External Drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Equ, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Equ macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2009
    I would like to know if I can install an application in a external drive.
    any suggestions?

  2. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Generally it depends.

    Small applications that are appropriately packaged as .app and are wholly self contained are relatively portable.

    Some applications, though small, require that they be installed on the drive (for reasons I have yet to figure out).

    Larger applications like M$ Office, Creative Suite et al install components in locations other than the applications folder.

    However you can successfully move all your applications to an external drive depending on how much complexity you want to use (getting involved with symbolic links and such). There is also a bit of risk involved with such a scenario.
  3. Equ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2009
    Thanks. Just a question

    "symbolic links" means to create some sort of programs or the drive will be recognized by the applications itself?
  4. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Basically it's like a shortcut (someone correct me if i'm wrong) but instead of the OS and application's seeing it as an alias (shortcut), it sees it as a path instead. The OS will know the difference but the application' won't. So basically I have a symlink of my itunes folder that goes to my network drive. If that drive is offline for whatever reason or i'm not on my local lan, iTunes will wonder where the library went. As long as the target is attatched then it doesn't complain as if it were on my local drive.

    I also have this setup for some games like starcraft and my steam stuff as well, stuff that doesn't traditionally want to be placed on external disks.

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