaded installer into the Applications folder on the hard drive you’re going to move AND create an external-media installer (a DVD or USB drive), just in case. Follow this link for media creation directions: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

4) Perform the transplant and assess the system performance. If all is normal, you’re home free.

5) If the system does not work properly but is basically functional, run the installer in the Applications folder to reinstall your existing OS (or upgrade to your target OS). The installer will poll the hardware on the device it is being installed on and will automatically select and install the appropriate drivers.

6) If the system is NOT basically functional (that is, if video, optical disk drives or other hardware components are not working properly), connect your external-media device (the DVD or USB drive in Step 2). Then reboot while holding down the ‘Option’ key until the startup volume window appears. Then choose your external-media installer, in order to boot from it, and allow the installer to install the drivers appropriate for the system hardware it discovers.

This procedure should work between almost any two mac devices, provided that they are both Intel-based devices (or both PPC devices, for that matter) and as long as the destination OS version is compatible with the destination device."
bert [Entry]

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!
Vaxubx [Entry]

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