Set ssd as boot drive mac

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What we are doing.

PC Gaming. Surveillance Centre. Creative Professionals. Nytro Leverage flash storage. Exos Achieve greater capacity. This article was originally written in but it is still relevant. I have just updated it given that SSD prices have dropped dramatically in the last 3 years. The speed increase is incredible — almost hard to believe. Boot time went from 60 seconds to under 30 seconds, and applications launch instantly — no bouncing dock icon. In terms of bang for dollar, upgrading to an SSD drive is by far the best upgrade you can do.

This makes it much, much faster. SSD drives are now reasonably cheap. There have been issues in the past with SSD drives and there have been some brands not working with OSX, so make sure you get a good one. The first place I would recommend is macsales. They have a screen where you choose your macintosh computer, and it tells you which SSD drive is compatible. Just click here and you will be asked what mac you have, follow the prompts.

The second place I would recommend is crucial. Buy a new SSD not a second hand one. They do degrade over time. Interacting with the collection forced me into "Section4" of the collection. This section had something called Preview, but would not tell me what it was, a tab or a button or a link, just "Preview" all by itself.

Do I really need to upgrade my Mac hard drive?

Clicking it gave me 5 or 6 unlabeled graphics. Next to that was something called "Description" which was apparently non-interactive, but I clicked it anyway. Then Ratings and Reviews. After that was the description with lots of good info about Mojave, but still no "Get" button.

After wrapping through this entire collection several times, I finally realized it was not letting me interact with anything except Section 4 and beyond. Obviously, the "Get" button is somewhere in sections 1 through 3, which I cannot get to. I finally got frustrated and started rapidly pushing Tab key and Shift-Tab. Back and forth I went, round and round several times. Eventually, it accidentally entered these other sections and I was finally able to get to the "Get" button. Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, the new App Store on the Mac leaves much to be desired.

I clicked the Get button and the download started.


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Then I walked away for a bit, so my Mac wouldn't receive a flying lesson. It's always good to know when to walk away. However, I digress, back to the amazing experience with my new SSD drive. Once the installer was finished downloading, it automatically gave me the install screen which states something like, "Welcome to macOS Mojave. Press Continue to install.


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  • Currently, pressing Continue here would reinstall Mojave onto my internal drive, which is not what I want. At this point, with the first install window on the screen, I quit the installer and returned to my Mac desktop. I opened my Macintosh HD and entered the Applications folder. I found the "Install macOS Mojave. Since the installer is over 6 gig in size, I like to do things very deliberately.

    No need to accidentally paste it into the wrong window. From here I open the ExtSSD drive's main window, which is freshly formatted and still empty at this time and pasted the installer onto the drive. The copy dialog appeared and said it would take about 3 minutes. For a 6 gig file? Oh, actually it over-estimated. It finished before one minute was up. Darn it, I was going to make another cup of coffee. Oh well, I'll have to wait. I activated the installer from the SSD drive and the same first install screen appeared.

    I clicked the Continue button and went through the license agreement stuff. I agree. Then the 'Choose which disk' screen came up. Further along in this window is a spot telling me which disk it will install onto. Since I am typing this from memory, I can't remember which disk it chose by default. Regardless, there was a "Show all disks" option right there, which I clicked. This showed all available disks for possible installs. I found and selected the ExtSSD as the proper disk. Moving once to the right was some text that confirmed my choice.

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    Right after that I clicked the Install button. I knew that this process would take a little while and restart the computer as part of the install. So I finally have time to make a cup of coffee. As a side note, most OS and app installers will require much more space on the destination drive than just their own file size. As a rule of thumb, it's best to have about three times the amount of space as the file size of the installer. Most installers act like a type of compressed archive. They unpack all kinds of stuff onto the target drive, then use the stuff to install themselves.

    Then they clean up afterwards and delete themselves. Before installing a larger install, always check the available space on the drive first. Also, it doesn't hurt to back up an installer somewhere else before running the install. You can re-use it for other installs without having to download again. The SSD was now going through the normal install process. After a little while, the Mac restarted from the SSD to finish the install. My Mac screen suddenly became really bright. This means the remainder of the install is taking place. It should be the normal 'Installing macOS Mojave' screen with the progress bar.

    I pressed Command-f5 to see if VoiceOver would come on yet, but it was too soon. Yup, this was the correct screen. After just a few minutes I tried VoiceOver again and Fred began reading the screen and letting me navigate. About 15 minutes later, my Mac restarted again, except this time it was starting up from the SSD drive. As it came up to the desktop, the normal setup screens began, as if I had just turned on a new Mac. When I had created the user name and Admin password for this install, I was careful to use exactly the same names as I did on my internal drive, even the Home folders are named identically.

    This way I don't have to type my user password every time I access the internal drive. Once the basic setup was complete, I spent a little time going through the VoiceOver settings and tweaking them how I prefer. If I had thought about it, I would've been smart to export my VoiceOver preferences as a file. Then I could have simply imported them into this install. It would have sped things up quite a bit, but, I can't remember everything. Well at this point I still had lots of settings to change in System Preferences, but first I wanted to get some stuff from the internal drive.

    Setting Up External SSD On Boot Drive iMac

    Um, except that its not on the new desktop yet. Oh, I still have one more step. In this small window are four buttons in the Toolbar. I clicked the first one, General. In the window portion it said "Show these items on the desktop". The remainder of this window depends on your particular likes. Then I returned to the Toolbar and clicked the 'Sidebar' button. I chose which items I want to show in the Sidebar of every Finder window I open. I chose mostly the same stuff, but it depends on your likes. Once more into the Toolbar and I clicked the Advanced button.

    Below I always choose one option, 'Show all filename extensions'. This shows the '. Now I know most files and what they are simply by landing on them with VO.

    How can i choose to boot from the second SSD harddisk for a mid iMac? - Ask Different

    External SSD. VoiceOver is on. That way, I can get to my internal stuff without navigating through so many folders. Even though the start up slowed down a bit after I installed all my apps and stuff, plus Dropbox loading at boot up, it still boots at least five times faster than with the internal drive. After reaching the desktop, loading apps and files is now, almost instantaneous. I load Safari for the first time in a session, it takes less than three seconds to load and is ready to use. It is an amazing difference! VoiceOver is the fastest I have used since I first started using it about ten years ago.

    Each key press happens immediately. No lag, no dreaded 'busy' message, no discernible delay at all. Note for the sighted, when VoiceOver says 'busy', its talking about the spinning beachball of death. I wanted to share my results, knowing that manny of us have a limited budget and use older Macs. I know that I cannot afford a new Mac every time they come out with one, but this almost seems like a new one anyway. I was absolutely thrilled with the outcome. My digital life just became much more responsive. Now I remember why All of our cool digital stuff that we work with, play with and enjoy, is all about "Living.

    This blog was truly inspirational. The plan is to pretty much reproduce what you've done here. I, too, have a MBP and it's unacceptably sluggish at times. I hope I see the same speedup as you. Give me a few weeks, I'll be back. Thanks for the helpful article!! In the recovery mode, you can in fact use the disk utility almost exactly the same as you would in the operating system itself barring the extra things that might show up on the disk list. Also, it saves loads of time when trying to install the operating system itself on the shiny new external drive.

    To start the install, simply select the aptly named item in the Mac OS Utilities list, click continue, and you're off! There's a list item for the disk utility as well, so getting to it should be no problem at all. To enter the recovery mode, simply hold command and R for a few seconds while your machine first boots up, noting that the keyboard doing so can't be wireless for this to work. This means of course connecting your keyboard through USB should you be using a desktop mac. I hear the cries: Voiceover does work in recovery mode, even braille in many cases via USB!

    Voiceover can b started in the usual ways minus Siri summoning. Thanks for the reply. Hope you have luck with it, though I have had very few issues when approaching it this way. Once I even made a bootable DVD that was excruciatingly slow, but it worked. Thanks for the excellent tip about Recovery Mode. This is definitely an option and one I have not explored before. This is an additional option for installing an OS on a Mac. The only question I might have: if starting from a recovery partition on the internal drive, which would have been created by the current OS that is installed on the internal drive, can I still run the installer from the external drive?

    I ask because I have had installers glitch out during the install process before, only a few times after many installs over the years, which trashed the internal partition where the installer was unpacking the files. Though, I can't seem to find any verifiable info about where the installer actually unpacks its files. So I am assuming that they are unpacked onto the destination drive. Also, doing this from the recovery partition while booted from it, from what I can find out, will default to downloading the Mac OS that is installed on the internal drive, or the default OS that the system shipped with.

    Okay, one more question. Does the recovery partition allow for the full version of VO? This is probably a personal choice, but I like to keep the full 'Alex' version of VO under my fingers for as long as possible. Otherwise, I get to use Alex and my fully customized VO setup through the entire process. Thanks again for the excellent tip, definitely worth exploring. This is exactly what AppleVis is all about. None of us have all the answers, but sharing our ideas here is why I am a member. I'm doing this as well I'm going to remove the internal hard drive and replace it with a SSD drive.

    Aditionally, I'm going to remove the disc drive and load another ssd there. Let us know how easy the process is, I'd be very interested to know how it works out. Note, whenever I do anything potentially risky to my Mac, which seems to happen all too often :- , I have often been very thankful that I also had an external drive that I could boot from as well. If any glitches happen during the process, I can at least still boot my Mac to help me figure out what happened. The external boot drive can sit off on a shelf until needed.

    Just a suggestion. It only consumes one afternoon to give yourself a back up to start up from.

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    One thought, you could get an external USB drive enclosure and put your internal drive into it, start from it once to verify, situation handled. Amazing and well written! I was thinking if I ever decided to purchase the same drive that you have, or something similar, I could use this as my external windows drive, and use my internal drive for Mac OS, while the external drive could be used for windows.

    I don't know specifically about Windows. I would assume Bootcamp would let you install another OS, such as Windows, pretty much anywhere. After that, boot in to the installation of osx I'm using right now and set the start up disc to the USB drive I prepared. Once that's booting and confirmed working I'm going to take the hdd the drive that I'm writing you from right now out of the computer in its present working state so ware positive it's working and install the first ssd in the SATTA port where e the hdd was in.

    From here, we're going to boot from the installer USB and shoot Mojave on to the new internal drive. Once we complete the installation and we are booting from the SSD, I'll change the start up disc to the ssd. I've found a way to make the software side of this entire process totally voice over friendly. I've tested this on my friend's Mac-he wanted to sell it, and he wanted a clean os installation to give to the new owner.

    I've never tried to install windows on a Mac, but from looking at tech vvlogs on YT , the easiest option is to drop the drive in a windows PC, install windows there then boot the Mac external from the windows drive. It might be a more convoluted process, but I prefer convolution over simplicity if the question isuser control. To check into this further, I did a Google search on "Mac bootcamp install windows external drive".

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    There I found lots of various info about doing exactly this. I no longer have an install of Windows on my Mac and this does not fit my current situation. I probably wouldn't be the most knowledgable person to write about this at this time.