Booting from extrnl SSD: Applications?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Ben777, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. Ben777 macrumors member

    Ben777

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    #1
    Please, help me to understand.

    I bought external SSD drive for my iMac late 2012.

    So I have to options, right?

    Option 1. Cloning all content of iMac (OS, Applications and whatever else I want) and transferring it to SSD. In that case all software is on SSD.

    Option 2. Installing only OS on SSD, then booting from SSD. In this case - what do I do with Applications? Should I leave them on Mac HD? Isn't the point of external SSD, that all software is on SSD?

    Couldn't find this simple answer anywhere on the internet...

    Also, which option do you personally recommend? Or are they just the same?

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    You can do whatever you want, and it's not the same, no. The data on the SSD will be fast, the spinner will be slow.
    If you install the OS on the SSD but keep everything else on an HDD, the OS features will load quickly and the other elements more slowly.

    If you have a third place to store data you don't want to lose, I'd actually recommend making it a Fusion Drive so the OS just manages it on its own
     
  3. Ben777 thread starter macrumors member

    Ben777

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    #3
    So the only relatively painless way to install everything to external SSD is cloning the HD?
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #4

    Depends what you want on there - if it's just your software and not media, you can just copy over the Applications folder
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    Set it up this way:

    Put your OS, apps, and accounts* on the SSD.

    * Leave "large libraries" (such as movies, music and pictures) behind on the internal HDD. They "don't need speed". You can set up your apps (such as iTunes, Photos, etc.) to "reference" the libraries on the internal drive, instead of on the SSD.

    The idea is to keep the SSD "lean and clean" so it will always run at its best.

    IF you "can fit everything" onto the SSD, then you could just "clone" the contents of the internal drive to the SSD using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.
    But again, you don't want the SSD getting "too full". I'd want at least 20% of "free space" for "operating room"...
     
  6. sergeyz macrumors member

    sergeyz

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    Russia
    #6
    Usually you do not need a lot of time to reinstall all the applications that you have. In fact, I had the same alternatives, and finally decided to reinstall the macOS and applications on the SSD. The media files are still on the hard drive, and I'm very happy with this configuration.
     
  7. Ben777, Feb 27, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018

    Ben777 thread starter macrumors member

    Ben777

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    #7
    Amazing! Never thought of simply copying Application folder to external drive!

    And so:

    1. Install OS on external SSD.

    2. Copy Applications folder to SSD.

    Should I delete Applications folder from Mac HD to make sure only Applications from SSD is in use?

    I mean, should I copy Applications or move them completely onto external SSD?

    Thanks, guys, this forum is amazing.
     
  8. sergeyz macrumors member

    sergeyz

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    #8
    As for me, I'm not sure that simply copying the Applications folder will allow all installed applications to function without any problems. Especially if they had their own installation packages
     
  9. Ben777 thread starter macrumors member

    Ben777

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    Jun 24, 2013
    #9
    So then:

    1. 1. Install OS on external SSD.

    2. Install Applications (at least those with installing packages) onto external SSD.

    Right?
     
  10. sergeyz macrumors member

    sergeyz

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    #10
    1. Yes
    2. I would reinstall all applications onto external SSD from scratch
     
  11. Ben777 thread starter macrumors member

    Ben777

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    Jun 24, 2013
    #11
    Thanks!
     
  12. sergeyz macrumors member

    sergeyz

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    #12
    3. And I would leave the "old" macOS and applications on the built-in HDD intact for a while. Just to make sure that everything goes right
     
  13. Ben777 thread starter macrumors member

    Ben777

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    Jun 24, 2013
    #13
    How to install Apple applications onto external SSD? If I open App store, it doesn't allow to install applications that I already have on my iMac, only "Open". Should I drag/copy those onto SSD?
     
  14. sergeyz macrumors member

    sergeyz

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    #14
    You need to boot from an external SSD
     
  15. Ben777 thread starter macrumors member

    Ben777

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  16. sergeyz macrumors member

    sergeyz

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  17. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #17
    In my opinion:

    Best: Install OS and applications fresh onto the SSD. Either copy your personal files over (media, documents, etc), or keep them on the HDD. Fresh and clean gets rid of all the cruft, but you will have to do the legwork for installation and setting preferences.

    Second Best: Install the OS fresh onto the SSD. Use Migration Assistant to move everything over so you get to retain all of your installed software and settings.

    Meh: Clone the HDD to the SSD. HDD and SDD structure are optimized differently, so this is not ideal. But it will work provided there is enough space on the SSD.
     
  18. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #18
    Cloning will work just fine.

    If you use the internal drive as the backup, be aware whenever an update comes along, it will load and install to the internal first for some reason. On reboot it will then install on the external SSD.
     
  19. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #19
    If you clone to the external SSD, that will work fine. However, two caveats:

    1) If it's an old install, it may have a lot of cruft that will slow the system down. Clean installs of both the OS and applications are usually faster.

    2) You need to have a big enough SSD. And by big enough I mean you should have lots of space left over. If you install say 230 GB onto a 256 GB drive, that is a great way to slow the thing down, and it also gives you no room to grow.

    That is not true. I ran external SSD for over a year, with the internal drive as a backup. OS updates only installed on the external SSD. Note though that I had chosen the external drive as the Startup Disk in the System Preferences. I don't know if that helped.
     
  20. davidmartindale macrumors regular

    davidmartindale

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    #20
    FYI if you're using USB to connect that SSD you may not find the performance you're looking for. If you're using Thunderbolt it will be better but still not anywhere close to having an internally installed SSD.
     
  21. sergeyz macrumors member

    sergeyz

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    #21
    In my case (USB connected SSD) the speed is 420/420 MB/s according to Blackmagic Disk Speed Test.
     
  22. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #22
    I also had the external SSD as the boot drive and all updates went to the internal first up.
     
  23. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #23
    nambucca wrote:
    "If you use the internal drive as the backup, be aware whenever an update comes along, it will load and install to the internal first for some reason. On reboot it will then install on the external SSD."

    Absolutely, positively INCORRECT.

    As I've often mentioned here, I've been booting and running a 2012 Mini for FIVE YEARS from an external SSD.

    EVERY software update, has updated the SSD.
    No exceptions.
     
  24. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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  25. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    Horsens, Denmark
    #25
    There's a bit of misinformation about a few things here

    First off, yes, applications that have elements outside of the Applications folder aren't promised to work if you just copy over the Applications folder - however, all apps from the App Store, and most other apps per my experience work just fine if you just copy over their .app bundle

    Second, regarding the different structure between SSDs and HDDs - that's managed by the SSD controller, and computers communicate with the drives in identical manners.

    Third, regarding connection speeds - USB isn't uniformly slower than Thunderbolt. That depends on the revision, i.e USB 3.1 v Thunderbolt 1 or whatever; it also varies depending on what drive we're specifically talking about, and crucially the question depth and transfer requirements. Thunderbolt is much, much better when it comes to small read/write, whereas USB 3.1 gen 2 can easily max out most SATA based SSDs in pure bandwidth.
     

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26 February 27, 2018