30 Minutes

by Christopher Paul on September 7, 2012

My MacBook Pro’s hard drive started to make noises I wasn’t comfortable hearing so I made a Time Machine backup last night and installed a solid state drive this morning. The hardware install was a breeze. Creating a backup USB drive for Mountain Lion wasn’t as easy but there was great documentation on the web so as long as you’re comfortable with Disk Utility, you can do it, too. But once I was done with creating the backup and recovery disk, getting my computer back to where it was before was a breeze. In fact, it was so fast, it inspired me to tell the non-Mac users out there how easy it was.

Of course, your mileage may vary and I am a tech guy so I know my way around computers – inside and out – so I know I have a slight advantage but I’ll break down the steps I took so far:

  1. Install OS X (I’m using Mountain Lion).
  2. Wait 20 minutes while the system installs.
  3. Sign into iCloud/Apple ID.
  4. Start using your computer.

Yes, it was four steps.

Granted, there is more you can do – like restore your Time Machine backup, redownload your apps and such from the Mac App Store, and whatnot. Since Apple gives you all the basic tools you need to get to your information, you’ll have everything back in the 10 minutes or so it takes for iCloud to sync all your data back to your computer.

Within minutes, all my calendar entries, contacts, emails, music, and Safari bookmarks – among a few other things – were restored. The total reinstall time was 30 minutes; I timed it.

Sure, an SSD is faster than a hard drive. But my MBP is a late 2008 model. I bought it in February of 2009. The processor is no slouch but it’s not the faster models of today. And I didn’t restore anything from Time Machine, yet. I might not, either since I rather like a clean install.

While I know that Apple’s software has bugs just like everyone’s, the speed and ease in which it took to get my laptop running on a blank hard drive with all my critical data restored was amazing. It just worked – seamlessly and quickly. I usually tout Apple’s products for this reason but even I was impressed with a 30 minute install/restore time.

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