Installing a SSD in a MacBook Pro running Mac OS X Lion

I recently added a solid-state drive (SSD) to a 2011 MacBook Pro 15" to use as a new boot / applications drive.[^1] The MacBook Pro came with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion installed, and I installed the new SSD using the same method I've used with every other machine I've owned in the pas:t [^1]: I used a [OWU Data Doubler]( to replace the optical drive.

1. I partitioned the SSD into a single volume with a GIUD partition table, choosing *Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)* as the file system. 2. I used [SuperDuper!]( to clone my old drive to the SSD 3. I used *Disk* and ran *Repair Disk* on the SSD (In the past, I have had problems booting from newly-cloned SSDs in the past without first repairing).

I rebooted the MacBook Pro, and everything seemed to work perfectly—the Mac booted quickly and was immediately an order of magnitude more responsive (as is normal when using a machine with SSD storage). However, when I went into the Security & Privacy preference pane to enable FileVault (FileVault 2), it gave me an error message:

> *FileVault can't be turned on for the disk XXX. Some disk formats don't support the recovery partition required for encryption.*

It turns out that **FileVault cannot be enabled on drives that do not have the *Recovery HD* partition that is created when Mac OS X Lion is installed.** Because I had cloned the bootable volume to the new hard disk without actually installing Lion first, no *Recovery HD* partition was every created. To solve this problem, I had to first install Lion onto the destination hard disk (the SSD). The installation process creates the necessary *Recovery HD* partition. After installing Lion, I again cloned my old volume onto the new volume (on the SSD) using SuperDuper!.[^2]

[^2]: Alternatively, you can install Lion and then restore a Time Machine backup, which also works.

I have just completed this process, and FileVault is now encrypting my SSD.

**Useful links/information:**

- To download the Mac OS X Lion installer without installing it, run *App Store* and hold the Option key down while you click on the *Purchases* tab, and when you click on "Install Mac OS X Lion". The *Install Mac OS X Lion* app will be downloaded into your *Applications* folder. When you run the installer, it will self-destruct, so be sure to back it up somewhere. [[more info](] - To burn your own Mac OS X Lion install DVD or USB drive, [follow the instructions here](