Installation of more than one OS on one computer

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jmacke, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Jmacke macrumors newbie

    Jmacke

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    #1
    Hi everyone. I am glad to have joined such a good forum. Firstly, being new to this forum, I would like to ask a couple of questions.
    Does the forum have a search function? (I dont want to be asking questions which have been answered already).
    How do I make a contribution to help finance this site?

    I have a 2009 Macbook, !0.6.8, 250Gb HD 4Gb Ram,which I use mainly for Email, Facebook, and music(Itunes) and more particularly, Garageband. This Macbook has a few issues! It needs a new battery, the audio output/input jack stopped working, the operating system wont allow me to run updates to programs I have installed, or some new ones that I try to use.( they just say 'unsupported OS or something similar. I have an external 1Tb external drive, which I have repartitioned into three.
    On one partition I have my Time Machine backup, on the second partition I have a Carbon Copy clone from a few days ago, and on the third partition i have installed a bootable Version of Yosemite, which I purchased on an 8Gb USB stick. I have not installed Yosemite from this yet, just copied the USB contents onto the external drive.

    I have recently bought a 2010 Macbook Pro, which arrived with El Capitan, with 500Gb HD and 8Gb memory. It does use the same charger as my older Macbook, so I can use them both.
    I did not want to risk installing Yosemite onto the old Macbook, as I think it wipes the entire contents in the process, but I would like to do this if possible, and ,if possible, keep my entire Snow Leopard 10.6.8 as an alternative OS. If I repartition the Macbook HD, can I then load Yosemite onto it and have a choice of which OS to use? It may seem a simple question to you guys, but I have never done this before. I dont want to lose any of the programs and data that I have on this old Macbook. My music recording programs all work perfectly at the moment.
    The new Macbook Pro with El Capitan did not have Garageband. I have almost completed copying over the program/recorded tunes etc., but a couple of things are missing.( Loop browser is not yet available).
    I dont want to mess up the new MBP by trying to install or "copy" another OS on to it just yet.
    Ideally I would like to have Snow Leopard and El Capitan on the new machine and have the choice of which one it runs.
    Is this possible to set up? How would you be able to chose which OS booted up when you switch on?
    Sorry If I sound a bit dim, but my whole life has been working with Windows systems, mostly Networked computers in a school workplace. We did not have any Macs, and the whole thing was server driven, sending "packages" and msi's to the clients for software installs. i never got involved with installing OS's at all.
    Any help that you guys can offer will be very gratefuly received.
    John
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
  3. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #3
    No it doesn't. Yosemite will install on top of SL, and all your files/data will be preserved. However, do a backup first...just in case. However, I had a 2009 MacBook until last year running Mavericks with 4Gb of RAM, but felt that it ran better with Mountain Lion.

    Yes, it's possible, have a look here:
    installing multiple os x
     
  4. hobowankenobi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #4
    One of the great things about using a Mac:

    You can clone your current OS to an external drive, and boot to it if you like. Everything will be identical, although slower performance, depending on the the drive and bus you choose.

    Super easy to do, and with a big external drive, you can partition and install/clone as many OS iterations as you want. I have one that boots to about 6 OSes.

    To select, you simply hold down the Option key at boot to see all choices. You can do that now, even with just one to see how it works.

    And yes, you can do all of this internally, but lack of space on a laptop (especially with SSD) is a good reason not to.
     
  5. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #5
    Just curious... a new what? How are we supposed to tell what you are referring to in that long post without spending lots of time poring over it?
     
  6. Jmacke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jmacke

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    #6
    Thank you all for helping me. hobowankenobi confirmed my thoughts about this. I will give this a try, as I do have the other OS's on my external drive. I have not yet cloned the new El Capitan machine. I will do that before I go any further. I have no idea what Satcomer was meaning in his reply?
     
  7. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #7
    ?????:confused:
    --- Post Merged, Jul 2, 2016 ---
    I partitioned the HD of my iMac maintaining the original Snow Leopard and adding El Capitan on the new 2nd partition. Both work fine.
    As an alternative to holding down the Option key at boot to see all choices, an alternative way is, prior to shut-down, select Apple/System Preferences/Startup disk and select which system you wish to next boot from.
     
  8. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #8
    I was trying to be lighthearted since started with a 7 year old Mac. If you check out the Mac app because you should be about to get GarageBand really cheap.
     
  9. Jmacke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jmacke

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    #9
    I am amazed at how simple it was in the end to set up 3 different OS's on the one Hard drive. Many thanks to Hobowankenobi for information. I can now do all the things I want. I did buy Garageband from App Store, just to see what it was like in comparison to the original version, but not sure if I will use it. It looks like some things are not included in this version, but perhaps it is just me dealing with the unfamiliar ? I also have a Windows computer with quad 2.6GHz CPU ,16Gb RAM and 1Tb hard drive, which I would love to be able to use with Garageband. I have read that it is possible, but whenever I try to download the suggested sites, something always goes wrong. Does anyone else also use Garageband on windows machine?
     
  10. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #10
    Wherever OS X is in the mix: a maximum of sixteen partitions per GPT disk, as far as I know.
     
  11. 960design macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #11
    I'm not certain of your use case, I use VirtualBox to run multiple OS ( Windows10, Solaris, Kali ) on my MBPr.
     
  12. Jmacke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jmacke

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    #12
    many thanks to all who posted to help me. I now have a clone of my original Snow Leopard(with all my progs and files since I started using it), a clone of new Yosemite( with new Garageband installed), and new El Capitan ( which came on the "new" Macbook Pro . I also have them all backed up as clones on my external drive. Carbon Copy Cloner is a really nice program to use. I will pay for this now. Just as an extra question related to all of this :- On my new Macbook, will there be any difference in "speed/performance" when running applications if I boot from one of these other partitions, rather than the installed El Capitan? I had read that El Capitan is slower when used on an older macbook like mine, which I do experience when booting, but not sure if booting from say Snow Leopard partition would be slowed down because it is not on the "Root drive" as such, but on a different partition . I have not used the other OS's yet to run programs, just booted from them to make sure they all work !
     
  13. hobowankenobi, Jul 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016

    hobowankenobi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #13

    Nice.

    As for you question of speed: The only limiting factor is the speed of the external storage. That speed is determined by two factors:

    • Drive (Hard Drive, SSD, etc.)
    • Bus (USB 2, USB 3, FireWire, Thunderbolt, etc.)

    If you use a fairly slow, low end HD, on a slow bus, such as USB 2, or FW 400, then yes, there will be a speed bottleneck for reads and writes, compared to the faster internal drive and/or bus.

    If, OTOH, you were using a fast external SSD on a fast bus like USB 3 or TB, it would be faster than your internal hard drive.

    Make sense?

    The other factor to consider regarding speed: All hard drives are fastest when empty, and slow down as they fill. No really noticeable issues until you get to somewhere around 60-70% full, and then performance continuously falls off. Just the way HDs work.

    Same goes for each partition on the HD: The first one is fastest, and each one after is a bit slower. And each partition will have slower performance as it fills, due primarily to fragmentation and head seek times.

    SSDs have no speed penalty as they fill, nor any speed penalty for file or drive fragmentation, nor any penalty for physical location like HDs do.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 11, 2016 ---
    Here is a nice article that explains more than most would ever want to know about HDs. Talks about Windows, but really is true for all platforms. Here is the info about performance related to location (which also relates to how full a drive is....as it fills first from the outer/fastest area, to the inner/slowest):

    "All hard drives rotate at constant angular velocity, which means that they are designed to stay at one rotation speed instead of adjusting the speed to the read/write heads as it is common in optical drives. As a consequence, the distance covered by bits stored in the outer platter areas in a second is much higher than on inner tracks. On the outside of a 3.5" platter, the track length is approximately ten inches, as opposed to 2.5" close to the spindle motor. At 7,200 RPM this results in an absolute velocity of ~67 MPH on the outside versus ~17 MPH on the inside of a platter. It is obvious why data transfer rates on the outside of a rotating disk are far higher than on the inside.

    It is for this reason that defragmentation tools, which realign files that are scattered and fragmented across a hard drive, always place the Windows swap file at the very beginning of the storage medium, which is where the swap file performs best. Another conclusion of the absolute speed comparison is that a 2.5" hard drive can never reach the high data transfer rates of a 3.5" hard drive, because the effective data rotation speed isn't fast enough.
    "
     
  14. Jmacke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jmacke

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    #14
    Thanks Hobowankenobi for the very detailed information.It is all what I thought was the case. My question about speed was purely in relation to the different OS's partitions on my hard drive, not acessing external drives.(I only use external drive for backups of my systems. i now realise, from the second part of your post, that the second and third partitions I have created will be slower than the primary partition, just because of the way the disk is filled up, and also because I am filling the whole disk up with much more data/programs etc, than I had with just one partition.The only thing I have measured accurately with all three OS's/partitions is the time it takes to boot from each. SnowLeopard boots fastest, at 14 secs , Yosemite took 19 secs, and El Capitan took 1min 40secs ! El Capitan is also the primary partition, so there is a bit more to it than just the position of each on the disk. I have decided to use Yosemite at present for my music recording with my new purchase of Logic Pro X, as Snow leopard seems to be incompatible with several new software packages. I have considered getting an SSD , but to have the 500Gb version, or more, it is quite an expensive purchase. I can only presume that it would be "much faster", but no idea of comparative speeds. For music recording, I think CPU speed is much more important , especially running plug-ins. I have a lot to experiment with now?
    sorry for long reply, and thanks again for your time in helping me. I do appreciate this.
    John
     
  15. hobowankenobi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #15
    No worries.

    Yes, there are other things we cannot control that will effect overall performance. Boot time is not necessarily a good benchmark to show overall performance, so don't let that alone be the deciding factor.

    Oh, and boot to each OS at least a few times to test, as the first time or two involves writing lots of temp and cache files, so can be substantially slower.

    Yes, RAM and CPU are more important than access time (either HD or SSD) for overall performance. Storage access time delays are most obvious when the drive must do lots of reads/writes.....such as booting up, launching applications, saving very large file. (think video production). You would only really "feel" the speed of the SSD when doing lots of read and writes, so nice, but not essential for most folks.

    I would suggest you pick the OS you like the best.....which usually means the one that plays nicest with all your software and hardware.

    Happy recording.
     

Share This Page