I'm fairly new to Macs, so I wanted to check if this was a good way to update my machine. Also I'll comment on my reqs so perhaps there's a better way.

So, I have a MBP 2010 160GB Snow Leopard latest. What I want to do is update to Lion, but, as many have suggested it may be a better idea to do a clean install. Also, I've been wanting to upgrade my HDD to a 320 or 500GB, so I guess this is a good oportunity to do both.

I was thinking in:

  1. Purchase and download Lion and make a bootable DVD.
  2. Backup all necessary files in TimeMachine.
  3. Make the HDD upgrade.
  4. Install Lion in new HDD
  5. Restore files/settings with TimeMachine.
  6. Enjoy!

Does this make sense? What worries me more is step 5... Do you think this is a good approach or do you have a better alternative?


  • And the old archive and install steps to clean are no longer meaningful for Lion - it's the same running the migration assistant later or just upgrading Lion - the same clean install and migration happens whether you do them in one "action" or do it later as you describe.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't complicate things with a DVD. Just set up your new drive using an external USB adaptor (or a full drive enclosure / drive toaster) and install Lion cleanly there. You can boot to it, migrate over apps or users. It won't get the Recovery HD until you swap the drives, but you can re-run (or re-download) the Lion installer a second time to have it drop the Recovery HD on the now internal Lion drive.


Here is an excellent article at ArsTechnica on how to create your own Lion installer USB, and how to use it. It's entitled "Ask Ars: Do I have to use the Mac App Store to reinstall Lion?" by Chris Foresman.


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