Lots of headaches researching SSDs

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ando27, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. ando27 macrumors member

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    #1
    Hello all,

    I've been doing extensive research over the past week since I ordered my Late 2011 i7 Quad core 2.5Ghz Macbook Pro, since I ordered it with the 750GB drive and want to upgrade it myself to where I have a SSD as the main drive with OSX and Windows 7 installed on it, as well as some games, and the 750GB drive in place of the optical bay as storage.

    So, if anyone can answer the following questions, I would be forever grateful to you for making my life so much easier.

    1) I won't ask which SSD is the best, though I still haven't decided between Samsung 830 or Crucial m4, but if I want to install OSX Lion, Windows 7, Steam + a few games (probably just Skyrim and one or two other games max) as well as an application or two, like iTunes, Skype and Microsoft Office, is 128GB enough or should I go for the 256GB drive?

    2) When installing this SSD, can I just unbox the brand new machine, open it up, take out HDD, put in SSD and boot it up with Lion recovery CD in there, or do I need to do something special to format the SSD first?

    2b) If I do need to format the drive, how do I do this?

    3) What's the best accessory to get to replace the optical drive with the HDD and how do I set it up to be storage for music/movies and other nonessential applications? Can it be split so some applications install on the HDD and others on the SSD?

    4) Do I need TRIM and how do I make it work so it doesn't mess everything up?

    I think this encompasses all the questions that are currently making my head swim and I can't seem to find any direct answers for. I hope someone here can help me out. Many thanks!
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    #2
    This extensive guide should help you with 2 and 3:

    OS X Lion: About Lion Recovery
    Lion Recovery Disk Assistant


    For 4:

    ____________________________________________________________

    Maybe have a look at Advanced Search to find similar threads:
    [​IMG]
    ____________________________________________________________

    For 1: 128 GB might suffice, but today's games are quite big, thus it could get crammed.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #3
    A very quick and simple way to upgrade to any HDD or SSD is to:
    1. Put the new drive in an external enclosure.
    2. Format the drive as HFS+.
    3. Use Carbon Copy Clonerto clone your internal drive to the new external drive.
    4. Swap the drives, putting the new drive in your Mac and putting your current internal drive in the external enclosure.
    5. Boot up your Mac using your new drive.
    6. You now have an external drive to use for backups and additional storage.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
     
  4. ando27 thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 12, 2012
    #4
    Ok, so to make this a little easier, I think my main issue at the moment could be boiled down to a simple yes/no question:

    Can I simply pop in the SSD, put Lion recovery CD in, and boot up to format the drive like that? (AKA - I do NOT need an external enclosure)


    I appreciate this, but the last thing I want is to have to use an external enclosure, or to have my HDD storage disk be in an external enclosure - I would much rather have it in place of the superdrive.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #5
    You don't have to use an external enclosure. It doesn't matter where the drive is located. The important part of the tip is cloning your drive, then swapping them. There are many methods, however. If you want to use another approach, go for it.
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

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    #6
    No, as there is no Lion Recovery CD.
    OS X Lion: About Lion Recovery
    Lion Recovery Disk Assistant
     
  7. ando27 thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 12, 2012
    #7
    Ah, I did not know about the lack of Lion Recovery CD.

    Let me rephrase then, because I still think there is some confusion. I do not have the MBP yet, it is still being shipped. I expect to have the SSD in my hands prior to receiving the MBP.

    So, when I get the MBP, I want to, without turning it on first, open it up and swap the HDD for the SSD. Then boot it up for the first time and install Lion on it. Is there is a way to do this. If I were to clone the disk first, I would just be cloning a fresh install of Lion anyway.
     
  8. simsaladimbamba

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    #8
    Cloning requires for you to have a working Mac and being logged into some kind of account. You can do this with another Mac and use Target Disk Mode though.

    To create a Lion Recovery USB drive, you need to do the same, boot into the Mac and create an account.

    PS: Why not turn the Mac on and test if everything is okay, thus if an error occurs, you can remove the SSD from that equation.
     
  9. ando27 thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Fair enough, that is a good idea. I guess I am just impatient by nature ;)

    Alright, in that case, I will boot up and set up for a Lion Internet Recovery. Now, if I set up for the Lion Internet Recovery, then I will be able to simply swap the disk and format it using that, right? No need for an external enclosure?
     
  10. simsaladimbamba

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    #10
    If you make a USB installer with the help of the Lion Recover Disk Assistant, then yes, there is no need for an external enclosure.
    Do you plan to backup?
     
  11. ando27 thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    So the Internet Recovery option wouldn't work? Or that is something that requires a USB installer?

    Also, I guess I do plan to do a backup? I'm not sure, it's a clean install with nothing on it, so is there even a point?
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

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    #12
    Sorry, was a bit confused. If you use Lion Internet Recovery, there is no need for an installer on a USB flash memory thumb drive, though depending on your internet connection, downloading 4 GB might take some time.

    And with backup, I meant not backing up the current Mac, but backing up once you are done installing all the ****.
     
  13. wikus macrumors 68000

    wikus

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    #13

    Why does the the screenshot show a dropshadow from the macrumors website? Did you add it in photoshop???
     
  14. simsaladimbamba

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    #14
    Yep, as I am a sucker for the drop shadow effect, which I still adjust manually and vary with its settings until I find that perfect one shadow.
     
  15. ando27 thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    Ah, ok phew. Thought there would be another impediment to this. In that case, sounds easy enough. That's the option I will use. I have FiOS so downloading 4 GB won't take long at all.

    So for backup you mean like Time Machine? Yeah, I do plan on creating a backup, hopefully one on the 750GB drive I am going to replace the optical drive with.

    Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it.
     
  16. simsaladimbamba

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    #16
    I have a 120 GB SSD and a 500 GB HDD, the 120 GB SSD gets cloned to one partition on the HDD, thus I have a bootable backup always with me.
    But I also use external HDDs to backup my data, as using a backup storage device placed in the same housing as the storage device that gets backed up, can kick you in the arse. What happens, when someone steals the MBP?

    Anyway, I have one 500 GB HDD for my photographs (digital and analog) libraries and editing documents, one 500 GB HDD with my personal video footage in an editing friendly format.
    Both 500 GB HDDs get backed up to one 1 TB HDD via CarbonCopyCloner.
    And that 1 TB HDD gets backed up to another 1 TB HDD via CarbonCopyCloner.
    Therefore I have three copies of my important data.
     
  17. wikus macrumors 68000

    wikus

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    #17
    all that for a simple screenshot on a message board?
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #18
    If you use that same screenshot to answer questions in hundreds or thousands of threads, as simsaladimbamba does, it's worth the effort.
     
  19. simsaladimbamba

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    #19
    Looks better than this, as I removed unnecessary information and added some depth. It doesn't take that long, if you know, what you do.
    [​IMG]
    Now compare that above screenshot to this:
    [​IMG]
    It has less clutter, though still a bit too much, but for the sake of making finding it easier, I left it at that.
    It is even clickable.
     
  20. wikus macrumors 68000

    wikus

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    #20
    I assumed it was a one time deal and also assumed he does this often. Personally, I wouldnt care to go to that extreme.
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #21
    When you answer thousands of questions, many of them repetitious, text expanders and a collection of carefully prepared screenshots is invaluable. Once the initial work is done, future posts take just a few keystrokes.
     
  22. simsaladimbamba

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    #22
    Look at your post count, now look at mine. Now look at yours again, now look back at mine.

    I am just more involved, sometimes to the extreme, but I like making good and comprehensible screenshots, as sometimes a screenshot is better than explaining it in words. And it keeps me trained in PS.
     
  23. ando27 thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    I will undoubtedly also have to get an external for backup, but that's a future purchase. Hopefully thunderbolt.

    How did you set up your SSD + HDD? That is what I'm trying to figure out how to do right now.
     
  24. simsaladimbamba

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    #24
    I put the SSD into an Optibay adapter from www.hardwrk.com (though there are cheaper alternatives from eBay) and put the HDD back into the HDD bay.
    I use the SSD for housing the OS and my user folder, as I am used to external HDDs and don't fill up my user folders anyway (I also don't use the Pictures, Music, Documents and Movies folders in the Home folder, I have my own).
     
  25. ando27 thread starter macrumors member

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    #25
    I've heard reports that the SSD will work better in the normal HDD position, especially if it is SATA III, so I think I'm going to do it the other way around. But thanks for the link!
     

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