After I got my new MBP, I decided to sell my old 2010 MBP. I wanted to keep all my existing data on my old laptop, so I decided to swap out its SSD and to put in a brand new one.

The process of installing Yosemite on the new SSD was not as straightforward as I would have liked. I thought I’d blog about it to help anyone else who needed to do the same.

Basically I was trying to sell a 2010 MBP with a new SSD, with Yosemite installed but not configured.

  1. Download Yosemite installation from the App store. It might complain that you already have it installed but download it anyway. It will be downloaded to /Applications and be named Install OS X
  2. Create a bootable image from the Yosemite installer on a USB stick larger than 6GB. In a terminal run:
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

where MyVolume is the name of your USB stick. Change this to match the name of your USB stick.

  1. Physically install SSD into the target laptop.
  2. Insert the Yosemite USB stick into the target laptop and power up. (This might take a while.)
  3. When the menu finally turns up, choose Disk Utility and format the SSD as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with a unique name.
  4. Once complete, exit from Disk Utility and return the main menu.
  5. Choose to Install OS X on the formatted SSD.
  6. Follow the prompts until Yosemite is installed.

Here’s link to a video on how to physically install the SSD as well as run the software installation.

If you’d rather install El Capitan on the SSD then follow the How to Install El Capitan on a New SSD guide.