Cloning internal drive and booting from usb?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by oneinten, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. oneinten macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013

    Before I install my new SSD as the boot drive and use the original HDD as my time machine backup I want to test the SSD in my enclosure.

    Once I've cloned my internal HDD to my SSD in an enclosure, how do I boot from the USB SSD?

    Can I boot from the USB directly before booting up into the HDD OS first.

    Also, my disk space has around 50gb of "other". How big is the mountain lion OS? I have many apps or anything aside from media files on there yet?

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Once I've cloned my internal HDD to my SSD in an enclosure, how do I boot from the USB SSD?"

    - Have external connected and powered on
    - Restart
    - As soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN
    - In a few moments, the startup manager will appear
    - Use the pointer (or tab key) to select the external drive, then hit return
    - The Mac should boot from the external

    If you have cloned the internal, the external will present a desktop that looks EXACTLY like that of the internal (it's a "clone", right?).
    You need to go to the Apple menu and choose "About this Mac" to be sure that you're actually booted from the external….
  4. oneinten thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Thanks for that! Just about to order my SSD. I'm curious about the 50gb of "Other" content on my internall HDD at the moment. How large is the Mountain Lion OS and the necessary files?
  5. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    Think it was somewhere around 10-12gb when I did fresh install before letting it copy over my Apps and home folder a couple of months ago. The system files included in that Other 50gb you are seeing those would be around that figure going by me looking at the space used on my install. I have ~22gb in use on my ssd Apps taking just over 9gb other taking just over 11gb since I do not allow anything to put files onto the ssd that is the total of my installed apps and system. Actually now I think about it little more that 22gb would include any web browser and other caches as I have never found way to change where they go and my emails no clue where to find to move that off the ssd either. Now I am rather picky about what gets on my ssd so may not be the typical usage case but I am thinking that should be close to a basic install figure.
  6. oneinten, Apr 11, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013

    oneinten thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Thanks. so I wonder why my "other" section is so high!?

    I have used omnisweep but the only unnecessary thing I could find was a few GB's of spotify cache. I must be missing something. What comes under the "other' profile?


    Just a few notes:

    Under Private > var > vm there is a "Sleep image" file totalling nearly 9GB!!?

    I did a search and apparently this shouldn't be happening? I found a spotify cache totalling 5gb and this sleep file totalling 8GB. after clearing out my itunes cache as well I have brought the "Other" figure down to 43GB but this still seems extremely high considering the little time I've had the mac and how little apps I have on here.

    Can anyone help me locate what files are being seen as "other"?

    If mountail lion takes up 10-20GB then 43gb is stupidly high considering what I've got on here!
  7. computerstar, Apr 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2013

    computerstar macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2009
    Your first need to clone the internal hard drive to the ssd using external enclosure. Then you need to start your mac mini by pressing option key at startup and select the external (orange) drive. If it boots ok then you can install it inside your mac mini. Your OS and all applications cannot be bigger than 20 GB.
    Good luck.
  8. elolaugesen macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2008
    Why OS and Apps no bigger than 20GB???

    cheers elo

  9. computerstar macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2009
    usually os takes around 1-2 GB. Other applications size is mostly in three digits(in terms of mb). I am talking about installed applications. That is why I said that.

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