Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 530farm, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. 530farm macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010

    I apologize as I imagine this has to have been answered before, but I've been doing a lot of googling and have yet to find a a really well explained solution.

    I have a 320gb HDD in my MBP that is about full. I have a 64gb SSD on the way. I am going to put the SSD in place of the HDD (for OS and most of my applications) and then move the HDD to the optical bay (rest of my storage, mostly media).

    I have an external HDD that i do time machine back-ups on.

    What's the best way to make this work?

    For starters, I was thinking:
    1. Install 10.6 on SSD w/ recovery disk.
    2. Re-upgrade to 10.7 via app store.

    Is there a way to back up my 320gb HDD to my external, and then erase it, place it in the optical bay, set up the SSD to only hold the OS and applications, and configure the HDD to hold my /user folder. Then do a restore (via timemachine, carbon copy cloner, superduper,?) that will restore it from a back-up from my original HDD and will all be placed in the appropriate SSD and HDD?

    Thank you for your help!!!
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    The easiest way is to move all the data that you don't intend to put on the SSD off of your current HDD until the remaining data is so small it fits on the SSD.
    Next use CCC to clone all the stuff to the SSD. Format the HDD anyway you want and move the data back and set up the symbolic links properly to reference the music, movies, pictures folders on the hdd.

    You need enough space on your external disk or else this is going to be difficult. Although you'd have to reformat the HDD eventually.
  3. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    I'm not sure if I will be able to fit all my apps onto the SSD, how would I have to go about getting them back onto the HDD. If i did go that route, by just removing stuff from the HDD until the SSD can take a full CCC clone, would it still be beneficial to first do a fresh install of lion on the SSD?

    Also, how do you set up the symbolic links? If i set up the symbolic links on the ssd from the hdd, will time machine back-ups back up both the SSD and HDD correctly?
  4. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
  5. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    There is a bit of nonsense in there. It is quite stupid to set up bootcamp on the HDD if you have a 256GB SSD and is even more stupid to put it on the second partition at the end of the drive. But that doesn't apply to you as with 64GB anything but OSX on there is out of the question.
    It is also entirely unimportant what the name of the Partition is. "Macintosh HD" is just what Apple likes to call it. I called mine MacSSD and WinSSD and the HDD Data.

    The rest beginning from the use of CCC and so on sounds about right. A bit complicated but that is the nature of step by step guides.

    There is no benefit in doing a clean Lion install unless your system is so messed up that it needs it or you are currently running Snow Leopard. I still use SL but some people who upgraded say clean installs is the better way.

    I would be surprised if you cannot fit all your apps on the SSD. I have quite a lot installed and only need 40GB. Even with Photoshop and a handful other big apps I wouldn't reach 64GB. If it still doesn't fit than just install them somewhere else.
    The Application folder is kind of the recommended location for apps. It is convenient to have them all in one place but it is no requirement. You can just put them wherever you like. Make a folder on the HDD called Apps2.

    A clean wipe of the HDD isn't necessary. Though I would recommend just reformatting it quickly. So all the data is in one piece and at the beginning of the drive. Also you won't forget deleting any files this way. There is a lot of hidden files on the system drive.
  6. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010

    Thanks soo much for the info, starting to feel better about this. Couple follow up questions.

    So, I should just do the CCC to the blank SSD, and not install lion onto the SSD first. Correct?

    Regarding reformatting the HDD, instead of a clean wipe. What doe sit mean to reformat the HDD? When I think of reformatting, i think of changing it to Fat32, NTFS, etc. How do i reformat it?

  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    CCC just copies everything. That new cloned drive will be bootable and should boot without any extra work. As if it was the same drive.

    Format just means what you say. If you do a clean format in HFS+, exFAT, NTFS it will just rewrite the lookup table and forget everything that is saved on the drive. It is the quickest way of deleting everything.
    If you only run OSX format it in HFS+. I use exFAT for my data hdd because that way I can share it between Windows and OSX without any NTFS drivers that never seem to work quite so well. And Bootcamp drivers also only offer read only HFS drivers for windows.

    With a clean wipe some people seem to associate the overwriting all data with other data so it cannot be recovered. Time consuming and rather useless since you keep the drive and will eventually write stuff over the data, and nobody will try to recover anything form one drive in your notebook if it is stored readable on another.
    reformat is fast and deletes everything. If you just try to drag and drop all folders into the trashcan. It takes a lot longer & and you should make sure to delete all the hidden stuff too.
  8. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Ok, so I CCC the OS/Apps over to the SSD.

    Then when would I reformate the HDD. Its currently HFS+, and i will keep it that way. DO i follow the steps in the link from my previous post, setting up the symlinks. Then go to disk utility and reformat the HDD to HFS+?

    Are you saying that reformatting it won't wipe it clean, just reorganize it? SO after reformatting, I won't have to restore from a back-up? All the data will still be there, but just cleaned up on the HDD?

  9. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    So i ran Jdisk report to determine what my space is looking like. Can somoene explain the volumes section, and why its taking 60gb? Will that be something i'm trying to clone over to the SSD or will I be leaving it on the HDD and creating a symlink for it?


  10. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    It seems that is your timemachine backups.
    Try DaisyDisk. The trial works for a few times for free and it offers a better gui. Volumes is just the unix mount point of all partitions. It is odd that it reports it.

    It looks like you have only some 25GB of data that you need on the SSD. That seems like your apps actually need very little space and Lion less than I thought.
    You also don't need to use such an apps at all. Just move the Movie, Picture & Music folder and delete what is in it. What is left will be some 30GB as it seems that easily fit on the ssd. How much space is used finder tells you just fine. Apps like DaisyDisk, JDisk.. are just to show you where you waste all your space and help you decide what it costs in space used to have certain folders on the ssd. Or just to show you for the first time what uses how much space. My father still doesn't believe me, no matter how often I tell him, that a book on a tablet needs a negligible amount of space. And if you take computers and a storage medium past 50GB nothing matters for space used other than Music, Pictures, Movies and Games.
    There are other reasons why you'd want some stuff still on the ssd. I still have my music folder on the ssd because I like the dead silence of the ssd and if I listen to some quite music I don't want the hdd to spin up. But my SSD is bigger and my music folder is not all that huge.
  11. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    I would do a fresh install on the ssd and then just copy apps over from the other HD once you have the optibay installed. Once everything is working, you can manually delete the OS from the hdd.
  12. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Strange that its showing it as time machine back-ups, since i believe i only started using time machine when i got my external HDD. Do you think I could just delete it?

    After organizing my files and apps last night, i realized it won't be that much of a hassle to just reinstall them all again, If i went with a completely fresh install.

    If i went this route, I would:

    1. copy my movie/music/pic/document/download folders over to the external HDD. So i can just copy them back to the optibay HDD after wiping it clean and reformatting.
    2. Instal fresh Lion fresh onto SSD.
    3.???? Would I just use CCC to copy the Movie/Music/pic/Documents folders from the SSD to the OptibayHDD????
    4.??? create symlinks???
    5. Copy the data from my external HDD to the appropriate Symlink'd folders that will place the data into the Optibay HDD.

    Sorry for the constant questions. Really appreciate all your help so far Dusk007.
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    You cannot delete the Volume folder. It really just is a mount point. I guess you come from Windows. Unix file system is little different in a way less common sensical than windows. There isn't actually anything in the Volumes "folder". It is just links in a way.
    You'd have this time machine partition or image wherever it is actually saved. DasiyDisk doesn't report the Volumes folder as a folder with data in it and finder hides it for good reason. It just confuses people. In finder the Devices panel on the top left is effectively the volumes folder.

    If you install Lion fresh you don't need CCC at all, just drag and drop the stuff. You can use it if you want to. Just install Lion on the SSD. Do everything else as intended already with sym links and so on.
    For most apps it is sufficient to just move the .app package to the Application folder. You will loose all saved preferences and stuff unless you copy them too. Most are in the Library folder, some in users/library etc.
  14. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    I think i'm going to go w/ the fresh install route.

    But i'm confused with how I set up the HDD. Since it will be a blank HDD.

    How do I create the appropriate folders on the HDD, so I can then create symlinks on the SSD? Can they just be basic folders(right click>create new folder), named anything I want? Then just delete the empty music/movie/doc/download folders from the fresh SSD lion install and then create the symlinks for the appropriate folders I placed onto the HDD?

    Basically I'm just wondering if anysort of setup is needed for the blank HDD, to allow it to work seamlessly w/ symlinks to the SSD, or can it just be a blank HDD that i drag/drop my music/movies/pics/doc/download folders from my external HDD, and then create the symlinks on the SSD for the appropriate media folders I dragged onto the optibay HDD?
  15. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    You just create normal folders on the HDD. There really is no wrong way to do it. You can theoretically also call them whatever you want though that would just be confusing. I'd just call them the same.
    You can drag & drop them any way you like. Use it like an oversized flash drive. There is no special sauce (or I'd have told you).
    You can also stack those folders in sub folders and what not. No point to it but as long as the symlink gets the correct location told it doesn't care what or where it points to.

    You don't need to delete the current folders after the Lion install. If you use -i or -f flag it will just overwrite them. Like this:
    sudo ln -s -i /Volumes/Data/Movies ~/Movies
    Movies in that case doesn't necessarily need to be the same name.
    If the folder you created on the HDD is called lala.
    You can write ln -s -i /Volumes/Data/lala ~/Movies
    And the Movies at the end is more or less the name of the Link. That I would always call exactly as the old one in the Users folder, since only than will it be a true replacement that other apps understand. The ln command doesn't require it though. You could name it Mrixovsudf and you'd have a link in your User folder that points to the lala directory.
  16. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Great, I think i'm finally confident on what i'm doing.

    My SSD comes tomorrow, so hopefully this will be my last post on this.

    I may try using http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/10433/symboliclinker to create my symlinks to skip the terminal all together, but we'll see, I didn't mind the terminal that much when i use to run linux.

    Thanks for your help, really appreciated it.
  17. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Last question! So everything is up and running perfectly w/ symlinks for my movie,pics,doc, and music folders that are on the HDD.

    Do i just do a standard time machine back-up and it will back-up the HDD items as well? Or is there something special needed?

  18. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Yes. Look up how to make a symbolic link in terminal.
  19. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    @Freyqq wtf?? After an entire thread you write a one sentence answer for the first post.

    @op I guess that depends. If you want to backup everything just backup everything. I assume you backup to an external drive. I only do backups for the system drive/documents and such. I do not need upto date backups for my music and movies. I store those on the external drive manually usually.
    Just exclude from the backups everything that should go there. Incremental backups such as timemachine makes need space (a bit more than the data stored) but if the external is big enough you can just backup SSD+HDD.
    I would always exclude the Downloads folder because that just is a waste of space and changes way to frequently. It is temporary stuff anyway. I also don't backup my Windows partition and other folders that I don't think are necessary.

    Just open TM prefs. Select the target disk (it should be big enough). Click the Options button and add all the folders or entire partitions that should be excluded from the backup. Data that you can live without for a while and acquire again somewhere may just make the backup process unnecessarily long if they often change. It also depends on how much space you have on your external drive for the backup image. If it is not enough you have to exclude some stuff or buy a bigger external hdd.
    If you don't have an external drive you can also just backup the ssd to the hdd. There are even tools that can create a bootable partition. That way if your ssd fails the hdd can just take over. If the HDD fails though or the entire notebook is stolen you would still be happy to have an external backup.

    BTW you can change the HDD sleep timer if you want the HDD to spin down quicker if it is not in use. Default is 10 min. There is a GUI app called SpindownHD if you have the Dev tools installed. Otherwise use pmset in terminal.
    sudo pmset -a disksleep 2
    for 2 minutes. It is not healthy for the hdd to constantly spin up/down but if you like it nice and quite and do have longer periods where the hdd is not in use, 10 min is too long imo. The savings in battery life though are hardly worth mentioning. I do it for the dead silence I get once the hdd is off.
    Automatic spindown must be enabled in energy preferences.
  20. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Nov 16, 2011
    kinda late to say this but honestly 64GB SSD is small....extremly small.....your going to love the SSD speed so much over time ur gonna hav to repeat your self of this whole process....ur better off returning while u can and get at least a 120-160GB....so u can also enjoy it more than just OS.....as for apps if ur like me who has at least 10-15games, Finalcut etc etc ur gonna easily need more than 64GB...just a suggestion thinking two steps ahead....

    rest goodluck.
  21. 530farm thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    dusk007, Thanks again for your help!

    satnam- yeah i was very close to getting a 120gb, but decided that larger sizes are just going to make it more difficult for me to decide what goes on between different media. Unfortunately I don't have much time for games these days, I only have SC2 for my computer, and the rest is done on the xbox for now. I've had this MBP for 2 years now, and pretty much have all the applications i've needed over the last 2 years, and still have 13gb of space left on the SSD, so for now I'm happy. Hopefully by the time i get anxious to upgrade something prices will have come down significantly more.

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