There are a number of third party programs that can be used to clone your Mac Hard drive to a Crucial SSD before installation. Did you know you can clone using Disk Utility that comes free with all Mac systems? Below are the steps to take to perform the clone using Disk Utility, with a video at the end.
Before starting the cloning process in Disk Utility, your new SSD needs to be initialized, partitioned, and formatted. See this guide for directions on how to initialize an SSD.
Note that if you have encrypted your drive with FileVault you will not be able to carry out step 5 of this guide. To be able to resize the partition you will need to turn off FileVault and let the drive fully decrypt. After the clone has completed and your new SSD is installed and booting, you can turn FileVault back on again.
1. Connect your new Crucial SSD to the system
a. This can be done using the SATA to USB cable included with the Laptop install kit, an external enclosure, or internally if you have an extra bay
2. From within your operating system, open Disk Utility
3. Select your original HDD from the device list in Disk Utility
4. Select the partition tab
5. Resize your Mac Partition to the same size or less than your new SSD (Example: If your original drive is 512GB, and your SSD is 256GB, you will need to resize your original partition to 256GB)
a. Drag the bottom of the white box on the partition tab up until it is the desired size, and click apply
b. If your new SSD is the same size or larger than your original drive, you do not need to resize
6. Shut down your Mac, and then boot the recovery partition (Lion or later) or OS installation CD (Snow Leopard and older).
a. On boot hold the option key to access the boot manager.
b. Select “Recovery-10.x” or installation CD
7. Choose your language
8. Select Disk Utility
9. Select the startup disk from the device list in Disk Utility
10. Select the Restore tab
11. Click and drag the startup disk volume (the line item under the entry for the physical source disk) to the Source field if it doesn’t auto populate
12. Click and drag the destination disk volume (the line under the entry for the physical SSD) to the Destination field
13. Select Erase Destination check box if the option is provided (in 10.8.2 this is performed automatically)
14. Click the Restore button
After the clone process is finished, before installing the SSD you may want to ensure that your clone was successful. Here are the steps to take:
1. Reboot your Mac
2. Once your screen goes black, hold down the option key
3. In the boot manager, select the cloned disk
4. If the clone was successful, your system will boot normally
a. Replace your original drive with the SSD internally, and enjoy the speed
5. If the clone was not successful, simply reboot your computer as normal to boot to your original drive.
A video of the process is available below:
This process will only clone the Mac partition. For information for cloning a bootcamp Windows partition, please see the following video:
Under El Capitan, the process is similar, though some of the tools are located in submenus of the OS X Recovery utility. A video is below, with a transcript of the steps following:
1. Hold the 'COMMAND' and 'R' keys while booting your system to load OS X Recovery.
2. On the OS X Utilities menu, select 'Disk Utility' and then 'Continue'.
3. If you have not partitioned the new drive previously, select the drive (or the USB adapter appearing in its place, as reflected in the video).
4. Depending on your drive's current formatting, the Partition and Erase options above will be selectable, and either will allow you to complete partitioning and formatting of your drive.
5. Both options will prompt for a Name (which will be overwritten after cloning), a Partition Format (always use OSX Extended (Journaled) for a standard OS X environment), and a Scheme (GUID Partition Map). "Partition" will also include a field for volume size (the full disk by default, which can be left alone).
6. Click 'Erase' ('Apply' on the partition tab) to continue. Once completed, your drive will have a sub-line reflecting what you named the partition. Ensure that sub-line is highlighted in the left column.
7. Select the 'Restore...' option under the 'Edit' menu.
8. In the dropdown menu, select the name of your original drive's partition if it is not the default choice (TECH MAC on the CT1000BX100SSD1 in the video's example).
9. Click 'Restore'. The time for this process will vary, and was shortened significantly for this video.
10. After completion, click 'Done'. The completed copy will have the same name as your original, and be fully bootable. From here, you can shut down your system, install the SSD, and begin using it!