Want to boot 2011 iMac from external LaCie Thunderbolt SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by trebeh, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. trebeh macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2014
    I've read many posts about the performance benefits of SSDs and want to use one with my 2011 iMac (currently with a 1TB internal...not SSD).

    My plan is to use a LaCie Rugged Thunderbold 250GB SSD ($299). This seems to be enough space for Yosemite plus my main applications (Aperture, iPhoto and Photoshop). I'll keep my data (and other apps) on my existing internal. I also don't have the option to spend more money.

    I've seen some pretty detailed posts on how others have implemented similar solutions but I still have some basic questions. So, here goes...

    - I like the idea of creating the boot drive by using TimeMachine...that way my apps are already there. However, since my SSD is only 250 GB, will I have the option to select what I recover from TimeMachine (my current drive uses about 500GB)? If not, what would be the best way to get Yosemite and my apps onto the drive without using TimeMachine?

    - Can I continue to use my internal 'as is' to read the data and access the other apps? Or, will I need to re-format and remove Yosemite?

    - I spend most of my time in Aperture and it's frustratingly slow in my current set-up. Will I see a meaningful improvement in performance if the application is on the SSD but the photos remain on the non-SSD?

    Thank you!
  2. wacomme macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2009
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Here is what I would do to limit what gets moved to the SSD. Reinstall Yosemite fresh to the SSD from a USB key. After the install is over and the setup assistant comes up, tell it you want to import data from a TM backup and follow the prompts. You will get to a screen that looks similar to this (this show is an old version). Go down the list there and UNcheck the big folders you don't want to import like maybe Pictures and Music, then go ahead with the import.


    To read data, yes. To launch apps from... maybe. Some apps will work fine and others want to run from the same drive the running OS is on and will balk.

    The app launch will be far faster, but you will be limited by the slower hard drive when opening large photos sets.
  4. trebeh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2014
    Thank you Weaselboy! I'll give your suggestions a try. Much appreciated.

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