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I have just received the SSD I ordered for my Mac Mini, I would like to know would cloning the existing boot drive from the HDD have any issues? Or would it be simply easier and less headache to do a fresh install?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Fresh install.

If you are going from a traditional HDD to an SSD you can not do a bit-by-bit copy, because the SSD does not have sectors on a platter as the HDD. Instead you need software that can transform the data. I have not found that software yet personally.

I have cloned HDDs to SSDs and had a bootable SSD, with everything more or less working. But the rampant errors, problems, and oddities are not worth the headache and a fresh install and then a restore of the data only (Slave the drive, USB mount, network attached, or a backup program and DVDs).

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Do a fresh install. Reasons:

  1. Practice. If your boot drive subsequently fails, you don't want that dark day to be the first time you try installing your operating system from recovery media. If you screw it up now, you'll still have your old installation to fall back on.

  2. Since the advent of Lion, Mac OS installations have hidden recovery partitions that make cloning an installation a bit trickier than it used to be. Unless you're an unusually gung-ho Mac user (or Windows user for that matter), you probably won't grok these details enough to get the extra partitions copied correctly. A fresh install will create the partitions automatically and you'll avoid the possibility of screwing them up.

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