Moving OS and Apps to an SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ashleykaryl, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. ashleykaryl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I have a Samsung PCI 256GB SSD arriving in a day or two and hope this gives a new lease of life to my mid 2010 Mac Pro. It doesn't look like it will be hard to install and format but I've seen a lot of conflicting information about the next stages.

    Basically I gather I should keep the user data on the existing SATA drive but move the OS and Apps to the SSD somehow, then tell OS X to make it all play nicely. My OS and Apps are about 100gigs, so that can all fit on the SSD nicely. The remaining 400gigs is all user data.

    How should I best go about making this change? I’ve heard some recommend carbon copy cloner as part of the process.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention I am using El Capitan.
     
  2. xactoman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    #2

    I would just put in the new SSD, clone the user and OS with carbon copy cloner, then select that as the boot drive. Done. Then, I would remove the OS and user from the SATA drive, leaving your files that you want on there for storage. You may need to use the terminal and remove the EFI partition from your old SATA drive so that it boots to the new SSD correctly. Pretty easy process
     
  3. ashleykaryl thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 22, 2011
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    UK
    #3
    There isn't enough space on the SSD to have the OS and the user files. The SSD is 256gigs and the user folder alone is about 400 gigs. The user data has to stay where it is but the apps and the OS need to go on the SSD.
     
  4. joot macrumors member

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    Nov 3, 2006
    #4
    I dont think you can clone a big drive to a small one. But you can clone a small one to a big one...buy a 480 SSD for ~$100.00 online and you are set...
     
  5. ashleykaryl thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    I thought the whole idea was to keep the user files on the SATA drive and move the apps to SSD. In theory there is space to fit a 2nd SSD but I hadn't thought it would be needed.
     
  6. Idolum macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2016
    #6
    SuperDuper (shirt-pocket dot com) allows you to make a selective bootable copy of your hard drive. You could simply exclude the user folder. OWC at macsales dot com offers an adapter that allows you to replace your cd drive with you old hard drive.

    I still have a 17 inch Macbook Pro 2010 that runs beautifully with an SSD drive. It's as fast as a new MacBook Air and a lot faster than the latest super slim MacBook.
     
  7. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #7
    Is it too late to return the 256GB SSD & buy a 512GB instead? It would make it so much easier to migrate plus that old 500GB HDD is going to be slow even in comparison to current HDDs.
     
  8. ashleykaryl, Jul 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016

    ashleykaryl thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    The SSD arrived this morning and I managed to make the switch. It's a mixed bag result and clearly a larger SSD would have been easier to manage. I shouldn't have read all those old blog articles saying it was fine to keep user data on the SATA drive.

    As things stand the finder, system preferences and opening apps like Photoshop are all instant. The only noticeably slow parts are apps that rely heavily on user data that is still on the old 1TB SATA. This means I see slow starts with the usual spinning ball and disk noise whenever I open Mail but afterwards it seems fine. Safari suffers similar effects but less noticeably.

    The biggest headache with the current setup is probably backups and I'll have to give that some thought. I'm seeing decent read/write speeds now but I gather they can be improved if I change the PCI slot.

    Perhaps I can speak to the retailer about exchanging this for a 500gig SSD. It seems that if I put in a standard 500gig SSD I'll be limited to 3G speeds so there will still be some lag there. I've just checked and my user folder is currently over 450 gigs, so even with a 500gig SSD I would need to offload a lot of data to an external drive.

    After.jpg
     
  9. Idolum macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    #9
    You can drag your mail folder to any location on your faster ssd drive and create a symbolic link to it.
     
  10. hartleymartin macrumors regular

    hartleymartin

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    Jul 15, 2016
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #10
    Would a fresh install of OSX El Capitan have done better?
     
  11. ashleykaryl, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016

    ashleykaryl thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    That's interesting to know. I'll give that a try and see how it works out because that might just save me buying a second SSD for the user data further down the road. I have around 150 gigs of available space on the SSD at present and the Mail folder is around 65 gigs. I could probably archive some more of that and trim it down a bit.

    EDIT: Come to think of it I have no idea why my Mail folder is so huge. I exported a massive amount in mbox format a few months ago for archiving purposes and deleted them from Mail, yet the size of the Mail folder in the Library still seems to be huge.
     
  12. ashleykaryl thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 22, 2011
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    #12
    Just a quick update on this followed by a question. It looks like Mail holds on to huge amounts of data, even when previously deleted but I was able to decrease that Mail folder in the Library from 65 gigs to less than 6 gigs... All without losing any unwanted email. This enabled me to use the symlink suggestion made above but I am not sure if this will survive future OS upgrades.

    It generally feels a lot better using the SSD but I am puzzled by a sudden drop in CPU usage in the activity monitor. Previously I could see the CPU hit 1600% on certain activities but since installing the SSD it barely scrapes above 600% at most and even then for very short bursts. Is there some good logical reason why this is happening or does it mean the SSD is physically limiting the amount of CPU that can be accessed?
     
  13. hartleymartin macrumors regular

    hartleymartin

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    Jul 15, 2016
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    That is strange. I don't know how the SSD would cause that to happen.

    In my own case, I find that the only time the computer ramps up to more than 200% is when I am decoding a DVD. HandBrake then usually takes about 700% (7 cores) and the 8th core does all the other background processing.
     
  14. ashleykaryl thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I just tried a test decoding a DVD with HandBrake and in that instance it's hitting good numbers, so hopefully that means the SSD is not the limiting factor here. It just seems strange that other apps like Screenflow are reaching nowhere near that since fitting the SSD. Perhaps some of that load is being shifted to the drive itself.

    For the Mac Pro I need to use the older AHCI version of this PCI SSD and I read something about that having some limits in multicore usage, whereas the newer NVME version could theoretically handle 64 cores.


    screenshot_2506.jpg
     
  15. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #15
    At Christmas I revived an older MBP (2007 w/17" screen) with a SSD and 2GB more memory (max 6GB). It does what is needed and that is good.

     

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