Setting up ssd boot drive mac

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Part 1: Prepare

Before you continue Next up was to eliminate the System Software and Applications folder from my former startup drive, leaving it with just my Home directory and other content not on the SSD. There were numerous ways I could accomplished this. As you might imagine, due to the amount of data being transferred across drives, these steps took several hours to accomplish.

The task also raised my anxiety level by several notches. There remained one minor issue for which I had no solution. Both the SSD and its mirror link to my Home directory drive. That is, the mirror of the SSD drive does not link to the mirror of the Home directory drive. This means if something should go wrong with the Home directory drive, neither the SSD nor its mirror would startup as normal. Should this occur, the SSD will presumably startup from the alternate admin account I created. At this point, I could establish a link to the Home directory mirror, if needed.

I decided this was acceptable — and left it at that. Unfortunately, such was not the case. What remained were more irritations than major problems, but they still took time to fix. Most of the problems were a consequence of the change I had made to my Home directory path. Here are the main things I needed to adjust:.

Recapping what I said at the top of this article, despite the time and hassles, the transition to an SSD was definitely worth doing. After all, I only had to do the work once.

Part 2: Copy

Now that it is behind me, I can reap the benefits with no further hassles. I even see benefits to splitting my setup across two drives. For example, if I ever need to erase my startup drive and reinstall Mac OS X, I can do so without disturbing any of my personal data. To help decide if an SSD upgrade is right for you, and to assist in making the transition go as smoothly as possible, I offer the following recount of my weekend odyssey: Purchase the SSD An essential preliminary step was to buy an SSD. As a result, I had a couple of false starts. Start up from the SSD drive I had now arrived at the first real test of my efforts.

Change Home directory link I was far from done with my work for the day. Create another admin account There was one more thing I needed to do before finishing up my initial setup: create a second admin account located on the SSD. Shift the backups I maintain multiple types of backups for my startup drive. Using Carbon Copy Cloner, I copied just the desired content e. The former startup drive which I will henceforth refer to as my Home directory drive was now set up as desired. I restarted from the SSD. The SSD still correctly linked to the Home directory drive!

I next erased the mirror drive. However, a good starting point might be,. From what I discovered, the process may include many steps and possibly some virtualization software like VMWare or VirtualBox or such to help in the installation process. While this may be a very doable process, it is not simple or easy, though if you are somewhat proficient with both Mac and Windows and you don't mind a troubleshooting process that involves many steps, it is possible.

I would imagine it could have many areas where VoiceOver may not function. Currently, I personally would not start a process like this without sighted help available, if needed. That being said, the first step I would make with any possible risky process would be to follow the steps in the blog above and make sure you have something to start up your Mac, on another external drive. Nothing is worse than getting that blinking question mark when you try to start your Mac. If you proceed with any of the methods to install Windows on a USB drive, there are several ways to go about it, but I would make sure you download and set aside all software and instructions that you might need.

If you use a screen reader, download NVDA and have it ready to install. If possible, put the software and instructions on another computer or device, so you can refer to it while your Mac is tied up in the process. There are many things to consider first before starting the process. Is your Mac capable of running the version of Windows that you want? Do you need to check the compatibility of NVDA? And finally, make lots of coffee.

Though I must say, not all of the information and resources are fully blind compatible. Plus anything like this can easily take much longer than the time estimates given with the resources. If I think I could do something like this and I think it is possible , if I estimate the time involved to be one afternoon, I would set aside three afternoons instead. One can never be sure of what troubleshoots one might come across and what else might be needed during such an endeavor.

There is always a good chance that it can take much longer than expected. During the process if you find yourself hurrying through it, get up, walk away for a bit, allow the process to slow down enough so that you are being careful again. I mention this because it has served me well in the past. Also on every screen where you make changes, double-check your changes before you press the "I hope it works" button. Once you click that button, it is already too late to double check.


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With all this in mind, if someone performs this process, successes or failures aside, please consider writing up your experiences and posting them here on AppleVis. It would definitely be worth its own forum post. I will be reading it as well. Your process for the internal drive sounds correct to me. I would love to read about it afterwards. Tens of thousands of blind people could benefit from it here on AppleVis. Just a thought. Always verify this for yourself by starting up from it once.

While you are started from it, here is your chance to cram it full of everything else you think you may need during the process. You may as well have what you need at your fingertips, rather than having to dig around during a possible stressful situation. On the external Windows idea, another quick reminder, BootCamp does more than just help install Windows.

It also downloads the Mac hardware drivers for the version of Windows you are installing. If you create your Win disk on a Windows system, a unique idea, you will still need the Mac hardware drivers for it. It probably will not "just work" like Mac software does. Not sure about this. Otherwise, I would love to read about it if you have time to type it up, I may consider following it as well, it sounds like a worthy adventure to me! Wow, I haven't considered running a Unix flavor for a long time.

This sounds great. What screen reader would you recommend for Linux? Also, you should consider taking notes and creating a blog post from it for AppleVis, if possible. I would love to hear your experiences from the process. Hmmm, I may need another few external drives.

I'm probably not going to do the windows thing, tbh, I'm getting everything that I want done in osx at the moment. I'm going to write a guide to performing an off-line install of osx without any sighted assistance later tonight. I will definitely be reading through it myself.

If I may make a suggestion on the writing ,A few tips: Include warnings and precautions where ever you think its appropriate. One thing I have found from consulting over the past 25 years, it pays to remind the reader about being cautious. Many people, including myself, have a tendency to become frustrated with the complexities of technology.

This techno-frustration can sometimes cause one to "hurry up and get it done. It doesn't hurt to remind people politely to "slow down, be careful, double check everything" before they proceed. Also, slow down your own process and take notes while you go through it, the notes become your source material for the writing. You may need to write your notes on another system or device while you perform the process.

Then email your notes to yourself. Remind the reader of this as well. One last writing tip. Write about what you know, if you need to include info that you are not absolutely sure of, write about it that way. Include a little info about how you were not sure either and how you found out. Thousands of people could read your writing, it can help them through the process by reading about your own. Kind of teach people to teach themselves.

I hope I am not over-stepping bounds here, but I try to use these same approaches myself. I look forward to reading through your writing and process.

How to install macOS on an external drive

Go for it! Thank you for those pointers. Having come from the land of Windows, forced to work on a rickety system, with no tech savvy people around me, I've learned to power through complicated issues with no real help. I don't recommend it, but I'm going to write this guide, that, should they need too for some reason, a person with no prior experience with OSX can pick up this guide and if followed to the letter, perform a reinstallation of Mac on their own Now that would be an accomplishment weather sighted or not.

However, I see that my current Mojave install and all my apps and user documents occupies only GB of my physical hard drive. Once that's done, the internal hard drive becomes free for backups or other data. Does this sound feasible? And, Ted, did you consider doing this? What made you go with the clean Mojave install? Hello Paul, Restoring from a Time Machine backup might be a viable option, especially with current technology.

This may be a personal choice, but I still like to do things using an old-school method.

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Here's my possibly outdated reasons. The basic concepts of how storage and drives functions work is something like this. Every file and there are hundreds of thousands of them involved , get written to the drive. However, each file is rarely a whole unit when this happens.

How to Upgrade Your MacBook Pro With an SSD

Normally each file is split up into pieces which are written into several areas on the disk, for various reasons; quick retrieval, space considerations on the drive, etc. None of the files on a drive, or any storage media, are a whole unit in and of themselves. The 'system drive manager' records where each piece of each file is stored, into an index file of sorts.

Even this index file is split into pieces and another deeper-level file keeps track of where its pieces are, at any one time. This is actually done for speed and disk access considerations. All of this is done on the fly at every running moment. When the processor needs something, it does not pull it in directly from the disk. It actually pulls them into a series of buffers and caches. Some of these buffers and caches are temporary ones created on the disk, some are created in the RAM memory. Even these temp buffers and caches are files. Remember, processors do not actually think or consider anything, they simply follow instructions that are also written somewhere, chips, memory and even on the disk.

This is sometimes called "Virtual Memory. This happens hundreds, if not thousands of times each time an app is loaded or a file opened. Even if you let your system 'just sit' and apparently do nothing, it is still doing something all the time. Even the disk formatting itself is a series of file indicators, written on the disk. You can actually watch all these processes happen in the Activity Monitor, in the Processes section. With all this reading and writing to all the different places where pieces of files are stored, keep in mind one thing; there is always a chance that the reading or writing process will interpret a 1 or a 0 incorrectly.

There are processes in place that monitor and help recover from this situation, but they won't necessarily rewrite the incorrect bit 'in place'. This is why disks and seemingly systems, slow down over time. It happens with all technology, regardless of the platform.

All of this happens at the speed of your processor at every running moment. Also, because a Time Machine file is a 'compressed' file itself, here is the basic idea of how it is written. I learned all of this back when JPEGs were first introduced. Let's say that a particular file, Time Machine files included, has 17 ones in a row, then it has 28 zeros in a row.

Rather than write 17 ones in a row, it writes something like '1 times 17, then 'zero times 28', etc. Less characters in a file means a smaller file size. Thus, it is 'compressed'. These are still instructions that have a chance to be corrupted in the reading or writing process. All of this being said, I do not know what Time Machine is actually backing up, at this disk level. Even Time Machine is a compressed, written file in pieces. Over time, the system slows down simply from hunting around for all of the pieces of everything. Thus, the old-school method of 'nuke and pave' applies.

Do I want to restore from a back up possibly filled with markers and already slowed down some? It may take a bit longer to do a clean install, but can give a much speedier system to begin with. I might as well start with a fresh minimal set of markers, rather than restoring an old set. So a clean install kind of resets the entire process again and starts over making new markers.

Less corruptions to overcome, less pieces to deal with, means a faster happier processor. The old school method is 'nuke and pave' because of all of this and more. However, it seems more 'for sure' to me. Again, this nay be a personal choice.

Kind of a long convoluted reply, sorry about that. Ted, you've got a great point that a clean install writes full files and avoids fragmentation. New installs always run faster, and I'm sure fragmentation is a huge contributor to slowdown over time. I think I'll try the Time Machine restore and see how it goes. If I'm not satisfied with the speedup, I can always do a clean install later. According to Amazon, my SSD arrives tomorrow!

During installation, I ran into a problem with partition alignment. I found the following link, but decided this was more than I wanted to chew, so I punted. See next comment for my Mac experience.

VoiceOver works in Recovery Mode, but only the Fred voice. The only post-recovery issue I encountered was that Recovery Mode had given my external SSD the same name as my internal HDD, so Time Machine gave me an error dialog pretty much right off the bat telling me it couldn't create a backup because two drives had the same name. I identified the SSD from that and renamed it. End of problem. As far as speed goes, boot is much faster and application launch is considerably faster.

Would it be even better if I had done a scratch install like you did, Ted? But I'm happy enough with the results I obtained. Honestly, I must admit I don't reboot that often. My Mac goes weeks or months between reboots. Safari is as slow as it's always been, which is unfortunate.

Web pages load pretty fast visually, but VO lags behind. I was half hoping this would be fixed with an SSD, but clearly the problem has to do with some information Safari thinks it needs from the web server when VO is running. Too bad Apple hasn't made it so that VO users can interact with web pages as fast as do visual users. I'll also note that, other than the SSD speedup, my system is pretty much as if nothing had changed. So, if you really want the deep satisfaction of playing around with a clean, unadulterated installation, obviously Recovery Mode won't scratch that itch.

Thanks for posting your results. I don't blame you on the Unix flavor install. I looked at the link you provided.

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Sounds like an adventure worth having, at some point. Though, it pays to pick your battles and choose when to fight them On the Mac restore project, you may have already done this, but I always run First Aid from Disk Utility right after any formatting, then again after any major install. It can help take care of any slight corruptions that can creep into the process.

I would imagine this applies to Restores also. Some of the slow down with Safari could possibly be from the new APFS disk format or the new 'containers' approach that they are currently going to with disk formatting. Especially adding in a SSD into the mix. Although, I do not see the slow down with Safari that you are seeing.

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