Mac Mini 2018 - external drive

dubravkic

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2019
4
0
Croatia
Hi,

So I have mac mini for a while now, it is 8Gb/RAM 128GB/Storage, I3.

And now I'm at around 20Gb free storage out of 128GB, so my question is can I boot from external drive and use it as primary drive for OS and apps.

I was looking: Samsung X5, 500Gb, Thunderbolt 2, NVMe, R/W 2800/2100 MB/s

If it is possible then:
Will I loose performance due to external drive?
Is it hard to set it up?
Is this drive good or you can suggest other models in approx same price?

Thank you
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,200
5,547
The X5 will boot and run just about as fast as the internal drive if you want to use one.

But...
If you're concerned about the 128gb drive "not having enough space", you could buy a USB3 SSD (much less money), and move some of the data that's filling up your internal drive to the external one.

Things like the Photos library, iTunes music folder, and movies folder can be on an external drive, no problems at all.

If you still want to boot and run from the X5, YOU MUST DO THIS:
a. Boot to recovery partition
b. Go to startup security and DISABLE everything there.

That's the very first thing to do before you try to boot from an external drive.

One other thing:
If you do start booting and running from an external drive, keep the internal drive BOOTABLE, too.
What if the external drive fails?
 

dubravkic

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2019
4
0
Croatia
The X5 will boot and run just about as fast as the internal drive if you want to use one.

But...
If you're concerned about the 128gb drive "not having enough space", you could buy a USB3 SSD (much less money), and move some of the data that's filling up your internal drive to the external one.

Things like the Photos library, iTunes music folder, and movies folder can be on an external drive, no problems at all.

If you still want to boot and run from the X5, YOU MUST DO THIS:
a. Boot to recovery partition
b. Go to startup security and DISABLE everything there.

That's the very first thing to do before you try to boot from an external drive.

One other thing:
If you do start booting and running from an external drive, keep the internal drive BOOTABLE, too.
What if the external drive fails?
Well my first option was to buy bigger external ssd drive, around 1TB and put all things there.
So I tried this with usb drive and move "user" directory to that drive, but it failed and I had to do recovery

Also I'm little bit concerned about how long will my internal ssd last as it is small and it fills up quick

So now I'm in between two choices, to boot completely from external drive, or to find some sort of solution to move all things except OS to external, (can I put apps on external drive? or at least bigger apps)?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,200
5,547
"So now I'm in between two choices, to boot completely from external drive, or to find some sort of solution to move all things except OS to external, (can I put apps on external drive? or at least bigger apps)?"

For best results, you ALWAYS want to keep on your boot drive:
1. The OS (of course!)
2. ALL your apps
3. Your "basic" accounts.
 
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dubravkic

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2019
4
0
Croatia
"So now I'm in between two choices, to boot completely from external drive, or to find some sort of solution to move all things except OS to external, (can I put apps on external drive? or at least bigger apps)?"

For best results, you ALWAYS want to keep on your boot drive:
1. The OS (of course!)
2. ALL your apps
3. Your "basic" accounts.
So based on memory details from my mac:
APPS - 27GB
SYSTEM - 64GB

And there is about 20GB free space (this number changes from day to day), so can you recommend me best option?

Thank you
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,200
5,547
"SYSTEM - 64GB"

Something's wrong.

I just checked my own "System" folder (on the root level of my boot drive), and it's 9gb in size.

Do you use Time Machine?
Have you tried trashing any and all "local backups" or "local snapshots"?
 

dubravkic

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2019
4
0
Croatia
"SYSTEM - 64GB"

Something's wrong.

I just checked my own "System" folder (on the root level of my boot drive), and it's 9gb in size.

Do you use Time Machine?
Have you tried trashing any and all "local backups" or "local snapshots"?
Well yes, I'm using Time Machine on my external drive that is connected for storage
System folder is around 10-11Gb, but user folder is way too big, around 24+Gb
 

doboy

macrumors 68020
Jul 6, 2007
2,450
917
FYI, X5 is TB3 and the drive is probably faster than the 128GB SSD that’s in the Mini since 128GB is pretty slow compare to higher capacity ones.
 
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HenryAZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2010
605
97
South Congress AZ
A good option for external storage is the Oyen Digital MiniPro RAID V3 USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) enclosure. It holds two SATA SSD's (up to 15mm thick). It can be set (via DIP switches) for RAID 0, RAID 1, BIG, or JBOD. I am using it in JBOD mode just to have two external drives in a single enclosure. It is also compatible with TB3. It is good quick access to my data. It will sleep the drives only if the Mac sleeps, so the drives always respond quickly.