I just got an SSD for my White Unibody MacBook. What's the fastest way to get back up on running on 10.7.3 with a Time Machine backup (on an external disk via usb 2.0) and a Lion 10.7.0 DVD?

Can I restore directly from backup? Do I need to install 10.7.0 first? Do I need to run System Update after that, or will migration assistant install the patches for me?


A SuperDuper clone will be easy and will move your exact setup to the SSD. Put the new SSD in an external USB drive, format the SSD in Disk Utility, and clone the boot drive onto it. You don't need to purchase SuperDuper as the Erase then Copy option works in the unregistered version.

If your current boot drive data takes up more space than the SSD can hold then you need to delete files to slim it down or use a custom script in SuperDuper to exclude what you don't want transferred.

After the clone is successful boot the computer with option held down and make sure you can boot from it. If that works shut it down and swap the drives.

  • Don't have an external option for the SSD. – Moshe Apr 24 '12 at 23:58
  • Then installing 10.7 on the SSD will work. You will be prompted to migrate from time machine once it boots up, and after the migration you will have to run Software Update to get the OS up to date. Third party applications will migrate over as the version they are at now. – ridogi Apr 25 '12 at 0:28
  • @Moshe, you don't need to install Lion if you have a Lion DVD. You can boot directly off the DVD and do a full Time Machine restore from it. – Old Pro Apr 25 '12 at 2:45

Your options depend on what else you have available. If all you have are a blank SSD, a USB drive holding a Time Machine backup, and a Lion DVD, then your only option is install the SSD, boot off the Lion DVD, and restore the now-internal SSD from the Time Machine backup. You do not need to install Lion on the SSD first as long as the Time Machine backup is from the same computer you are restoring to. (If it is a different machine there can be issues with drivers and UUIDs.)

If you have a working internal drive already and you want to clone it, you might want to invest in an external drive case (preferably one that has both Firewire and USB interfaces) and put the SSD in that, then use Carbon Copy Cloner (free to use, payment requested if you feel it is worth it) to clone the drive. I think the external case is a good investment because after you clone the drive, you put the SSD in your laptop and the old internal drive in the external case and you have 2 usable drives.

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