I bought a refurb macbook pro a few years back, to use for video editing. It came with Snow Leopard installed. I never upgraded beyond 10.6.8 as I still edit in FCP 7 and didn't want compatibility issues. Now I've reached the point where I need to upgrade my OS for pretty much everything other than video editing.

So I thought a good workaround might be to plug a microSD adapter into the SD slot, with a 128GB microSD card in it, and to install the OS 10.6.8 software on that. That way I could boot up from the SD drive when I need to do video editing, but the rest of the time I can just run the computer with the latest mac OS installed.

So here's my conundrum. When I bought the macbook pro as a refurb, it didn't come with software install disks. Is there a way to copy the 10.6.8 OS directly from my laptop to the microSD card? Or do I have to shell out the additional $ to buy another copy of 10.6.8 from the app store?

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  • I'd make an OS X USB Installer and boot the MBP from it with the SD card in place. Assuming the SD card is => in size to the HDD then use dd to clone the HDD to the SD card. Otherwise used Disk Utility to partition the SD Card as GUID HFS+ Journaled and copy the Macintosh HD to the SD card, assuming the SD card has adequate free space that is. Test booting from the SD card before doing anything else. That said, performance running OS X from the SD card will IMO be poor for video editing. I'd consider doing a dual-boot of two different version of OS X. – user3439894 May 15 '16 at 0:02

You can use Disk Utility to make bootable copies of the OS. It's always preferable to use an OS that's not booted (i.e. you're not copying yourself), but in practice, OS X generally behaves well. Worst thing - you waste time with a non-bootable copy.

You could also look into something like SuperDuper or CarbonCopy Cloner. They will serve you for more than the initial need of making a backup copy of the OS.

Worst case, you end up with a broken system and have to pick up a secondhand disk from craig's list or similar. Apple also sells replacement media, but used media is usually less expensive.

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  • To extend on bmike's answer, going to Disk Utility an copying your HD to the SD card will also allow you to keep all of your data, apps, etc. – At0mic May 15 '16 at 1:24

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