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I have this Macbook Pro which has been working grand other than a terrible Logic Board issue. So I’m jumping ship and wanting to set up a new, refurbished mid 2012 MacBook Pro.

How can I transfer my hard drive over? The refurbished MacBook Pro that I’ve bought has a 128 GB SSD, whereas the old one has a 500 GB. I’ve tried just removing the hard drive and swapping the 500GB one in, but it gives me a hard drive read error. Do I need to wipe the old drive? Is there another procedure?

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No extra steps are needed when you move a drive from one Mac that's compatible with the new Mac other than opening Disk Utility and partitioning / erasing the drive.

If you have tried that several times and get the same hardware error - it's now time to repair the new system by triaging the issues:

  1. Reconnect all cables and retry
  2. Put another working drive back in the new Mac and test

Either the Mac is now broken or the drive now is broken or the cabling is now broken. A repair will tell you which of the three above happened.

For this reason, I almost always connect the new hard drive externally over USB and make sure the old Mac can boot from the new drive and work out any installation issues. Only when I'm convinced I have the correct OS to boot an external drive do I remove it from the external sled and do the swap.

Much faster to know the repair went well in that case but you do need a USB to SATA (or whatever your SSD / storage connection is if you're not working on a 2012 era MacBook).

  • @indicatorindicator Hind sight, you would get a USB to SATA adapter and do the erase install before you replaced the working drive, but this should be a quick isolation of the fault. – bmike Aug 9 '18 at 11:48

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