iMac Mid 2011 External SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mark8par, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. Mark8par macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2019
    Hi, I am looking to add an external SSD to my iMac to boot from and I have purchased the Lacie 500gb SSD with TB.

    If I install the OS on this drive and make it bootable, how do I copy the apps over? I would like to leave all my photos and other large files on the existing drive 2tb, is this possible?


  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    You can use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to do what you want.
    I recommend CCC.

    It would help if you told us WHICH VERSION of the OS you're using.

    You can do this:
    1. Erase external SSD to Mac OS extended with journaling enabled (GUID partition format)
    2. Connect to Mac and open CCC
    3. You want your internal drive to be the source and the SSD to be the target
    4. Now, you need to use CCC's feature that lets you "un-select" items YOU DON'T want to be copied over.
    5. I would un-select the large libraries within your home folder (movies, music, pictures, etc.). Also any large folders that you may have created to store stuff in.
    6. You DO want to copy over your home folders (without the items above).
    7. Then... let CCC do its thing. It will clone over the necessary OS, apps, and basic home folder -- but leave "the large things" behind.
    8. If CCC asks to clone over the recovery partition, YES, let it do this as well.

    The idea here is to create an SSD boot drive that is "lean and clean", with plenty of free space "at the end".
    This way it will boot quickly and run at its best.
  3. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Or you can ignore the nonsense from the cloning fanboys and do it the way Apple recommends.

    Download the OS installer. Run it and install on your external — it may prompt you to format the drive, do so in disk Utility. When done, it will reboot automatically into the external.

    Follow the prompts from Migration Assistant and it will pull everything from your iMac.

  4. Mark8par thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2019
    Thanks for the replies.

    I am trying to keep all the big stuff, iTunes, pictures etc on the iMac. What would you recommend doing with the internal drive, would you format it so its just storage?

    I am running High Sierra 10.13.6
  5. AlaskaMoose, Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

    Apr 26, 2008
    What I did with my early 2011 iMac was to replace the internal hard drive with a 1TB SSD, thus bypassing the slower USB ports. Anyway, cloning the internal hard drive with CCC works very well. The external clone will be bootable, so all you have to do is to assign it as the Startup Disk in System Preferences. SuperDuper, CCC, and Time Machine are all good, but I prefer the first two because they allow for more control of their settings.

    Leave the internal hard drive as it is for a few weeks, in case you have to retrieve some files and things like that.
  6. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    First, on the external, enable TRIM by running the following Terminal Command and authenticating it with your admin password:

    sudo trimforce enable

    You'll get a lot of CYA prompts from Apple. Answer yes. It will reboot and you're done.

    Back to your question.

    Since you are running High Sierra already, I suspect you have an SSD in there, if so, leave it alone. BTW, enabling TRIM on the boot SSD enables it on your other drive over Thunderbolt or eSATA if an SSD. eSATA is possible on the 2010–2011 27" iMacs as both have an unused SATA bus. Not necessary for you as you have a Thunderbolt external and that will be just as fast.

    If an HDD, open it up and get that spinning heat pump out of there—very easy to do on these. Replace with an SSD.

    To keep your iTunes library on a different drive other than the boot SSD, learn about Symbolic Links. Think of it as a way to fool your iMac into treating folders and files as being on the boot drive when they are not. Far better than an alias for what you want to do.

    In Mojave, Apple made this easy but your 2011 can't go to 10.14.x. I tried the hack on my 2010. Without metal graphics support, Mojave is useless.

Share This Page

5 April 26, 2019