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I am worried about downloading so many things:

Here what is I have:

  1. A macbook Pro, with Mountain Lion installed (Upgraded from Lion)
  2. Things installed Xcode, Eclipse with android, RVM, GIT, And lot of another developer tools.
  3. A lot of another things like spotify offline songs, emails, some 30-40 applications downloaded from app store.

Now here is the thing:

Do I need to download xcode, Mountain lion, Eclipse etc again to make a fresh install on my new SSD.

Whats the possible way to minimize the download?

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So, you don't have an external HD or something where you could do a (Time Machine, say) backup, then us it as the basis for the new SSD? – GEdgar Aug 25 '12 at 13:38
Yes I have.. 1TB external drive. – Mohit Jain Aug 25 '12 at 14:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

How much space are you using on your current drive and how big is the SSD? If your current space is less than or equal to that of the SSD, you can do a direct clone, without downloading the OS again.

You'll need to get an external enclosure (2.5" bus powered USB ones can be had for ~$20). Put your SSD in that, and you can use Disk Utility to clone your current drive to the SSD. If your current drive is bigger than your SSD (but the capacity used is still smaller), you'll have to shrink your current partition first. You'll also probably want to reinstall the recovery partition to your SSD, using Apple's tool. Once the clone is done, you can just put the SSD in your Mac and everything should work as before.

If you don't want to buy an external enclosure, you can use another external drive (if you have enough free space), and essentially perform the above procedure twice - once from the old drive to the external, then install the SSD and clone from the external to it.

The final option, if you have a Time Machine backup, is to install the Recovery Disk to the SSD (so you can boot to a recovery mode off the SSD), then restore from the Time Machine to the SSD.

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  1. Make a clean install on the SSD. Or you can just copy over the System Files. This would make steps 2, 3 and 6 unnecessary.
  2. Create a temporary admin account on the SSD.
  3. Add a new account in the Users and Accounts preferences. It should match the credentials of your old account on the HDD.
  4. Right click on the account after it has been created, then click on Advanced Options.
  5. Set the home folder of this account as the previous home folder on your HDD.
  6. Transfer the necessary apps, libraries, etc by using a disk cloning app or good old copy-pasting.

With these steps, if you do not do a clean install, there is nothing to download and everything is guaranteed to work. You don’t even need an external disk.

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