Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Two drives, what do i use the 2nd one for?

arenson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 19, 2004
27
0
I have a 6 month old Imac 27 inch with two drives. The smaller one is SSD, of which I have used 90 GB of the 250 GB.

I also have a 2 TB drive, which has hardly anything. It seems I should be using this mostly to store files. But most of the files I have are either photos OR ITunes stuff, mostly CDs I have ripped.

Seems like a waste of the second drive, which of course is slower than the SSD. Should I be using that for Itunes and IPhoto? When I imported pictures from my camera, I did it without using IPhoto first--SD card on my camera to the second disk But of course, when I then brought them into IPhoto, they now appear on the SSD disk.

Or is that the way it should be? Should I just use my 2nd drive for backup?

I see precious little info about this and was wondering what others do.

I also worry about what I will do if/when the SSD card becomes full.

Thank you!
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,292
Silicon Valley
Should I just use my 2nd drive for backup

Bingo! Use it as your Time Machine backup volume. The bigger your Time Machine backup volume, the better off you'll be in the long run if you ever accidentally delete something and only realize that it's missing weeks or even months later. If your Time Machine volume is too small then you'll only be able to keep very limited backups. If it's massive in comparison to your normal data drive, then you'll be able to store months of incremental backups.
 
Comment

arenson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 19, 2004
27
0
Thanks.

I think my current Time Capsule is 1 TB. I may be wrong. So by switching ti the second drive I have 2 TB. But somehow the SSD size seems a trifle small?

I have heard that most people keep system stuff on the SSD and all else on the secondary drive, But it seems Itunes and Photos and treated as system stuff. Same with Apps?

What about Documents? I have lots of stuff in there from various programs. Assuming I don't use the second drive as a new TM drive, is it possible to move documents folder to new drive?

Or is the best option just to live with 250 GB SSD?
 
Comment

reebzor

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2008
869
1
Philadelphia, PA
A lot of people with SSD+HDD use the SSD only for the OS and Applications. They store their home folder (Documents, Music, Movies, Pictures, etc) on the HDD. Yes, the HDD is slower than the SSD, but you really wont notice a difference opening a Word doc, or PDF so long as the Application itself is running from the SSD.
 
Comment

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,292
Silicon Valley
I have heard that most people keep system stuff on the SSD and all else on the secondary drive... Or is the best option just to live with 250 GB SSD?

I don't really know what your data storage needs are so I can't really comment on if 250 GB is enough for your regular use needs. For most people 250GB is actually quite a lot of storage and one of the reasons why people split up their storage so that applications go onto their SSD and everything else goes onto a ordinary HD is because SSDs used to come in tiny sizes and were so expensive.

They're still not cheap, but for what you got your 250GB SSD for, you might have only gotten a 60GB version a couple of years ago. The top end iPhone has more storage than that! With constraints like that you basically had no choice but to get a second drive for extra storage even if you weren't a system maxing freak.

Ultimately, it really depends on what you plan on doing in the future. If you ever plan on shooting lots of video, you'll burn through 250 GB quick. Come to think of it, you'll burn through 1TB quick! :(

You could partition your 1TB drive into a backup partition for storing your backups with maybe 250GB of "just in case" extra storage space. That would allow you to hedge your bets, but at one very important drawback. Ideally you want your backup drive to be totally separate from the rest of your data so that if either your backup drive or your regular drive(s) go bust, you still have a copy of everything you own.

If you wanted to do this, I'd suggest using your extra storage space partition only for misc. junk that you wouldn't care about if your backup drive died.
 
Comment

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,716
277
Oregon
Backups should never, ever been in the same housing as your primary drive. You can use it for TimeMachine but you should always have an external drive (or actually alternate between two drives) with a clone of your system stored at another location in case of theft, fire, or natural disaster.

There is no reason to store media files (photos, movies, audio) on the SSD. You will never notice the performance difference between a HD or SSD for this type of file. Luckily (from a financial point of view) these are also the largest files and can benefit from the lowest cost storage medium.
 
Comment

redache

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2011
44
0
I'd use the 2TB HDD as your primary data storage device and use the SSD for your OS/Applications and maybe your photos if you feel you need the speed benefit of an SSD when reading them. If you have a Time Capsule using the 2TB for Time Machine would be pretty redundant and it's a waste of space!
 
Comment

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,292
Silicon Valley
Backups should never, ever been in the same housing as your primary drive.

I second talmy's point here and realized that I should clarify my opinion about the 1TB backup drive. Having your Time Machine drive housed with your main computer is indeed a problem in case of theft or disaster, but it's still better than nothing because I know more people who've lost all of their data to a catastrophic drive crash than I know people who've lost computers to theft or disaster.

For the reasons that talmy mentioned, I have additional backups that aren't stored inside my main machine. If your data is valuable to you, having additional detachable backup storage is a must.

Update: Doh! I didn't notice that you said that you also have Time Capsule. In that case, I'd side with what everyone else has been saying. Use your 1TB drive for your "stuff".
 
Last edited:
Comment

seepel

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2009
471
1
Thanks.

I think my current Time Capsule is 1 TB. I may be wrong. So by switching ti the second drive I have 2 TB. But somehow the SSD size seems a trifle small?

I have heard that most people keep system stuff on the SSD and all else on the secondary drive, But it seems Itunes and Photos and treated as system stuff. Same with Apps?

What about Documents? I have lots of stuff in there from various programs. Assuming I don't use the second drive as a new TM drive, is it possible to move documents folder to new drive?

Or is the best option just to live with 250 GB SSD?

If you hold down alt as you open iTunes or iPhoto you can choose a different library to open. So for example, close iTunes, move your entire iTunes library over to the 2TB, hold down alt and open iTunes, select the library on the 2TB.

As for the documents folder, there really isn't anything special about it except that it gets a "fancy" icon. You can store your documents where ever you want. Some applications may use it by default, but those defaults can usually be changed.

I think where you start to see having a large drive becomes important is when you need to store videos. For everything else I've always done just fine with 250 GB and less for many years.
 
Comment

arenson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 19, 2004
27
0
Thank you all.

I see. you do not really need to move home directories to the HDD, just save there. Although I read all these articles about the best way to move stuff.

For example:


http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/mac_pro_ssd_and_hard_drive_combo/


In fact, my SSD IS the start up drive, so I guess I am all set. But I still see conflicting advice about moving stuff. Since I have a large HDD and a small SSD, it seems to make sense to save documents and what not to the HDD. Or so I thought.

One person on Mac Rumors said the best use for the HDD was as a Time Machine backup. Since I already have that in the form of my Time Capsule, I am still leaning toward using the HDD for data.

And so I find there are various ways of doing this, as well as opinions on whether you should include ITunes and IPhoto.

For example, here are 3 articles suggesting different approaches:

Move home folder: one way, with caveats
http://forums.macnn.com/90/mac-os-x/448240/moving-whole-users-folder-second-drive/

Don't do it the standard way, again with caveats
http://web.burza.hr/blog/mac-os-x-move-home-folder-from-ssd-to-another-disk/

Do it, but leave iTunes and iPhoto
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3243930?start=0&tstart=0

Which makes me wonder...is there a BEST WAY? Leave IT and IP and move the rest, as in the last article? But then, why move the home directory at all. The more I learn, the less I think I understand!


So is there a consensus?

it seems a waste to have the Mac automatically JUST use the SSD. I just don't want to do it one way and find I should have done it another way.
 
Comment

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,092
30
The best way is to move your entire Home folder (the house) to the HDD and use the advanced options in Accounts setting. What model is in the iMac? System Profiler will tell you. If it is 7200RPM 2TB then it will be just great.
 
Comment

seepel

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2009
471
1
I wouldn't move the entire home folder. I imagine stuff in the library folder gets accessed fairly often. I would stick to moving media files over (music, videos, maybe photos) and maybe downloads. The reason being that anything that accesses these files won't need to do it quickly. But if you don't need more space just leave it on the SSD until you run out of room and need to free some space up.
 
Comment

arenson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 19, 2004
27
0
ah, lots of good ideas. what is weird is that apple has no recommended way, leaving us all with a guide. thanks for the many suggestions. I may just leave things alone since I have not run out of space.

and another person suggests yet another way, though it seems the opposite..moving system over to SSD. Heinsists his recommendation is relevant, though I do not see why itbis.

here it is. too technical for me, though.
http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/mac_pro_ssd_and_hard_drive_combo
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.