Migration from HDD to SSD with Mac OS X Lion

Today I'll try to cover my migration experience. I have bought myself an OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 SSD from Amazon. And I also have an external 1 Tb HDD. I'm using it for migration purposes as a backup Time Mashine. So to migrate yourself without reinstalling operating system and so on you need:

1. Compact your data. Usually HDD's, installed in Mac's, are much bigger then SSD's you buying. And to tell you the truth, you probably do not need a 512 Gigabytes SSD at all. Most of data are accessed rarely and do not require speedy storage. So COMPACT them. Move to an external HDD and/or delete. Time to cleanup one word. There are also several places that can be easily deleted without much troubles. They are iTunes backup caches for your iOS devices, like iPhones and iPads.
they are usually sotred on your user library path.
You can delete them without sorry from either:
~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup 
folder or in your iTunes => Preferences => Devices section, hitting delete on each backup.
They will be created from scratch on next sync. So no worries about them. Your data are safe on your mobile devices. If you do not screw things up on next sync (:
Besides this you have ability to link files. For e.g. I have an iTunes library of around 100 Gigs of songs, books and etc. So storing it by default path is bad idea. My SSD only has 128 Gigabytes. Anyway I'll tell what to do with this later on. For now I'll just say you can move iTunes Libraries and relink them. And you can move iPhoto library. I have around 100 Gigs of photos too... So those 2 are moved to external HDD. Leaving me 200 gigabytes of data. After deleting iTunes backups I've fried around 60+ gigs. I have had several iPhones and their backups also were stored there. So the list was big.
Anyway. The file system started to look like this:

But I've fried this space, and made a backup. Why the hell I have no free space. And my Mac says I have only 70+ gigs of space used. The catch is in .MobileBackups folder. Mac stores your Time Mashine backups to local hard drive. Backing up data locally. What a mess :). You can disable it by hitting terminal command:
$ sudo tmutil disablelocal 
this will disable local Time Mashine backups. TADAAM. We really have a hard drive with around 78 gigs of space used for system and files.
Now make a Time Mashine backup to external HDD, or second hdd, that will not be formatted and can be accessed during setup. Math is simple. Last backup must be smaller then your SSD capacity. 78 is quite ok for me.
In case you need to fit something on your HDD and have all the space used by Time Mashine backups, like I did, you can delete old Time Mashine backups in manual mode. Simply go to folder on your Time Mashine drive, called Backups.backupd => YourUserNameHere. You will see a set of date stamped folders. Those are Time Mashine backup dates.
You can free them up by deleting each folder and cleaning the trash. Note it will come to cleaning Trash with - amount of objects, e.g.: "deleting file -123". Don't bother with that and simply wait for cleanup.

Now that we have a most recent backup in Time Mashine of all our system HDD. We can proceed. Power of your Mac/Macbook and insert a SSD drive, if you have not done so before.
I have used an Second SSD/HDD drive Caddy that is around 10$ at eBay.
Looks something like this:
I've plugged my HDD there. And SSD came in place of HDD. But it's a metter of taste and you can do as you wish here. 
Now time to boot. Boot, holding "Option" key. You will see the menu with OS boot choice, Looking something like that:
Choose Recovery HD. This will be mush simpler/quicker then making any external boots. But you may have to do it in case you do not have this option here. Anyway booting this option will lead you to a screen with recover options.
Choose Restore From Time Mashine Backup. Will lead you to the drive with your Time Mashine selection, in case you have several. Afterwards select your LATEST! backup. And choose where to restore to. Be careful to choose your SSD. And hit Fire. :)
You will wait several minutes, depending on your Time Mashine drive speed with this screen:
After load you will have fully restored system with all your data on a SSD.
Now be sure you have boot from an SSD ( It is usually hard to make a mush here because of boot speed :D ). But make sure you are on SSD now and go ahead to diskutil and format your HDD. You will not need it anymore. TADAM. You're done.

Thanks for reading this far and comments with your success are welcome, as long as critics apriciated ;).


  1. Ironic, I ended up doing the same exact thing. Reason, I kept getting error code from disk utility since my SSD is smaller than the HDD. So I just did a fresh install onto the SSD (recommended)... and then just copied over the files using OSX utility. Now I'm planning on wipping the old HDD and thinking about creating a symbolic link from Documents etc to HDD ?? What do you think?

    1. I did so. Works for me)
      Not only documents, but photos... I have several hungreeds of gigabytes...

  2. My ipod touch fourth generation has a badly cracked screen and i really need it fixed. Will apple mac repairs it or should i use a DIY kit? it is about 1.5 years old and jailbroken. i could always unjailbreak though. Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appriciated.

  3. HDD to SSD with Mac OS X Lion ,HDD is cheaper than ssd.Pavilion age 14 fuselage more 240gb ssd drive showing solid state drive 240gb went up by crimson, and also dark with other hues, all the more nice and interesting, the entire body and don't have a lot of to play an enhancing role in the current standpoint, this specific coloring is much more good beauty tastes involving the younger generation.


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