12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 25, 2012 8:21 PM by large_farva
media_lush Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

copy and pasted this:

 

Can external USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt hard drives be added to Fusion Drive?

External drives cannot be added to Fusion Drive.

 

Now, according to my understanding of English this translates to "you can't use an external HD of any type if you have a fusion drive in your imac" ..... am I missing something here?


iMac, OS X Mountain Lion, 32GB Wi-Fi iPad
  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,560 points)
    "you can't use an external HD of any type if you have a fusion drive in your imac" ..... am I missing something here?

     

    My understanding is that the platter drive / SSD arrangement is a data management system contained within the fusion drive itself, and not able to be appended ie. expanded. This would not preclude adding normal external drives to the system, for they would be seen as normal data storage drives, but not able to be part of any fusion system that exists on the internal drive. That's my reading of it anyway.

     

    here is the article here

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5446

     

    Message was edited by: roam

  • Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8 (46,490 points)

    Then what are all the external connections for?

     

    According to OWC: "The iMac also gets USB 3, but unlike the Mac mini which retains its FireWire 800 interface - you'll need Apple's Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter ($29) in order to move your FireWire drives to it."

     

    And how else would you back up, be it via Time Machine or whatever?

  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,560 points)

    I agree Klaus, I said

     

    This would not preclude adding normal external drives to the system,

    I was dismissing the OP's concern. You either missed that or I did not emphasise that strongly enough.

  • Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8 (46,490 points)

     

  • nick101 Level 5 Level 5 (4,500 points)

    What it means is that you can't add external drives to the fusion drive subsystem, not that you can't add them to the Mac.

     

    The fusion drive subsystem handles swapping of data between the spinning hard drive and the ssd - it only works with the in-built combination. All other (external) drives operate the way they always have

  • Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8 (46,490 points)

    Exactly!

  • lancia Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Responding to the op: There is nothing to worry about.  The support article posted by roam says that the FD will have a 'unique disk utility' but it does seem previous TimeMachine entrys might be funky if you are moving your old system to the new Mini with FusionDrive.  Overal the use of an external drive for TimeMachine isnt a problem. 

    I will defer to others about using an external drive for large video or audio library outside of the FusionDrive system......I would trust roam and nick on this one.

  • llee Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)

    What does that question "Can external USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt hard drives be added to Fusion Drive?" mean? If I was talking about an internal hard drive for a computer and was asked "Can external USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt hard drives be added to this drive?", I would immediately ask for clarification as to what was being asked. I've gathered from the discussion that most people are in agreement that it doesn't mean "If a Mac is equipped with a Fusion Drive, can any other external drive be added?", so can you provide the same question in other words so that I might be able to understand it better?

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (41,035 points)

    llee, a literal interpretation of the FAQ would seem to support roam and Klaus1's answers.

     

     

    External drives cannot be added to Fusion Drive.

     

     

    Attaching an external HDD to your Mac is not the same as adding it to the Fusion Drive.

     

    It seems to me an external drive will remain an external drive as it has always been. The way I interpret the question and Apple's answer is the possibility of augmenting or expanding Fusion Drive's inherent characteristics with additional external devices. I would not expect that to be possible.

     

    Without an additional device, how could you use Time Machine for instance? Edit: Klaus1 already raised that question.

  • Richard Richards Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks for the discussion.  This has to be the worst FAQ ever written.  I was just in an Apple Store asking about the FAQ's meaning and the employees were entirely confused about it.  Just got off a on-line chat with an Apple Store rep who told me with 100% confidence that I could not add an external drive to either the USB or FireWire ports.  So there remains a lot of misinformation out there

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (41,035 points)

    Richard Richards wrote:

     

    Thanks for the discussion.  This has to be the worst FAQ ever written.

     

     

    Apple amended it since then. It now reads as follows:

     

    Can external USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt hard drives be added to Fusion Drive?

    An external drive cannot be used as part of a Fusion Drive volume. Fusion Drive is designed to work with an internal hard disk drive and internal flash storage.

     

    That is as I surmised, and quite different from its previous edition ("External drives cannot be added to Fusion Drive").

     

    Unfortunately the amended FAQ does not specifically address the question you asked of the Apple Store rep:

     

    ... Just got off a on-line chat with an Apple Store rep who told me with 100% confidence that I could not add an external drive to either the USB or FireWire ports. 

     

    Until I have reason to believe otherwise, I'm going to assume the reason for its omission in the amended FAQ is that the answer to this question (which should be "of course you can") is so blatantly obvious that it has no place there.

  • large_farva Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I'm pretty confident by the wording of both the original and revised statements, that the memory to be used WITH the fusion drive software cannot be expanded. Meaning, your iMac comes with a 1TB Fusion Drive, that's a 1TB disk drive and 128GB solid state. You can not expand the 128GB SSD to anything larger, but you can still use an external HDD like a flash drive, or for extra storage. I mean think about it. Why wouldn't you be able to? You're not requiring the fusion software to manage the files on the external drive, it's just a storage device. Also if that were true, it would mean that you can't use flash drives, or insert memory cards and such... Because don't they operate the same with an external HDD does? They add a new volume. The Fusion drive itself is a single volume.