MacOS – What’s the best way to move from an HDD to an SSD on a Mac Pro


I've read many SSD postings and web sites but not gotten help on a particular scenario.

I have a 2009 Mac Pro with a single 400 GB HDD installed.

I want to add a 128 GB SSD for faster booting and performance. I can definitely fit that part of my existing HDD unto the smaller SSD. The question is how to install and configure.

Clearly I cannot do a Carbon Copy or similar operation. I guess I would want to install Lion onto the new SSD keeping the old HDD as a second drive.

— After I install the new SSD, how do I get Lion installed and booting from it?

— And, then, how do I disentangle whatever parts of Lion on the 'old' HDD so I can delete them?

Any guidance, threads, hints would be really appreciated!



Best Answer

  • You can definitely do it. But you either can't use your home folder to store your data for the most part, or you have to figure out how to do some kind of voodoo.

    What I did is not supported by Apple, but it works just fine. And you can take it in for repair under warranty no problem. So there's nothing to stop you from doing it.

    I got the information I needed here:

    Basically the idea is you copy your user folder to a big conventional drive. Then you install Lion on a new SSD and create a user account with the same name. I named the big drive "Users" and then put the Home folders in its root.

    Go to Users& Groups in System Preferences. Right click on the account. Choose advanced options. For the Home directory field, there's a "Choose" button on the right. Click it and navigate to the copy of the account on the new User drive, and select it. Reboot. You will now be using the user account on the conventional drive. Your Desktop, Pictures, Music, Downloads, Documents, etc. folders are now on the big drive, but it's just like it's on the boot drive.

    A big benefit here is that you can format your boot drive and reconnect it to the User drive, and not touch your files at all. And you can clone the User drive and it won't contain your system files. (Or your Applications which remain on the boot drive.)

    If it's not clear, ask questions and I'll try to clarify.