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  1. #1
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.

    Member Since
    Oct 24, 2010
    Posts
    20
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    I'm trying to decide which direction I should go with my mobile computing. I currently posses two laptops and therefore two options.
    1) 13" macbook pro 2.26 C2D/2GB RAM/160GB HDD
    2) 11" macbook air 2GB RAM/64GB HDD

    I want to keep the speed of the SSD but I am quickly running out of space on the air. What I want to do is install a small SSD in the spot of the superdrive and replace the stock hdd with a larger size in the MBP and sell the air.

    I have two questions: 1) how difficult will this be, I've never opened a macbook but I'm usually not afraid to poke around in my electronics. 2) How difficult will it be to tell the computer which drive I would like to store information on? I would obviously want to store all system files onto the ssd and all my media files onto the larger hdd. Is their anyway to make this a automatic process?

    I guess the simpler, more expensive, option would be to just buy one large ssd to store everything on. I'm not looking to spend too much on this project.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    4,773
    Specs:
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    1. It's not hard at all as long as you are comfortable taking apart your machine. But you won't be able to use the SSD from the Air, you'll need to buy another one. OtherWorldComputing has a kit that includes a SSD and a bracket to hold it into the optical drive bay once the optical drive has been removed.

    2. very easy, and once it's set up correctly, it will be automatic.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  3. #3
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    bentharbour's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location
    Columbia SC
    Posts
    301
    Sorry to the OP if this is viewed as hijacking, but I also have a few questions which one of the experts may possibly be able to help with.

    I am going to purchase the 115 GB Mercury Extreme Pro SSD w/ Data doubler from OWC.
    I should not have a problem installing it, with help from some great tutorials. I do however foresee some difficulty booting OS X and my applications from the SSD. How do I go about making the SSD my "boot" volume for those?

    I have done a bit of research, but most of the stuff I have found is littered with jargon and I would prefer if someone could point me to a good step-by-step guide or help me out in any way.

    Here are my specs if it matters at all: (2011) MBP 15" 2.0 Ghz i7, 500 GB HDD

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    -bentharbour
     15" MBPr (2012): 2.3Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD  24" Apple Cinema Display  iPhone 5 16GB Black  iPad 2 16GB White

  4. #4
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    4,773
    Specs:
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    Make sure you have a current backup before you start.

    Once the new hardware is installed, you'll want to install OS X on the SSD. Once the install is finished, boot up holding down the Option key to select the SSD as the start-up disk. Create your account, identical to what it was before the SSD install.

    The way I'm going to do it, is keep my home folder on the HDD, and the system and applications on the SSD, so directions will be for that.

    Delete everything except the Users/Home folders on your HDD. Then go into Accounts in System Prefs. Right-click on your account, and on the Home Directory line navigate to your old Home folder on the HDD. Once set, restart the computer and you should be booting from the SSD, and have your account on the HDD.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  5. #5
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    bentharbour's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location
    Columbia SC
    Posts
    301
    thanks for the info, it sounds easier than I imagined, but I am sure it will be more difficult when I get hands on.

    -bentharbour
     15" MBPr (2012): 2.3Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD  24" Apple Cinema Display  iPhone 5 16GB Black  iPad 2 16GB White

  6. #6
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.

    Member Since
    Oct 24, 2010
    Posts
    20
    Thanks for the help, that sounds like it shouldn't be too difficult.

    Another question, is removing the optical drive the only way to have both ssd and hdd in a mbp?

  7. #7
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    bentharbour's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location
    Columbia SC
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by papamidnight View Post
    Thanks for the help, that sounds like it shouldn't be too difficult.

    Another question, is removing the optical drive the only way to have both ssd and hdd in a mbp?
    From my understanding, yes, internally it is the only way.
     15" MBPr (2012): 2.3Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD  24" Apple Cinema Display  iPhone 5 16GB Black  iPad 2 16GB White

  8. #8
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    4,773
    Specs:
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    Currently, yes. You can get an enclosure for the optical drive if you still want access to it, it will just plug in via USB.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  9. #9
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.

    Member Since
    Oct 24, 2010
    Posts
    20
    Thanks guys, I just posted both laptops up for sale and will keep which ever doesn't sell first. If I'm left with the macbook pro then I will definitely be going down this route.

  10. #10
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    bentharbour's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location
    Columbia SC
    Posts
    301
    What size SSD would suffice for OS X + a few additional applications (Office is the only real large application, no FCP or anything)? That is all I want to put on the SSD and have all of my user files on the HDD?
     15" MBPr (2012): 2.3Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD  24" Apple Cinema Display  iPhone 5 16GB Black  iPad 2 16GB White

  11. #11
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    45,216
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    Quote Originally Posted by bentharbour View Post
    What size SSD would suffice for OS X + a few additional applications (Office is the only real large application, no FCP or anything)? That is all I want to put on the SSD and have all of my user files on the HDD?
    The 64 GB should suffice. That will also save you considerable $. Later on as the technology booms, prices on SSD and Flash memory drives will come to down to a reasonable level.

  12. #12
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    4,773
    Specs:
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    I ordered my SSD last night. I went with a 60GB Mercury Pro from OWC, leaving the stock 500GB 7200RPM HDD for my user account.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  13. #13
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    bentharbour's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location
    Columbia SC
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
    I ordered my SSD last night. I went with a 60GB Mercury Pro from OWC, leaving the stock 500GB 7200RPM HDD for my user account.
    I am ordering tomorrow. Same thing actually.

    Im glad the 60 GB will suffice, because it is almost double the price to grab the next size.
     15" MBPr (2012): 2.3Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD  24" Apple Cinema Display  iPhone 5 16GB Black  iPad 2 16GB White

  14. #14
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    4,773
    Specs:
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    Got my SSD today, had it installed and OS X installed on it plus the optical drive in an external enclosure in under 30 minutes. Installing OS X from a USB flash drive to an SSD is incredibly fast.

    Everything is set now for general usage. I have the system installed on the SSD, and my home folder on the HDD.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  15. #15
    SSD and HDD in MacBook Pro, Help Please.
    wheelguy12's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 07, 2011
    Posts
    157
    You can install OSX from a USB flash drive? Sounds like you somehow copied the 2 DVD disks to a USB, then booted from the USB. How did you accomplish that?

    Thanks!
    2011 MacBook Pro 13" i5, 8/300 gig 27" + 23" disp

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