How Would You Solve This?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by KeyBlue, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. KeyBlue macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    #1
    Hi all,

    I think this is the best place for this question, it's a real head scratcher so I'm hoping someone can help.

    Here's my problem:

    Until recently I used a MacBook Pro for work. This was great as if I needed/wanted to work from home I could turn it on and carry on where I left off.

    Last week however, my trusty 2011 17" MacBook Pro finally started getting the graphics card issue, and after some attempts to fix, it's not reliable enough to use any more.

    So at work I'm now using an iMac, which works great but obviously means I can no longer work from home. A new MacBook is not an option.

    Essentially what I want to be able to do is plugin an external drive, work all day, then take that drive home with me so I can carry on if I need to. I initially took my internal SSD out my MacBook Pro to use as a boot drive, but since my own personal MacBook Pro is from 2009 and can't run Sierra, I was unable to boot using my 2011 MacBook Pro's SSD.

    Bottom line: I want to be able to work from where I left off, have all my apps, settings etc from my iMac at work stored on an SSD that I can boot from anywhere.


    Here are some of my initial thoughts, but any suggests are absolutely welcome!

    - Time Machine - do I backup using Time Machine and take this home with me? In order to use it however I am guessing I will need to restore my own personal MacBook Pro losing all my files. Plus would this even work with the 2011/2009 difference? I'm guessing the answer is no...

    - Carbon Copy - Although I couldn't boot from the SSD from my 2011 MacBook Pro, I could still see all the files. Although not great it did mean I would be able to do somewhat most of my work. Could this be a solution? Only thing is I don't want to have to wait for it to complete at the end of the day, just unplug and go...

    - I splash out myself and buy a new/newer MacBook Pro for myself that would be capable of booting from an external drive running Sierra (£££!)


    Any other options absolutely welcome!
     
  2. QzzB macrumors regular

    QzzB

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    London
    #2
    The only way I can see that happening would be to get a USB HDD and install/boot from there on both pieces of hardware all the time - although I think that might be quite slow in all honesty, as the internal HDD is probably quicker (never done it, so thats a massive assumption).

    If you want to work like that, and your more productive, I would say bite the bullet and buy a new MacBook, much easier.

    Also, if the main issue is files, tried iCloud Drive syncing? I use a personal and home MacBook (personal is 15", work is 13" as its more portable). I save everything to iCloud Drive so the files are on both machines.

    The Settings don't really come accross, but then how often do you change settings? There are a few things I need to setup (i.e. window layouts in final cut or finder look) but these are quite minor when it comes to working, once setup all files are synced and seamlessly update when logging into the other laptop. Seems to work well for me.
     
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #3
    From reading the OP, I concluded that there is no bullet. ;)
     
  4. KeyBlue thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    #4

    Thanks for your suggestion - I did think about iCloud but I can sometimes create GBs of new files in a single day and waiting for these to upload and download.

    In terms of settings - it's for email and certain programs I use.

    In terms of bullet - there is one to bite but it's a very expensive one! I know my 2009 MacBook Pro is outdated, but for home use it still works fine!
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    The solution is easy, and I do mean "easy".
    But it's unconventional:

    Buy an external USB3 SSD of sufficient capacity.
    Then, connect it to the iMac and set it up to be your "external booter", with your work account, work apps, and work data on it.

    When you're at work, boot and run from the external drive (ignoring the internal drive on the iMac).

    When the day's work is done, power down, disconnect the drive, and take it home with you.

    Now you can connect it, power it up, and you will be exactly "where you were" at work.

    The next day, re-connect it to the work iMac and boot from there.

    Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    The iMac -- or ANY Mac -- doesn't care from which drive it's booted. Internal or external.
    So long as there's a connected external drive capable of booting it, it will boot and run as well as from the internal drive.
    I'm continually surprised by the number of Mac users -- even experienced users -- who can't comprehend this.

    I've been booting and running a late-2012 Mini from an external SSD for over FOUR YEARS this way. Runs as good today as it did on "day one". I almost never boot from the internal drive (5400rpm HDD). Once or twice a year, that's all...
     
  6. KeyBlue thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    #6

    Thanks for your suggestion - this is what I had in mind but unfortunately when I tried to boot from the SSD I work on with my personal MacBook Pro, it was unable to start up because my own MacBook is unable to support OS Sierra.

    To make this work I could buy myself a new/newer MacBook Pro, but it's a lot to pay for convenience...

    It's a shame as otherwise that would have worked!
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    "Thanks for your suggestion - this is what I had in mind but unfortunately when I tried to boot from the SSD I work on with my personal MacBook Pro, it was unable to start up because my own MacBook is unable to support OS Sierra."

    What's the last version of the OS that the MBPro can run?

    Can it handle El Capitan? You should be able to boot the work iMac with El Cap, as well.
     
  8. KeyBlue thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    #8
    UPDATE: Ok, so I bit the bullet and bought a newer personal MacBook Pro. It's only 2013 but the iMac is also 2013 so compatibility should no longer be a problem.

    I'm still wondering what the best way to go about this is since I do a lot of heavy Photoshop (1GB+ files) and wouldn't want to harm performance too much when working on the iMac. When working off the MacBook Pro from home I can accept some slower performance.

    Can Carbon Copy periodically create copies similar to Time Machine? Having a bootable clone of my iMac hard drive on an SSD would be exactly what I need!

    Also, I haven't been in the market for external media for a while, are external SSDs now a thing or would I make one using the internal SSD in my broken MacBook Pro and put it into an enclosure?

    Thank you!
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP wrote:
    "Can Carbon Copy periodically create copies similar to Time Machine? Having a bootable clone of my iMac hard drive on an SSD would be exactly what I need!"

    CCC and TM do not "mix", really.
    You want one or the other.
    I highly HIGHLY recommend CCC.
    I don't care for TM, but that's just me.

    What you propose in reply 8 above probably isn't going to work out like you think. I see the potential for mixed-up files, etc. Version proliferation?

    If you have "work that you need to take home", and then back to work, it's easier to keep such projects on some kind of "portable platform". By that, I mean on a hard drive, SSD, USB flashdrive, etc.
    Of course, you'll want to keep backups SOMEwhere to be on the safe side.

    Keep your "working copy" on the portable drive.
    Plug it in at work and make modifications as needed. Save a backup at work.
    Then take it home, make more modifications as needed. Save a backup at home.

    If you really, REALLY need to "have it all on one drive", go back and carefully re-read my post 5 above.
    Use an "external booter" as your MAIN drive on BOTH computers.
    That way you are ALWAYS booted into THE SAME environment.

    I find it best (again, my opinion only) to let my desktop Mac "be my desktop Mac", and let my MacBook Pro "be my MacBook Pro".
    That is to say, each is "its own" computer, and I live with the differences.
    Works for me.
     

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