Booting from ssd

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Meister, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I want to boot my 2012 macmini(500gb) from a usb3 sandisk Extreme500 (120gb).

    The 500gb hdd is pretty much full.
    I only want to move the OS and apps to the sandisk.

    How do I go about doing this?
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    What I would do it also put your users account on the SSD. There are ways to move the home folder onto a separate drive like you want, but people seem to have a lot of trouble with it for some reason. I think the OS wants to see that folder right away at boot, and having it on another disk complicates that.

    So I would use CCC to clone the HDD to the SDD like in my screenshot. Include the home (users) folder in the clone, but do not include the big folders below it. So that would get you the home folder and library and settings on the SSD, but the big data hog folders on the HDD.

    Setup CCC like in my screenshot then expand the selection under Users like I have. Then below your account (I have mine blurred there) scroll all the way down to the big folders like Documents, Pictures, Music and any other big folders you have there with personal data... and UNcheck those. Then do the clone.

    Then go to System Preferences and in the Startup Disk pane select the SSD as the boot disk then reboot to the SSD.

    Now in Finder look at the HDD. Navigate down to those big folders you did not clone like Documents etc... and drag and drop each of those folders out from under the users folder to the root of the drive. Once those are all moved just select all the root folders except your data folders and delete them then empty trash. If you have an external drive around, a better way would be to drag these data folders to that drive then format the HDD, then move them back. You may need to select the HDD and do a command-i to get info and check the box to ignore ownership on the HDD to do this.

    Last step is not really needed, but will make things easier. In Finder on the SSD go back to your users folder and create new, empty folders for each one you did not clone... like Documents etc. Then follow this to create symlinks between the two folders. So you would make a symlink to connect the Documents folder on the HDD to the user ~/Documents folder on the SSD. This makes it appear as if the documents are really on the SSD when they are not. For example if you made a new Document and save it to the user Documents folder it would really be on the HDD Documents folder with the symlink connecting the two.

    Of course backup first in case things go badly.

  3. Meister thread starter Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Thank you!
    I will try this as soon as I can.
  4. Meister thread starter Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    It took me a while but I started doing what @Weaselboy told me and I used CCC to create a bootable ssd via usb 3.

    After cloning it I had to boot into recovery and reinstall the OS onto the ssd to make it work.

    I still haven't gotten around to moving my data.

    Will report how that went.

Share This Page

3 February 5, 2017