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Old Oct 19, 2013, 04:45 PM   #1
mikegml
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Home Folder Location after SSD Install

I've got a working cloned SSD ready to install into my mini, but I'd like advice on which way to go about moving my home folder to the second drive leaving the SSD with just the OS and apps. But do I need a home folder at all? If you think I do then please say why.

I've just come from PC and I've always had the OS and data on separate drives or partitions, this has saved my a** a few times. I've still not got my head around how the mac is structured yet but in windows I didn't have to move any 'home' folders. I just made a new folder on the non-OS drive and put everything in that. If I do the same with the mini will it lead to any weirdness.

Forget about any backup problems, I will have at least two external drives being backed up all the time, I may use Time Machine or some other app for this. I'm looking at this from an everyday point of use.

I've looked up how to move the home folder and it seems a real PITA to me, maybe more trouble than it's worth
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Old Oct 19, 2013, 04:56 PM   #2
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Just move your iTunes Library and you will save TONS of space. However is not easy to do drag/drop so use the iTunes itself to move it. Just use the steps in the blog post How to move an iTunes library to an external drive.
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Old Oct 19, 2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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I'll definitely move that, but itunes doesn't bother me much, I'm much more concerned with other stuff.
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Old Oct 19, 2013, 06:40 PM   #4
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I wouldn't move the target of the Home Folder. Too complicated. Just move the location/target of the primary files within the App its self.

Almost all apps allow you to change the location of where the primary usage files are stored (i.e. database).

Dropbox: Under 'Advanced' settings.

iTunes: under Preferences>Advanced.

iPhoto: Make sure the icon is on the Dock (but not open). Then hold down the option key while clicking the iPhoto icon. Hold the option key until a window comes up. Choose 'Other Library' and the new location.

General files: Just move them.

Apps: Leave them on the SSD. Why would you want them to run slow?
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Old Oct 19, 2013, 07:06 PM   #5
mikegml
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I wouldn't move the target of the Home Folder. Too complicated. Just move the location/target of the primary files within the App its self.

Almost all apps allow you to change the location of where the primary usage files are stored (i.e. database).

Dropbox: Under 'Advanced' settings.

iTunes: under Preferences>Advanced.

iPhoto: Make sure the icon is on the Dock (but not open). Then hold down the option key while clicking the iPhoto icon. Hold the option key until a window comes up. Choose 'Other Library' and the new location.

General files: Just move them.

Apps: Leave them on the SSD. Why would you want them to run slow?

This is along the lines I was thinking. It's how I did it in Windows, just point stuff to where you want it to go.

I have top level image editing apps and don't give two doughnuts for iphoto, in fact I'll delete it if I can. I don't like itunes much either but I need it for my iphone.

I've no intention of moving the apps, the whole point of the SSD is to get them apps kickin butt.
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Old Oct 20, 2013, 02:22 AM   #6
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Have a look at this web article. It explaines how to move the folder to a different drive.

http://macs.about.com/od/diyguidespr...w-Location.htm
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Old Oct 20, 2013, 06:44 AM   #7
mikegml
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Have a look at this web article. It explaines how to move the folder to a different drive.

http://macs.about.com/od/diyguidespr...w-Location.htm
Thanks.

I've seen that one, still seems a bit of a PITA.

However even in windows I don't use the regular folders and libraries as given by windows; way back when I moved all data to a separate location I simply made one folder and 'everything' went into that.

I created folders for pictures, programs (apps as they're now called), music, word docs', etc inside that folder.

It's real simple, just one more folder level, I don't need libraries (windows libraries that is) it also makes backups simple as there is only one folder to backup.

I'll stick with that system and see how it fits in with 'planet mac' for now.
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Old Oct 20, 2013, 09:58 AM   #8
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[[ But do I need a home folder at all? If you think I do then please say why. ]]

Of course you need a home folder.

It does more than store your files. It contains your account, your prefs, your support files, your email, etc. I don't think you can even get to the finder (at least get to it with your account name and identity) without having a home folder (again, which serves as the "container" for all your account-related stuff).
Much of this is stored in home/library, which you may not be able to see unless you make it visible (Apple now makes this folder invisible by default, for some reason).
But the things inside are essential for normal operation.

Having said that...
You DON'T need to keep such things as images, videos, data documents, etc. _in_ your home folder. They can be kept anywhere.

I do this myself.
I keep no music in my "Music" folder
I keep no movies in my "Movies" folder
The only pics I keep in my "Pictures" folder are desktop images.

I maintain virtually ALL my data files on a separate (partitioned) volume. My reasons are that this makes backing up my data (the most important stuff you have) very quick and easy.

Again, you DO need to maintain the home folder (and the other folders inside it, such as "Music", "Movies", "Documents", "Pictures", etc.). I believe these exist (to the OS) as more than just "simple folders". They are actually "symbolic links" -- more involved to create than just simply making a new folder/directory.
But -- you don't really need to keep anything INSIDE of those folders.

Your actual files can be located anywhere you wish.

Last edited by Fishrrman; Oct 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM.
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Old Oct 20, 2013, 10:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikegml View Post
I've just come from PC and I've always had the OS and data on separate drives or partitions, this has saved my a** a few times. I've still not got my head around how the mac is structured yet but in windows I didn't have to move any 'home' folders. I just made a new folder on the non-OS drive and put everything in that. If I do the same with the mini will it lead to any weirdness.
The division of user domain (home folder) and system folders are what "saves your a**" on OS X.
System files are in one place, user files are in another, and your user account has permission to save files in the user home, and doesn't have permission to save in other locations on the system disk (without authorisation).
Of course, you can keep document files on any external volumes you like: but your user home is a special place where some things need to be.
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Old Oct 20, 2013, 11:26 AM   #10
mikegml
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Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
[[ But do I need a home folder at all? If you think I do then please say why. ]]

Of course you need a home folder.

It does more than store your files. It contains your account, your prefs, your support files, your email, etc. I don't think you can even get to the finder (at least get to it with your account name and identity) without having a home folder (again, which serves as the "container" for all your account-related stuff).
Much of this is stored in home/library, which you may not be able to see unless you make it visible (Apple now makes this folder invisible by default, for some reason).
But the things inside are essential for normal operation.

Having said that...
You DON'T need to keep such things as images, videos, data documents, etc. _in_ your home folder. They can be kept anywhere.

I do this myself.
I keep no music in my "Music" folder
I keep no movies in my "Movies" folder
The only pics I keep in my "Pictures" folder are desktop images.

I maintain virtually ALL my data files on a separate (partitioned) volume. My reasons are that this makes backing up my data (the most important stuff you have) very quick and easy.

Again, you DO need to maintain the home folder (and the other folders inside it, such as "Music", "Movies", "Documents", "Pictures", etc.). I believe these exist (to the OS) as more than just "simple folders". They are actually "symbolic links" -- more involved to create than just simply making a new folder/directory.
But -- you don't really need to keep anything INSIDE of those folders.

Your actual files can be located anywhere you wish.

Your own arrangement seems more or less exactly what I proposed. The 'home' folder can stay where it is, I had no plans to delete it. Just like the docs', music, etc, folders on the 'C' drive in Windows are still there. I've not deleted them but they're empty.

In Windows they don't contain accounts and prefs' so I could dump them but I've just left them sitting there.

Last edited by mikegml; Oct 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM.
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Old Oct 20, 2013, 11:40 AM   #11
mikegml
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Originally Posted by benwiggy View Post
The division of user domain (home folder) and system folders are what "saves your a**" on OS X.
System files are in one place, user files are in another, and your user account has permission to save files in the user home, and doesn't have permission to save in other locations on the system disk (without authorisation).
Of course, you can keep document files on any external volumes you like: but your user home is a special place where some things need to be.

See my reply to Fishrrman, I'm happy to let the 'home' folder sit right there all on it's little lonesome with not a file in the world. I might chuck it a jpeg or two now and then.

If the system files and user files are on the same drive and it goes down then I assume my a** would be doomed but my data elsewhere would be OK right?
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Old Oct 20, 2013, 04:01 PM   #12
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Well, I installed the cloned SSD into the mac and everything works great.

I can start installing some of my apps and also transfer my 370Gb worth of files over.

Someone mentioned in another post that I should format the second drive as 'ex-fat' as this would make it accessible by OS-X and Windows.

It's formatted at present of course as 'Mac OS Extended Journaled' whatever that it. Is this no good if I plan for windows to access the files as well as Mac (which I do) ?
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Old Oct 20, 2013, 06:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mikegml View Post
Well, I installed the cloned SSD into the mac and everything works great.

I can start installing some of my apps and also transfer my 370Gb worth of files over.

Someone mentioned in another post that I should format the second drive as 'ex-fat' as this would make it accessible by OS-X and Windows.

It's formatted at present of course as 'Mac OS Extended Journaled' whatever that it. Is this no good if I plan for windows to access the files as well as Mac (which I do) ?
Mac OS Extended Journaled (HFS+) is the default fomat as NTFS is to Windows. Macs can read (not write) NTFS, but Windows cannot read or write on HFS+.

If you want a drive that can be read (and written) on both Mac and Windows then it needs to be formatted ex-fat.

Alternately you can use say Parallels (with Windows) on the Mac and then you can use NTFS on a drive and read and write through Windows.

Personally I would try to use HFS+ for all drives that hold files that are relevant to the every day operation of OS X. I would only use ex-fat on some sort of multi-use backup drive.

If you are really keep on using Windows and Mac then get Parallels and install Windows on it then everything will work seemlessly. You can also build proper NTFS drives on Parallels, while you can only read such drives otherwise.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 02:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mikegml View Post
Well, I installed the cloned SSD into the mac and everything works great.

I can start installing some of my apps and also transfer my 370Gb worth of files over.

Someone mentioned in another post that I should format the second drive as 'ex-fat' as this would make it accessible by OS-X and Windows.

It's formatted at present of course as 'Mac OS Extended Journaled' whatever that it. Is this no good if I plan for windows to access the files as well as Mac (which I do) ?
If the drive is formatted to ex-fat, Time Machine won't work with it.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 02:43 PM   #15
mikegml
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Mac OS Extended Journaled (HFS+) is the default fomat as NTFS is to Windows. Macs can read (not write) NTFS, but Windows cannot read or write on HFS+.

If you want a drive that can be read (and written) on both Mac and Windows then it needs to be formatted ex-fat.

Alternately you can use say Parallels (with Windows) on the Mac and then you can use NTFS on a drive and read and write through Windows.

Personally I would try to use HFS+ for all drives that hold files that are relevant to the every day operation of OS X. I would only use ex-fat on some sort of multi-use backup drive.

If you are really keep on using Windows and Mac then get Parallels and install Windows on it then everything will work seemlessly. You can also build proper NTFS drives on Parallels, while you can only read such drives otherwise.
Your third paragraph has confused me a little there. Let's see if I have this right.

If I install windows on the mac say, via boot camp then I'd have to format the second drive (where all my data would be) in ex-fat, then mac and windows will be able to access/read/write to the files on that drive, but TM wouldn't work (I could live without it, but I'd like it)

If I use parallels (which I may do) then I can leave the drive just how it is. But How would windows access and use the files on the drive?

You mention I can "use NTFS on a drive" (which drive?) and then read/write through windows? Are you saying I'd need another drive for to duplicate all the files on the second drive?

By the way, I plan to do normal everyday stuff plus quite heavy photo and video editing if this makes any difference. I play no games. Plus it will be windows 7 that would be installed.

Last edited by mikegml; Oct 21, 2013 at 02:51 PM.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 03:59 PM   #16
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Your third paragraph has confused me a little there. Let's see if I have this right.

If I install windows on the mac say, via boot camp then I'd have to format the second drive (where all my data would be) in ex-fat, then mac and windows will be able to access/read/write to the files on that drive, but TM wouldn't work (I could live without it, but I'd like it)

If I use parallels (which I may do) then I can leave the drive just how it is. But How would windows access and use the files on the drive?

You mention I can "use NTFS on a drive" (which drive?) and then read/write through windows? Are you saying I'd need another drive for to duplicate all the files on the second drive?

By the way, I plan to do normal everyday stuff plus quite heavy photo and video editing if this makes any difference. I play no games. Plus it will be windows 7 that would be installed.
To simplify I will outline how I suggest you do it.

So you will have a an SSD and HDD installed internally in your mini right. So run OS X on the SSD and keep the HDD for what ever. Keep both formatted in OSX default which is journalled (HFS+)

Install Parallels and run Windows from there. You may keep the Windows Parallels ost file (the Windows OS) on either the SSD or HDD depending on how fast you want it to run. You can then acces your SSD and HDD in Windows Explorer even through they are HSF+, and you can ovbviously still access them in OS X. This is the easiets way. No ex fat, not NTFS.

If you have an NTFS drive you plug it in access it through Windows in Parallels. If you have an OS X HFS+ drive you can access it through OS X or Parallels.

Parallels is the easiest way if you still want to use Windows regularly and you need cross-OS access to files on both NTFS and HFS+.

EDIT: Sorry the Parallels file extension for the Windows file is pvm not ost. Ost is MS Outlook.

Last edited by opinio; Oct 21, 2013 at 04:21 PM.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 05:27 PM   #17
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Phew! I think I've got that.

I've checked out Parallels, it looks very good, seems the way to go.

I'd install windows on the SSD, I want it as fast as possible.

Lets see if I've got this.........

There's no need to format the HDD to ex-fat because I'm running windows 'via Parallels' and not from a boot camp install right?

If I've an NTFS drive full of data either internal or external then I'd load it via windows/parallel so that windows and OS X can handle it. (If I loaded it via OS X then it could read it but not write to it).

An HFS+ drive either internal or external can be loaded to OS X obviously, but can also be handled by windows because it's running 'from Parallels' right?
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