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Advice required fo new SSD/HDD setup and OS/App re-install

8533 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Oct 27, 2012 5:59 PM by kamaaina2010 RSS
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Sparrowhawk Calculating status...
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Jun 6, 2012 6:54 AM

Hi,

 

Over the last few weeks my HDD has been failing verification (4 times in the last fortnight ). I have used both Disk Utility and DiskWarrior to repair the drive and each time the outcome has been successful, only to have Verify Disk report errors a few days later.

 

I therefore decided to get a new drive. I've gone for a Crucial M-4 256GB SSD. However, as I do a lot of database work (MySQL mainly), I don't want to hammer the SSD with lots of writes. So I have also bought a WD 500GB hard disk (5,400rpm) together with a caddy for installing it into the DVD space. The caddy comes with an external enclosure so that i can slot my DVD drive into there instead and continue to use it via USB.

 

System details: MacBook Pro 6,2 mid-2010, i5 2.53 Ghz, 4GB DDR3, both internal and additional gfx card, matt hi-res screen, OS X 10.6.8, Time Machine on Iomega external firewire drive

 

In my mind, I will be allocating the following to each drive:

 

SSD - primary drive:

OS X 10.6.8

All my Apps and Utilities, documents etc

 

HDD - secondary drive:

MySQL data files

OS X swap file

Windows 7 partition

 

Questions:

1. Does this sound like a valid setup - ie is it doable?

 

2. Will the SDD automatically be picked up as the primary drive when OS X boots?

 

3. How best to install OS X? Should I do a system restore from Time Machine or take this opportunity to reinstall from scratch? Time spent on this is not a major issue as I have a backup latop to work on in the meantime

 

3. Can I actually install Win7 on a secondary drive with Bootcamp or would it need to be on the primary SSD?

 

4. If I can install Win7 onto the HDD, will that Win7 partition be bootable from Parallels 7? I've heard some people have difficulty with this using VMWare

 

5. Is it worth having the swap file on the secondary drive or should I leave it on the SSD?

 

6. If I upgrade to Lion/Mountain Lion, will the full disk encryption work with an SSD?

 

7. I know that I need to go into the DVD app to edit the path to the DVD drive form 'internal' to 'external'. However, does anytone know if games that require the drive to be inserted also work with external drives? Not a big deal if not as I only have 1 of these left.

 

Any additional advice most welcome

Thank you.

MacBook Pro 2010 i5
  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Sparrowhawk wrote:

     

    Over the last few weeks my HDD has been failing verification (4 times in the last fortnight ). I have used both Disk Utility and DiskWarrior to repair the drive and each time the outcome has been successful, only to have Verify Disk report errors a few days later.

     

    Use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the present boot drive to a blank external drive, you can hold the option key and boot off this drive.

     

    Option key or c key boot off the 10.6 install disk and use Disk Utility to Repair the internal drive, preferablly to Erase with Security Option Zero all Data, this will assist in mapping off bad sectors on the drive likely responsibel for your problems.

     

    Reinstall 10.6 fresh and use the same log in name as before, Software update fully and install programs from original sources and lastly files from the clone.

     

    Your drive should be fine after this, if it's still having problems then it's very likely a mechanical issue and needs to be replaced.

     

     

    The caddy comes with an external enclosure so that i can slot my DVD drive into there instead and continue to use it via USB.

     

    You can't boot or install OS X/Windows from a external optical drive is what I understand, so you will have to plan around that issue with bootable clones, Winclone etc.

     

    Clones can be booted from and reversed cloned onto new internal drives, in a lot shorter time and safer than TimeMachine restores.

     

    note: intalling a drive in the  optical slot is a violation and disqualification of warranty/AppleCare

     

    Time Machine on Iomega external firewire drive

     

    TimeMachineo only restores, it's not a bootable clone drive.

     

    Most commonly used backup methods

     

    In my mind, I will be allocating the following to each drive:

     

    SSD - primary drive:

    OS X 10.6.8

    All my Apps and Utilities, documents etc

     

    HDD - secondary drive:

    MySQL data files

    OS X swap file

    Windows 7 partition

     

    Questions:

    1. Does this sound like a valid setup - ie is it doable?

     

    No, Windows BootCamp will have to go on the same boot drive as OS X.

     

    The swap file of OS X should be on the SSD for speed, yes it will wear it out, but it employs wear leveling and likely by the time the SSD wears out your going to be buying a new machine anyway.

     

    So on the SSD, OS X, Windows, Programs, basic user folders. This way if the hard drive has issues your up on the SSD.

     

    On the hard drive place new folders with data there, like a storage drive.

     

     

    2. Will the SDD automatically be picked up as the primary drive when OS X boots?

     

    You set either Windows or OS X as the Startup Disk in System Preferences, and it is the only boot drive.

     

    With OS X/Windows which you select which partition to boot from using the option key at boot.

     

    You could also go with virtual machine software if your hardware demands with Windows isn't great or you can do both.

     

    Windows in BootCamp or Virtual Machine?

     

     

    3. How best to install OS X? Should I do a system restore from Time Machine or take this opportunity to reinstall from scratch? Time spent on this is not a major issue as I have a backup latop to work on in the meantime

     

    Scratch and only return files manually, no restores or migrations. This way your free of corrupted data.

     

    How to erase and install Snow Leopard 10.6

     

     

     

    3. Can I actually install Win7 on a secondary drive with Bootcamp or would it need to be on the primary SSD?

     

    SSD primary.

     

     

    4. If I can install Win7 onto the HDD, will that Win7 partition be bootable from Parallels 7? I've heard some people have difficulty with this using VMWare

     

    VM software of Parrallels and VMFusion can copy the BootCamp Windows and uses it as a file in OS X, which one can save snapshots of that virtual machine file, especially useful for malware and only updating pristine copies of Windows so your not pwned.

     

     

    5. Is it worth having the swap file on the secondary drive or should I leave it on the SSD?

     

    SSD for speed, it's extra space for memory and the faster it is the better for your computer,

     

    If your in the box, might as  well max the RAM, that's even faster.

     

    6. If I upgrade to Lion/Mountain Lion, will the full disk encryption work with an SSD?

     

     

    Yes, but Filevault has serious drawbacks, first it does slow down your CPU as it has to encrypt and decrypt everything on the fly.

     

    If you have trouble with your machine, you can't easily access the Filevaulted drive to recover files.

     

    If you have some sensitive data, you should be using a Iron Key self encrypting USB or a similar external drive (has it own keypad or key), because johhny law, customs and Apple will need the password to search or fix your machine.

     

    With the sensitive data on a external source, then you can use it with any machine.

     

     

    If you want to keep your speed up, not have to buy all new versions of software and some third party hardware as there are no drivers, I suggest you stick with 10.6 on that machine, it will be around for quite some time.

     

    http://roaringapps.com/apps:table

     

     

    10.8 on new hardware is coming, decide then or when 10.9 rolls out, don't torture yourself with 10.7 on older hardware in my opinion.

     

     

    does anytone know if games that require the drive to be inserted also work with external drives? Not a big deal if not as I only have 1 of these left.

     

    Most games I know install and have their own copy protection not requiring a disk being inserted as it wears out that way also won't work with machines that don't have optical drives.

     

    However I suspect if it has that sort of content protection that it won't work on external optical drives.

     

    Likely a game that old won't work on 10.7 nor 10.8 anymore anyway, so you will have to give it up.

     

    Be warned that 10.7 can cost you more money in upgraded software, PPC based programs of old will no longer work. Also drivers for older third party hardware, so beware before you upgrade.

     

    CS5 doesn't work too well on 10.7 neither, so you'll have to go to CS6 for instance.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Sparrowhawk wrote:

     

    Regarding installing Win 7 (Pro, 32 bits if it makes any difference).

     

    Use the 64 bit version of Windows so your using all of your registers, you have a 64 bit processor and likely would like to address more than 3GB of RAM one day, especially with a swap file on the SSD.

     

     

    if you have more than one internal hard drive installed, it will allow you to install Microsoft Windows on another drive

     

    This suggests that I can install Win7 on the second drive? Am I reading that correctly...?

     

     

    Looks like you most certainly can, trouble is how are you going to install it when the optical bay is occupied by the second internal drive?

     

    You have to figure Apple wrote that for MacPro users, which can have more than one internal hard drive, not for laptop owners who hardware hack their machines.

     

     

    Now it's possible you likely can install BootCamp partiton and Windows on the SSD (it's faster there anyway) and then make the optical bay /drive switch and use WinClone (Macupdate.com) to clone Windows 7 to the hard drive or partition on the drive if it's formatted correctly, likely GUID with OS X Extended Journaled so EFI partition is installed and works.

     

    You'll have to revalidate with Lord Redmond over the hardware change, but that's about it.

     

     

    I  think you should keep Windows on a partiton on the SSD, this way it operates faster.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    If you go ahead with this you really need to Enable TRIM support for the SSD. So do some google searches on how to do that in Snow Leopard.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Sparrowhawk wrote:

     

    requires installation of rEFTt bootloader

     

    rEFIt hasn't been updated in a long time, so I wouldn't be using it, although it still works in 10.6.

     

    It's a EFI based program which loads before OS X does, thus provides a boot selection method.

     

    It's used for installing Linux and other Windows versions Apple doesn't support in BootCamp.

     

    I used it for quad booting 10.7, 10.6, Linux and Vista on the same machine once, until Lion killed it.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    The only document, article, I have seen that states TRIM is not needed is from OWC promoting there own line of SSDs. Both Windows 7 and OS X Lion, with an APPLE Branded SSD, enable TRIM support automatically. That tells me it is needed and a good thing no matter what the drive firmware includes.

     

    I have never found any articles from any OS maker, Microsoft, Apple or Linux, or from any Real SSD manufacturer that says TRIM is not needed.

     

    If you have found one please post a link to it. That is other then the OWC article.

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,655 points)

    I have the Crucial m4 512GB and used TRIM Enabler with great success. You can also do it manually, but I just let the app handle it.

     

    No problems here.

     

    Clinton

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,655 points)

    Those are some old posts - I'd look at some of the more recent (2012) on Crucial's board and elsewhere. I didn't enable trim for quite awhile but I did about a month ago - haven't done any extensive tests with it, but my assumption is that if it's good enough for Apple's OEM drives, it's good enough for me.

     

    Clinton

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    First Link is to a Nov 2011 thread from users to users. Second is from August 2011 again users to users. Third is from May again users to users.

     

    Like I said there are no SSD Manufacturers or OS writers articles on NOT needing to enable trim. I run an Intel 320 series SSD in both my Windows computers, one notebook one desktop, and use the Intel toolbox and it first checks to make sure TRIM is enabled.

     

    I ran a Kingston V200 SSD in my mac for a few months until I needed more space so I removed it and replaced it with a seagate XT drive. I enabled TRIM when I had the SSD install. I didn't use Trim Enabler because I read so bad stuff about it. I did use a script that enabled trim. That script is found in a link in the second link you posted.

     

    http://digitaldj.net/2011/07/21/trim-enabler-for-lion/

     

     

    From that Link.

     

    Tobias

    I implemented the command lines printed above into a simple, easy-to-use Applescript program.

    http://www.mac-tv.de/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5470&d=1312024613

     

    Personally I would not run a SSD without TRIM support no matter what brand. Searching the Crucial site does not turn anything up from "Crucial" about not using TRIM or disabling it with OSs that turn it on automatically.

    Then you have to think why do those OSs turn it on automatically, even OS X with Apple Branded SSD, because it helps and can't hurt.

    But to each their own.

  • kamaaina2010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I kind off have a similar effort ahead of me, and I think I know how to do it all from scratch, but wonder if I can save myself some effort by copying at least the existing bootcamp partition.

     

    Current setup: single XT500 drive w/ MLion and bootcamp, as well as Parallels accessing the bootcamp partition. Filevault 2 enabled.

    Planned setup new 120GB SSD as bootdrive in original HDD slot, XT500 drive goes into caddy into optical slot as second HDD and DVD goes external. SSD shall host OSX 10.8 and W7 bootcamp.

     

    Planned approach: The current OS might go back to 10.7 or even 10.6, so at this point I prefer a clean fresh install of OSX 10.8.

    1) Partition disk into 35 GB Windows and 65-70 GB OSX

    2) I will probably install OSX and all apps again from disks etc., to have a fresh start.

    3) The enable Filevault again on OSX and let it encrypt the "empty" partition.

    4) CClone the Windows bootcamp onto the windows partition on the SSD

    5) Copy original HDD (XT 500) data/user folders externally

    6) Reformat XT 500 and then copy user folder / data back onto this clean drive.

    7) Then tell OS X where the user material is located.

     

    Questions/concerns:

    a) If I just clone W7 bootcamp back on the smaller partiction, the recovery disk at startup (option key) should recognize both partition the same way as currently, correct?

    b) SSD might be too small. Can I have bootcamp on the secondary drive? I believe the answer was already NO, that it needs to be on boot drive??

    c) How much space does a fresh and clean fully updated 10.8.2 with the regular out of the box apps take? I have about 15GB of apps installed at this time and would need some room for growth.

    d) I just read SSD's should not be "maxed out" but rather be only 75/80% filled for better performance. That would again worry me that I might have gotten the wrong sized SSD.

     

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

  • entravo Calculating status...

    I just changed my MacBook HD to a Corsair SSD 180GB,

    reinstalled a fresh OSX Snow Leopard.

     

    Works like a charm but... impossible to reinstall Win 7 -32b with Bootcamp.

    It hangs after reboot on a prompt black screen!

     

    Any idea?

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