I have a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010) with a 500GB spinning hard disk boot drive with High Sierra 10.13.6. Disk Utility reports the drive as "SATA Internal Physical Volume - Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". I ran First Aid on it and it came back good.

I have a 500GB SSD in a USB enclosure.

I booted into Recovery and started Disk Utility. I erased the SSD and chose plain APFS format (the four options available are all APFS variations). I tried restoring to the SSD, but the Restore window shows "None Available" in the "Restore from:" drop-down.

I read something that suggested converting the boot disk to APFS, but that menu item is grayed out when I select that drive.

How can I get the contents of this spinning hard drive onto the SSD?

  • Are you trying to transfer from HDD or are you trying to Install OSX on the SSD or both ? Take look at this bombich.com
    – Ruskes
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 8:04
  • Trying to transfer from HDD. I'm aware of CCC, but this should work with Apple's tools, yes? Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 18:56
  • I've mostly used 3rd party software apps to do this... one of the best was a HDD-SSD "Upgrade Kit" that sold as an option with SSDs made by Crucial. It's also entirely possible to accomplish this using the built-in MacOS app Disk Utility. Here's a link to what seems to be a decent and well-written How-To guide for using Disk Utility to make a duplicate/clone of an existing drive to a replacement drive.
    – Seamus
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 5:32

2 Answers 2


While the only format options available for the new drive were APFS variations, after formatting I was able to use the Partition tool in Disk Utility to morph the new drive into "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". Once the format type matched between the two drives I was able to restore from the existing system drive onto the new SSD.


You can only make a diskcopy with DiskUtility from a drive that isn't the startupdisk. So you probably need to make 2 partitions om the SSD. One to mount from (small) and one to accept the diskcopy data that you can make from the internal Sata drive. Don't know if DiskUtility will play along because both drives are the same size, and then the Sata data won't fit on the 2nd SSD partition. But you should boot from another volume than the SATA disk to make a copy from that. Otherwise you get the popup "disk in use", like i got when i made a diskcopy to icloud(!)... that is also possible!

  • Was able to restore from the system drive by booting into recovery mode and using Disk Utility from there. Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 20:55

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