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I have a MacBook Pro with Snow Leopard that I want to upgrade to a new larger hard drive. I also have a current Time Machine backup on an external USB drive and an external SATA case I that I can put a 2.5" drive in.

What's the best procedure for transferring the existing installation to the new drive?

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Would help if you specify which MacBook Pro Revision, since the instructions may differ between the Unibody and the earlier models. – BinaryMisfit Dec 2 '09 at 8:15
What is the question, exactly? How to physically replace the hard drive or how to transfer the installation? Or both? – Lawrence Velázquez Dec 2 '09 at 8:16
The question is how to transfer the contents of the hard drive, not how to change the physical drive. – John McC Dec 2 '09 at 10:00
up vote 2 down vote accepted

For instructions on how to replace the hard drive simply follow the step-by-step instructions in the MacBook Pro Unibody manual available here for the 13" Model for example. You can find your specific manual here

The process I followed on my MacBook was:

  • Put new HDD in external casing
  • Use SuperDuper to copy the original drive to the external drive
  • Boot off external drive to ensure everything works
  • Physically remove the drive and replace using the instructions in the mentioned manual
  • Boot MacBook with the new HDD.
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Did you boot off another drive to run SuperDuper, or does it have some way to create a consistent snapshot of the drive you're booted from (i.e. the original drive in the laptop)? – John McC Dec 2 '09 at 10:07
It runs off the original drive. It will copy the drive while it is in use. It makes an exact copy of the drive. – BinaryMisfit Dec 2 '09 at 10:12

There is also an alternative to SuperDuper: Carbon Copy Cloner, which i've used in similar process as Diago explained.

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