SSD Boot drive install questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ~Lukasdp, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. ~Lukasdp macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2007
    Hi everyone, I have a 60gig SSD on the way and I intend to use it as my bootdrive. Currently I have a single 2TB HDD running everything.
    Id like to do a fresh install on the SSD and am curious as to the best way to do this.
    Here is my thought process. please chime in if its unnecessary long or incorrect.

    1. remove the HDD
    2. install the SSD
    3. Boot off my OSX install disk and install SL onto the SSD.
    4. update everything and power down
    5. reinstall the HDD and restart holding down ALT and select the SSD as the drive to boot from.
    6. format the HHD and use it as storage for files.

    Is this a viable way to go about it? how will SL react to having two hard drives with SL installed right after step 5 before I can wipe the HDD?

    all files will of course be backed up elsewhere on external drives.
    thanks everyone, let me know if my process should be tweaked in anyway.

    all the best.
  2. diazj3, Dec 2, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010

    diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    It is a viable way, but a bit inefficient IMO.

    a) Installing an SSD - or any other drive for that matter - does not call for the other drives to be taken out. Just pop your Install disk into the optical drive, and restart your computer pressing the option key (alt). Before installation, run Disk Utility from the install disk and format the SSD. Then install OS X, and when asked, choose to install OS X in the SSD. I assume you have also ordered a suitable 2.5 to 3.5 drive adapter.

    b) Once the install is complete, the computer will automatically boot into the newly installed OS X in the SSD. Run all updates now. Downloading the Mac OS X 10.6.5 combo update beforehand might save you some time (instead of updating this portion via software update.

    c) Before you reformat the original 2TB drive.... if you want to save yourself the hassle of reinstalling all your apps again, re-entering the keys and serials for each app, and then reconfiguring your machine, you can run Migration Assistant (located in your utilities folder), and import them from the mechanical drive into the SSD. During the install process, it will also ask you if you want to migrate at that time - but IMO it's better to do it later. Take a bit of time beforehand to make sure all your apps and OS X are up to date and use Onyx to do a basic maintenance before migrating - this will help the process to be flawless. If you choose to migrate your user account, just remember to use a different name during the install process to avoid conflicts. Once migration is complete, you can delete the one you created during the install process.

    d) Depending on how much information you have (including system, files, apps, etc), you can choose to migrate specific files, preferences, apps and user accounts. Migration Assistant will also give you the option of migrating everything from the mechanical drive.

    e) Keep in mind that the SSD is very small... so after the migration of your user folder to the SSD is complete, and everything is working properly, I'd suggest you move your home folder back to the mechanical drive, along with all your personal files. You specify where the home folder is to be located in the preferences' user accounts. Here's how to do it.

    f) About wiping your original drive immediately after migration is complete... personally I'd wait a couple of weeks, until you are sure the SSD works ok. You can make the mechanical drive so the original files and system remain bootable in a small partition, and in another partition you keep your user folder related to the SSD. Or you can clone the original files and system into a non bootable but restorable dmg image. Once you know the SSD is reliable and you didn't get a defective one, you can delete the partition and keep the dmg image clone and update it regularly. HDs are not to be trusted until after you've used them for a while. Or you can clone it to an external drive too.

    g) When you decide to reformat the mechanical drive, consider partitioning the mechanical drive into 2 or 3 parts.... one as your home folder and/or file depository; another for time machine to backup your system SSD drive; and/or another for a bootable clone (using superduper or carbon copy cloner)... or keep these backups in externals - your choice... but externals are slower.

    Your MP and SL will be faster with the SSD. Both are designed to handle multiple drives, regardless of the information they hold, so there's no problem on having multiple boot volumes in multiple drives - or even in the same drive on different partitions: all you need is to decide where to boot from - either manually, by pressing the option key during startup, or automatically, by designating the boot volume from the Startup Disk preference pane.

    cheers and good luck

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