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I just purchased the base model (i5/4gb ram) MacBook Pro 13' 2012 computer. The reason I purchased the base model is because I already had an SSD drive and 8GB of memory compatible with this computer.

Unfortunately, Apple does not give the Mac OS X DVD any more, they load it as an image on the hard drive.

Since I need to remove the existing hard drive and replace it with the new SSD drive, how will I load the Mac OS image?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Any computer that shipped with Lion or Mountain Lion has Internet Recovery, which is a very limited installer that downloads the full OS from Apple and installs it. To get into the Recovery mode, just boot while holding down commandR, and it will prompt you for the rest.

However you can also do a direct clone of your existing disk to your SSD, which will avoid having to download the installer (it's about 4 GB) or reinstall all your programs and data. You'll need an external enclosure to put one of the drives in. You can do this with the built-in Disk Utility tool, or a tool like SuperDuper (the free version of which suffices for this task).

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I went the internet recovery route - it worked perfectly. Thanks for the help! – dingalingchickenwiing Aug 27 '12 at 3:26

If you are happy to wait a long time, new macs can actually download the OS over the internet. Just install the new hard drive, and power on your mac, and it will ask you if you want to download Mountain Lion.

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That is cool - thanks! – dingalingchickenwiing Aug 15 '12 at 4:40

Here is the full explanation on how to do clean install of ML from USB flash.

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