5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2012 7:22 PM by PeterinKY
PeterinKY Level 1 (5 points)

I need some direction as I consider adding a PCI-SSD to my 2012 MacPro. I would like to use the SSD for Applications and the OS then use my conventional HD for data.  My question involves making the data go to a conventional HD.  It would seem that I would have to create a whole series of symbolic links for the applications.  This also raises the question if you move your Home Directory what is the story on Home Directory programs like mail or your Documents.  Most of my work on the MacPro is processing images using Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and several Plug-Ins for these applications.  I realize this whole idea involves quite some time on the Terminal so perhaps someone can guide me toward a site or source for the command line language. 

I appreciate whatever help you all can provide.

  • The hatter Level 9 (60,925 points)

    OS X makes it easy and has supported having home account on any volume anywhere for 10 yrs, since 10.2.2 from inside Accounts control panel with little to no work.


    RESEARCH the reliability of the OWC PCIe SSD first. It is subject to corruption. It does not really work pre-2009 but you are safe in that regard.


    There are guides how to move and setup an home account and SSDs. On the forum, google,


    Even the terminal which will, is rather easy and allow and best when handling more than one (like 20 users) but no need for you.


    If you can't find it from Google someone will hand it on a spoon...

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (184,680 points)

    You can move your home folder as follows.


    1. WARNING: This procedure is for advanced users only. Some applications may not work as expected, or may not work at all, if the home folder is not in its default location.

    2. Back up all data. Do not proceed unless you know how to undo these steps without having to ask for help.

    3. If you do this wrong, you could end up with a bricked machine and no way to recover without losing data.

    4. Copy your home folder to the desired location. Your home folder is the one with your name on it. Do not copy the "Users" folder unless you're moving the home folders of all users.

    5. Select System Preferences Users & Groups. Click the lock icon and authenticate. Right-click or control-click your name in the account list and select Advanced options from the popup menu. In the sheet that opens, change the location of the home directory. Log out and log back in.

    6. Test. If you have problems, reverse the above steps. If you got this far, you should have no trouble doing that. If everything works as you expect, delete the original home folder.

    Another option if you're running OS X 10.8.2 -- the one I prefer -- is to combine the SSD with an HDD in a Fusion Drive. That way, you have single volume for everything, and adaptive allocation of data between devices. For information see:

    Understanding Apple's Fusion Drive

    Apple - iMac - Performance

    Mac mini (Late 2012) and iMac (Late 2012): About Fusion Drive

    Fusion drive on an old MacBook Pro

    I'm not advocating this setup -- it's an unsupported hack -- but as a professional Mac user you should be aware of it.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (55,320 points)

    Spoon? This one?


    Here are two similar recipes and discussions on the subject of moving the Home folder -- no Terminal required


    http://www.jcsenterprises.com/Japamacs_Page/Blog/00E03B83-1ADA-406E-A940-396D39F 598EA.html



  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (55,320 points)

    This also raises the question if you move your Home Directory what is the story on Home Directory programs like mail or your Documents. 

    Mac OS X is inherently a Multi-User system.


    Applications, such as the Mail Application, are stored in the Applications folder at top-level. By default, any User who logs in uses that Application with their own individual email data stored in their own Account in the /Users directory. There is no need to have multiple copies of the Application.


    [In fact if you try to make a copy of Mail Application somewhere other than in Applications, you will probably end up with your Mail program disabled because it is a huge Security Risk.]


    Your Documents are by default stored at /Users/<your_name>/Documents. When you use the recipes or Linc Davis' detailed procedure, you are re-assigning the location of <your_name> Directory. All your document references move with that re-assignment (you still have to manually duplicate the <your_name> Directory), and all the Applications stay in the same place in the /Applications folder at top-level.


    I prefer a setup where the original Admin account is used ONLY for Administration, and is left alone on the Boot Drive. User Accounts (including my own) have no Admin rights, and are all moved off the Boot Drive.


    You can get even more extreme than having User files on a separate drive. They can be on a different computer. I run my home Network as if it were a School setup with computer clusters (because I do some school consulting). User Accounts are all on a separate computer running Mac OS X Server. Any User can log on at any computer and their files are instantly available (from the Server).

  • PeterinKY Level 1 (5 points)

    Many thanks to all of you for pointing me in the direction of the solutions and the best ways to use both drives.  Before I do anything I will do a total backup which is very much in my usual operation - a backup freak!  It looks as though in this process, making a disc image of components will work better than just a conventional backup.  I may also use my 2006 MacPro as a test bed just to see how things go before I try the installation on my "working" MacPro.  What started this whole thing was my installing an SSD in my aging Mac Book Pro - talk about giving new life to that laptop!  Wish me luck!