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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 30, 2007
    Location
    Ivanovo, Russia
    Posts
    169
    Specs:
    2.16GHz Macbook Pro, 2GB RAM, OSX v10.5
    Programs on External HDD?
    Hi All,

    I was wondering if there'd be any problems with running programs off an external HDD? I'm planning to get a Macbook Pro, but 160GB seems really small given than I plan to run OS X and Windows, both with programs and data. I'd like to keep as many of my programs on the primary drive as possible, but I foresee that filling pretty quickly...

    So, my question is really two.. Firstly, can programs be installed on external drives? And if so, how will OS X react during the inevitable times when I'll boot up without the external connected? Will the programs on it simply be unavailable, will the OS crash without asking first, have a conniption, or simply flip me the bird?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    J

  2. #2

    mac57's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location
    St. Somewhere
    Posts
    4,560
    Specs:
    iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, 256 GB SSD, 2 TB HDD, 8 GB RAM
    You can run programs from almost ANYWHERE. For most programs, "installing" is simply the act of copying the file to a common folder available to all users on the machine, namely "Applications". However, you can usually run the program's .app file from anywhere. This includes your external HDD.

    The overall impact is that the program is only available when the external hard drive is plugged in, and of course, it will not show up in your Applications folder when you type the ever so convenient CMD+A.

    Note that there are a FEW exceptions to this. Some programs do have installers and have a slightly more complex installation mechanism, but the above is a good 99% generalization.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  3. #3


    Member Since
    May 30, 2007
    Location
    Ivanovo, Russia
    Posts
    169
    Specs:
    2.16GHz Macbook Pro, 2GB RAM, OSX v10.5
    Thanks for the advice

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