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Old Feb 1, 2013, 06:56 AM   #51
Mike in Kansas
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Now take the next step and create a Fusion Drive array with your internal SSD and external FW800. I have a 2008 iMac that I put an SSD into last year. I keep everything on it except my Users folder, which resides on the FW800 drive. A couple of weeks ago I decided to "merge" those 2 drives together to see how well they perform as a FusionDrive. It works great - better user experience than keeping them separate. OSX moves stuff around to optimize the performance of the machine. I now have a 2.24 GB Fusion Drive that acts basically like a huge SSD.

If you do this, just make sure you have backups of everything!
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 07:06 AM   #52
randyharris
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
Now take the next step and create a Fusion Drive array with your internal SSD and external FW800. I have a 2008 iMac that I put an SSD into last year. I keep everything on it except my Users folder, which resides on the FW800 drive. A couple of weeks ago I decided to "merge" those 2 drives together to see how well they perform as a FusionDrive. It works great - better user experience than keeping them separate. OSX moves stuff around to optimize the performance of the machine. I now have a 2.24 GB Fusion Drive that acts basically like a huge SSD.

If you do this, just make sure you have backups of everything!
Seems risky with one of the drives being external no?
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 07:42 AM   #53
Mike in Kansas
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Seems risky with one of the drives being external no?
How is it any more risky than using an internal drive? I guess you could knock it off the desk, or your cat could chew through the power cable, but other than that it's the same class of drive, just one is in an enclosure and one is in the machine itself. Actually, if/when the HDD drive fails, it will be easier to replace than one in the machine.

I both clone the FusionDrive weekly and back it up with TM, so I have redundant backups. I don't think it has any additional inherent risk to data loss than a complete internal system.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 07:20 PM   #54
Benjamin99
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
I both clone the FusionDrive weekly and back it up with TM, so I have redundant backups. I don't think it has any additional inherent risk to data loss than a complete internal system.
Have you tried to recover out of Time Machine this way? I am wondering how Time Machine would handle that recovery. Same question for any other recovery from backup? I am using TM and CCC (backed up to my Synology DS413j) and CrashPlan for online backup. I am about to create a fused drive in my iMac this weekend w/ a 128gb Samsung 840 Pro SSD and my orignal 500gb internal hdd. I am slightly concerned about restoring from backups with this setup. I assume that TM can handle the new Fusion drives in the new iMacs.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 07:39 PM   #55
Mike in Kansas
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Have you tried to recover out of Time Machine this way? I am wondering how Time Machine would handle that recovery. Same question for any other recovery from backup? I am using TM and CCC (backed up to my Synology DS413j) and CrashPlan for online backup. I am about to create a fused drive in my iMac this weekend w/ a 128gb Samsung 840 Pro SSD and my orignal 500gb internal hdd. I am slightly concerned about restoring from backups with this setup. I assume that TM can handle the new Fusion drives in the new iMacs.
I have not. However, I DID populate the FD with a clone of my original files, and that went fine. I have not tried to recover a single deleted file from either TM or my CCC clone. I may mess around this weekend to see how that goes.

My thinking is, is having a file possibly broken across multiple volumes even a problem? It's not like files are laid down on a disk in one contiguous group of blocks; the blocks can be all over the drive. That's what the GUID partition table does, right? It keeps track of where each block is in a file. Does it matter on what disks these blocks reside? Isn't that what a RAID 0 striped array does - split the file into blocks across different disks? I think FD is just a different implementation of RAID 0 and instead of the data at the block level alternating between drives, it is managed by the Core Storage processes.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 08:00 PM   #56
Benjamin99
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I have not. However, I DID populate the FD with a clone of my original files, and that went fine. I have not tried to recover a single deleted file from either TM or my CCC clone. I may mess around this weekend to see how that goes.

My thinking is, is having a file possibly broken across multiple volumes even a problem? It's not like files are laid down on a disk in one contiguous group of blocks; the blocks can be all over the drive. That's what the GUID partition table does, right? It keeps track of where each block is in a file. Does it matter on what disks these blocks reside? Isn't that what a RAID 0 striped array does - split the file into blocks across different disks? I think FD is just a different implementation of RAID 0 and instead of the data at the block level alternating between drives, it is managed by the Core Storage processes.
That sounds right. I have my TM backed up on my 4 disk NAS and RAID5, so that definitely has pieces all over the place. I have been able to make a full recovery from the TM volume on my NAS. Sounds like it shouldn't be an issue, but the FD is a new concept to me so I'm just trying to cover all the angles i can think of before diving in lol.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 08:40 PM   #57
Benjamin99
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I am still trying to weigh the benefits of an FD here as well, so any insight would be very helpful. I have 2 situations:

1. I have my 2011 iMac i5 - home use, mainly photos, movies, net, email, etc.. installing 128gb SSD this weekend as well as using the internal 500gb factory drive. I also have an 8TB NAS setup and connected on home network. I am using the NAS for backups, movies, archiving photos (23k photos in iPhoto library..). I am thinking the FD would benefit by making the internal drives appear as one, and would also make things a little simpler for my wife who uses this machine (don't want her trying to decide where to put things).

2. I am "building" a 2008 iMac 2.4ghz for my mother. She will be a new Mac user, coming from windows, light home usage similar to mine above (no NAS). I have already installed a 250gb SSD in her machine, and maxed out the ram, and attaching a 1TB external by firewire 800. I am trying to determine if it would be simpler for her as well if I "fused" these drives. I would have preferred an internal secondary drive for her, but alas not in the cards with the 2008 model...

I know this is something i have to decide on my own, and is really more of a "preference", but just wanted to hear of any insight.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 09:01 PM   #58
randyharris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin99 View Post
I am still trying to weigh the benefits of an FD here as well, so any insight would be very helpful. I have 2 situations:

1. I have my 2011 iMac i5 - home use, mainly photos, movies, net, email, etc.. installing 128gb SSD this weekend as well as using the internal 500gb factory drive. I also have an 8TB NAS setup and connected on home network. I am using the NAS for backups, movies, archiving photos (23k photos in iPhoto library..). I am thinking the FD would benefit by making the internal drives appear as one, and would also make things a little simpler for my wife who uses this machine (don't want her trying to decide where to put things).

2. I am "building" a 2008 iMac 2.4ghz for my mother. She will be a new Mac user, coming from windows, light home usage similar to mine above (no NAS). I have already installed a 250gb SSD in her machine, and maxed out the ram, and attaching a 1TB external by firewire 800. I am trying to determine if it would be simpler for her as well if I "fused" these drives. I would have preferred an internal secondary drive for her, but alas not in the cards with the 2008 model...

I know this is something i have to decide on my own, and is really more of a "preference", but just wanted to hear of any insight.

Thanks!
For your 2011 iMac I would ABSOLUTELY create a Fusion Drive on them!

I also have a 2008, and I've decided that while the single logical drive would be great, I'm just simply not comfortable in creating that single logical drive with an external drive as part of the equation. I'll keep mine setup with the 256GB internal SSD and 3TB External FW800 and leave it at that.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 09:06 PM   #59
Mike in Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin99 View Post
I am still trying to weigh the benefits of an FD here as well, so any insight would be very helpful. I have 2 situations:

1. I have my 2011 iMac i5 - home use, mainly photos, movies, net, email, etc.. installing 128gb SSD this weekend as well as using the internal 500gb factory drive. I also have an 8TB NAS setup and connected on home network. I am using the NAS for backups, movies, archiving photos (23k photos in iPhoto library..). I am thinking the FD would benefit by making the internal drives appear as one, and would also make things a little simpler for my wife who uses this machine (don't want her trying to decide where to put things).

2. I am "building" a 2008 iMac 2.4ghz for my mother. She will be a new Mac user, coming from windows, light home usage similar to mine above (no NAS). I have already installed a 250gb SSD in her machine, and maxed out the ram, and attaching a 1TB external by firewire 800. I am trying to determine if it would be simpler for her as well if I "fused" these drives. I would have preferred an internal secondary drive for her, but alas not in the cards with the 2008 model...

I know this is something i have to decide on my own, and is really more of a "preference", but just wanted to hear of any insight.

Thanks!
I think turning the drives of your machine into an FD is a no-brainer. If it doesn't work out to your liking, you can always separate them and go back to a traditional SSD/HDD arrangement, and manage the files manually. But once you get used to having the OS manage them for you, it may be hard to go back!

Regarding the one for your mother - only you know your mother. The issue with having the FD spanned across an external drive is that if that drive isn't plugged in, isn't turned on, or dies, she won't be able to boot. At all. Dead in the water. However, if you have it set up in a traditional SSD internal and FW800 external arrangement, if the external drive has issues she'll still have a computer that works but she won't be able to access all of her files. And, does she even NEED the external drive? My wife and 17 year old son share a 2012 MBA with a 256GB SSD; they both have lots of pictures, lots of songs, and still have 100GB left on it. If they cleaned up their iPhoto libraries once in a while and didn't keep all of their Photostream images they'd probably get back another 50GB or so!

I would only be comfortable in having an external drive included in a FD array if I knew the person really knows their way around a Mac. Otherwise, I'd keep it as simple as possible.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 02:42 PM   #60
Benjamin99
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
I would only be comfortable in having an external drive included in a FD array if I knew the person really knows their way around a Mac. Otherwise, I'd keep it as simple as possible.
I was thinking that after I set her up w/ the FD setup, that it would be more simple for her? This way, she has the space of 1.2TB (rather than just 250GB), but to her it would be transparent that it was 2 drives, and would only look like 1? She lives less than a mile from me, so I am close for any type of maintenance or troubleshooting, plus am over there a few times a week (she is daycare for our toddler). Currently, she has a 350GB hdd on her current PC, mostly photos and music. I'm thinking she could get away w/ the 250GB SSD and external drive if I were to show her how to "archive" to the external...but I was hoping the FD setup would be easier and more transparent to her. May need to continue researching. But like you said, as long as I have good backups, I could always change setups if necessary.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 01:45 PM   #61
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Well, the SSD install in my 2011 iMac went pretty well. I am very disappointed with the "kit" I purchased from OWC to install. The SATA cable plug was too long and had to be "bent" and "wedged" in behind the logic board to fit - should have been a 90 degree plug. I will have to tear back into the iMac when the new one I ordered gets here, which is extremely annoying.

Creating the Fusion Drive was pretty easy after I initially reviewed and followed the following procedures (just for assurance)

http://www.macworld.com/article/2014...ion-drive.html

http://blog.macsales.com/15617-creat...n-fusion-drive

http://www.petralli.net/2012/10/anal...nal-hard-disk/

http://jollyjinx.tumblr.com/post/346...ince-apple-has

I had difficulty restoring from my Time Machine backup, not sure why but would get an error and had to restart. So I ended up booting from my CCC bootable drive I made (good thing!) and just used CCC to restore to my new FD. Worked perfectly.

As for my mom's iMac - I will probably take your advice and make her stick to the 250GB internal drive for daily use. I may use the external drive as her iPhoto library, or for archiving, and partitioning for creating weekly CCC clones (just in case this new SSD thing falls apart lol). She's also using CrashPlan online so we are covered from all angles
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 03:48 PM   #62
Mike in Kansas
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Originally Posted by Benjamin99 View Post
Well, the SSD install in my 2011 iMac went pretty well. I am very disappointed with the "kit" I purchased from OWC to install. The SATA cable plug was too long and had to be "bent" and "wedged" in behind the logic board to fit - should have been a 90 degree plug. I will have to tear back into the iMac when the new one I ordered gets here, which is extremely annoying.

Creating the Fusion Drive was pretty easy after I initially reviewed and followed the following procedures (just for assurance)

http://www.macworld.com/article/2014...ion-drive.html

http://blog.macsales.com/15617-creat...n-fusion-drive

http://www.petralli.net/2012/10/anal...nal-hard-disk/

http://jollyjinx.tumblr.com/post/346...ince-apple-has

I had difficulty restoring from my Time Machine backup, not sure why but would get an error and had to restart. So I ended up booting from my CCC bootable drive I made (good thing!) and just used CCC to restore to my new FD. Worked perfectly.

As for my mom's iMac - I will probably take your advice and make her stick to the 250GB internal drive for daily use. I may use the external drive as her iPhoto library, or for archiving, and partitioning for creating weekly CCC clones (just in case this new SSD thing falls apart lol). She's also using CrashPlan online so we are covered from all angles
Sounds like a productive day!
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24" 2008 iMac/2.8GHz/6GB/240GB SSD & 2TB FW800 HDD "Fused"
2GB TC; ATV 3; 32GB iPad 4; iPhone 5
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 03:13 PM   #63
randyharris
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After the successful install of a Samsung 830 256GB into my 2008 iMac, and putting my iTunes Library and Movies (iMovie) folders on an external FW800 drive… I'm going to update my dad's 2011 iMac to a Fusion Drive.

This guide seems to make the most sense to me of the several that I've read.

http://www.btobey.com/learn/imac-ssd-install.php

Just a single cable is needed, bought this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056OB8GK

And getting him the smaller and faster Samsung 840.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NHAF06

Hopefully it all goes well.

In order to get the recovery partition on the drive I'll likely do this order:

1) SuperDuper clone the current HDD to an external.
2) Install the SSD, making sure it and the HDD are both working, then
3) Create a Fusion Drive with coreStorage
4) Install Mountain Lion fresh onto the new Fusion Drive
5) Clone the original data from the external back to the new fusion drive.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 04:15 PM   #64
Mike in Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
After the successful install of a Samsung 830 256GB into my 2008 iMac, and putting my iTunes Library and Movies (iMovie) folders on an external FW800 drive… I'm going to update my dad's 2011 iMac to a Fusion Drive.

This guide seems to make the most sense to me of the several that I've read.

http://www.btobey.com/learn/imac-ssd-install.php

Just a single cable is needed, bought this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056OB8GK

And getting him the smaller and faster Samsung 840.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NHAF06

Hopefully it all goes well.

In order to get the recovery partition on the drive I'll likely do this order:

1) SuperDuper clone the current HDD to an external.
2) Install the SSD, making sure it and the HDD are both working, then
3) Create a Fusion Drive with coreStorage
4) Install Mountain Lion fresh onto the new Fusion Drive
5) Clone the original data from the external back to the new fusion drive.
I did this exact thing and did NOT get the recovery partition. I didn't realize this until I moved 700GB of data to the new FD. This may be one of the differences of having Disk Utility create a FD when it "sees" a broken FD arrangement on a 2012 Mini or iMac. It's been said that they have a different version of ML 10.8.2.

I have also read online that if I would have partitioned my FD to leave a 1GB partition free, I could have then installed the recovery volume by cloning it back from my old clone. I'm not too worried, as I have a 10.8.2 USB install key that I made and used to re-install ML. I'm wondering if I booted using Option-R initially it would have created the recover partition. In any case, you may want to read up on how to ensure you get a recovery partition when making your own FD.
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24" 2008 iMac/2.8GHz/6GB/240GB SSD & 2TB FW800 HDD "Fused"
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 04:23 PM   #65
randyharris
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
I did this exact thing and did NOT get the recovery partition.
The Developer of SuperDuper says that if you install Mountain Lion on top of your current install it will create a missing recovery partition.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:03 PM   #66
Benjamin99
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Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
I did this exact thing and did NOT get the recovery partition. I didn't realize this until I moved 700GB of data to the new FD. This may be one of the differences of having Disk Utility create a FD when it "sees" a broken FD arrangement on a 2012 Mini or iMac. It's been said that they have a different version of ML 10.8.2.

I have also read online that if I would have partitioned my FD to leave a 1GB partition free, I could have then installed the recovery volume by cloning it back from my old clone. I'm not too worried, as I have a 10.8.2 USB install key that I made and used to re-install ML. I'm wondering if I booted using Option-R initially it would have created the recover partition. In any case, you may want to read up on how to ensure you get a recovery partition when making your own FD.
I did the same as mike, but used CCC - did not get recovery partition. Was a little disappointed about that, but have a USB key as well so i'm not too worried.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:23 PM   #67
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On my late 2007 iMac I recently installed a spare OWC SSD and a 2.5" drive. The SSD being in a 3.5-2.5" adapter in place of the stock hard drive and the platter hard drive in place of the optical disc via a PATA/SATA caddy. I debated for a little while on whether to setup the fusion drive or not and ended up going for it. The process to setup the fusion drive was painless and i transferred some of my stuff back via a FW800 enclosure. I haven't had any issues and have been using it for about a month. Since i already had everything but the "data doubler" - which i got on amazon for ~$13.00 mounting was tricky as i couldnt use all 4 screws but i got it in securely - this was a cheap way to put some life back into my old iMac. I'm seeing read speeds in the 155-165 MB/s range and writes between 110-120 MB/s. I've noticed that when running the speed test the numbers will drop after its been running for a minute or two(my guess is due to OS X switching it to writing to the HD instead of SSD?).
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 08:39 PM   #68
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On my late 2007 iMac I recently installed a spare OWC SSD and a 2.5" drive. The SSD being in a 3.5-2.5" adapter in place of the stock hard drive and the platter hard drive in place of the optical disc via a PATA/SATA caddy. I debated for a little while on whether to setup the fusion drive or not and ended up going for it. The process to setup the fusion drive was painless and i transferred some of my stuff back via a FW800 enclosure. I haven't had any issues and have been using it for about a month. Since i already had everything but the "data doubler" - which i got on amazon for ~$13.00 mounting was tricky as i couldnt use all 4 screws but i got it in securely - this was a cheap way to put some life back into my old iMac. I'm seeing read speeds in the 155-165 MB/s range and writes between 110-120 MB/s. I've noticed that when running the speed test the numbers will drop after its been running for a minute or two(my guess is due to OS X switching it to writing to the HD instead of SSD?).
What kinds of speeds are you getting with the HDD in the PATA spot where your Superdrive was? I thought long and hard about doing that when I dropped in my SSD into the internal hard drive spot, but opted to just use a FW800 external drive instead for all my files and such. I use the Superdrive maybe 3X a year!
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2GB TC; ATV 3; 32GB iPad 4; iPhone 5
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 12:02 PM   #69
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What kinds of speeds are you getting with the HDD in the PATA spot where your Superdrive was? I thought long and hard about doing that when I dropped in my SSD into the internal hard drive spot, but opted to just use a FW800 external drive instead for all my files and such. I use the Superdrive maybe 3X a year!
My read and writes seem to drop into the high 50's MB/s after running a speed test for a few minutes.

I've got an external blu-ray drive hooked up to my Mac mini so on the rare occasion I need a optical drive I use the mini and use remote disc or copy the files to my mini since it stores most of my files anyway.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 07:29 AM   #70
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I'm late to the party, but that's only because I updated my 2008 iMac with a Samsung 840 SSD (250GB) just today. An SSD, even in an ageing machine, is well worth the money! The difference is staggering. No, my 2008 iMac is not quite as fast as my MBP with SSD installed, but things still load almost instantly. My disk speed test now looks like this:



This show that the slower SATA architecture inside the older iMac is the limiting factor - the SSD is maxing out the connection to the motherboard. So my decision to get the cheaper Samsung 840 model for the older machine was a wise one (I installed the faster Samsung 840 Pro inside my new 13" MBP, and in that machine the speeds are double what they are for the iMac. The 840 Pro would be wasted inside the ageing iMac though, since the iMac cannot take advantage of the seeds that it provides).

How fast is my iMac now? Well, before the upgrade it booted up in 1min 23.4 seconds. After the upgrade, the first boot-up took 22 seconds exactly. Photoshop CS6 now takes 2.6 seconds to load. Lightroom 4 loads in 3.7 seconds. The upgrade basically transformed the iMac into a new machine.

I'm very happy with my two "new" computers.
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Old Nov 27, 2013, 01:40 AM   #71
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My thinking is, is having a file possibly broken across multiple volumes even a problem? It's not like files are laid down on a disk in one contiguous group of blocks; the blocks can be all over the drive.
As far as I know, Time Machine does not care about the underlying drives as it is file level, not block level.
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Old Nov 27, 2013, 09:55 AM   #72
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Both my 2007 & 2008 were upgraded with a SSD istat Pro is showing no temperature reading - running Mavericks. Where did everyone place the sensor on their SSD?
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Old Jan 1, 2014, 03:39 PM   #73
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I thought Mavericks was going to be the last straw for my current iMac as I have been having numerous problems.

But I just upgraded my 2008 24" 3.06GB iMac with a Crucial480GB M500 SSD I used a ICY Dock SATA 2.5 to 3.5 convertor from Amazon which made the conversion very easy. That and an upgrade to from 4GB to 6GB next month will keep things going (fingers crossed) for another year or so at least. Would love a new iMac but just too much money.
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