Installing new External SSD

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by Stuke00, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Stuke00 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Location:
    Collinsville,IL
    #1
    I picked up a 256GB external thunderbolt SSD to install OS X on to. I am extremely nervous about losing my data so I've read a lot about how to install it and I am pretty confident I can install the OS and get it up and running. However, I have a few other concerns that I am not able to find answers for.

    I really want to do a clean install and just restore my files. My biggest concern is that I have almost 500GB of data backed up in Time Machine and only have a 256GB SSD. Can I pick and choose things to restore? I am considering moving my Home Directory to the internal drive after the install, but I am worried about accessing the Time Machine backup once I perform that clean install. Is it possible to just keep my SSD with a clean OS X install and then restore my files to the 1TB internal drive? I really don't care about restoring settings and applications.. my Time Machine backup contains mostly my iTunes Library and iPhoto library, personal documents, etc.

    I've also read about the possibility of creating a DIY Fusion drive, which would give me faster performance and I may not have to juggle my data between 2 volumes..

    Any advice, tips would be great! Thanks!
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    [[ My biggest concern is that I have almost 500GB of data backed up in Time Machine and only have a 256GB SSD ]]

    Well, the hard truth is -- if you REALLY want to be "backed up", you're going to need ANOTHER drive as well.

    [[ Can I pick and choose things to restore? I am considering moving my Home Directory to the internal drive after the install, but I am worried about accessing the Time Machine backup once I perform that clean install. ]]

    How to "pick and choose":
    1. Do it manually.
    2. Use something like CarbonCopyCloner (which provides an EXTENSIVE list which you will have to go through manually, un-checking and checking items as you review)
    3. Not sure if Time Machine can do this or not (others may help)

    I'm not sure why you bought an SSD to use as (what seems) to be your intended purpose.
    You should tell us what Mac you have, as well.

    Seems to me what you really need is a BACKUP drive that is large enough to hold everything, with "room to grow" as well. Or do you already have that?

    SSD really isn't necessary or that important for a backup drive. A decent HDD works just fine, and is more cost-effective.
     
  3. Stuke00 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Location:
    Collinsville,IL
    #3
    Sorry I guess I wasn't clear in my post. I bought a 256GB SSD to use as my OS drive. I read you can install OS X to it connected via Thunderbolt. I have a late 2013 iMac. I don't plan on using the SSD as my backup..

    256GB SSD - Primary boot OS X
    1TB internal drive - Used to hold other files and documents
    500GB - Current Time Machine backup.
     
  4. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #4
  5. Stuke00 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Location:
    Collinsville,IL
    #5
    My biggest files are my iPhoto and iTunes library. I have a lot of other things omitted already. I just want to be able to restore those things to the internal drive rather than the new external SSD. I will be giving this a try tonight so I hope it goes well.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    Stuke00 wrote:
    [[ Sorry I guess I wasn't clear in my post. I bought a 256GB SSD to use as my OS drive. I read you can install OS X to it connected via Thunderbolt. I have a late 2013 iMac. I don't plan on using the SSD as my backup.. ]]

    Actually, that's what I do myself -- except I use a late-2012 Mini, and my "external booter" is a Crucial m500 (240gb) mounted in a plugable.com "lay-flat" USB3/SATA dock.

    A suggestion as to how to arrange everything:
    - Initialize the 256gb external.
    - Install a clean copy of the OS onto it, create a temporary "Administrative" account (you can delete this later if you wish), update via Software Update as required
    - Now you need to "selectively migrate" stuff from your 1tb internal. This will take a little thought, and may require some MANUAL NOTE KEEPING to keep track of things.
    - You might wish to migrate your apps first (then see how much room is left)
    - Migration Assistant can bring over your original account, but if certain folders WITHIN that account are overly large (movies, pictures, music, etc.) the whole process could choke if the "target" (SSD) can't hold the combined contents of the source (HDD).
    - Data that exists OUTSIDE OF your home folder can be migrated manually.

    One other thought (unrelated):
    When I set up my own external booter, I partitioned the 1tb internal drive.
    The first partition is large enough (in your case, 256gb) to hold a CarbonCopyCloner backup clone of the external SSD.
    You can use the second partition for general file storage.

    The reason for doing this is that by maintaining a CCC clone on the internal drive, I -ALWAYS- have immediately accessible a SECOND BOOTABLE COPY of the SSD.

    Sooner or later, you may end up having an "I can't boot!" experience.
    Having that CCC cloned backup on the internal drive will transform this from being a traumatic experience, into a somewhat trivial one...
     
  7. Stuke00 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Location:
    Collinsville,IL
    #7

    I ended up restoring nothing initially. I then formatting my 1TB internal drive, and moved my home directory to it. Then restored everything manually by browsing my Time Machine backup drive. So far so good.
     

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