I just bought a new Mac Mini 2012 and have just replaced the drive in it with an SSD from my old MBP. Now the Mac Mini won't boot anymore, showing a stop sign when I try (after holding alt to begin with) from either the bootable main volume or recovery partition. I.e. it sees the drive, so I'm hoping it isn't a hardware problem. Isn't this supposed to work? I seem to recall having changed bootable drives between machines before and it being able to adapt to the new hardware, but maybe I'm confusing it with booting from an external drive. At any rate, the goal is to restore the exact system I had, but on this new machine.

I have a CCC backup on my network of the drive in question. Do I need to first install OSX fresh, boot into the fresh install and then restore the old backup? Though I don't see how that's any different?

  • Ok I just took the drive from the Mini and put it in the MBP (2009), and it booted just fine, so Im kind of at a loss now.
    – jiku
    Nov 28, 2012 at 16:26
  • Tried a few more things: * A 3rd external, bootable HDD with ML on Mini. Wouldnt boot. * Took the HDD that came with the Mini back into it, and it booted just fine again (just like it had before and on the MBP). * Connected the SSD from the MBP to the Mini via an external SATA to USB interface, and Im now using the recovery partition on the HDD that came with the Mini to download and install ML over the ML installation thats already on the SSD. Hoping that it being installed on the Mini will make it bootable.
    – jiku
    Nov 28, 2012 at 21:38
  • FWIW - I did exactly the same thing, with my SSD from a 2011 MacBookPro8,2, and have had no problems whatsoever. Your problem may be related to jumping from a considerably older Mac. However, come to think of it, I also recently booted a late 2009 Mac Mini from the same device (to test it as a backup computer,) and then moved the SSD back to my Late 2012 Mini, and have had no problems at all.
    – gosmond
    May 22, 2013 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


What operating system(s) are we talking about here? If you installed say, a retail copy of Snow Leopard on one machine, then transferred the HD to another machine, that might work.

But if you installed your OS using the disks that came with the machine, those disks are specific to the machine itself: they're streamlined with various drivers and whatnot, is my understanding, and will not work in another machine.

I'd have to read up again in the CCC documentation but I believe there are also instances where files that are hard-coded with UUID's or MAC addresses or something that need to be properly re- created when moving a drive to another machine.

  • Thanks for the info. Both are Mountain Lion. The HDD that came with the Mini didnt have the latest 10.8.2 supplemental update, but works now in the 2009 MBP. The SSD had that update as well but doesnt work in the Mini. It seems a bit arbitrary.
    – jiku
    Nov 28, 2012 at 17:13

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