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Swapping Memory and SSD's between two MacBook Pros

Posted on 2012-03-09
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Last Modified: 2012-03-14
I already cleared it With Apple that the memory from my 2.0 GH Quad 4 MacBook Pro will run on my just purchased 2.4 GH Quad 4 MacBook Pro. I bought the faster machine with less RAM and will upgrade it to 8 gig by swapping with the 4 gig on the new machine. My question is about some details of changing the memory:

1) Should I disconnect the battery? It looks like I may be more likely to touch the motherboard with all the handling needed to remove the battery and replace it, versus grounding myself and getting right to the memory. Your thought?

2) What is this Opt+Command+P+R command through three boot cycles? I heard (not from Apple) it forces a restart on the memory? What's that all about?

I have swapped drives before and feel pretty confident with that. I will however need to take the new PC to the Apple Store since hey have pointed out there is no way for me to get Lion on that drive without their help. So that's my plan for after I get the hardware swapped.

Here's a question, after the hardware is installed must I not turn on the PC since it will still be formatted with Lion from the old machine? Should I format the drives before taking them out of the machines? I really do not want to load the machine with an OS that's not configured for that exact machine, and intend to give them each fresh install of Lion.

Thanks,
newbieweb
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Question by:newbieweb
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by:
Sigurdur Armannsson earned 125 total points
ID: 37704766
1. There are many videos on YouTube on how to replace almost anything in your computer. Many of them also tell you how to prevent any accidents.
You could start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Ve01UFuSA or here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_hZdE0AKVY&feature=plcp&context=C4418756VDvjVQa1PpcFPY5QH4AIn0JZKzqrvhKvL3lW7cq6FOZrI%3D and even here: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-MacBook-Pro-15-Inch-Unibody-Early-2011-Hard-Drive-Replacement/5895/1

2. That command is resetting the Parameter RAM. See it in details here: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1379
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 37704897
What can I use to make a static free surface? I will do the work in my kitchen, since the pumping beneath the sink is what I will connect my ground wire for my wrist. Should I just put it on the counter top?

Last time I laid out a kitchen towel, but that may be a source of static.

Am I worried too much? What are your suggestions?
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:maximus5328
maximus5328 earned 250 total points
ID: 37704909
1. You should not disconnect the battery.

2. reset PRAM does not do much these days but may help with occasional weird problem.

You have received misleading information from Apple. If you own a copy of Lion by either purchasing it in App Store in advance or buying a computer that came with it then you can reinstall Lion on your computer yourself using Lion Internet Recovery.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718

There is no harm in booting your Macs with swapped drives. Lion installations are not machine specific. If you still want to do a fresh install then you'll have a chance to erase the drive during the installation.
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:mccrick
mccrick earned 125 total points
ID: 37704929
You are worried too much. There are some environments where every time you move you get a spark touching something. This would typically happen in a very dry environment or perhaps a humid environment when there is storm activity. I am Colorado (very dry) but have a whole house humidifier and so we do not get rubbing around on carpet and so forth.

If you are in a naturally low static area, then all you really need to do is wear cotton, not wool or synthetics. Sit down with workstation. Wear your grounding strap if you have one. When you touch the metal case of your computer you will equalize the charge between you and your computer. If you are not generating more charge as you work you really are in no danger of damaging your components. Make an effort not to touch contacts first.

I have developed a habit of touching the case with some part of my arm or hand before touching the logic board and other components. I've not had a problem in 20 years except for one: VACUUM CLEANER. Once I had a faulty logic board at a client's office. Client had a high powered shop vac and a filthy computer. I should have resisted the temptation to mix the two as the high powered airflow could have generated enough static to damage the logic board further.

1. Don't do the job where you have lot's of noticeable static.
2. Wear cotton, not synthetics,
3. Don't do things to generate extra static like walk across your carpet in rubber shoes.
4. Touch the case frequently with your hand or arm (skin).
5. Ground yourself for extra confidence.
6. Don't use high powered vacuum cleaner on sensitive electronics.
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 37705178
> OS X Lion includes a built in set of utilities in the Recovery HD.

I was planning to wipe the disks before taking them each out o the machine. So there will no no Recovery HD on either disk.

> There is no harm in booting your Macs with swapped drives.

So maybe I should keep Lion on each drive, then swap the drives. Then I can use Lion to re-install itself, which will keep me from needing a trip to the Apple Store.

Thanks for the advice on not generating static electricity. I also ground the wire to the fault under the sink and touch the metal sink often.
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:maximus5328
maximus5328 earned 250 total points
ID: 37705292
I think you are confusing Recovery HD and Lion Internet Recovery. They are different things. Lion Internet Recovery can be used to install Lion on a completely blank drive but requires Internet access and a supported Mac and a Lion license.
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 37717993
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for newbieweb's comment #37705178
Assisted answer: 125 points for sigurarm's comment #37704766
Assisted answer: 125 points for maximus5328's comment #37704909
Assisted answer: 125 points for mccrick's comment #37704929
Assisted answer: 125 points for maximus5328's comment #37705292

for the following reason:

The job was a success!
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 37717994
Please re-open the question.
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Author Closing Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 37722920
Thanks.
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