Should i stop the habit of saving everything to my external?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Trance, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Trance macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #1
    first time mbp/laptop user
    before i ask for suggestions heres my macbook specs:
    lion 10.7.2
    Processor 2.3GHz Intel Core i5
    Ram 4GB
    HDD 307 GB free out of 319GB

    When I had my PC desktop I would store everything I downloaded to my external hdd then delete it off my computer, so I could run it off my external and save my desktops hdd space.

    At first I would only save music on the external till it became a habit I put everything on my external, ebooks,pictures,music I had no problem with it because my desktop was stationary I was always plugged into to my external.

    Now that I have a laptop, I repeated the cycle of moving everything to my external, the issue with this is whenever I want to move around (sit on the bed, school.etc) and unplug my external my laptop hdd is basically brand new out of the box.

    should I make it a habit to store everything on my laptop even music at a considerable rate?

    I don't like my macbook empty when i unplug the external and i don't want to carry the external around with me.

    my concern is running my hdd space low at the risk of slowing down my mbp
     
  2. TechStooge macrumors member

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    Jan 16, 2012
    #2
    explain to me how hard drive space effects performance. its hte processor and ram that mainly effects performance
     
  3. The General macrumors 601

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    Jul 7, 2006
    #3
    The only way filling a hard drive could slow your computer down is if you fill it all the way thereby leaving no room for swap space. There is no reason to store anything on an external except for backup purposes or unless you have more data than will fit on your internal hard drive.
     
  4. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    Save it to the hard drive in the Mac, then use the external as a TM. That would be the most beneficial way to do things. If you find yourself aching for space, just install a bigger hard drive :)
     
  5. jeremyshaw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #5
    Yup, use external as backup of primary. Best system.

    Filling the disk isn't that bad for performance (though to me, everything short of a good SSD is well... the same kind of slow :p).
     
  6. Guru53 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    #6
    You are quite mistaken on how personal computers operate. Unless you get down to the last several hundred megabytes of a HDD, you will see no change in the performance of you computer. The amount of disk space available has no effect. Failing to defragment platter hard drives could also cause some very minor performance hits, but that is easily solved and only needs to be performed at max 2 times a year.

    So, yes, you should use the internal hard drive to store whatever you want. Just don't forgot to backup!
     
  7. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #7
    320GB is really a fair amount of space. I'm in a similar situation as you with a 320 GB hard drive. In my internal drive I have 75GB of music and podcasts and about 20GB of movies and shows, with about 141GB available still. I store a lot more stuff on an external drive, and back up to an external time machine drive, but I'm still planning to expand my internal drive to 1TB once prices come back down a bit.

    It's a good idea to keep enough space on your hard drive for the system to use as virtual memory and for other processes, but you don't have to keep it barren. The days of puny hard drives are over. Take advantage of the space that you've already paid for and invest in more if that's not enough. I can't imagine not having all of my music and other items on my laptop hard drive. If you're going to be tied to your desk then you should have just bought a Mac mini.
     
  8. Trance, Jan 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012

    Trance thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 27, 2011
    #8
    when you unplug your external, download,work.etc then plug the external back does time machine automatically sync the new data?
     
  9. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a

    bdodds1985

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    Tartarus
    #9
    Once your hard drive fills to max capacity, you can only work with the blocks that remained. These are extremely fragmented, and will induce extra wear on your hard drive since the read head is constantly jumping around. This will also reduce throughput by an order of magnitude. Plus you have nowhere to store caches and swap space.
     
  10. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #10
    That's what time machine was built for, yes.
     
  11. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #11
    Storing everything on your external HDD basically defeats the purpose of having a notebook computer. Your external HDD should be a backup, or possibly to store some files that you don't access often and don't want them taking up space on your MBP (for instance, I save all the audiobooks I've already listened to on my external HDD since I rarely need to access them).
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    "When I had my PC desktop I would store everything I downloaded to my external hdd then delete it off my computer, so I could run it off my external and save my desktops hdd space."

    You don't have a PC any more. You have a Mac now.

    If you also have an external drive, what you should think about is using the external as a "backup/clone" of your _internal_ drive.

    Keep your stuff on the internal, and create a cloned backup on the external. You will now have TWO copies of everything and a bootable "emergency clone" of your internal.

    All you need to do this is the proper software - CarbonCopyCloner, which is FREE and available from:
    http://www.bombich.com

    It's very easy to set up and use. In CCC's window, your "source drive" (internal) is on the left, and your "target" (which will be the external) is on the right.

    If your external has more capacity than the internal, you could partition the external and use the second partition for "scratch storage space" (for items not in the actual backup).

    Once the original clone is done, CCC can update it "incrementally" (goes much faster). CCC can now "archive" older files/folders that you no longer keep on the internal (and would not be part of the clone).

    Once you create a clone, do a "test boot" from it to be sure it works as intended. On the Mac, do this:
    1. restart
    2. as soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down the Option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN
    3. the startup manager will appear
    4. select the backup drive icon with the pointer, and hit return/enter.
    Your Mac will now boot from the external drive. It should appear "just as if it were" the internal. CAREFUL! It can be easy to get confused as to which drive you're booted from, so change the desktop picture on the external, so you can tell the two drives apart.
     
  13. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #13
    That doesn't really make a difference with the setup the OP is describing; if they purchased an iMac instead, they'd probably have the same situation, and would run into the same "problem" with a Windows laptop. OP - Just make sure to have TimeMachine or other backups and use the HD on your laptop, it will make your life a lot easier.
     
  14. Jnardis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #14
    Or you can just buy a router that has a usb connection. Plug the external hard drive into the router and now you can access your files from any computer on your network with out any wires.

    I have an external hard drive plugged into my iMac and then one to my router with Vica Versa running every hour so both hard drives are backed up as soon as anything changes.
     
  15. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a

    bdodds1985

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Tartarus
    #15
    I have limited space because I bought my MBP with the 120GB apple SSD. So I knew I was going to use my external for music, and all my other files besides the little stuff (for me: pictures, documents, downloads, torrents, etc etc).

    It got annoying. real fast.

    So I bought a data doubler and another SSD. another 120gb. I know It's not a whole lot but now if I want to keep a couple movies, all my music (about 60GB) and anything else I want to use without having to plug in my external for a day or two, I just copy it on the 2nd drive.

    NOW:
    The drive with my OS has just that on it, My OS. Apps, All my pics (about 4GB) etc. total storage on my boot drive is 120GB with 90GB free. thats play room.
    The Extra SSD has my music, a couple movies, and torrents.

    My suggestion, If you don't need your optical drive just get a data doubler and install a 2nd hard drive. Just a suggestion though, it doesn't sit well with others, but works for me.

    I included a pic just to be snazzy and give you an idea of how easy and convenient it is without "defeating the purpose of having a notebook computer":rolleyes:
     

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  16. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #16
    So you don't think that storing everything on an external drive so that you have to be plugged in to access any of your files defeats the purpose of having a notebook computer? The point of a notebook is to be portable. If you always have to be plugged in, it's no longer portable. That was my point. The OP has a HDD that's plenty large enough. He/she just isn't making use of it.
     
  17. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

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    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
    #17
    As has been stated, there's no reason to move data to an external. With that said, I store most of my virtual machines on an external firewire 800 drive and tend to use it for demos.
     
  18. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a

    bdodds1985

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Tartarus
    #18
    usb powered eternals are portable.

    if you are like me and have almost 3TB's of 720-1080p movies, they won't all fit on a normal 2.5" internal hdd or ssd. So I have a couple usb/fw800 powered externals and one that never leaves my desktop because it needs to be plugged in.

    OP, if you want to keep your internal clean just put what you need on it for the time being and delete it when your done. or maybe your music on there so you can play music without needing an external hd. pictures and data should not take up that much space, so I would store those on your internal too.

    as i stated in a previous post:
    Once your hard drive fills to max capacity, you can only work with the blocks that remained. These are extremely fragmented, and will induce extra wear on your hard drive since the read head is constantly jumping around. This will also reduce throughput by an order of magnitude. Plus you have nowhere to store caches and swap space.
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #19
    There's a big difference between filling a hard drive to capacity and storing everything on an external drive. There is no need to habitually store all user files on an external drive. As long as you leave 10-20% space available on an internal drive, you can store whatever you like on it. Having things stored on an internal drive has zero effect on performance, unless you fill it to near capacity.
    Store on your internal drive those documents, videos, music, etc. that you want to have available when you're mobile. Store the rest on an external drive, if it won't all fit on the internal. For example, my music library won't all fit on my internal, so I have it split, with part stored on an external. That way, I have my favorite music with me when I'm traveling, but my entire collection when I'm on my wireless network.

    How to split a single iTunes library over two media locations
     
  20. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #20
    OSX iliterate here. For some windows systems setup, I create a static, permanant reserved page file of 8-12GB to prevent filling harddrive from impacting system performance when noob user fills it.

    Osx have similar protection options?

    I was under the impression many Unix based OSs used several partitions, one dedicated for swap. If you filled up user/data partition you wouldnt effect system speed.
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #21
    No, Mac OS X stores the swap file on the same partition. It grows/shrinks as needed. Of course, if you're paging much, you should look at possibly increasing RAM. However, the space issue isn't only about swap files. Other files, caches, logs, etc. need room to grow, as well.
     
  22. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #22
    Yes, they're portable. But keeping your MBP HDD empty and storing everything on an external HDD makes for a less portable, less convenient setup. In your case, it makes sense to have an external, but I assume any files you need regularly are kept on your MBP HDD. That's not the case with the OP. My point was that storing everything on an external instead of using the internal HDD was making his setup less portable, and he/she had specifically stated they don't want to carry the external around with them.
     

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