Convert Mac OS X system drive to regular media drive - without formatting?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by peanutismint, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. peanutismint macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #1
    I have a Mac OS X install on a hard drive which I've removed from my system due to installing a new SSD with a brand new install of OS X. I'd like to use the old 500GB drive as a storage/backup drive, but the file system/all my data is still intact on the drive. This could be useful as I want to keep all my data and would save me having to copy across to another drive, format the entire disk and then copy it all back.

    I'm just a bit worried about what to do with the system files that were on there... can I just move all the files I want to keep out of the usual Mac home folders and then just delete all the system folders as if they were never there? Or do I have to re-format/re-partition to get the most out of the 'new' media drive?
     
  2. davidlv, Jan 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011

    davidlv macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    #2
    Yes, you can just move all the files you want to keep out of the usual Mac home folders and then just delete all the system folders as if they were never there, but there are other invisible OS-related folders that won't get deleted doing that.
    In order to get the most space out of the 'new' media drive, you need to delete "all of the system files and folders," including the invisible ones and using the finder as is won't work. Install Tinker Tool's free version, or use Oynx to make the invisible files visible, and then go on a Delete Spree Tour! That procedure will free up a lot of space, but it will also leave a lot of emplty spaces on the drive, adding to the possibility for file fragmentation as you use the drive.
    Personally, I would make sure all of my important data was backed up, then format the drive and use CCC to copy only the stuff you want to save over again, deselecting the OS related folders in CCC's left pane. Then using the incremental backup feature you can update that in the future.
     

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