How can I move my OSX Lion installation from my 500GB HDD, to my new 250GB Solid State HDD?
Re-installing OSX Lion is not an option.
there are a few solutions but the 2 most usefull to me are these :
for both solutions you'll need an SATA 2 usb enclosure or something like that
you can use an app like carbon copy cloner to make a copy on the new ssd and then just replace it.
or you can boot from a OS X dvd and use disk utility to clone the drive
select your language. Don’t worry: You're not installing Mac OS X again - this is just what you have to do to get to Disk Utility. When the menu bar appears, select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.
When Disk Utility opens, you'll want to select your source. This is the hard drive you want to clone . After you have a source, select the Destination. This is the ssd you want to save the backup image to.
Click Restore and you'll end up with a perfect copy of your hard drive.
Replace the drive with the SSD and your good to go
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You can create a Time Maschine Backup on an external drive, plug the new HDD in and boot from the install DVD while the Time Maschine HDD is connected to the system. The installer will ask you if it should use the data from the Time Maschine HDD. After you did this, everything will be exactly like on the old HDD and no more configuration has to be done.
OK, this comes close to a new installation, but at least it should be bullet proof and you will have everything like before.
You should be able to just copy over the files from one disk to another, as the Apple boot loader looks for a file named
So, you just should format your new SSD using Disk Utility, making sure it has the GUID Partition Table scheme (under options in the Partition tab of Disk Utility), then copy over the files from one volume to the other using
You can do the copy from a current OS X install, but not the one you're copying from (since a running OS constantly modifies files, therefore risking corrupting the copy) or using
Note: I didn't test this myself. But you could definitely try: since it's a copy, you don't risk anything. As always, a proper backup would prevent you from mistakes.
More information on the boot process on Intel Macs can be found here.
Edit: After Manuel's response, and checking with small disk images on a backup drive, it seems that Disk Utility is filesystem-aware, which allows it to copy files from larger volumes to smaller ones, provided that the contents fit the smaller drive.
For me, OSX Lion, trying to clone my 750 Gb HD to an external 500 Gb using Disk Utility, didn't work although only some 250 Gb were actually in use. While the cause to this may be an error on my side, some people might have the same problem..
The solution was to shrink the Macintosh HD partition on the local disk to a size smaller than 500 Gb using Disk Utility which is quite a fast process. After doing this cloning to the 500 Gb external disk went without problems.
Hope this is helpful.