ssd + optibay moving user home location and bootcamp

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by markab, May 16, 2011.

  1. markab macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have just ordered a vertex 3 and an optibay adapter for my 2011 15" MBP and I am looking for advice on how to go about setting things up.

    I will be installing the ssd in the main bay and will be relocating the 750GB drive to the optibay. I am going to make a completely fresh intstall of osx to the ssd and also do a full erase on the 750GB disk in the optibay. So here is where I have questions....

    My intension is to install applications onto the ssd along with osx, so all the usual apple apps + aperture, final cut express, parallels and a few games, I want all of my user data (music, video, docs, itunes folder, parallels ubuntu VM's etc) to go onto the 750GB disk, can I relocate my user folder to the second disk and leave the applications on the ssd... if so what is the easiest way of doing this? I assume this is one of the first things to do right after installing osx?

    Next I want to install a bootcamp win7 onto the 750GB disk, my thinking is that I won't get ssd performance with win7 however osx and parallels will be running on the ssd and win7 on the second disk so I wont get as bad performance when running osx parrallels and win7 concurrently off the same 5200rpm disk as I do at the moment. I will be putting the current superdrive into a usb caddy so will I be able to install bootcamp windows onto the second HD using the usb superdrive just using the usual bootcamp utility?

    Are there any other things I should consider in keeping my ssd healthy or should I just ignore the myths and use it?


    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  2. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #2
    HERE is a good write-up on how to move your home folder and why it's a good idea. I've got SSD + HDD in my MBP now, running the home folder on the HDD. And I'd been doing that for around 2 years or so on my old Mac Pro, too. It works nicely.

    I think your intentions on how to use Windows should be fine. But if you have even a conservatively sized SSD, I would consider putting Windows on the SSD as well. What capacity SSD are you looking at? I admittedly don't run a ton of applications, but even with a large handful of them installed, I am only using 25.5GB on my SSD.

    And as far as all the BS info out there these days. I won't say that you ought to completely ignore it, because there is truth to much of it. But it is so over-blown it's crazy. So, ignore 99% of it and just use the machine. If something comes up that you need to pay attention to, it will be made very clear by one or more of the power users on this forum. Just keep your eyes and ears open, and try not to lose your socks when you install that SSD, because if you're not careful, you're gonna have them blown off.
     
  3. donjao macrumors member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    #3
    1) Read neighbor thread regarding installing the Windows 7 onto second drive.

    2) I wouldn't do that on a MacBook Pro unless you're OK with this: your second HDD will constantly be spinning — draining battery power up to 30%—40% faster (just real life experience) and you will HEAR how drive spins. I'd set up a daily automatic backup to the 2nd drive, and used the 2nd HDD only when I needed my files. Cos I hate to hear how my HDD spins without any use :p

    3) So if you're going to be moving the home folder, make sure you move it AFTER you have installed the Bt'camped Windows.
     
  4. markab thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thanks for the reply, can you describe to me why you can't install bootcamp windows direct to the 2nd HDD from a external usb drive? I understand your solution I just don't understand why there is a problem in the first place, is it a limitation on the bootcamp installer or?

    As another solution for installation of bootcamp windows, could I leave the super drive in the mbp and stick the 2nd HDD in a usb caddy, install bootcamp and then take the superdrive out and put the 2nd HDD in the optibay?

    Also why would the 2nd HDD constatly be spinning? surely it power saves whenever it is not in use? just like most drives do or is it something to do with it being in the optibay slot?
     
  5. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #5
    Windows won't allow itself to be installed or booted on an external drive. Perhaps with bootcamp, Windows recognizes anything other than Mac OS boot volume, which includes the bootcamp drivers, as an external drive.
     
  6. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    Pennsylvania, USA
    #6
    As the above poster said, you can not install Windows any way except having the superdrive inside the computer. I have tried two different usb cases for it, flash drives and using refit. The only option is to move the HDD to the stock spot and put the drive in and install windows then move the drives to the locations you want after your done.
     
  7. Ladybug macrumors 65816

    Ladybug

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    Apr 13, 2006
    #7
    Windows 7 installs great on a PC from a USB drive, so I assume it must be a limitation of Bootcamp that it can only be installed via the optical drive?

    Not trying to hijack your thread, just very interested in the answer. :)
     
  8. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Its something to do with Mac, like lack of boot efi or something. Dont quite remember and bootcamp has nothing to do with it. Bootcamp only creates the partition and formats it so windows can see and use it. Then after an install it gives you the supporting drivers.
     
  9. donjao macrumors member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    #9
    No, this is Windows' or Apple's incompatibility. My assumption is that Apple's EFI boot does not support W7x64 boot procedure. It may work with W7x86 though, I have not tested it yet. As of Windows XP - it disables the USB hub during the installation, so you'll have to modify the installation, and it may not work in the end. http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1948

    Again, it's not supported by the Apple's firmware. Trust me, I tried all possible ways to do this for W7x64.

    Nope, I was referring to NORMAL operation. The thing is, the SSD is COMPLETELY silent. Your MBP will be quieter than your breath. So the second HDD will be the most loud device in your unibody unless it is not in the sleep mode. And it will NEVER be in sleep mode since you're moving your home dir there. So personally I've disabled indexing (using Cocktail app) and made it to go to sleep after 1 min of inactivity. And this is the only way I can get my silence back. :) So my 2nd HDD is only for storage and bootcamp purposes.
     
  10. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

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    Apr 11, 2007
    #10
    I have the exact same setup as you, here's how I did it:


    Before installing the new SSD or Optibay mount, (assuming your original HDD has OSX installed and you are using that as your system drive currently) ->

    1. Set up a Bootcamp Partition and install Windows.
    2. Verify you can boot into windows with no issue
    3. Install your new SSD and Optibay mounted HDD
    4. Install OSX and Apps on the SSD
    5. Remove your original OSX partition from the HDD, create a new blank one with whatever free space is left on the drive after creating a bootcamp partition.
    6. Relocate your home folder to the HDD
    7. Move your /username/Library folder back to the SSD and create an Alias (symbolic link) to it on the HDD in your home folder. This ensures apps do not rely on some config files located on a slower HDD when launching.
    8. ???
    9. Profit!
     
  11. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Or...stay with me here...go to System Settings

    Then Accounts

    Then Unlock it

    Then Right-Click on your account

    Select Advanced Options

    and "Choose" the Home Directory after you have copied the Home Directory to the HDD...

    No need to create aliases unless you only want to keep parts of the home directory on the HDD, if your moving the whole directory just do as I posted.
     
  12. markab thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 23, 2010
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    UK
    #12
    Thanks all for the reply's, very helpful info, I was thinking last night this is kind of how I would go about it.

    One last question, as it is a 2011 MBP is it worth enabling TRIM with the instructions available out there or just leave the vertex 3 to do the garbage collection?
     
  13. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

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    Apr 11, 2007
    #13
    It's a good idea to keep the Library folder on the SSD so you can make the most of its speed when launching apps.
     
  14. bozz2006, May 17, 2011
    Last edited: May 17, 2011

    bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #14
    I'd be interested in a little help on moving the Library back to the SSD. Is there a recommended spot to put it? I know there already is a Library folder on the SSD, but I think that's like the applications Library or something, different from the user library, right? Do I put the user library into that Library folder? Or into the User folder? Somewhere else?

    Do I just drag and drop the Library folder from teh HDD to the SSD?

    And how do you create an alias?
     
  15. markab, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    markab thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Well I got my vertex3 and optibay installed last night and followed pretty much what was suggested here and everything seems to be working. I wouldn't say I am "blown away" by the difference in performance but it is definately a very good performance improvement, more testing with different tasks will no doubt show. One thing I was dissapointed with was game load times, although the ssd does reduce the load times a resonable amount I had expected them to be almost zero anyway no big deal....

    The steps I took to move my home folder were....

    My SSD (boot) drive is called Macintosh SSD and the old spinner is Macintosh HD

    I am typing this from memory so if it is wrong I will fix later however you will get the idea.

    • Copyied the /Volumes/Macintosh SSD/Users folder to /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users
    • Deleted the /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/shared folder
    • Went to System Preferences, Accounts and Advanced for my user
    • Changed my home location from /Users/mark to /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/mark
    • Rebooted
    • Opened terminal
    • run command "rm -R /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/mark/Library"
    • run command "cd /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/mark"
    • run command "ln -s /Volumes/Macintosh SSD/Users/Mark/Library Library"
    • deleted all folders apart from the Library folder in /Volumes/Macintosh SSD/Users/mark

    So basically just copy the Library folder from the HD and put it in a Users/username folder on the SSD then run the commands from the terminal to create the link.
     
  16. uplusd macrumors 6502

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    Silicon Valley
    #16
    What if I already moved my entire User folder over to the HDD and deleted the entire User folder on the SSD (boot drive)? Can I just copy the Library folder back over from the HDD to SSD and then delete it from the HDD and create the symbolic link to the SSD?
     
  17. markab thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Obviously I didn't do it this way so can't confirm 100% but yes copy the folder back to the SSD remove the one on the HD then create the link. doesn't really matter where you put it on the SSD but making a users/username folder if it no longer exists on the SSD makes sense as you know where to find it. You maybe just have to check the permissions look ok.
     
  18. uplusd macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I just did it. Definitely noticed some improvement in app performance.
     
  19. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #19
    Can somebody hold my hand through this procedure. I have the entire home folder on the HDD and haven't deleted anything. And I don't know how to make a symbolic link; I'm not proficient in terminal at all. When you have "mark" in the path, do you really mean I should type the word "mark" or is there a symbol that correlates to that word? I definitely want my Library on the SSD if there is a performance gain with it.
     
  20. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #20
    I'm trying to wrap my head around this Terminal stuff but it just ain't happening! lol
     
  21. markab thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    no mark is my user name so you replace it with your user name if that is the path for your home folder etc.

    Do you still have your old home folder on your SSD the one you copied to your HDD originally?
     
  22. bozz2006, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011

    bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #22
    Thanks for the reply. I do still have the original folder still on the SSD. I originally copied it over to the HDD, and I never deleted it from the SSD. Should I delete the whole home folder?
     
  23. markab thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    Well the first thing you probably want to do is delete the contents of the Library folder on the SSD (do not delete the Library folder just it's contents) as it will now be out of date and then copy the current contents of the Library folder on your HDD into the one on the SSD, you can do this step in finder.

    Next open the terminal from your utilities application folder and type the following command

    Code:
    cd /Volumes/HDDNAME/Users/USERNAME
    Note HDDNAME should be replaced with the name of your HDD (not SSD) you can see what this is in finder and USERNAME should be replaced with your short username (what ever your home user folder is called) both will be case sensative.

    Next type the following command

    Code:
    ls -l
    If this lists the contents of your user folder on the HDD(documents, movies, music folders etc) you should be in the right place. Next type the following command

    Code:
    ls -l /Volumes/SSDNAME/Users/USERNAME/
    This time replace the SSDNAME with the name of your SSD drive and again your user name.

    This should list the contents of your old folder on the SSD, we are just doing this to check the paths because I dont know what your stuff is called. If any of this fails report back before continuing.

    I would also make a copy of the HDD user Library folder just in case just make a copy in your home folder beside the other but call it Library_safe or similar.

    Next enter command only if everything up until now makes sense.

    Code:
    rm -R ./Library
    This will remove your current Library folder only do this after you have copied it fresh to the SSD in the earlier step so that you know you have a safe copy.

    Next enter the following command

    Code:
    ln -s /Volumes/SSDNAME/Users/USERNAME/Library Library
    Again replace the SSDNAME with the name of your SSD drive and the USERNAME with your short user name all case sensative.

    This will create a link in your HDD user folder to the one on the SSD, you should see this in finder it will be the Library folder with the alias arrow on it, if you open the folder it should have your Library in it.

    Probably best to reboot at this point.
     
  24. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #24
    Wow thanks for the fantastic write-up! I'm only the first step and i've already encountered a problem though. I selected all the contents of the Library folder on the SSD and tried moving it to the Trash but I then get this error code:
     

    Attached Files:

  25. markab thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    Just to double check your user is already setup to use the home folder on the HDD at the moment? That message makes me think that it thinks something you are trying to delete is in use?
     

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