Getting a 2nd drive for booting, which files need to go on it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rockinrocker, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. rockinrocker macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    Hi all-

    I'm trying to determine how big of a SSD I need to get to use as a boot drive for my early 2011.

    I want to use it for booting and for applications (and a few other things).
    What all would I need to put on it for it to function properly as the boot drive?

    Would it be ok to just clone part of my existing install (or from a partial TM backup?) or should I really do a fresh install on it?

  2. reidnez macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2013
    For it to function properly as a boot drive, it needs a copy of OSX...that's it.

    It's really up to you, and your needs. Unless you have an insane number of applications, 120GB should be OK for your purposes. SSD's get very expensive as space goes up, so most people are still using regular HDD's for extra space and backups. You can also get a Thunderbolt enclosure for your old drive and continue to use that for extra space--or, if you don't need the extra space, for time machine backup (in which case a cheaper USB enclosure will do just fine). I highly recommend this.

    You could just clone your existing drive over, or you could do a fresh install of OSX and then drag over your files and apps from the old drive. Again, personal preference. If you simply cloned your drive, you'd be up-and-running as if nothing had happened; no further setup required. So that's nice. I don't personally feel there's any longer a need to do "fresh installs" of an OS, unless you're having a problem that a fresh install might fix. I still keep backups and a bootable thumb drive on hand, though, so I can do it if necessary.

    Either way, you'll need a bootable CD or thumb drive (I recommend the latter.) Instructions for making one are here:
  3. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    I'm planning on leaving the existing drive in for files 'n junk (SSD will go in the optical bay).

    Which is part of the thing I'm trying to figure out-

    I'd rather NOT have to reinstall the os/apps and stuff, but there's way too much stuff on my existing drive to just clone the whole thing.
    I've used Carbon Copy Cloner before, but I'm wondering if it's possible to exclude parts of my present drive or if I should try a different approach or what...

    Maybe a new TM backup that excludes everything outside of the necessary os/apps stuff?


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