Running OS Off External TB SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Kirkle, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #1
    So originally I was going to get an SSD installed in the 27" iMac, but from what I've read on this site, this will not be an option (other than the insane $1300 option).

    Since the new iMacs are all friction-stirred up, I doubt it will be possible for me to replace the drive on my own, correct? So I have the choice of either sticking with the HDD, or spending the extra $250 and getting Fusion. Well, for $250 (or there abouts) I could set up a small external TB SSD and run my system off of that, and this would give me the option of easily upgrading my SSD in the future (as SSD prices drop in two or three years).

    Any thoughts? Would this work? Anyone else thinking the same thing?
     
  2. justperry, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    macrumors 603

    justperry

    #2
    Just wait a few days for iFixit to open one up, My guess is that they will have the front glass attached with magnets as the old one, if this is the case it would not be to hard to exchange the internal HDD with a SSD.
     
  3. macrumors member

    Gascogne

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    Sweden
    #3
    I had the same idea and I'm curious about how it would work out? :)
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #4
    Kirkle, I've tried to research this myself, but I find it very hard to raise this information. From what I can gather, you have to install Windows 7 first on an internal drive, then clone it to an external drive. You can also install Windows 7 on a internal drive larger than 2.2gb, if the hard drive uses GTP (GUID partition table). Still, there are a lot of unknowns here and potential show stoppers.

    Right now I actually contemplating getting that insanely priced 768gb option. I refuse to run my Windows 7 partition off a slow HD in 2012/13. The most annoying thing is that I don't need anymore than 512gb internal storage, but Apple won't give us that option (which would be much more affordable).
     
  5. xgman, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    macrumors 68040

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #5
    That is exactly what I will do. I already have a faster larger SSD. I will put it in an icy dock, strip a Western Digital My Thunderbolt duo of it's stock drives and boot from that. First I will set up the internal drive using my Time Machine backup, and then clone it with Carbon Copy Cloner to the TB SSD and the set the OSX to boot from that drive. It should be as fast as if it were an internal SSD.
     
  6. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #6
    Where did the OP mention he wants to run Windows 7 on an external disk???

    My guess is that he wants to run OS X on an external, and that is as easy as installing OS X on that external disk, it will boot without problems.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #7
    I was in a hurry, and didn't read the post properly. "OS" is a bit vauge, but I'm pretty sure the OP is referring to OSX. I was talking about the limitation with external drives in boot camp. Please disregard my answer. Oops. :)
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #8
    No! You MUST be held accountable for your actions. Punishment will be that you must read 4 posts regarding how the new imac is too thin and 3 posts about how the imac has no optical drive per day for two weeks!!! :D
     
  9. Kirkle, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #9
    Thanks for all the info, guys.

    Here is what I'm thinking: I'll wait, as JustPerry suggested, until there is some good information about how it opens up. If it can be opened without dividing by zero then I may wait and replace it myself; I don't want to pay $2500+ for an AIO.

    If it can't be replaced (short of using a blowtorch), I will look into running the OS (yes, I'm talking about Mac OSX) directly off a Thunderbolt SSD... even though this does kind of run contrary to the idea of an "All-In-One."

    I know that such comments are useless, but I just wish that Apple would make HDDs easily replaceable. It is the single internal component that a user is likely to replace over the life of his computer.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    THOPMedia

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    #10
    Opening this one is pretty likely to void the warranty Im guessing. Just something to keep in mind.
     
  11. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #11
    I purchased a refurb LaCie ThunderBolt "Little Big Disk" dual 2.5" RAID-0 hard disk and stripped out the hard drives and installed a pair of 512GB Crucial M4 SSDs configured as RAID-0. I am thinking of using this tiny external ThunderBolt drive as my home folder with all my personal data kept outside of the new iMac.

    Looks pretty good to me!


    Here are the test results (booting the LaCie off of a MacBook Pro):
     

    Attached Files:

  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #12
    Looks like the write speed is about 150MB/s faster then a single 512GB M4, which is nice. The read speed is still around the same as a single. My guess is that ThunderBolt maxes out around 500MB/s. I have a 256GB M4, a 512GB M4, and a Kingston 3k 120GB. They all max out between 400-500MB/s Read with the Segate TB adapter. I run the 512GB internal with SATA III and it's a little faster on reads then the TB adapter. Writes are the same as the TB adapter at 250MB/s.
     
  13. macrumors member

    Gascogne

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    Sweden
    #13
    An odd question perhaps.

    The scenario is the following:
    os x on the external tb ssd
    boot camp -> windows 8 on the internal drive

    Is is possible to a partition a section on the external drive so windows 8 can use it for example games/programs?
     
  14. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #14
    If the external is a single drive, yes it can be partitioned with OS X on one partition and Windows NTFS on the other for data. In my case, it is a RAID-0 drive pair using Apple software RAID, so it can't be used for Windows. However, I could configure the 2 drives in the enclosure as separate drives and partition each drive as I wished.

    Before I raided the SSD drives, one of them contained a dual boot system of OS X and Windows7. I tried to alt-key boot to the external windows drive (I had 2 window icons to choose from), but I think it was always going to the internal BootCamp Windows on the MacBook Pro. So, while booting Windows on an external drive still seems to be questionable, I see no problems having an external Windows data drive for games, etc. and plan to set up my system to do so.

    If anyone knows of a problem with this ... please chime in ... :)



    -howard
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #15
    I hear you on opening up the computer.

    I'm guessing the screen will come off somewhat easily; it's the only way an Apple technician could access an iMac that is brought in for repair. In fact, it might be easier than the current iMac since the glass and screen are laminated together. We'll see shortly when iFixit gets their hands on one.

    One more thing: having just swapped out the stock HD for an SSD on my (new to me) 2010 iMac, I would certainly try to do the same thing on one of the new iMacs if I were in your shoes. Beats paying Apple a truckload of money for an SSD from the factory.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #16
    Boot from an ext SSD using TB expansion chassis

    I put the OWC Accelsior PCIe card in the Helios Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis. You can boot from it and the large block transfer speeds I measured were near 700MB/s.

    You can also do the same thing with the Apricorn Velocity X2 PCIe card and the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD but it's not quite as fast at 500MB/s.

    http://barefeats.com/hard156.html
     
  17. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #17
    iFixit most likely will get one on Friday and at least wait until they found out, I really don't believe Apple would be that stupid to glue the front panel, and if I am right and use magnets (Or a click system) it could be even easier than the last one since the Display is glued to the glass.
    If I look at the photo's Apple themselves have on their site it seems to be better than the last one
     
  18. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #18
    I suppose it is too much to hope that the front screen will simply pull out, with the display of course bonded to it (no dust issues), and the electronics mounted to the back of the screen assembly ... just leaving the empty back shell on the stand. :cool:

    It could even be powered up when pulled open for troubleshooting. ;)


    Nah ... I am just dreaming ... :)
     
  19. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #19
    Ram NOT soldered, is replaceable in 21", opened easy as before, yay:D
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #20
    Owc just tore a 21" apart. Check out their blog.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    imacanon

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #21

    Link
     
  22. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #22
    Would it be possible to use the Accelsior as part of a Fusion drive? Does the on board RAID-0 configuration prevent using it as a coreStorage drive? This would be internal to a Mac Pro.

    Thanks...
     

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