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Leon1das

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 26, 2020
285
212
Users post various success rate with external SSDs being able to boot on M1 devices.

I heard many, many positive reviews over years about Samsung T5 drives.
When I was ready to buy one - Samsung T7 got released (packs upgrade to NVMe) with sales price nearly the same as T5 regular.
So I got T7 (without finger print), 1Tb and .. yes - it boots BigSur just fine.

My usage scenario below - just in case someone finds it useful.

Formatted T7 in 4 partitions:

1. BigSur Installation disk- 20Gb (for USB reinstallation of BigSur)
3. External bootable BigSur 40Gb (for a quick jumps into external BigSur on any M1 device)
3. T7 data partition - 800Gb (formatted in exFAT so it can be used on Mac, Windows and Android)
4. Time Machine - 140Gb

I keep external BigSur partition very light - as since being on the same physical device as TimeMachine - I can open Time Machine and pull any app or document I need to work on.



1616072466974.png
 
Last edited:

fuchsdh

macrumors 68020
Jun 19, 2014
2,021
1,820
Users post various success rate with external SSDs being able to boot on M1 devices.

I heard many, many positive reviews over years about Samsung T5 drives.
When I was ready to buy one - Samsung T7 got released (packs upgrade to NVMe) with sales price nearly the same as T5 regular.
So I got T7 (without finger print), 1Tb and .. yes - it boots BigSur just fine.

My usage scenario below - just in case someone finds it useful.

Formatted T7 in 4 partitions:

1. BigSur Installation disk- 20Gb (for USB reinstallation of BigSur)
3. External bootable BigSur 40Gb (for a quick jumps into external BigSur on any M1 device)
3. T7 data partition - 800Gb (formatted in exFAT so it can be used on Mac, Windows and Android)
4. Time Machine - 140Gb

I keep external BigSur partition very light - as since being on the same physical device as TimeMachine - I can open Time Machine and pull any app or document I need to work on.



View attachment 1745451
Random aside—where are those drive icons from?
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,327
9,011
Those are the standard macOS drive icons in Big Sur. The one on the far left is from an installer. The two yellow ones are standard external drive icons. And the one of the right is the standard Time Machine icon.
 

rvgeerligs

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2021
3
1
Hi Leon1das, could you show how you managed to get the partition bootable and how you got big-sur install files on the other partition? I kind of tried and have 3 apfs partitions, 36 and 36 GB for install and boot, 178 for time machine and 1 750 GB exfat.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,640
12,760
If you are booting from the t7, you don't want your TM backup on the SAME drive.

What if the drive fails?
You've lost not only your "regular boot volume" but you lose your backup as well.

A backup -- whether it's created by time machine, CarbonCopyCloner, SuperDuper, or something else -- should always be "on its own drive", separate and apart from other stuff. And stored in a safe place...
 
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rvgeerligs

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2021
3
1
OK I have the same sort of config as Leon1das. While the M1 has a great recovery including new OS install, it is still nice to have a bootable external disk to fix sys config errors on main disk. The installer on the external disk came in handy to make the external bootable disk. Of course, time machine may only be used when booting from main disk.
When creating new bootable disk I got: 'Apple Pay has been disabled because the security settings of this Mac were modified.' Rebooting from main disk does not say anything about this.
 
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Leon1das

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 26, 2020
285
212
If you are booting from the t7, you don't want your TM backup on the SAME drive.

What if the drive fails?
You've lost not only your "regular boot volume" but you lose your backup as well.

A backup -- whether it's created by time machine, CarbonCopyCloner, SuperDuper, or something else -- should always be "on its own drive", separate and apart from other stuff. And stored in a safe place...

Disagree...

Point here is that TM is actively used on T7, while booting from T7 only once in 2-3 months (in case main installation is compromised)

However - when I do boot from T7 - its extremely handy that TM is on the same physical drive - making retrieving any previous work a breeze.
 

Leon1das

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 26, 2020
285
212
OK I have the same sort of config as Leon1das. While the M1 has a great recovery including new OS install, it is still nice to have a bootable external disk to fix sys config errors on main disk. The installer on the external disk came in handy to make the external bootable disk. Of course, time machine may only be used when booting from main disk.
When creating new bootable disk I got: 'Apple Pay has been disabled because the security settings of this Mac were modified.' Rebooting from main disk does not say anything about this.

Fully agree.

On the other hand - reinstallation of OS on M1 Macs is impossible without internet, even if you have USB installer(!)

Thats why having bootable OS on external drive can be a good backup solution if you are traveling without net access.
 

AltecX

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2016
529
1,363
Philly
I have an external Samsung SSD, not sure if its T5 or 7, but I LOVE it. It's so mall and fast. Great to carry around in my bag.
 

Super Spartan

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2018
630
272
Dubai
I'm confused. How are you using the external drive to install macOS and boot off it? and why would you do that rather then using the built in SSD and using the external for backups just out of curiosity?
 
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