SSD - HDD partitioning/accessing questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by StevenQ, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. StevenQ, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012

    StevenQ macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2011

    I'm planning to buy a Samsung 830 SSD, either 128 or 256 GB, for my MbP 15" (Late 2011).
    My questions are less about the technical stuff but more about how i can work best with it.

    My first question would be whether there's a difference which drive i put in which bay. Can i boot from the optibay the same way as from the hdd bay? Or do i have to mind anything.
    I'm asking this because I want to know whether it's possible to boot from the old HDD to format the SSD and to create a USB Lion image, then install Lion on the SSD and then boot from the SSD to restore data from the HDD. So without any third drive that i need to copy a backup on, 750GB with USB 2.0 is quite a hassle. Hope you got what i meant..

    Second thing. Can i partition the SSD the same as my old HDD? I need to install Lion as well as Win7 on a boot camp partition, both on the SSD. The old HDD will be used as my data-drive.

    Concerning that: I've read that I can 'outsource' my User-folder to the HDD. My question here is whether it's a good solution or not. The User-library is in the User folder too, and afaik it's constantly accessed by e.g. safari, itunes etc. So does the HDD really turn on and off every time i need the User library? Really concerned about that. I'd really only want my HDD to spin when i access my stored data on it, not just only because i e.g. changed a bookmark in Safari.
    Because if that's the case, I'd still have the HDD noise and "moving sensitivity" and maybe even slowdowns even though I'm running my OS on an SSD which would be quite pointless.

    I hope someone read theough this and can help me with this matter. I'm sure there's someone with the same/similar setup who's gone through this already :)
    Or maybe someone has a tip for me on how to setup my drives/folders/programs the smartest way. My main goal is to minimize the use of the HDD.
  2. PhixionFilms macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2008
    Deployed atm
    Let me try and break this down the best I can for the information I have.
    You want to put your SSD in your main bay no matter what. Im going to skip the technicals here but in the long run you will get more faster results in the main bay than in the optibay.

    Its possible to boot from the optibay but it is NOT possible to set up windows while your HDD is in the optibay. This is because you cannot boot a windows CD from a USB on the optibay drive. (since your HDD is in your superbay slot, you will have to use the external superdrive) This is a little complicated so here is a thread you can read if you wanted to do it.

    You can partition a SSD just like a normal HDD.
    I can't answer the outsourcing question for you because I dont have my setup like that. if you have any questions feel free to ask.
  3. StevenQ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2011
    Thanks, that topic helped me alot already.
    Now I'm still somewhat helpless with the 'outsourcing' thing. Actually, it's only the iTunes movies and TV shows that blow my space... outsourcing only my iTunes folder would slow down the rest too though. If anyone's having experience with the User Library thing, please reply here, thanks :)

    Kinda having another question about where to get SSD's and Optibay solutions. I'm from Germany and I will spend my vacations in some weeks in the US. Where can I get the Samsung 830 and a favourable Optibay solution? Best Buy? Thanks in advance
  4. StevenQ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2011
    Can anyone help me with this?

    Also, how can I redownload the Lion dmg? Lion was pre-installed on my Mac, therefore it isn't linked to my App Store account I guess. Or can I install Lion from the recovery partition (on the HDD) on the seperate SSD?

    Thanks for answering any of these questions.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You are correct, if you did not buy Lion in the app store it won't be on the purchased list there for you. You Macbook has recovery built into the system firmware (EFI) and even with a new, blank drive can boot to that firmware recovery mode and redownload Lion direct from Apple's servers.

    If you want to snag they download to make yourself a USB install key, you can use this process.
  6. okinawanmatt macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2012

    Whoa, whoa whoa. I came here looking for general advice about performance of the ~/Libraries being on an SSD vs HDD, but instead, I just ran smack-dab into some misinformed users.

    Let it be known to EVERYONE that you CAN install Windows 7 onto an HDD or SSD that is mounted in the bay where your Superdrive (CD/DVD drive) used to be.

    For example, if you decide you want to upgrade your MacBook Pro from having 1 HDD + 1 Optical Drive to 1 HDD + 1 SSD (and removing your optical drive), you can purchase a hard drive caddy in the shape of an optical drive and mount an extra hard drive into your MacBook Pro. Since the connectors for the Optical Drive is not a standard SATA connector, you will need a special hard drive caddy that will convert from a SATA II connector to the one that the MacBook uses. This costs about $25 on Amazon, or $85 from OWC.

    Perhaps this user was using the OWC version that has some sort of limitation in its logic board. Perhaps they had an underpowered USB CD drive (the USB ports on the MacBook are underpowered when booting in EFI, so if you're using a USB-powered external CD drive, you need to boot with a Y-splitted USB cable, with one end plugged into the MacBook and the other end plugged into an AC-powered USB hub).

    Either way, the generic shipped-from-china hard drive caddy purchased on Amazon will allow the hard drive to work at SATA II speeds. It will also allow you to install any operating system from an external CD or DVD drive (I have it working with the HP HDDVD ROM drive, Samsung external, ASUS DVD external DVD burner, and ASUS external BluRay reader).

    Installing OS X Lion to the main drive bay from an external drive works. Installing Windows 7, Windows 8 Gold RTM and Fedora to the second drive in the optibay (hard drive caddy) works.

    Don't let anyone fool you. If they can't get their install to work, it's because they don't know enough about the hardware they have chosen to use.

    Now, if someone could give me performance comparisons about HDD/SSD partition performances... :p

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