New SSD Installed - Now What?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by xheathen, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. xheathen macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    I all,

    I went ahead and bought a SSD drive as a way to boost my performance without a new mini model :) So, I bought the kit, got the Samsung 830 series 128gb SSD (on sale for $79!).

    Just got it in the mail today - installed in about 30 minutes and everything went OK, but I'm just not sure what to do now.

    It booted OK, and the first thing I see is a message that says "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer - initialize | ignore | eject"

    I go into the Disk Utility and it shows the 128gb drive in there.

    So now what? Do I hit ignore on the error (I'm just leaving it up for now)? Do I need to format the SSD? What kind of steps do I need to take to use it? Ultimately I want to move all my OS boot stuff to it, but I'm not totally sure how to do that (I'm a windows guy moved over to OSx this year, so I'm a noob :p)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    I may have solved my initial problem.

    I went into Disk Utility, erased the drive, and then set up 1 partition (just using the default settings for Mac (Journaled). So now it shows up in the Finder just fine and appears to be totally usable.

    Now I'm just not sure how to make it my boot drive. I don't want to mirror all my stuff on it. Basically I want my applications and OS to be on the SSD and everything else to be on the original HDD. Is there a way to do this without using some kind of mirror program?
  3. Mikey7c8 macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Honestly I'd do a reinstall on it if I were you.

    But, that being said other people have done the mirror job and it's worked fine for them. :)

    I know you're not supposed to have to do re-install's on osx but at least in my case they seem to be fairly beneficial anyway. Of course you will have to re-install whichever apps can't simply be copied over, but you only have to do it the once.

    Good luck with whatever you do.
  4. surroundfan macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Reinstall OSX and then use Migration Assistant to move what you want over...
  5. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Alrighty, I have the OSx reinstalled w/ Lion and we're running perfect. My problem right now is on the migration assistant, it's really strange because it really doesn't give me the option to move much of anything. Like the apps are showing only as like 1.1mb and I see no applications. Do I need to do something to the apps to make them movable or are very few of them able to be moved usually?
  6. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    I think I figured out the basic problem I was having - you have to migrate from the drive you want everything moved to. So it ended up moving, but after it was all done things are just really bizarre.

    Does anyone have any idea what happened to make this appear this way?

    After migration assistant was done, it created a new user (in addition to my original user), and now I have 3 different areas of Users. The old Users on the old HD shows my file folders with the "no permissions" symbol. And then I've got both my old user and new user on the new SSD. The old user shows all the folders as having no permissions - the new one is working but contains no files.

    So I have no clue how to consolidate this. I basically just want 1 user again, have my things like Dropbox, Movies, Photos, iTunes files, etc sitting on the hold HD and the OS and Apps on the SSD. Can anyone point me in the right direction to accomplish that?

    Attached Files:

  7. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Youve created a pretty mess here. I would do clean install and start all over again. Migration assistant probably works only when moving from oanother machine,not sure about it.

    Do you have Time machine or Carbon copy cloner backup? You could migrate stuff via them.
  8. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Wouldn't CCC be able to just copy the whole OS in that case and I wouldn't need to reinstall? I feel like that might be part of the problem - when I'm doing a fresh install I'm setting up a new user and when I try and migrate over, it forced me to create yet another user.

    Would it be feasible to just reform the drive and then use CCC to do a clone of just the OS and Apps? And if so, what am I exactly selecting in CCC to do so? (there is no "OS" choice for example).
  9. hfg, Oct 7, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Use CCC or just use Disk Utility to "Restore" your existing source to the blank destination (don't get them mixed up!).

    If you log in as the other users, I think you will find the permissions will be fine for that (current login) user. There are easy ways to fix this, but I doubt it will be necessary.

    If you ever decide to use Migration Assistant again, create and login to a "dummy" account such as "Admin" and then migrate the old disk to the new one. That way, it will simply copy your user directory with no conflict since you haven't created that username yet, and you won't end up with duplicates.

  10. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    you're overcomplicating things. normally, you put another drive in the mini, boot from the old drive and use CCC to clone your Carbon Copy image from ext. drive to the new one. On reboot you would hold ALT and boot from the new drive, if everything works OK, as it definitely should, you can format the old drive.

    But CCC image must be created before this. If you have time machine backup, you use install utility to bring over the stuff to clean installation.
    Setup assistant launches only once, during installation before you create any user account, thus restoring from time machine backup (or other machine via Target Disk mode) creates no conflict what so ever. I know this because I did it like this.

    On the other hand, Migration assistant launches after the install, and it can create complications.
  11. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Ok I think I understand what you are saying... I didn't realize until just now I could exclude things from the Time Machine backup (thus allowing it to fit on a smaller drive).

    If I've already reinstalled Lion have I gone too far? Or is it unsalvageable using TM and I need to re-wipe it again?

    I figure I'll make the TM backup right now so I have it ready to go.
  12. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    if you still have time machine backups of the old system then everything is fine.

    just launch installer again and format the SSD drive, install OS and use Setup assistant to migrate the data from time machine backup. It might take a while so dont worry. You can of course select which data to move, so my advice would be to migrate user account with settings plus applications. the rest of things can be moved manually elsewhere.
  13. djc6, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012

    djc6 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I recently installed SSD in my mac mini as a second drive - i.e., two HDs inside of the mini. This is what I did:

    1) I made a bootable usb flash drive with Mountain Lion installer on it. See:

    2) I booted off USB flash drive, formatted/partitioned the SSD, then installed Mountain Lion onto the SSD.

    3) On first boot, before logging in or anything (still during registration/config process) Setup Assistant asked if I wanted to migrate my data off of another hard drive (among other options) - I said yes and selected the old hard drive that came with my mini. I figured it'd be much faster to pull it from the other HD than from my time capsule backups. Only took like 2hrs for ~450GB of data!

    4) It rebooted, and I had my SSD setup with Mountain Lion and all of my data. What I was left with were two bootable HDs - the old HD with Lion and my data, and the new SSD with Mountain Lion and my data. The Mountain Lion SSD was automatically made the default boot drive. I plan on wiping the old HD w/Lion to use for additional storage - once I'm confident everything has been migrated properly (seems like it so far!).
  14. dll31p macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    djc6, did the setup assistant give you any options to limit which data was migrated? The issue here is, in the past, "upgrade" usually meant "bigger" drive- so most processes just assume copying everything over. What about those of us "upgrading" to smaller drives?
  15. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    yeah this was exactly my problem. Going from same size to same size or larger is clearly no problem at all. It's when you go down that becomes a major issue.

    I can confirm that it DOES give you options to migrate data you specifically choose, but look at my screenshot above where it shows a ton of users with all kinds of files everywhere. That was the result of choosing specific files because the install forces you to create a new user if you don't go for the complete duplication approach. So I'd recommend against it.

    Here is what I eventually did:

    I had an external 1gb hard drive and I backed up everything I had on the system. Then I went in and wiped out things like itunes library, iphoto, movies, videos, dropbox, etc. until all that was left was my OS and applications. I then reinstalled Lion and chose to completely migrate everything. Once I came back in, all was well and it all functioned, I then wiped the old hard drive and then built all my folders back in.

    Essentially djc6's approach only I had to bring the drive's space down far enough to do it that way.

    I feel like there has to be a more simple way to do it, but after 3 reinstallations of Lion I'm pretty much done with trying right now. It works and I only have a few things left to do.

    I have one question that hopefully Mac savvy people can help me with:

    Before I migrate all my photos and itunes back (dropbox worked like a charm so far, so it seems all good) - can someone confirm something for me. Does the "home" directory contain anything that is vital to what I just did? I read somewhere that you can just relocate the "Home" folder going into Users > Advanced Options. If I move that, will it screw anything up? It does not appear to be housing any of the applications but I wanted to make sure before I just did it :)
  16. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Final update on this - after doing some research on moving the home folder, I decided against it. Since some of the preferences are accessed every time you open a program, you kind of sacrifice the speed of the SSD. I basically left downloads alone, deleted "pictures" and "music" from the sidebar in Finder and replaced it with links to the places on the HD that I created. Told iTunes and iPhoto to look in the new locations and we're golden.

    I read a couple tutorials on symlinks - it *kinda* worked but not really the way I wanted. Just having the aliases in the sidebar seemed to work fine unless I'm missing something.

    One thing did actually break - Safari no longer functioned after the switch. I had to reinstall it based on this thread here:

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