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I've got a Mac Pro coming in today. I ordered it with a typical 1TB HDD in the default configuration from Apple. I purchased a Crucial 512GB SSD that I want to make my primary drive for the OS and the user data (and just use the the 1TB HDD as an additional storage disk).

So, what do I need to do to get up and running with Mountain Lion on the SSD?

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For a general user adding a new drive to a running system with data, you would boot into the Recovery HD (which is just a lightly hidden bootable OS on an additional partition) during boot by holding command+R when you hear the startup chime.

You can then use Disk Utility to partition the new drive. At that point, you could clone the system from the HDD to SSD or run the OS installer and have a clean OS on the SSD so you can choose what user accouts, user data and apps you migrate over.

In your case, there is nothing you really need on the main HDD. I would delay erasing the HDD until you get the OS running on the SSD and see that the three iLife apps are still available for redemption.

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Once you redeem those Apps - they will be tied to your Apple ID whereas the OS reinstalls are tied to the CPU serial number.

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So I don't need to have Mountain Lion on a bootable disk or anything like that? – Shpigford Dec 3 '12 at 12:17
I assume that you are getting a brand new Mac Pro. There will be Mountain Lion preinstalled. I am not sure how ever if you have to register your ML copy first with your Apple ID. So maybe login into ML at the first time so that there will be a binding. If you have ML binded to your Apple-ID you are ready to for the reinstall onto the SSD. – Pfitz Dec 3 '12 at 12:31
@shpigford No bootable disks required, that's why they don't give you any. I'm not sure about the Mac Pro, but if it was a new Macbook Pro or iMac, then you wouldn't even need an existing disk with a recovery partition on it (let's say yours dies, rather than was merely being upgraded) as the BIOS can boot into a recovery environment directly and pull the install down over the intertubes :) – stuffe Dec 3 '12 at 14:21

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