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I wish to upgrade my MacBook Pro's hard disk to Solid State Drive, and that requires an installation of OS X on the SSD drive before I can replace the hard drive.

The typical installation instructions are:

  1. Create a bootable partition on the SSD
  2. Hook up the SSD via an external adapter (for example, USB), boot up the MacBook Pro and start the recovery process.
  3. Select the SSD drive as the drive for OS X to be installed.
  4. Agree to the license agreement, log on using Apple ID (if required) and let "Install OS X" app download a copy of the OS over the Internet before installing it to the SSD etc, etc, etc

The issue is without a very fast Internet connection, the installation process will take a very long time.

Are there any alternatives such as pre-downloading a copy of OS X, or cloning the content of the drive?

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You can get a USB to SATA adapter and use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the contents of the HDD to the SSD. See apple.stackexchange.com/questions/36184. –  ؘؘؘؘ Sep 22 '13 at 2:03

1 Answer 1

You can use Lion DiskMaker (which works for Mountain Lion as well) to make a bootable USB stick. This requires downloading the Mountain Lion installer, and a USB stick larger than 8GB. You can also burn a single layer DVD of the installer if you so desire (and, obviously, if you have an optical drive)

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