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Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: clyde
Date: March 31, 2016 07:52PM
Want to put an SSD in an iMac. Read the info about this procedure on OWC’s web site, and comments from various folks on here who have done it successfully. Got an SSD, temperature sensor, and the suitable adapter from OWC.

As best I understand, before doing anything with the hardware the existing HD should be backed up—entirely.

Next, install the SSD.

After getting the SSD in the computer, install the OS, then transfer files and programs from the backup drive.

This is where I get tangled. Some authorities say to make a backup by cloning the original HD; others say don’t mess with cloning—use Migration Assistant to transfer files to the new HD.

What’s the scoop on this—clone (CarbonCopyCloner or equiv), Migration Assistant, or some other method?

So far all I’ve done is get the equipment.

Now, because the job seems to have potential for me to go awry with it and because I have many projects to do, I’m considering having a pro install the SSD.

Spoke to a couple of pros today. They are willing to install the SSD, but they want to install the OS and all the files too. I figure if they get the SSD installed correctly I should be able to transfer the files myself.

Advice and counsel?

Many thanks!
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: March 31, 2016 08:09PM
It really doesn't matter how you get your OS back on the SSD. You can clone it, or you can install fresh and do a migration. I personally just do a clone in this type of situation. The only time I wouldn't would be if the owner had been doing upgrades of the OS since 10.6 or before.



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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 31, 2016 08:17PM
If your system is fine as is, then clone or migrate.

If you are taking this opportunity to start fresh, then start from scratch.

Im adding a SSD to my wifes iMac, and its just like she wants it, so it gets a clone.

Putting a bigger SSD in my iMac, starting fresh. The only thing Im going to copy over is my mail and stickies.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: clyde
Date: March 31, 2016 08:40PM
Would it be possible to install the OS fresh, then transfer the files I want to keep? There are gangs and gangs of files I must keep.

The fresh OS install surely seems like a good idea. If possible I'd want OS 10.9 or 10.10… How would fresh versions of either be obtained, now that Apple is pushing 10.11?
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 31, 2016 09:14PM
10.9 is gone unless you already bought it or find it on a torrent somewhere = hours and hours of downloading

10.11 is your only choice starting fresh.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: Bimwad
Date: April 01, 2016 02:30AM
Replace the PRAM battery while you've got it open.
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: clyde
Date: April 01, 2016 08:43AM
OK, Bimwad, suppose I have a pro install the SSD and a new PRAM battery.

He gets the new hardware in, and I want to use the clone I made—before putting in the new hardware—as a source for the OS and the files.

Key question: When the iMac is turned on will I be able to connect the external HD with the clone and install the OS, then migrate the files? Install them myself, that is, so the pro won't need to. In other words, will the iMac present a display that will allow me to proceed with the installation?

Have heard that I should "migrate at the first opportunity in the install process," because migrating later can cause permission problems. Don't want problems!

According to (http://eshop.macsales.com/articles/how-to-transfer-your-data-from-your-old-drive-to-a-new-drive) it SHOULD BE possible.

Do you think so?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/2016 09:34AM by clyde.
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: mspace
Date: April 01, 2016 10:11AM
I just had an OS problem that required me to migrate after a clean install of the OS. It was NOT pretty. For some reason, I had to keep repeating the Assistant to get almost everything over. This was while talking to Apple. They couldn't understand what was up, either. I still didn't get everything, and had to manually drag over things from the temporary Time Machine backup I made.

As others have said, if you are NOT solving a system issue, I highly recommend doing a clone. And then cloning back to the new drive. You'll boot the computer from the clone and then point it to the new internal drive to clone the backup. Then you boot from the new drive with everything there.
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: clyde
Date: April 01, 2016 11:01AM
Thanks, mspace.

BUT what about the key question?

Key question: When the iMac is turned on will I be able to connect the external HD with the clone and install the OS, then migrate the files? Install them myself, that is, so the pro won't need to. In other words, will the iMac present a display that will allow me to proceed with the installation?
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: mspace
Date: April 01, 2016 11:29AM
Before you do anything, install Superduper or Carbon Copy Cloner or whichever app you're going to use on the original drive you're currently working from.
Connect an external drive that you know you can use to boot you computer. Use the app to clone a BOOTABLE copy to the external drive.
Do your hardware switch of drives.
Connect the external drive with the bootable clone to the computer.
Start the computer, holding down the option key, to see all possible drives to boot from. Choose the external drive with the bootable clone copy.
The computer will boot from the external and be running from it.
Launch the app you used to make the clone and tell it to now clone a BOOTABLE copy to the NEW internal SSD drive in the computer.
When it is done, restart the computer from the new INTERNAL drive. Your system should entirely be there, as it was originally. You can save the copy on the external drive, just in case, and/or keep updating it for backup purposes.
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: Bimwad
Date: April 01, 2016 04:24PM
Neither the new drive, its type, nor location will make any difference in when or how you wish to configure it.

As already stated, the simplest option would be to clone your existing volume, and use it to clone back to the new drive (if it's >= in capacity). If you have a spare enclosure, you can even clone your current volume to the SSD before installing it.

If you want to start fresh, or with a newer version of the OS, you can do that as well, as long as you have access the the MAS or a copy of the installer on a bootable drive, whether a hard drive or a flash drive. Then use MA or manually your files over.

There is absolutely nothing that requires the "pro" who installs the SSD to do anything with it, except their own policy, or desire to charge you for those services.
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: April 01, 2016 05:26PM
This is the procedure I follow because I see it as the SAFEST way to get a new drive/SSD in an older machine:

1. Fix any disk problems you have with DiskWarrior or Disk Utility
2. Back up your disk if you use Time Machine or similar
3. Hook up new drive/SSD externally to Mac using USB or Firewire and format it in Disk Utility
4. Clone your internal HD to the external drive/SSD using Carbon Copy Cloner (or SuperDuper if you prefer)
5. Change the Startup Disk to the external drive in System Preferences
6. Use it for a period of time, usually I give it a day or two
7. Open the machine and swap out the old HDD and put in the drive/SSD
8. Close your machine back up (usually necessary) and the only difference you should see is that it's faster

This has not failed me over many dozens of clones. Sometimes #6 gets all of a 20 minute test drive as I'm on a time crunch for a user but really, if it boots and behaves normally then #6 is overkill. The point here is if #6 crashes and burns (new drive is bad/clone fails for some reason), then you just restart from the internal drive and you're no worse off than before step #1.
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Re: Putting SSD in iMac
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: April 01, 2016 07:00PM
Stick the SSD in a external FW case, velcro that to the back of the iMac, & skip paying someone to open it up, plus a lot less hassle if something goes wrong.
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