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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Installing OS X on an external HD. Need help please.


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Drawntothemagic

 
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Hello All, I'm new here. I heard this forum has some of the best of the best when it comes to help and advice, so I figured you all might be able to help advise on a situation I'm in.

My Macbook Pro 13" (2009 model) came with a 160GB internal HD. This, has filled up rather quickly for me, but luckily I have a 360 GB Seagate Freeagent external HD (on which all my photos and music reside) Applications and the like have taken up my internal HD until I have "Approximately 2 GB free".

Photoshop, Garageband's Jam Packs, and Parallels have taken up a major chunk of memory. Anyways, my question.

I can install OS X on my External HD right? on which some of my applications can be installed and run? I ask, specifically for garageband and photoshop, which take up a lot of memory.

I read that the contents on the drive will be "Formatted" though, deleting them.


A few questions.

1. because I'm relatively new to Mac, I was curious. If I were to "back up" the contents of the external drive (roughly 40 GB) would Time Machine be able to restore them [after] the drive has been formatted and OS X 10 installed?

2. If I can indeed install OS X, and run certain applications from the external HD, how much should I partition for the purpose of OS X? (I have 360 total, and only like, 40 gb have been used)

If there's any advice on the matter, or help you could offer, [possibly an easier method], anything would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much all. Have a nice night.

D2M
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chscag

 
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My advice is to simply buy a large fast hard drive (500 GB 7200 RPM Seagate or WD) and replace the internal 160 GB with it. (Or, use your 360 GB drive to replace the internal drive) Making the swap is easy. Use cloning software to clone the contents of the 160 GB to the new HD and make the swap. Cloning software - "SuperDuper" or "Carbon Copy Cloner" can make an exact copy of your internal drive to the new drive while at the same time rendering the new drive bootable.

Running apps from an external drive is not a good idea and may not work depending on the program. (Besides being a lot slower.)

Regards.
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ramenmeal

 
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^ that, or reorganize your stuff so your externel hd holds the stuff that is taking up so much space
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clayneal

 
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I concur on just upgrading to a larger hdd to gain the Storage (hdd's have storage not memory) that you need.

Clay


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bobtomay

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramenmeal View Post
^ that, or reorganize your stuff so your externel hd holds the stuff that is taking up so much space
The problem with that, is that your stuff, the stuff you really care about typically, is still not backed up.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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jobborrow

 
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I go with the cloning Superduper method and installing a bigger drive in your Mac since you can't run the OS from two places at once, you could run EVERYTHING from the cloned OS on an external drive via usb or firewire, but that will be slower than running from the drive in your mac. You don't want to run Apps from the external, from what I understand that won't work properly.

Getting a bigger drive is the best option, I had a WD Scorpio which I switched from an external drive into my Mac and put the MAc drive in the enclosure. I did have to switch it back due to aggressive head parking which I've since learned is an issue with Western Digital drives. That's why I will now have to buy a Seagate drive as I'm told they are the best for Macbooks (I was told that by a Mac specialist, don't argue with me on that anyone!!!)

Cloning and installing a new drive is SO EASY, anyone can do it. Once you've decided what to do, let us know, sure we can help some more.
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clayneal

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobborrow View Post
That's why I will now have to buy a Seagate drive as I'm told they are the best for Macbooks (I was told that by a Mac specialist, don't argue with me on that anyone!!!.
oh a "Mac specialist" well I guess that closes the old which drive is best question.

Clay

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jobborrow

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clayneal View Post
oh a "Mac specialist" well I guess that closes the old which drive is best question.

Clay
I wasn't trying to close any question. Maybe I didn't make clear what I wanted to say when I said don't argue with me. I don't think the said 'specialist' is necessarily right, I'm just saying don't argue with me as I have no idea with this is right or wrong and am not really interested in getting into it as there would be so many opinions on this topic, it's not worth it.

He said Seagate is the best in his experience, I will go with that as I have no idea only that the Western Digital drive I tried (320GB 5400 Scorpio Blue) parks the heads every 8 seconds and is thus useless to me.

Sorry if my words offended, or appeared know-it-all or too generalized, I didn't mean it to sound like that, was just more interested in typing something that is useful to Drawntothemagic and not banging on about mac specialists! (which is now what's happened!).

I don't know much, just learning as I go....
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clayneal

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobborrow View Post
I wasn't trying to close any question. Maybe I didn't make clear what I wanted to say when I said don't argue with me. I don't think the said 'specialist' is necessarily right, I'm just saying don't argue with me as I have no idea with this is right or wrong and am not really interested in getting into it as there would be so many opinions on this topic, it's not worth it.

He said Seagate is the best in his experience, I will go with that as I have no idea only that the Western Digital drive I tried (320GB 5400 Scorpio Blue) parks the heads every 8 seconds and is thus useless to me.

Sorry if my words offended, or appeared know-it-all or too generalized, I didn't mean it to sound like that, was just more interested in typing something that is useful to Drawntothemagic and not banging on about mac specialists! (which is now what's happened!).
I don't know much, just learning as I go....

Hey no problem. I should have ( and ment to ) put a smile on my post. I was just playing around.

We all appreciate your input. Sorry if I sounded offended as I didn't mean to. I hope the seagate drive fixes your problem. Be sure to let us know

Clay

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jobborrow

 
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Will do Clay...
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jobborrow

 
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Seagate drive is good, much more quiet, however, heads still park (albeit silently) way too much, I would say my initial tests suggest that they park about 30% less than the WD drive did.

In the end I have got hdapm to work with this drive (it wouldn't work with the WD drive) and I haven't used a launchdeamon to run it, I'm just running it from terminal on start up with :hdapm disk0 max etc. I'm not 100% over the moon about this, but I can't bear to think of 82 load cycles in a hour of web browsing or idling.....

So that's the update, guess I'm relatively happy.

Drawntothemagic, what did you do/decide in the end (since this was your thread)?
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Rambaud

 
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I use an external drive while my macbook is being backed up. It runs fast enough.

Although I had no clicking issues with WD internal hard drive, the Load Cycle Count (LCC) was above 550,000! However, I have disabled the Sudden Motion Sensor (which, apparently, can interfere with WD's own on certain drives) and changed the parameters for head parking. This has reduced the LCC to about 10 per day.
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jobborrow

 
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Rambaud, how do you change the parameters for head parking?
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Rambaud

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobborrow View Post
Rambaud, how do you change the parameters for head parking?
I used the instructions here :

My Mac Fixes: "How Do I Stop the Clicking Noise from the Hard Drive of My MacBook or Mac Mini?"
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jobborrow

 
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Oh, that, yeah, done that too. Basically that's setting the drive power to max. HDAPM, works for me too, but I wish there was a better solution than setting the drive to Max, for a second there I was hoping you'd found it!

Thanks for posting back.
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