I have a MacBook Pro Late 2008 with two hard drives in it. (I replaced the CD drive with my original drive and I added SSD 60 GB on which I installed the OS X Yosemite. This happened some years ago.) Now I wish to upgrade my SSD to a larger size and also do a CLEAN installation of El Capitan on it. I can find information on how to do clean install no problem. However, before I go ahead my concerns/questions are:

1) If I simply install El Capitan onto the new SSD, will the new OS recognise my other drive without problems and additional steps?

2) Back-up; should I clone both drives to an external drive and also create a Time Machine backup - would this be sufficient to then migrate all the necessary files back?

3) On the second drive I have a bootable Windows partition - I can start my Mac with Windows OS by holding ALT during startup now. Will this option appear after this whole procedure or will it have to be recreated from scratch again?

2 Answers 2


Answer to Question 1.

The only way to know for sure is for you to edit your answer and post the output from the commands below.

sudo  fdisk  /dev/disk0
sudo  fdisk  /dev/disk1

These commands will not change your computer. What I am looking for is a small partition on the SSD that can be used to boot Windows. Most likely you don't have this partition, which would mean you are booting Windows entirely from your HDD. Anyway, this is the only way to know the answer for sure.

Answer to Question 2.

I am not sure how to plan to clone a Windows partition. Personally, I use Winclone which is not free software. The OS X partition can be cloned using the Disk Utility. You can also save your files to a .dmg file on an external disk. My preference would be to put the old drive in a USB enclosure. You then could not only boot OSX from this drive via the USB port, but you can copy necessary files back to your new internal SSD. As for using Time Machine, it has never been my choice, but other seem to prefer using it.

Answer to Question 3.

Same as question 1. Depends on how your disks are partitioned. If you do end up recreating Windows from scratch, how do you intend to do that? You no longer have a optical drive.

I will assume before doing anything, you have created a copy of your recovery partition to a USB flash drive. That way if every goes wrong, at least you can boot from the flash drive and download Yosemite.


Pertaining to the clean install, the OS should recognize your other drive as long as you 1) didn't change the means of connecting the drive to the computer and 2) didn't have to install any separate drivers/software to get the drive recognized. Now if you have done #2 then all you have to do is reinstall the drivers/software after the clean install, if not don't worry about it.

Now for the backup I would personally prefer the Time Machine backup as I don't know as much as I'd like to about cloning. That being said, one thing to note is that cloning is more for keeping partition sizing and all that jazz, Time Machine backups are more about applications settings, data, and systems settings (the important stuff). Also Time Machine backups can be restored as soon as you boot up after a clean install. No extra steps or software required, just start the setup and select Restore from Time Machine backup.

Lastly, about your Windows drive, I know that resizing partitions on your drive (containing the Windows and Mac OS X partition) does something to Windows which stops it from booting. I recommend backing up your Windows data through some means within the Windows OS and then reinstall Windows fresh (after you've done all of your plans etc.) and restore your data.

Hope this answers all your questions! Cheers! :)

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