SSD/HDD installation

Discussion in 'iMac' started by melbri, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. melbri macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2008
    I will be installing a new SDD and HDD on my iMac very soon and have some questions regarding migration of data.

    I want the SDD to be the primary/boot drive with all applications, users, etc... I want the HDD to be the secondary/storage drive where I keep my files (movies, music, pictures, files, etc..).

    What is the best way to migrate data to the SDD? I don't want to have to re-set all my preferences and I also want to copy boot camp as is and do not want to start from scratch there. Can I superduper all user files and apps? Is that process selective? I do have a time capsule back up.

    When I install the SSD and new HDD, will the computer automatically boot via the SDD?

    Or am I better off with a fresh install? If yes, I am running a late 2011 iMac with the latest ML update. Not sure how to fresh install via the internet.

  2. natesymer macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2012
    New Jersey
    First off, avoid SandForce SSDs like the plague.

    Secondly, cloned partitions are the bane of SSD's existence. Plus the cloning would not work because the cloning process would attempt to copy your files, photos, etc to the SSD. It is best to do those things manually, and it's more fun :D

    Buying an SSD is the perfect excuse for a clean install.

    What you need:
    - Toolkit for taking apart the computer, loree oboe screwdrivers are good for this. They will work for nearly any screw you'll find on the iMac.
    - SSD - for OS, get a 128GB SSD because it is MUCH faster than the 64GB drives.
    - HDD - for data, as large as possible
    - 8GB Flash USB drive
    - External housing for factory (older) HDD

    So here is my recommended procedure:
    1. Make an OSX install disk (enable debug menu in DiskUtility, and look for the Show all hidden volumes option. Then use the restore functionality to clone the Recovery partition to the USB flash drive)
    2. Boot down and unplug
    3. Take out old HDD and put it in an external housing (make sure you discharge static from your hands, copper pipe, SuperDrive's metal)
    4. Install SSD and HDD, putting the SSD where the HDD was.
    5. Boot up and install OSX to the SSD
    5 1/2: Optimize the SSD, Google is your friend.
    6. Copy your files to the new internal HDD
    7. Add a dummy file extension to your old TimeCapsule sparse bundle
    8. Set up time machine to back up as you wish (the backing up of the boot volume is not really necessary, seeing as you will not put anything there).
    7. If you have an unused external HDD that is rather small (larger than 130GB), you can use CarbonCopyCloner on the boot volume.
    8. PROFIT!!!!
  3. melbri thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2008
    Thanks for the reply.

    I bought an install kit from OWC and when you buy one of their SSD's, you get $15 off, so i got the Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G, which, on a google search appears to be a Sandforce SSD. What are the issues with Sandforce? I am doing regular computer stuff, nothing intense. Some blu ray ripping via MakeMKV and conversion to MP4 via Handbrake.

    Thanks for the upgrade instructions. Do you see any issues with a fresh install via USB, then install the SSD when ready? I want to make sure all my settings are there and then install the drive. With two little ones at home i don;lt have time to do it all at once, rather I would like to set up the SSD as I have time over a few days.
  4. hfg, Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    OWC SSD drives work fine ... there is no reason to avoid them. :cool:

    I have several systems with OWC drives running native, as RAID-0 arrays, as "Fusion" drives with absolutely no problems. I did have a couple of early drives (no longer sold) go dead when they were first released, but the replacements (current models), and the others I have purchased since are all working great and are in use 24/7.

    Enjoy your purchase of the Mercury Extreme Pro ...

  5. natesymer macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2012
    New Jersey
    Yeah, I did get burned by an older OWC drive in a hackintosh, that's why I like non-sandforce (Marvell and/or Indillinx) drives a bit better. Now that Apple is using them, I guess that they are fine.

    If you don't have the time, clone. If you do have the time, doing a clean install and copying your files over is usually the better option, plus it's not hard to set up your prefs again.

    And if you ever get stressed out about the SSD (let's face it, we all do), just remember that its an internal hard drive, just like your old HDD.

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