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How to clone your old hard drive to your SSD (Mac)

Posted By Moderator Moderator Posts: 1215 Registered 04-23-2009

There are a number of third party programs that can be used to clone your Mac Hard drive to a Crucial SSD.  Did you know you can clone using Disk Utility that comes free with all Mac systems? Below are the steps to take to perform the clone using Disk Utility. If you prefer to watch a video of the process instead, please go to the video How to clone Mac OS X using Disk Utility on The Cru blog.


Note that this process cannot be used to clone a Windows partition if you are running bootcamp. If you are looking for assistance with that process, The Cru has another video for you: How to copy and restore the Boot Camp partition in Mac


Before starting the cloning process inDisk Utility, your new SSD needs to be initialized, partitioned, and formatted. See this guide for directions on how to initialize an SSD.


Note that if you have encrypted your drive with FileVault you will not be able to carry out step 5 of this guide. To be able to resize the partition you will need to turn off FileVault and let the drive fully decrypt. After the clone has completed and your new SSD is installed and booting, you can turn FileVault back on again.

1.    Connect your  new Crucial SSD to the system
    a.    This can be done using the SATA to USB cable included with the Laptop install kit, an external enclosure, or internally if you have an extra bay

2.    From within your operating system, open Disk Utility

3.    Select your original HDD from the device list in Disk Utility

4.    Select the partition tab

5.    Resize your Mac Partition to the same size or less than your new SSD (Example:  If your original drive is 512GB, and your SSD is 256GB, you will need to resize your original partition to 256GB)
    a.    Drag the bottom of the white box on the partition tab up until it is the desired size, and click apply
    b.    If your new SSD is the same size or larger than your original drive, you do not need to resize

6.    Shut down your Mac, and then boot the recovery partition (Lion or later) or OS installation CD (Snow Leopard and older)
    a.    On boot hold the option key to access the boot manager
    b.    Select “Recovery-10.x” or installation CD

7.    Choose your language

8.    Select Disk Utility

9.    Select the startup disk from the device list in Disk Utility

10.    Select the Restore tab

11.    Click and drag the startup disk volume (the line item under the entry for the physical source disk) to the Source field if it doesn’t auto populate


12.    Click and drag the destination disk volume (the line under the entry for the physical SSD) to the Destination field


mac clone 2.png

13.    Select Erase Destination check box if the option is provided (in 10.8.2 this is performed automatically)

14.    Click the Restore button


After the clone process is finished, next you will want to ensure that your clone was successful.  Here are the steps to take:

1.    Reboot your Mac

2.    Once your screen goes black, hold down the option key

3.    In the boot manager, select the cloned disk

4.    If the clone was successful, your system will boot normally
    a.    Replace your original drive with the SSD internally, and enjoy the speed

5.    If the clone was not successful, simply reboot your computer as normal to boot to your original drive.



Looking for more information on Crucial SSDs?  Learn more here!

Looking for Customer Service? Contact Crucial Support for your region.

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