For a dual drive setup, does the MBP always boot from the disk in the primary bay ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Gorilla Power, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Gorilla Power macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #1
    I want to know whether the computer always boots from the disk that is plugged in to the primary hard disk location. Here's why: I'm going to replace my Optical drive with the default disk that came with the computer and want to have Snow Leopard on a new Intel SSD.

    So:

    1. I take out the default HDD. (Snow Leopard is installed on it already from Apple factory)

    2. Plug in a blank SSD in its location

    3. Boot from OSX DVD and install Snow Leopard on it

    4. Replace DVD bay with the default HDD

    ..but what happens now if I boot ? Now there are TWO disks in the computer with Snow Leopard installed on both. Which one will the MBP boot from ?

    Thanks for your answers in advance, I appreciate it as always !
     
  2. unpretentious macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #2
    You should be able to hold down the option key after the startup chime and select the startup disk, then you can set the default startup disk in system preferences.
     
  3. Gorilla Power thread starter macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #3
    Yes but what if I don't hold down the Option key ? Does the computer go crazy ? :D Also, holding it down, on the boot screen I'll see two disks with 'Mac OS X' as labels, I guess there's no way to differentiate which is which.

    Anyone ... ?
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    Go to System Preferences—>Startup Disk.

    Choose the one that you want as your primary volume. Then next time you press 'Option' during boot, the drive that is not first selected by default is the your primary boot volume, the other one would be the second drive.
     
  5. LedCop macrumors regular

    LedCop

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    #5
    Haha, don't worry about the Option key at all! Macs have been able to effortlessly juggle multiple boot drives even before the move to Intel processors. The Option key is there for you to use should you wish to boot from a disk/disc that isn't the default boot disk set in System Preferences.

    Otherwise, your Mac should always boot from the disk you set in System Preferences.

    Yeah, if both your disks have "Mac OS X" as labels, you probably can't differentiate the two. But I believe the order shouldn't change so once you know which one the first one is... But to make it easier, you can just change the labels to "Mac OS X SSD" and 'Mac OS X HD" if you're not bothered to be creative. I, myself, label my disks with their capacities. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Gorilla Power thread starter macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #6
    Guys thanks for your replies but I have a little issue here -- just imagine doing the 4 steps I mentioned in the opening post of the thread. I'm saying what happens when I boot it the first time with two OSX disks in it. In other words, I have not logged into my computer before this and selected a startup disk, after step 4.

    Also, I'm not sure whether its possible to edit the labels. You can only rename the disk drives but during boot OSX only gives shows you the names of the OS, example - Mac OS / Windows / Linux.
     
  7. michaelshen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #7
    What happens depends on the order you installed Mac OS X onto these two disks. By default, Mac OS X sets the partition and disk under installation process as the default boot partition. So, the Mac OS X you boot into the partition with latest system installation.

    Further, a tool called "rEFIt" are free for downloading. I use it all the time to boot different OSes on my Mac (Mac OS, Linux, Windows), which also works well while plugin more disks or flash drives. The tool is my favorite from the very beginning.

    As to edit the partition label, if you only have Mac OS X installed, that will be extremely simple by editing label info in disk utility. Otherwise, you need to know some UNIX commands to that. Search for "triple boot on Macbook pro" in google, and you will get more hints and examples on that.

    Good luck! ;)
     
  8. LedCop macrumors regular

    LedCop

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    #8
    Just choose one. If it's the wrong one, just select the other in System Preferences, reboot, and you're on the SSD. Unless there's a problem with getting into the "wrong" one on the first try?

    You could add a step 3.5 where you would boot into your SSD's Mac OS X once BEFORE installing your hard disk. Then you can rename/relabel your SSD. This also has the benefit of "conditioning" your Mac to boot off the SSD so when you do install the hard disk, your Mac will default to the SSD without needing you to press the Option key or go to System Prefs.


    By renaming the disk drives, aren't you just relabeling it? :confused:

    Firstly, why would you need to rename the disk during boot? Just get into a Mac OS X and do your renaming/relabeling there. Besides, as you said, how would you know which is which then?

    Secondly, are you sure they show the names of the OS? I'm 95% sure (I'm not at my Mac right now) that the "option key" pressing at startup shows the disk names/labels.
     
  9. Gorilla Power thread starter macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #9
    That was really helpful, thanks. I hadn't thought about that. :)

    Its a bit misleading for me to say one is HDD and the other is SSD, actually both are SSDs for me. I said HDD to make it easier for everyone to understand (secret shame :eek:)

    I got Apple's 128GB SSD as a BTO default (to store away my files and run Boot Camp) and I'll buy an Intel SSD to run Mac OSX. I'm really insecure when it comes to new things that I've never tried before, that makes me sound really dumb but at the risk of getting things wrong, I just wanna confirm:

    you're saying if I install OSX on the Intel SSD and boot it up once, the computer will automatically respect it as the default boot drive, even if there is another internal disk with OSX installed in it ?

    I'll also try out the relabeling just to be on the safe side. Thanks once again !
     
  10. Guy Mancuso macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #10
    If your in doubt once the system boots on which drive is running. Very simply right click on desktop and go to arrange by kind. Whatever drive your on will go right to the top with your icons. Also little trick just to test for next boot to make sure you have the one you want is just put a blank folder on the desktop.
     
  11. LedCop macrumors regular

    LedCop

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    #11
    Ugh! Had I known you were in possession of TWO SSDs (therefore making me envious), I wouldn't have replied! :p;)

    I've done your dual-disk drive thing on a PC laptop before, but not on a Mac and I'm actually more insecure about messing with the optical drive (which isn't covered by warranty) on a Mac laptop than you are! RAM and HD, no problem. The optical drive part? :eek:

    On second thought about the booting it up from the SSD once and therefore making it default, I'm not 100% sure. BUT you can go to System Prefs once in Mac OS X, go to "Startup Disk" and selecting your Intel SSD there which should cement it as the default boot drive. Another restart after that should definitely seal the deal. Lots of restarts I know, but you're booting from an Intel SSD so you shouldn't complain! :D

    So yes, after all that even with another internal disk with OS X installed (or a dozen more) your Mac should automatically respect it as the default boot drive.

    After all this and you're somehow booted into the wrong SSD, it's far from the end of the world. You can always switch the default SSD that your Mac should automatically boot from.

    Well, I hope all of this helps and especially, works! If it does, you're welcome. :)

    P.S. I have an 80GB Intel SSD myself so I like your choice in SSDs!
     
  12. Gorilla Power thread starter macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #12
    Wickedly wise ! ;) Well thought out. I'll definitely do this too. The thing I'm actually worried about is whether there would be any problem if the computer detects two bootable storage drives with the same OS in them. I won't get a BSO... whoops, I mean something like a major clash between the two drives at startup, would I ? :) If not then its absolutely fine.

    Hah ! I thought it out for days - how I could get a full SSD system with enough space for less money and this is what I came up with. Yes I know the DVD-drive replacement is risky. I'll probably freak the crap out when I attempt it the first time but then I gathered all the courage in the world and said to myself 'what the hey, its not an alien space ship, even my pet cat can take off 3 plugs and 5 screws on the DVD bay and put them back in again, when she is not busy chasing birds and you're better than her, so live life on the edge you'. :D :D

    Like I said above, I just need to make sure there isn't a confusion between the two bootable drives. If the MBP just makes up its mind and boots into one of them I'll be able to take it from there. I'll make a post on the whole setup and share it with everyone here once I'm done. Still waiting for stuff - my notebook, SSD, caddy to arrive. The volcano is checking out my patience I guess. :)
     
  13. paddyhazard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #13
    Are you saying put the bootcamp install on the second ssd? Don't quote me on this but i think you have to have the bootcamp install on the same drive that your mac os is on. If you do have to bootcamp the same drive, you could probably just install windows on the second ssd without using bootcamp but i don't know if you'll miss out on any bootcamp drivers or anthing.
     
  14. Guy Mancuso macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #14
    No crash at all. Just hold the option key down on boot and select one of them let it boot up . Find out which one it is do the little folder trick and arrange by kind. I have 3 bootable OS drives available at all times 2 of them are backups that I use CCC Carbon Copy Cloner to update on different days or weeks. So never a problem the system seeing 3 or so just go into preferences start up pick the one you want and lock it down.
     
  15. Gorilla Power thread starter macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #15
    Not completely, would like to install Boot Camp on just another partition on the second SSD. You can do this provided both of the disks are SATA-connected internally. Some really good and patient people helped me out with this in this thread. You can see (screenshots) in page 2 that Boot Camp detects the internal drives for installing Windows without any trouble.

    @Mancuso Good to know that, thanks !
     
  16. paddyhazard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #16
    Thanks for that link. I'm planning on putting an SSD im my MBP and wondered what to do with my windows partition. I was thinking of just running it as a virtual machine only on my second HDD as i pretty much only do browser testing but thought it would be good to have it as a bootcamp in case i needed the extra power. How quick have you found the ssd, im plaining on taking the leap once i see a decent deal on an ssd in the UK somewhere!
     
  17. Gorilla Power thread starter macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #17
    My computer or my SSDs haven't arrived yet. Volcano delay. But I'll surely post my feedback, hopefully by next week. I too think Boot Camp is worth it when it comes to gaming since you're getting a high end machine. Have never used an SSD before.. I'm really eager to see what the hype is all about ! ;)
     

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