Thoughts on separate Boot and User Drives

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by spacedesign911, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. spacedesign911 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #1
    Hi I ordered a new 3.3 6 Core Mac Pro to replace my 2006 1.1 Mac Pro. I specified it with the Apple 512GB SSD & a 2TB HD.

    I intend to boot from the SSD and include my applications on this drive, and from what I can gather I will store my user folder and work files on the 2TB HD.

    I can't seam to find any detail information on how to assign the user folder on the 2TB HD in Apple Help, however I'm sure most iMac owners with both SSD and HD's have this option? Is it something you specify on installation or is it something you configure later?

    Appreciate your thoughts or advice, and thanks in advance for any information.
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #2
    There are various ways you can do this.

    You can do it via the official way:
    http://chris.pirillo.com/how-to-move-the-home-folder-in-os-x-and-why/

    Personally, I wouldn't do this since if you move the entire home folder, you'll be negating a lot of the performance advantages that an SSD has to offer.

    The problem with the approach above is that it moves not just your normal directories, like documents, movies and music, but also your Library directory, which stores frequently accessed files like application preferences and caches.

    A much better way to do this is to use symbolic links. In other words leave everything as it is on the SSD, then create music, downloads etc folders on your HDD wherever you want them and then delete these folders on your SSD in your home directory and create symbolic links to the directories on your HDD. There are tutorials on how to do this on this forum and on the web.
     
  3. jasonvp macrumors 6502a

    jasonvp

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #3
    There are, as I know, 2 ways to do this:
    1. In the Users and Groups preference panel, you can right-click on each user and you'll see and Advanced Options menu pop up. Choose it, and then in the pop-up dialog, change the user's home directory. You'll need to do that per user as the default will still be to put new users in /Users.

    2. Boot in single-user mode by holding CMD-S while the machine is coming up. From the CLI:
    Code:
    cd /
    mv Users Users.ORIG
    ln -sf /Volumes/Your_Second_Drive /Users
    exit
    
    I do the second because I want all of my user directories to end up in that second drive without me having to remember to do so every time I create a new one.

    jas
     
  4. startupi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    #4
    Works well with moving whole Home folder

    I am running a Mac Pro 3.1 Quad core with 18GB of memory. I use an OWC SSD to boot from and I have moved my Home folder to a Western Digital Black 7200 RPM drive. Read and write on SSD are over 250mb and Read and write avg 140mb on the balck drive. I do a lot with aperture and have not had any issues.

    Process used to move folder was like this:
    1. first I put in my new "black" drive and duplicated the home folder to the black drive
    2. went to accounts under system on the system preference pane...
    3. right click on user name and select "advanced options..."
    4. Next under the Home Directory, select the folder to look at by clicking choose, and pointing to the duplicated home folder on the new drive
    5. restart machine...

    ----------

    I am running a Mac Pro 3.1 Quad core with 18GB of memory. I use an OWC SSD to boot from and I have moved my Home folder to a Western Digital Black 7200 RPM drive. Read and write on SSD are over 250mb and Read and write avg 140mb on the balck drive. I do a lot with aperture and have not had any issues.

    Process used to move folder was like this:
    1. first I put in my new "black" drive and duplicated the home folder to the black drive
    2. went to accounts under system on the system preference pane...
    3. right click on user name and select "advanced options..."
    4. Next under the Home Directory, select the folder to look at by clicking choose, and pointing to the duplicated home folder on the new drive
    5. restart machine...

    Just saw the Chris Pirillo article above... I found something similar a few years ago... follow it and you will love it...
     
  5. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    I think it really depends on your workflow, I have everything on my SSD, with media libraries (music, pics, vids) set in their respective apps preferences on my HDD.

    For current web photo/music projects I work on, I keep them on my SSD, then archive them off to my HDD when I'm done. It's a little more work but not really a huge deal and it keeps things still pretty simple.
     
  6. spacedesign911 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #6
    Hi guys, many thanks for the replies, and thoughts, each of them.

    Seb, your points make sense, I have a lot of preferences for my fonts and my cad packages that I would rather remained on the boot SSD, thanks for the heads up point that out.

    thefredelement, Im thinking your comments re workflow might be the happy medium, my current HD with basic apps, work projects, iTunes, and basic iPhoto total about 900GB, so I need to trim back on stuff to boot on the 512GB Apple SSD.

    I still appreciate any other thoughts or comments on possible setups. Is there an Apple supported set up? What do Apple suggest dual drive iMac owners do?
     
  7. nspyro macrumors newbie

    nspyro

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #7
    MacPro 4,1 (10.7.4)
    Have a 120gb SSD as my boot drive with just OS and Apps
    Then have a 1TB black caviar drive for my home folder
    I mainly work with the Adobe Suite & in different IDE's (Eclipse, coda2)
    Works a treat for me, Fast boot times, Apps launch fast + I really never have to worry about filling up the SSD.

    But considering you have a 512GB SSD, that is a lot of storage (depending on your needs)
     
  8. spacedesign911 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #8
    Hi nyspyro, I use CS5, so even thought your prefs for Illustrator and Photoshop are on the HDD and not the SSD, your not seeing a drop in performance? Based on Sebs comments above which make sense to me, I would have thought the HDD would be a bottle neck in the boot processes?

    Your experiences are welcome?
     
  9. nspyro macrumors newbie

    nspyro

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #9
    Sadly I can't compare as I have only ever experienced either OS & Home folder on just a traditional 7200rpm HD or the setup I have at the moment :(

    Although I do own a MBA 11" which I use photoshop and illustrator (CS5) but not very often. I can imagine having a pure SSD setup would be faster then the split, but for me its still pretty darn fast (I would love to find out what the exact time difference between the two would be). I will add that if I did own a 512gb SSD, I would probably just use the SDD stand alone and use the 1TB for basic storage and backup
     
  10. spacedesign911 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #10
    Ok new Mac Pro arrived with the 512gb Ssd and a 2tb Hdd, it came with Lion installed. I'm treating this as a fresh setup, with all software freshly installed.

    I'm copied over to the new computer my Music, Pictures & Documents folders, which have a combined size of about 700gb so I will have them on the 2tb Hdd and not on the 512Sdd.

    If I make symbolic links to the folders on my 2tb Hdd, will drag and drop of folders in the finder between the add and the Hdd be copies as opposed to moves? Ie if I download in safari to "downloads" on the ssd then move via drag and drop to my documents on the Hdd will I in fact be copying?
     

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