iMac 2009 Replace optical drive with SSD and use as main boot disk

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jiten, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    My apologies if this has been asked already as I'm a big newbie when it comes to tinkering with Macs. I have an 2009 27 iMac that I would want to upgrade to an SSD. I decided to keep its default 1 terabyte HD in place for storage and replace the optical drive with an SSD instead. My question is, is it possible to reassign the SSD that replaced the superdrive as my main boot disk instead?

  2. iDutchman macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2010
    Amsterdam, NL
    Of course it is possible. Although you need to freshly install Mac OS X on it.
    When that is done, you can boot from it.

    BUT back up your 1TB hard drive first (time machine will do).

    Now, when it comes to you personal data, you need to transfer the applications over to the SSD. The best option for that is to reassign the applications folder.
    There are guides on the internet explaining how-to. The end result will be that the application folder on the 1TB Drive will have the icon of being a home folder.

    You can do the same stuff for all the other stuff you'd like on that SSD. Eventually move it all to the SSD. Then erase the 1TB HD and put all the files back on it, so the system files and all are gone.

    You can, with a little help of migration assistant, transfer all your personal settings over the new SSD (before erasing the 1TB HD of course)

    This may sound difficult bit it's quite easy to be honest. But YES, it can be done.:cool:
  3. Jiten thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    That is very reassuring to hear. I actually read the old thread about replacing the 2009 iMac's hard disk with an SSD but I thought it would be a waste to take out the 1 Tb hard disk. Also I don't have the courage to short the sensor wires. Many thanks.
  4. X1Lightning macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2007
    i am working up the courage to do this, i have the ssd and the drive caddy picked out. just have to get around to placing the order :eek:
  5. Skybar macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2010
    I am a bit interested in doing this aswell. I dont really need an optical drive, but from time to time I actually might (thats why I am not really comfortable replacing it).. So my question is, is there any way to hook up the optical drive to some sort of external enclosure, and connect it with either Firewire or USB when I do need it?
  6. Jiten thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    Same here, I have been looking around for an external enclosure for the super drive but haven't found one yet.
  7. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2010
    I think you can buy a USB optical drive like you can get for a MacBook air for around $79.
  8. X1Lightning macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2007
    has anyone found a firewire enclosure for the superdrive?
  9. Skybar macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Yeah well, I think that is quite dumb actually. In my opinion it is just a waste to buy a new one, when we already got an optical drive. We only need the external enclosure, and to my guessing that would be cheaper (to only buy the enclosure, rather than the whole package - so to speak).

    I have no experience or knowledge of external enclosures at all, could someone help out? :)
  10. Jiten thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    But that would be quite a waste to buy another one.
  11. skuid87 macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2012
    External Caddy for iMac SuperDrive

    Hi all,

    I was gonna start a new thread but decided to do a quick search and dug up this thread.

    I've just (successfully) performed a SSD upgrade on my 2009 iMac. Optical Drive out, SSD in.

    Like some of you guys mentioned above, It would be great to have a cheap external enclosure. Would mean the drive is still useful for those rare occastions when you need it.

    Did anyone here find such an enclosure? I can be USB or firewire. It would be great if I could boot from that drive too...

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  12. omvs, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012

    omvs macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    EDIT: Doh, realized afterwards you were talking about optical enclosures. They definitely exist- I had considered one a few months back:

    I'm not sure if these can supply enough power through the USB to do a burn though. When I swapped out my optical drive, I figured it was safer to get one that had a drive in it to make sure it'd be up to spec for the power. Something like this one, tohugh mine was a different manufacturer.
  13. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    replacing ODD with SSD

    Hey OP,

    If you do this and decide to replace your newly removed ODD with a usb powered external, can I have your current ODD? It would be nice to have an OEM replacement if mine fails...
  14. All Taken macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2009

Share This Page