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I'm a developer and through the years with my MacBook Pro early 2011 I installed and configured a lot of stuff to help me in my job.
I would like to buy a new MacBook pro but don't want to spend days/weeks installing everything again.
Since the Mac migration assistant won't copy everything, is there a way to duplicate the partition from my old mac to a new MacBook Pro (which can't be opened) ?

edit:

by "can't be opened" I mean I can't take the hard drive and clone my current one with a third computer.

To my knownledge the migration assistant won't copy kernel modules for instance.

  • 1
    Would you clarify the last thing you said, "(which can't be opened)"? – user3439894 Aug 8 '15 at 8:57
  • & also 'won't copy everything' – Tetsujin Aug 8 '15 at 9:00
  • If you are buying the Mac from Apple and not a third party vendor or a private seller, the Genius Bar should do this for you. Also have you looked at using Time Machine to restore the partition onto the new MBP? – AMR Aug 8 '15 at 10:49
  • I edited my question – Simon Watiau Aug 9 '15 at 9:27
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You have several options to clone the main volume of the MacBook Pro (early 2011) to the MacBook Pro 2015.

Prerequisites:

  • Update the MacBook Pro (early 2011) to the latest Yosemite version
  • a Thunderbolt cable
  • or an external hard drive
  • and/or a full OS X on a thumb drive
  • optional a backup/imager app like Carbon Copy Cloner

Thunderbolt:

  • Attach the Thunderbolt cable to the Macs
  • Boot the MacBook Pro 2015 to Target Mode with cmdT
  • Boot the MacBook Pro 2011 to the main volume and use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone it to the (mounted) main volume of the MacBook Pro 2015. You shouldn't work/modify anything on the MacBook Pro 2011 while cloning.

Thunderbolt & OS X thumb drive:

  • Attach the Thunderbolt cable to the Macs
  • Boot the MacBook Pro 2015 to Target Mode with cmdT
  • Boot the MacBook Pro 2011 to the thumb drive and use Carbon Copy Cloner or Disk Utility to clone it to the (mounted) main volume of the MacBook Pro 2015. You shouldn't work/modify anything on the MacBook Pro 2011 while cloning.

External hard drive:

  • Attach the external hard drive to the MacBook Pro 2011
  • Boot the MacBook Pro 2011 to the main drive
  • Use Carbon Copy Cloner/Disk Utility to clone the MacBook Pro main volume to an image on the external drive
  • Detach the external hard drive and attach it to the MacBook Pro 2015
  • Boot the MacBook Pro 2015 to Recovery Mode and clone the image on the external hard drive to the internal main volume with Disk Utility.

External hard drive & OS X thumb drive:

  • Attach the external hard drive to the MacBook Pro 2011
  • Boot the MacBook Pro 2011 to the thumb drive
  • Use Carbon Copy Cloner/Disk Utility to clone the MacBook Pro main volume to an image on the external drive
  • Detach the external hard drive and the thumb drive and attach them to the MacBook Pro 2015
  • Boot the MacBook Pro 2015 to the thumb drive and clone the image on the external hard drive to the internal main volume with Carbon Copy Cloner/Disk Utility.
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You can use Thunerbolt/FireWire to boot a Mac into Target-Mode to use it as a drive. Than you can clone it using disk utility, like you would clone a regular external drive. Next you'll (probably) need to reinstall OS X on the new MacBook Pro over that partition (so you have the latest OS X with all the drivers for the new device and whatnot), you can either do that by first creating a bootable USB (DiskMaker X is an easy solution for that) or by using Internet Recovery (boot the Mac while holding cmd+alt/option+R).

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