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Questions on using External HD as boot disc

 
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kerbouchard
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Questions on using External HD as boot disc Reply with quote

I set this up already but am not sure if this is working right. Had a 500gig HD drive for time machine 2tb drive to use as a boot disc, primary drive. Superduper'd clone of original drive designated 2tb drive as boot disc.
Questions are:
1. Is the mini using this drive as its main drive? As I add stuff is it going onto this drive?
2. Does the time machine drive have to be as big as the total data of the drives it backs up? Meaning if I get a bunch of video files do I need to get a bigger back up drive?
3. Is using the 7200rpm external drive using fw/800 faster than using the internal 5800rpm drive?
3Is this the best setup? Or should I use the internal and store video files on the big drive?

Any advice appreciated!
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mooblie
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Apple Menu: About this Mac: will tell you Startup Disk==?? If it's not the one you intended, go to Apple Menu: System Preferences: Startup Disk: select the one you want, and reboot.
2. Yes
3. Probably not. The internal SATA drive (even if 5400rpm) will be faster.
4. No. Swap the internal and external drives, so the boot drive is using the internal SATA connection (assuming that your external 500GB drive is a 2.5" wide, 9mm high SATA drive hiding inside an external FW case, of course!) Actually, swapping drives in/out of the 2010 mini is not so easy as the 2009 mini...
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Last edited by mooblie on Sat May 07, 2011 1:03 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Questions on using External HD as boot disc Reply with quote

kerbouchard wrote:
I set this up already but am not sure if this is working right. Had a 500gig HD drive for time machine 2tb drive to use as a boot disc, primary drive. Superduper'd clone of original drive designated 2tb drive as boot disc.
Questions are:
1. Is the mini using this drive as its main drive? As I add stuff is it going onto this drive?

Only if when you rebooted, you held the option key at the startup chime until the drives displayed and you chose the 2TB as your boot drive. Alternatively you chose the the 2TB drive as your startup disk in preferences, prior to booting.

2. Does the time machine drive have to be as big as the total data of the drives it backs up? Meaning if I get a bunch of video files do I need to get a bigger back up drive?

p.s. this is just a suggestion. There are many ways you can go about configuring/using your drives.

Ideally you want the Time Machine drive/partition to be larger than the drive it is backing up. The larger the Time Machine drive/partition, the further you can go back in time. It should at minimum be equal to the drive/partition it is backing up.


3. Is using the 7200rpm external drive using fw/800 faster than using the internal 5800rpm drive?
3Is this the best setup? Or should I use the internal and store video files on the big drive?

The internal drive will be faster. If you want to go even faster, then upgrade the internal to a 7200 RPM drive or an SSD and use it as the boot drive.

Any advice appreciated!


SEE MY REPLIES ABOVE IN YOUR QUOTE

I would continue to use your internal drive as a boot drive. I would use the 500GB drive as a time machine backup. I would store your video/music on the 2TB external drive (you can have your iTunes library/media player point to this drive). I would also create a partition on the 2TB drive = to the size of you minis internal drive. I would keep a clone of your minis hard drive on this partition.

This is just a suggestion. There are many ways you can go about configuring your drives. It all depends on how large your video/music library is and how full/big your internal drive is.

You may want to use the 500GB drive to clone your internal, you may want use the 2TB drive as a Time Machine drive.

What is the capacity of your internal drive? How big (in GB) is your music/video/photo library?
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kerbouchard
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Internal is 320gb. I plan on growing the video file much bigger. How do I move I-tunes to the external? I will probably use VLC to watch videos so I do not have to convert everything to a format i-tunes uses. Also do not want to have a duplicate of everything in divx and on i-tunes.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kerbouchard wrote:
Internal is 320gb. I plan on growing the video file much bigger. How do I move I-tunes to the external? I will probably use VLC to watch videos so I do not have to convert everything to a format i-tunes uses. Also do not want to have a duplicate of everything in divx and on i-tunes.


https://discussions.apple.com/thread/1056353?threadID=1056353

As the thread above indicates. Move your content to a folder on the external hard drive. Open iTunes while holding the option key. Have iTunes point to the file folder with your content on the external drive (choose existing library).

As far as VLC goes... again create a folder for your movies on the external drive. Move your movies to that folder. Whatever file formats you have your movies in... simply ensure that VLC is set to be the default player for those file types.

To set this up... right click on a file type... click get info... click open with... select VLC... change all.
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kerbouchard
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does Time Machine only back up the hard drive that the mini is booting from? Also what is the reason for a clone and Time Machine? Isn't that redundant?
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kerbouchard wrote:
Does Time Machine only back up the hard drive that the mini is booting from? Also what is the reason for a clone and Time Machine? Isn't that redundant?


Cloning a drive with SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner makes the back-up drive bootable.

http://www.shirt-pocket.com/blog/index.php/comments/times_arrow_redux/

The above link explains the difference.

I like to use bootable drives for troubleshooting purposes and booting off of other machines. It is also nice to know that if my internal hard drive crashes I can be up and running again in 1 minute.
I also like to know that when I made my back-up that my machine was running perfectly and exactly the way I wanted it. Let's say for example that you somehow get a virus, malware or you do a major system update and things don't go well. Now you've backed that up as well on your Time Machine back-up. I always do a CCC back-up prior to updating my system.

The other benefit of having a bootable clone is you can keep it offsite or in a safe place. ie. not connected to your computer. If your computer is stolen or in a fire or a flood, that Time Machine back-up isn't going to do you much good if it is damaged or stolen.

If your computer needs to go in for repair you can hook your bootable external hard drive to the new computer and you're up and running on a loaner/replacement machine in 1 minute.

Time Machine has it's own benefits, but it also has drawbacks. It's resource intensive, I dislike the user interface. The only thing I see it being useful for is if you often find yourself deleting files by mistake and then you empty the trash without looking at the contents before you empty it. The other thing it is useful for is when you purposely delete a file and then find yourself somehow needing it again at a later date.
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kerbouchard
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I should get another External HD of 2tb and one 500g to match what I have. Time machine the internal to the new 500g. Clone the video/itunes/photo 2 tb to the other 2tb so I keep my soon to be humongous video/audio/photo backed up also. I think I can set up incremental additions through Superduper. I think I am going to put Windows on the other 500g drive so it is completely. Compartmentalized from the rest of the system. I should also clone the internal HD so I will need to partition the second 2TB. I am being anal about this because I have a bunch of pics stuck on a failed external that I need to take to data recovery to get back. Anyone know a reasonable data recovery company? The ones around me are saying $500.
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kerbouchard
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I should get another External HD of 2tb and one 500g to match what I have. Time machine the internal to the new 500g. Clone the video/itunes/photo 2 tb to the other 2tb so I keep my soon to be humongous video/audio/photo backed up also. I think I can set up incremental additions through Superduper. I think I am going to put Windows on the other 500g drive so it is completely. Compartmentalized from the rest of the system. I should also clone the internal HD so I will need to partition the second 2TB. I am being anal about this because I have a bunch of pics stuck on a failed external that I need to take to data recovery to get back. Anyone know a reasonable data recovery company? The ones around me are saying $500.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you are being overly anal. The time and money involved in replacing/recovering data is far more expensive than an affordable back-up solution. It just makes sense.

$500 isn't bad for data recovery, I know someone that paid $3000 to have data recovered from a fire damaged hard drive. The data recovery company didn't even put the data onto another hard drive, it came back on DVD's. Pretty disgusting.

Yes you can do incremental back-ups with SuperDuper. Having a back-up of your 2TB is a good idea. They are cheap enough to make this cost effective.

As you mentioned, I suggest you create a 320GB partition the 2TB backup drive and clone your internal drive to that partition. This is what I would do. Because this is a back-up drive, if you every want to remove or resize that partition it isn't a big deal. All the data will still be on your primary drives.

I never thought about what to do with your Windows issue. I just re-read your post and noticed that after my reply.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:45 pm    Post subject: External Firewire is Faster than Internal Reply with quote

mooblie wrote:
3. Probably not. The internal SATA drive (even if 5400rpm) will be faster.
Sorry "moobile", I must respectfully disagree.
My old model 1.1 mini with Firewire 400 is noticeably
faster with an external Firewire 7200 RPM Boot Drive
as opposed to an internal SATA 5400 RPM hard drive.

You don't have to Geekbench anything its noticeably faster!
The OP is using Firewire 800, he could ignore his little internal HD
and go all external. That would be the easiest.

Philip can verify that an external HD can be faster than an internal.
I assume he'll chime in sooner or later.
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Smallwheels
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just used Carbon Copy Cloner to make a clone of my hard drive. This is in preparation to defragment my Mac Book. I want to check if the drive is bootable. What are the buttons to press during startup to make the computer boot from it? If everything works well and I shut off the computer and turn it on again, will it boot from the internal hard drive again? I'm supposing it will but I don't know if that previous command to start with the external disc becomes permanent.

One thing I don't know is if my clone was a block level clone or not. The explanation of block level was clear. What wasn't clear was if my copy was a block level because I didn't see that choice in the setup choices anywhere. Making a block level clone would be pointless for defragmenting.

If the clone runs faster than the internal disc through the firewire 400 connection I could guess that it isn't a block level copy. The external disc spins at 7400 RPM. The above differing opinions about performance between an external 7400 RPM drive via firewire and an internal 5400 RPM drive run via sata has me confused.

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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay turn your macbook pro off. then boot it. then plug in your external.


now go to system preferences .

click on the startup disk. if you made a proper clone you should get two choices first choice would be the internal second choice would be the external clone.

select the external click on the restart option. it will reboot and if you have a good clone it will boot with the external drive. i would like to think you gave the clone a different name so as not to be confused.


as to a fw400 hdd external working better then an internal drive the answer is it can be faster as a boot drive for a lot of reasons. your internal 5400 rpm drive may be 55 mb/s max it is only that fast when empty and that is for a long read of big files. it can have a random access of .5MB/s for a small file. the external fw400 will max at 40 or 45 MB/s on a long read of a big file but it can have a random access of 2 MB/s on a small file. that is 4x faster then the internal . also the external drive could be 1tb with 400gb of info lots and lots of room to do its thing the internal could be a 320gb hdd with 275gb of info not much room to do its thing. your question about moving to an external hdd and block copy and defragging is not applicable. the empty space on the external hdd should be clean and easy to use since you formatted it. what hurts a hdd is no long empty spots to write on. the clone should have one long clean spot when all is done.
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