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Old hard drive/OS in 2012 15" MacBook Pro

I have a bit of a unique situation. I live in Mexico and someone has offered to bring me the new 15" Macbook Pro (not retina). Unfortunately I do not have the install discs for all of my software. Is it possible to use the 750g 7200rpm SATA drive from my old Macbook with OSX 10.6.8 in the new Macbook Pro.

If it's possible that would solve my problem. Otherwise it will be buying/downloading new software which I don't need. I use Final Cut Express which I like and would like to continue using.

Also is it possible to upgrade later from 512MB GDDR memory to 1G?


Thanks for the answers. I'll try to elaborate.

First I do have a couple of external HDs, both Firewire for back up.

I am just hoping that I can temporarily put my current internal hard drive with the OS and software into the new macbook pro. The hard drive in the new macbook pro won't be any bigger or faster than the one I have now. I won't be getting a SSD. It's just a question of physical size.

I had a Macbook that I replaced the HD with a new 750Gig 7200 rpm just a couple of months ago. Then the motherboard went. I was lucky enough to find an old Macbook where I live here and just stuck the HD from the dead Mac into the "new/used" macbook, OS and all and I was back in business.

Now someone tells me they can bring me a new laptop. But not my old install discs. Two different places.

What I want to do with the new macbook pro is what I did with the two macbooks. Just swap the hard drives until I return to the states this winter. I cannot get my old install discs until then.

I know that if the hard drives are two different sizes then it won't work. That is the reason for the question. Do you know if they are the same physical size with the same connecting pins.

Being just a hard drive I would think that if the sizes were the same and the connecting pins were the same it could just be installed and I would be good to go.

When I return to the states I could swap the hard drives again.

So the question is: are they swappable.

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Yes - Like Ivory soap 99.44% Laptop drives are universally 2.5" x ~7mm to 9mm.


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If your system is 'brand new' you'll have Lion 10.7 on it (and soon Mountain Lion 10.8). Apple no longer ships recovery or install CD/DVD's with the newer systems as they have a hidden partition with the needed software on it.

It sounds like you upgraded the OS on your older Mac to Lion (if you haven't its not an issue). As Lion was a on-line upgrade you won't have any CD/DVD either. But, you could create from your system a set of disks or USB flash drive to be the equivalent. I strongly recommend you do so as well as get an external HD (firewire being the best for now) to have a full backup of your current files on.

If your new system has the same or larger sized HD then your current system, then using the Apple migration tool is the smart way to image your files from one to the other. All of your software will work and everything will be exactly the same as your older system. To do this you just need a means to connect the two together over a network Firewire being the fastest, then Ethernet or WiFi being the slowest to do this.

If your older systems HD is larger and your files collectively exceed the new HD's storage then you have to open your systems both up and swap the HD's across.

WARNING - There are issues in doing this as you didn't tell us what your older system is, your I/O of the drives may not be compatible and/or the physical size of the drives may not allow being swapped. Lastly, your older drive maybe near the end of its life and your warranty on your new system will be voided by Apple by swapping the drives.

As I stated at the top you should have a external HD as a backup just in case. You could buy a new HD for your old mac so you could sell it or give it a new home with someone. Then by buying an external case for your old Mac's HD you took out as your backup. If you do this you could use your recovery CD/DVD/USB disc/drive to install a fresh copy of Lion on this new HD you created and lastly, you are also protecting your self as you have the old HD with all your personal info still in your possession an added plus!

Good Luck!

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If they are bringing you the new machine have them include all the disks! You could transfer your files and applications to the new box using Migration Assistant. OR you could put the old HD in an external case.

The drive should work ok, but it would be like using an old 4cylinder engine in car that came equipped with a 8cylinder Hemi.

As long as you "unregister" your old Software SN# and install the app in the new box you shouldn't have to purchase new software.

If this answer was helpful please remember to return an mark it Accepted.

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brownbag39 - As machead pointed out the physical size of the drives are mostly the same size except the hight so you'll need to measure the newer systems HD and see if it is of equal size or larger of the HD your putting in. The next issue is the I/O you state the older HD is a SATA drive then you should be just fine.

At this point I don't think either of us has opened up one of the new '12 13" or 15" MacBook Pro systems yet so we just don't know what the exact height of the drive is. Also, I don't think anyone has tried using a non-Apple HD's (or older Apple HD's) in the these systems either so you could face the custom thermo sensor issue the '11 and newer iMac's have.

Please if you do manage to swap the drives please let us know if you faced any issues.

I'm still a little confused on why your going to such lengths on moving the HD's around for a short time. Final Cut express allows you to run on different systems with one license as long as you have a connection to the installed app. So if your issue is getting access to the Apps and/or files from the other system you can do that without swapping the HD's or need access to the original install CD's.

Granted, you'll need to have both systems running at the same time and connected to each other but you can also copy many apps and/or files to the other system work on them away from each other, and then move them back over again later when you reconnect the systems together. Give that a try first to save your self time and risk of any damage to your systems.

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Good idea - if the old machine was in file sharing mode via wireless wouldn't that work too with out necessitating them to be a cable length appart?


Sure will, Just need to use ad-hoc peer WiFi network setup (or one system being the AP). Mac's also have bridging pairs in the Ethernet ports so you just need to put a straight thru cable directly between them (no hub needed). - In both cases there is some small issues that can trip you up. In the case of WiFi they need to be setup using the same bands and its best not to use encryption the first time you try to get it to work. With Ethernet you need to use 100Mb or 1Gb speeds so the cable must be Cat5 or better and be a Santa Rosa MacBookPro or newer system. Lastly it's best to use the same user name on both systems so you don't need to deal with logging in and file permission issues. How about an up score Machead ;-}


Didn't know I could do that. If and when (this is Mexico) I get a new laptop I will try connecting them first.



Thanks for all the advice. Now I wait to see if a new laptop arrives.


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brownbag39 zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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