Setting Up a New Hard Drive on Mac

By September 22, 2021

Computers offer nearly limitless potential. Although most people never explore all of the functionality that computers have, some people like to explore what’s available to them.

If you find yourself needing to install a hard drive on your Mac, you might not know where to start. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about setting up a new hard drive.

Format Your New Hard Drive

There’s a good chance that you will need to format your new hard drive before you install it.

This is particularly true if you got this drive from somebody else while replacing a hard drive, such as a computer resale store. Even if it seems like the hard drive contains no information at all, it’s still essential for you to format it. Not only will this ensure that everything runs smoothly, but it can also help prevent complications from arising in the future.

For example, it’s unfortunately not uncommon for people to give blank hard drives to other people after having installed malicious software on them. If the unaware user begins to immediately use the drive, they may eventually have their personal information compromised.

In some cases, this could be potentially catastrophic, such as if that person uses the computer for business. To format your drive, you can use the built-in Disk Utility software on your Mac device. This will allow you to select your new hard drive and then format everything by clicking the “Erase” button that appears.

It’s important for you to remember that you should change the format of the drive to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” when using this process.
Need information about how to partition hard drives? You can check out this resource to learn more about it.

Use Internet Recovery Mode to Install OS X

It’s possible to use Internet Recovery Mode to install the Mac operating system on your new drive. This feature is only available on devices that were made after 2009, but this shouldn’t be an issue for most users.

As the name suggests, this method makes use of the Internet in order to download the latest version of Mac OS and install it onto your computer. First, you want to turn off your computer completely. Then, press the power button while simultaneously holding the command + R + option keys.

When your cursor changes into a spinning globe, release the keys. You’ll then be given the option to choose a Wi-Fi network to connect to.

Eventually, the utility window will appear. If you haven’t already formatted your hard drive, you can do so now. Afterward, you can install the operating system directly to the drive.

Due to the fact that this process installs a large number of files using an Internet connection, it can take a notable amount of time. How long you need to wait will depend on the strength of your connection. Those who find themselves working with a weak Internet connection may need to wait over an hour.

Regardless, the installation should resolve correctly as long as no interruptions occur.

Use a Bootable USB Installer

In the event that an Internet connection is not suitable for an operating system download, you have the opportunity to create a bootable USB installer instead.

In order to do so, you’ll need to make use of the Terminal application on your Mac. For those who do not have experience using this app, it can seem intimidating at first. However, it’s not as difficult as you may think.

You also need a USB drive that has at least 12 GB of free space on it. Attempting to do so without one will be insufficient.

It’s also worth noting that those who do not have a working Mac computer will need to find one in order to take part in this process. If you don’t know anybody personally who will let you use one, you can make an appointment at the Apple Store for assistance.

Of course, you will need to format your USB drive, as well. This means that all the data on the drive will be erased when you create your bootable installer.

It started, search for your desired operating system on the app store. After connecting your USB drive to your computer, open the Terminal application.

Type “sudo“ (including the extra space after the O). Open the Finder application and then navigate to the “Install macOS” application in this folder. Right-click this file and select “show package contents.

Then, open the “contents” folder and select “resources.” Look for a file called “createmediainstaler” and drag this file into the Terminal window. Then, type “—volume “, once again with the extra space at the end.

Drag your USB drive from the Finder window into the Terminal window. Then, press return.

The program will ask you for your administrative password, which you should then enter. It’s important to note that you won’t be able to view your password as you type it, so make sure you type it correctly. When asked if you want to erase the entire flash drive, press the letter Y.

Then, your computer will begin installing the operating system on your USB drive. Finally, you can restart your computer while holding the option key.

Your device will give you the opportunity to boot from your USB drive.

Setting up a New Hard Drive Might Seem Complex

The good news is that it’s not nearly as difficult as you may anticipate. This is especially true with all of the information above about setting up a new hard drive on your Mac.

As long as you keep this guide in mind, you are unlikely to encounter any issues.
Looking for more tips that can help you out later on? Check out the rest of our blog for plenty of more useful information.

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