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

Sorting through SSD location options


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Rawbin

 
Member Since: Jul 01, 2009
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I have been in HD replacement indecision for months. I finally decided that OWC Mercury Pro Extreme SSD 120GB is the right drive, but now....
how to configure things with my MacBook Pro???

I bought an Optibay kit so that I can keep my old drive internal, but I wondered if reducing the heat factor (by using the old drive as an external) might be a good idea. Also, I have read all over the place that it's a good idea to have the Home folder located on the old drive to keep the heaviest use off the SSD, (I'm a graphic designer, heavy Photoshop user) but a Mac specialist said "why do you want to compromise your speed gain?"

So I still have a bunch of questions:
1. Should I have bought a bigger SSD so that everything could be on one drive?
2. Assuming that answer is NO, is it better to put my old drive in the optical bay, or run it as an external? The old HD would need to be hooked up at all times, especially if the home folder is on it, that's why I was thinking "internal".
3. And what about location of the home folder? Is it a huge compromise for speed?
..and one last thing: if both drives will be internal, does it make any difference which drive is in the optical bay? Might be less screws to undo if I just leave the old HD where it is and put the SSD in the optical bay.
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brairden

 
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Member Since: Jul 25, 2010
Location: Dayton, Ohio
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(1) Most people don't want to make the investment necessary for an SSD capable of being their only storage solution. Running the 2 drives is a way to give your computer a nice speed boost, while keeping the cost manageable.
(2) If you have are comfortable losing the optical drive, then 2 internals is the way to go. There is no heat issue at all. The only thing I have noticed is a very slight drop in battery capacity.
(3) See question 1.
(4) Leave the hard drive where it is. It is protected by the SMS (sudden motion sensor) in the hard drive bay. It would not be in the optibay.

This is the procedure that I used...

1. Install the SSD in the optibay.
2. Boot computer from disc and install OSX on the SSD.
3. Setup your account with a different user name than what you use on the HD.
4. Use Migration Assistant (select "time machine backup or another disk) to migrate settings & applications (not users) from the HD.
5. Reboot holding the option key, and choose the SSD.
6. Open system preferences, and choose "accounts". Create a new account with the same name as you use on your HD (make sure to give it admin privileges). Control+click on your account to view advanced options. Then change the location of your home folder to the location that it already occupies on the HD.
7. Go back to system preferences, and choose startup disk. Select the SSD.
8. Reboot. Go back to accounts and delete the first user account you created.
9. Run software update

That is all. If you have any questions or problems, let us know.

15" 2.53ghz i5 MacBook Pro (2010) 8gb, 500gb HD - 60gb OWC SSD
13" 2.4ghz MacBook Unibody (late 2008) 4gb, 250gb
24" 2.4ghz Aluminum iMac (mid 2007) 3gb, 1tb
mini 2.0ghz - 32gb iPhone 4
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Rawbin

 
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Thanks for the info -- very helpful!
Can you explain a bit more on this point?

4. Use Migration Assistant (select "time machine backup or another disk) to migrate settings & applications (not users) from the HD.

Why use one over the other?"

Does migration assistant write to the new drive in contiguous fashion, or does it make a clone, fragmented data and all? I was thinking of re-installing all my software to ensure that the SSD is as healthy (and lean) as possible... but I will definitely have to get my email moved over.
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brairden

 
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Migration Assistant writes as a file by file copy, so I assumed that it would be linear on the new drive. I used it in an effort to save time. If you are seeking perfection, clean installs would be ideal.

Mail is stored in Users>username>Library>Mail. Once you change the location of your home folder, all of your mail will be there.

15" 2.53ghz i5 MacBook Pro (2010) 8gb, 500gb HD - 60gb OWC SSD
13" 2.4ghz MacBook Unibody (late 2008) 4gb, 250gb
24" 2.4ghz Aluminum iMac (mid 2007) 3gb, 1tb
mini 2.0ghz - 32gb iPhone 4
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harryb2448

 
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Mac Specs: iMac i5 2.7GHz, 16GB memory, OS 10.10.1

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As brairden has described things is the way to go. Do not use any cloning software to clone the HDD to the SSD. Just makes it as slow as the HDD.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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