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

MBP with 2nd HDD


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pszilard

 
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I am upgrading my MBP, by fitting a 120GB SSD and installing the 500GB HDD into the Optical bay, using a caddy.

I need advice on how to configure the system so that the 120GB doesn't get full. I.e. moving some stuff to the 2nd drive - but making sure that the Mac continues to work

Thanks guys.
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bentharbour

 
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I have seen it to be most effective if you put your OS X and all applications on the SSD - 120 GB should be more than enough to handle both of these. Then put your "user" (home folder) on your HDD. That means that user data such as downloads and media and all that nice stuff would go on your HDD and all your applications and OS X would be on your SDD.

This will increase boot time as well as application load times.

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bobtomay

 
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Walk through for moving your home folder - link.

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iggibar

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentharbour View Post
I have seen it to be most effective if you put your OS X and all applications on the SSD - 120 GB should be more than enough to handle both of these. Then put your "user" (home folder) on your HDD.
That's what I did on mine. You can manually move applications to the hdd that you don't really need on the ssd, while maintaining the apps you most often use on the ssd. Until OSX Lion comes out, you will never be able to override the install path of some files(they will install in the ssd without giving you an option).

Here's a warning though, TimeMachine will not do proper backups with 2 drives containing folders from the same OS. It will say backup complete, but when you go to access the backups, it will give you an error.

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Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Walk through for moving your home folder - link.
This is the article I also used, thanks to bobtomay...from some time ago.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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bobtomay

 
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I would guess this set up makes creating backups much harder to do. What method are you using to back up both disks that make it easy to restore or have you found one?

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Stretch

 
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I'd put the SSD in the optical bay, not in the stock location. The opitical bay doesn't have "cushioned" mounts, it's bolted directly to the chassis. The factory HDD location has rubber mounts. For a rotational drive, I'd put it in the cushioned location.

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iggibar

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
I would guess this set up makes creating backups much harder to do. What method are you using to back up both disks that make it easy to restore or have you found one?
I haven't found another program that will do the backup, but I just copy everything that's important onto another hdd. I honestly like it this way a little more. I can split the files into whatever categorization I want. Only problem is that it's a bit more time consuming. I don't do copies of programs that I already have disks, come from the App store, or can be downloaded online. Realistically, the only thing I care about backing up are documents, music, and pictures/videos. The rest are can be resurrected back via the web.

As for the hdd location, most hdd's have built-in shock sensors to lock the arm, so it really doesn't matter where you put it. The only thing that would make me keep the hdd in the regular location is that it heats up more than the ssd. I don't want it to vibrate, or have some heat problem next to the board.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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Lifeisabeach

 
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You can force OS X to write to a different drive using symbolic links, which may be more preferable to moving the Home folder entirely. I'm actually working on a blog entry centered around this thread:
New IMac SSD / IPhones, IPads backup

The option of moving the Home folder entirely has me intrigued and I may re-work the blog entry I'm working on to demonstrate both options. idrinorbarsaku brings up some good points about how moving the Home folder will affect backups, which has me wondering the same about symlinks. Since I'm in the process of working on the blog entry, I'll look into this more thoroughly.

As an aside, I tested out moving the Home folder for one of my test accounts, and it worked, but when I moved it back I introduced some permissions issues in the user Library, easily resolved though. I'll have to re-test all that… the first move may have had permission issues that I didn't notice. The thread linked to does reference that possibility of happening.


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I look forward to this blog entry - definitely. I've just started trying to get my SSD game plan organized as well.
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Symbolic links are for sure the way to go. The great part about them is once they are setup you can just act like you have one hard drive. I even remove my HDD from the sidebar in finder. Your backup wont backup what is behind the symbolic links but if you backup both drives and restore the drive with the same names the links should still work.

I dont like moving the home folder. I tried it for a while and experienced a lot of errors. Also if I remember correctly its kind of an all or nothing setup, I appreciate being able to pick and choose the specific folders which I want to move.

Some cheaper optical bay caddies will cause problems with sleeping if the system drive is in them. Just something to think about with placement.


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iggibar

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thurstmw View Post
Some cheaper optical bay caddies will cause problems with sleeping if the system drive is in them. Just something to think about with placement.
Sleeping has nothing to do with the optibay caddy's quality. It has to do with the OSX not recognizing the optibay as a point to wake the system up from hibernating, or the drives ability to go to sleep at that location. As you said, this is only an issue if you have the ssd in the optibay.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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thurstmw

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrinorbarsaku View Post
Sleeping has nothing to do with the optibay caddy's quality. It has to do with the OSX not recognizing the optibay as a point to wake the system up from hibernating, or the drives ability to go to sleep at that location. As you said, this is only an issue if you have the ssd in the optibay.
It is also only an issue with cheaper caddies. People have put the system drive in the optical bay with success with higher quality caddies.


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Lifeisabeach

 
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I just completed some testing with Time Machine. The second partition I've been using for my testing was on the exceptions list to my backups, so after making sure one test account's home folder was indeed moved over to that, and the other test account simply had the MobileSync subfolder stored on the 2nd partition, I removed it from the exceptions and forced a couple backup runs. I can definitely confirm that the home folder that was wholly moved over will not back up at all. The MobileSync folder for the other account does get backed up.

So if you plan to use Time Machine, then moving the home folder in its entirety is a bad bad bad move. It's best to stick to moving anything that is large in size, not critical to logging into your account, nor necessary for some of its basic operations (plugins, services, preferences, etc). There are some apps that can give a graphical display of where all your drive space is going to and can be used to help narrow down what can be moved with symlinks pointing the way to where they went.


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pszilard

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Walk through for moving your home folder - link.
Thanks for that, it was very helpful. I am now firing on all cylinders, with a SATA 3 120GB SSD as drv0 and a Momentus XT 500GB as drv1. LG = Life is Good
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