2 hard disks installed in MBP, switch between them before startup?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by djbrantrandall, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. djbrantrandall macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2015
    Late 2011 MBP 2.4 i5, 8GB RAM, 500 HDD

    Here's what I want to have:
    1TB SSD (installed in main drive bay) with nothing but OSX and DJ Software running on it with my music library, so it is perfectly clean, nothing else that could possibly influence or affect it....ie. downloaded software from internet, etc.
    My existing 500GB HDD (installed with an adapter into the optical drive), where I continue to use it as my primary drive with all my existing software, files, etc.(everything that potentially slows it down, or in worst case infects it).

    I want to use my 500GB 99% of the time, and always boot to that when I start up, and use it as normal. Then when I have a gig, I want to start up my MBP, and choose to boot from the 1TB SSD, and simultaneously turn the old HDD off, so the two essentially never have a way of "talking with each other".

    Essentially like if I were to flip a light switch on the side of my computer telling it which drive I wanted to use that day.
    I don't want to choose one to boot from, and then have to eject the other once the machine is up and running. I'm trying to have the one I'm not booting up as "dead" but still physically installed in my machine.
    My whole agenda is trying to keep my DJ software SSD drive whistle clean and perfect, where it never interacts with the other drive.

    Is there anyway to accomplish this without physically removing and installing the drives? I don't think removing my back panel and swapping drives daily is too great of an idea. Thanks for any advice, I'm stumped.
  2. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    Use the option key when you startup to select the boot drive. After the machine starts, eject the disk you don't want to use. You say you don't want to do this, but this is the way to achieve what you want--the only other way is to put the drives in external cases and only connect one at a time.
  3. djbrantrandall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2015
    When I do that, isn't the drive I ejected actually still "on" in essence? meaning that it could be affected say a worst case scenario virus? ( I know Mac's are way less susceptible to viruses, but just worst case scenario)?? Or is it essentially Dead at that point and not able to be affected by anything else on the other HDD?
  4. chabig, Jun 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015

    chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    An unmounted disk isn't part of the file system, so it's logically disconnected and cannot be modified.
  5. djbrantrandall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2015
    Cool, thank you very much, for giving me an answer, been trying to figure that out for a while now with nothing to show for it.. I appreciate it
  6. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I'd swap the drives. With the HDD in the optical bay you lose the sudden motion sensor protection for the spinning drive. The SSD doesn't need this protection.

    You can ignore this comment if the 2011 doesn't have SATA 6G in the optical bay as it's preferable to have the SSD on that interface.
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    So you're basically wanting to install 1 OS per disk?

    I'm sorry to be a bit blunt but that's kinda dumb and completely negates the benefit of having your SSD when you're running on the other disk.

    Why is it that you want to do this? SSD's do not suffer from slowdowns as they fill up nearly as much as mechanical hard drives do. You'd be hard pressed to notice any difference at all in performance during normal use. Perhaps you could in an artificial benchmark, but those don't really represent reality.
  8. nexusdroid26 macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2015
    i have 2 hdd running all the time the main one in the main bay is my 240gb ssd which has the os on and the programs i use and a 750gb drive in my optical bay which is idle storage as long as you pick the main drive for the os it will boot into that one only, also when i switch my mac on it powers up both drives but only boots into the sad.
  9. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 603

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    There are no virus' in the wild for OSX, so that is a mood point. And in any case you do have a backup (I hope, because anything else would be incredibly stupid if you care about your work).

    And I agree with everyone else - When you have an SSD in the machine, use it, otherwise it would be a waste. Your proposed scenario is pointless.

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8 June 27, 2015