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Model A1418 / Late 2013 / 2.7 & 2.9 GHz Core i5 or 3.1 GHz Core i7 Processor

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What do I need to do BEFORE installing a new SSD on my Mac?

I have the iFixit kits ready to install a new SSD and 16GB RAM into my Mac.

Before I go ahead and do this, obviously I need to back up my files.

What I’m not clear about is whether I need to have the operating system available on a separate drive when I start it up again afterwards, and if so, how I go about doing this. Or, is the OS contained within ROM within the Mac separate from the HDD.

Otherwise, am I effectively inserting a blank SSD into a computer which will have no idea how to start up?

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@chimpadoo - There is a very easy way just boot up your system into Internet Recovery. Your computer will connect over the internet to the Apple OS server and install a micro OS so you can then format your new drive and then install a fresh OS onto your drive! No muss no fuss About macOS Recovery

Reference: Mac startup key combinations

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SSD comes unformatted and empty from factory.

OPTION 1: Make a copy (Clone) your current HD to the new SSD with a SATA to USB Cable, you don’t have to reinstall OS or Restore your Files, You keep your computer like it was only Performance changes, you can use Carbon Copy Cloner. (Software)

OPTION 2: Make a USB flash drive booteable Copy of macOS, (you can find macOS in the app Store). Reinstall a fresh copy of macOS and restore your Files, you can use DiskMaker X. (Software)

OPTION 3: Use network image of Apple to reinstall macOS (you need a good internet connection). Reinstall macOS and Restore Files.

How to boot in a booteable USB or macOS Network Image? Pressing option key on boot.

Good Luck!

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