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Introduced in March 2009, The Mac Pro (Early 2009) introduced Intel's Nehalem architecture to Apple's professional desktop line and introduced a subtle redesigned interior that remained through the 2010 and 2012 CPU updates.

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Move SSD from Mac Mini to Mac Pro without OS reinstall

I just purchased a Mac Pro mid 2010 Quad-Core (MC560LL/A) with 2 1 TB HDD running El Capitan. It's replacing my Mac Mini (mid 2010) which has an upgraded Crucial MX200 1 TB SSD running High Sierra. Can I install the SSD (with adapter) into Mac Pro (still has 2 open trays) and make it the boot drive- skipping the whole backing up/ transfer thing? I'm a novice but I'm assuming different processors, graphic cards etc. make this impossible.

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No, it shouldn't be a problem. I've got a hard drive I use with a USB adapter that I use to boot everything from old Macbooks to new iMacs (using the Option key at startup) and never have a problem booting. What I would do is try to figure out which SATA port is the main one (SATA 0 usually) and plug the SSD into that so that it boots from the SSD first. Otherwise, you could just plug the SSD in, turn it on and immediately hold the Option key to get the boot menu and select it from there. You should have zero trouble booting from it.

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I would suggest however, holding SHIFT the first time you start it on the new computer. This will force a boot into Safe Mode. This will also clear all KEXT caches and rebuild them according to the new computer's configuration on reboot.

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@rarson - Adam, Todays SATA is not biased for boot or I/O, PATA was (Master/Slave) which is why the master drives I/O was better than the slaves. Older SATA I often had a PATA to SATA converters which confused things but were well past that today.

Otherwise you've got the process down!

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@danj SATA ports are listed in a particular order, that is, if you plug several drives into a computer and choose a boot option, one of them is going to show up first. With Windows computers, you can select boot priority within the BIOS, I have no idea how to do that on a Mac without selecting a Startup Disk from within the operating system or bringing up the boot device screen by holding the Option key. That's why I suggested selecting the specific SATA port (SATA 0 will normally be the one that gets listed first).

Master/slave is unrelated to boot order, it's simply a configuration to allow two drives to operate on the same parallel interface.

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The Startup control panel is doing the same thing as the Windows BIOS setting. What you select as the bootable drive is just that.

The list order within either a Windows BIOS or using the Option key within a Mac is the SATA port ID listing is doesn't effect performance or have any bearing on what you select as the boot drive.

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@danj That's exactly my point, the SATA port ID determines which bootable device is used when one simply turns on the computer and lets it boot up. His question was regarding installing the drive and having it boot from that drive. Who wants to have to select the boot drive every time they turn on the computer?

"The list order within either a Windows BIOS or using the Option key within a Mac is the SATA port ID listing is doesn't effect performance or have any bearing on what you select as the boot drive."

I never stated anything remotely similar to that, although you did when you stated that Master/Slave had some sort of impact on I/O performance (it doesn't).

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Hold that thought!

Not so quick here your Mac Pro may not be able to run High Sierra! First a HDD and a SSD are now treated differently! A HDD will have GUID/Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system unlike the SSD which will have GUID/APFS.

Apple also has an issue with SATA based SSD's running APFS! (too many queues created which slows writing files) So I don't recommend going any higher than Sierra with these systems until Apple addresses this. As reference it takes over a minute for me to save a URL link into a folder! Or a Pages document stalls out when I try to save it for the first time so I can't work on it until its done! I'm just testing the newest BETA so far no improvements.

@mayer can fill-in the steps he did to get Sierra running on his Mac Pro

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Mid-2010 Mac Pros are indeed supported by High Sierra as specified here.

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True! The TN does say its supported.

The rub here is you need to do a proper install of the OS not a transplant drive as the installer needs to update the systems firmware. Transplanting the drive over won't do that.

I still would hold off going the High Sierra, stick with the older Sierra for now.

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Thank you everyone for your input. The Mac Pro arrives on Wednesday (Ebay $400) and I can’t wait to get to work. I’ve ordered my adapter bracket, the no shock wrist band and my tor wrench set. If all goes well I might tackle 4Ksupport then hand off/continuity/Bluetooth 4. 0. Configure & Prosper

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