Help with migrating to an SSD and moving home directory

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kudukudu, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. kudukudu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #1
    Currently I have my OS and home directory on the same drive (lets call it Primary). I want to transfer the OS and applications to an SSD and leave my home directory on Primary. I Googled moving your home directory and understand how this is done. I'd like some comments on the procedure I have thought of which involves Primary, SDD and primary external backup (I have a secondary backup).

    1. Install 80 GB Intel X25-M SSD and format as appropriate
    2. Clone Primary to on-site external backup drive using superduper & change boot drive to external backup
    3. Boot from external backup
    4. Delete most of my user content from external backup until external backup only uses about 60 GB
    5. Clone contents of external backup to SSD and then change boot drive to SSD
    6. Boot from SSD
    7. Move home directory from SSD to Primary
    8. Boot from SSD to confirm home directory changed
    9. Delete home directory from SSD
    10. Delete OS and application files from Primary so only user content is left
    11. Create new backups for SSD and Primary
     
  2. cutterman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #2
    I have done the same thing: Installed OSX/applications on SSD and used a separate drive for user files on both the MP and MBP. I have a couple suggestions.

    Maintain a separate backup of your current system that remains intact.
    Dont delete your user folders from the SSD. Maintain the bare bones user directory structure just in case you need to boot from the SSD alone in the future due to migration or hard drive replacements.
     
  3. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #3
    Hello,

    I've done the same thing 6 months ago. Let me give you different instructions, as deleting full user folders is a messy job.

    1. Back-up to your external drive. (From this point on, your back-up won't be needed for the transfer.)
    2. Activate the root user.
    3. Using Superduper (I used CCC), copy your Library, System and Applications folders from your primary to your SSD.
    4. Create an empty Users folder on your SSD, then boot from SSD.
    5. Log in root user and create your User account.
    6. Change your User path to your primary User folder (must be done for each users if you have more than 1).
    7. Restart and delete your empty user folder on your SSD (but leave the main "Users" folder, as well as the "Shared" folder in it).

    Also, as an advice, leave your Library, System and Applications folders on your primary: if you ever have issues with your SSD, you'll be able to boot up normally using your primary drive. You can even use your primary as a first back-up to your SSD this way: just back-up those 3 folders regularly.

    Enjoy the speed of your SSD!

    Loa
     
  4. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #4
    It's really a lot easier then you're making it out to be, and you don't need any third party apps.

    This is what I did and it worked perfectly.

    Drag Home folder to new drive (HDD).
    In System Preferences, point it to the Home on new drive.
    Restart
    Confirm it's working as you'd like
    Delete Home folder on original drive
    Use Disk Utility to Mirror old drive onto SSD
    Set SSD as startup disk
    Restart
    Done
     
  5. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #5
    Kudu, plz disregard Rickvanr's post, as he disregarded your own (as well as the impossibility of mirroring your drive to your SSD) before posting...

    Loa
     
  6. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #6
    Except I didn't.

     
  7. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #7
    He doesn't have a new HDD. How can he point his prefs to the new drive???

    Why? His home folder is already on the correct drive, at the correct place.

    He can't, as his "old" (which is not actually old as it's going to be his primary drive where everything except his OS is going to be) is much bigger than his SSD is. Disk Utility can't mirror a partial drive, and copying part of his files is exactly what he needs to do.

    Loa
     
  8. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #8
    Thanks. How about quoting my second post.

    He has a primary, and an EXTERNAL. Therefore, two drives. All you need.
     
  9. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #9
    2 SSD'a as a raid?

    I'm getting ready to do the same thing, sorta. Got 2 SSD's on the way. Have the 2 extra sata ports available and plan to connect the two SSD's to these ports and use disk utility to create a raid. CCC to copy Library, System and Applications. But that's where ya lose me. What about the User Library and all that info? Should that also be copied?
     
  10. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #10
    Don't break up your individual user folders. Once your OS volume (SSD, RAIDed or not) has those 3 folders, you have to create an empty Users folder. Then boot from the SSD.

    Using the root user is the easiest way. (If you don't know how to enable or use the root account, go here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1528 ) Once you're logged on root, create a temporary user with the same exact name as your "old" user. Then you can point this new user's home folder to your regular HDD. (If you don't know how to do that, go here: http://chris.pirillo.com/how-to-move-the-home-folder-in-os-x-and-why/ Start at step #2.)

    Restart from the SSD, and verify that you can log into your regular user account. If it works, you can delete the temporary user folder on your SSD (leave the main "Users" and "Shared" folders there: just delete the folder with your username).

    Remember, before doing anything like that, make sur that you have a complete back-up.

    Loa
     
  11. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #11
    Thanks mucho Loa. Now it makes sense. Just a brief moment of being brain dead.
     
  12. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #12
    Well on the Apple instructions, I get to #9 "Choose Enable Root User from the Edit menu." and that option is not available, not listed.
     
  13. lssmit02 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #13
    I used to have my home folder on a separate drive, but every now and again the system would lose track of the location, and create a new, unpopulated user folder. First time it happened, it took me hours to figure out how to set things up again (admittedly this all happened with Tiger/Leopard - I don't know if SL is better at keeping track).

    Now I follow Lloyd Chambers' advice: I set up my user account folder on the boot drive (an OWC Mercury Extreme SSD), and keep my media files on a separate drive (music, photos, videos). I then point iTunes and iPhoto to look to the external drives for the relevant files.

    Link to Diglloyds.com explanation.
     
  14. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #14
    OK. I found it - the edit that is. Done. I now have a root user.
     
  15. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #15
    No problems! :)

    I've had my home folder on another drive (actually a RAID, to make matters more complex), and I've never had any issues like that. I've been on 10.6.x the whole time.

    For some reason that scares me more, having your Home files spread over 2 or more drives. Makes backing-up more problem-prone.

    To each his own!

    Loa
     
  16. LuckyButtons macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #16
    hey Loa, you seem to convey things in a clear way, so after reading these post wanted to ask...

    I too have been advised to keep my music/photos/etc off the boot drive, 1. because it's too small to hold it all, and 2. it keeps the SSD in better shape.

    I too am about to get a new 6 core on Monday and will have the 1TB drive it comes with sitting in Bay 1, but I am putting in a 120gb OWD SSD to be the boot drive.

    SO, if I do that (use the SSD for only system/apps/possibly working files), and I'd like to, what is the proper procedure to follow once I receive the new MP?
    I need to:
    - Put in the SSD (can it be in Bay 2 and still be the boot?)
    - Migrate everything from the G5 I currently have (I have the Internal HDD, plus a 512gb storage, and a 2TB external backup for those)
    - Get the System/Apps on the SSD

    In what order should things go down, keeping in mind that the SSD will not hold the entire Home folder at any point in the process.

    THANKS for any help!
     
  17. SkyNite macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #17
    Here's what I did with my new Mac Pro:

    1. Installed the SSD. The bay doesn't matter; mine is in the lower optical bay.

    2. Migrated my old machine via FireWire to the new machine's stock 1 TB Caviar Black.

    3. Created a new Admin account on the new machine. Let's call it "Spare Admin"

    4. Used Carbon Copy Cloner, selecting everything EXCEPT my home folder, to copy to the SSD. That should fit fine on yours.

    5. Booted from the SSD, but DID NOT log in from my usual account. Instead, I logged in as "Spare Admin"

    6. Once logged in, I opened System Preferences, clicked Accounts, clicked the lock icon to authenticate, then right-clicked on my EVERYDAY USER ACCOUNT and chose Advanced Options. Then I selected the home folder on my primary (stock Caviar Black) hard drive.

    7. Rebooted from SSD, logged in as usual user, and all was well. I manually deleted the non-user folders from my hard drive, so the drive only has the single top-level folder in it that contains my home folder.

    That seems to copy the least amount of data, and won't fill your SSD. I have had no problems whatsoever with keeping my home directory on the separate drive in Snow Leopard.
     
  18. MCHR macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #18
    rickvanr has the cleanest method. It's similar to one I used just this last weekend to migrate to my MP with SSD. No issues, though I migrated things manually instead of using Migration Assistant.

    Just be sure to redirect all downloads to your second drive instead of piling into your SSD (browser, etc.) That will go a ways toward keeping your SSD clean and happy.
     
  19. ZennZero macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #19
  20. kudukudu thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #20
    okay so I finally purchased an SSD and took the plunge. I opted for a crucial 128GB M4 over the Intel 320 SSD since it sounds like the 8 GB bug hasn't been fully resolved by the latest firmware.

    I migrated over the system directories over to a bootable SSD with the intent on keeping my home directory on a hard drive for the time being. I first enabled the root user and then rebooted with the SSD. I logged on with root and could still see all of my user accounts which confused me since there were no user accounts on SSD so I expected to see none. This made it impossible for me to create a new user with the same name and then just change the location of the home directory from SSD to HD. So instead I just edited my existing primary user account on the SSD and changed the home directory to HD. When I logged on with my primary user account on SSD everything seemed more or less fine, but with a few interesting side effects:

    1. the link to my dropbox account was severed and needed to be re-initialized.

    2. My logon keychain is not recognized, but the logon keychain file is there and if I reboot from HD then everything works fine.

    I did some quick google searches to figure out why this happened, but I came up blank after 30 minutes of surfing. Can any Unix gurus tell me what I have done here?

    Regards,
     

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