Music and videos. Those are the top two space-hungry files on a Mac. iTunes and movies are beefy, and before you know it, your hard drive may run out of space. What do you do?
Other reasons for replacing your hard drive are due to your hard drive failing or just wanting a faster solid-state drive (SSD) for accessing files quicker.
You can back up your files to an external hard drive and then move them over to the new hard drive after reinstalling Mac OS X Lion. But, all your settings will be lost. This includes your email configuration, desktop icons and settings, and other tweaks you’ve made over time. Cloning your hard drive is a better bet since it brings across everything, including your settings. As the name implies, cloning mirrors everything you have to your new drive. Keep in mind that cloning will not work if your hard drive is physically failing. You don’t want to bring across bad sector files to your new drive, do you? That’s what would happen. In that case, you’ll need to just back up your files as soon as possible and be happy with what you save.
For a hard drive that is not failing and in good shape, follow the below steps to clone your hard drive:
- Create a backup – Use Time Machine to create a full system backup to an external hard drive.
- Replace your hard drive – Install the new drive after removing the old one. If you’re not comfortable with this step, you should contact a Mac hardware expert.
- Lion Internet Recovery – This is the coolest feature. You can install the Lion operating system directly from the Internet. Restart your Mac and hold down the Command Key and Command-R and off you go. Look Mom, no hands!
- Restore your backup – Restart your Mac and hold down Command-R with your external hard drive connected. Choose your backup and voila, your old Lion operating system and files are cloned over to your new hard drive.
Just four simple steps and you don’t have to be a Lion expert or Apple genius tech. One feature that must be commended is the Lion Internet Recovery. Think about this one. You install a new hard drive on your computer. Just a blank hard drive. Just with a simple keystroke combination and you’re able to go onto an Apple server to download and install a brand new OS X Lion operating system.
Apple should be advertising the Lion Internet Recovery feature on TV morning, noon, and night! Instead, they took the high road and just added this as another one of their cool features. This feature is available on Macs that came out after 2010. If you have an older Mac, you’ll have to resort to a DVD, thumb drive, or create a Mac OS boot disk from your working Mac.