155 responses

  1. ctb1001
    April 12, 2014


    Need some help! Followed these instructions and now I have a problem.

    Dying and almost full internal 1TB HDD in a mid 2010 27″ iMac. Installed new 4TB HDD and 1TB SSD on the extra SATA port. Install and boot up is fine. Ran everything for a few weeks off of the SSD – no issues. The point in doing the SSD was to have all programs and system software (10.9.2) run off of SSD and all files (music, media, etc) run off of the HDD. When running EVERYTHING off of SSD – no kernel panics.

    When I moved my User file to the HDD per the instructions I would get a kernel panic when the computer had been in deep sleep. This did not happen prior to moving the User folder.

    I suspect that something is needed by the system software (on the SSD) that lives on the HDD and when it tries to verify that and “use’ that bit of code, etc. and come out of “deep sleep” it can’t find it on the SSD, freaks out and causes a kernel panic.

    Was running 10.9.2 the whole time, no other issues with external USB devices, graphics card upgrades, etc. Ran disk utility and hardware checkers – no issues. Memory is fine and seated properly.

    The only workaround so far has been to have the disks not sleep via Energy Saver and only putting the display to sleep. This is ok and it has caused KP issues to stop, but iStat tells me I am running 10 degrees on average hotter (of course) and I am worried that the fans, DD, etc. will take a beating by never sleeping.

    Any thoughts are appreciated as to a fix!

    • ctb1001
      April 14, 2014

      Follow up: It also is not the Trim Enabler, as that was disabled and there are still kernel panics.

      • ctb1001
        May 21, 2014

        Not sure why, but since the upgrade to 10.9.3 there have been no kernel panics.

  2. Dave
    April 13, 2014

    i followed all the steps but now my iTunes says error 13001 and will not launch???

  3. tricia
    April 24, 2014

    Hi Wayne, I did everything exactly as you said and it worked out fine! Thanks a lot for that! However doesn’t seem that CCC copied everything to the ssd. I did step 1, and the result was:
    (a) total disk usage 226,25GB – (b) user: 165,02GB = 61,23GB
    After the CCC cloning the ssd shows 27,52Gb of data, I’ve opened applications and stuff and everything seems to work fine, so…what could’ve happened? Any clues? Should I clone it again? Thanks in advance!

    • Wayne
      April 26, 2014

      Interesting! The CCC clone is usually a bit smaller, but 30GB is a lot. It’s smaller because there are some (unnecessary) files it doesn’t copy. These include the trash and images of your RAM (e.g. if you have 12G RAM that may use 12G of disk space). Did you have really big files in the trash and the trash wasn’t emptied recently? What I’d do is run off the new (cleaned up) system, but keep the old one in case one day you find something missing.

  4. Joseph
    April 29, 2014

    These instructions worked great except for one consequence. Time Machine doesn’t know that the user folder on the old drive is the same as before, so it backed up everything again. In my case, that used up 500 GB of backup disk, which deleted a big chunk of the old backups. Similarly, Spotlight is going to need to index the new flash drive, which can take a while. So ironically between the backup and Spotlight action, for the first few hours after the upgrade, everything was actually pretty slow, but of course that’s temporary.

    • Joseph
      April 30, 2014

      Update after a few days: So far the speedup has not been that impressive on my mid 2010 Mac Pro, esp. compared to 100% SSD on 2012 MBA or MBP. (To be fair, this was a 256 GB SSD for $110, while those had 1TB SSD for $450.) Yes reboots are fast and apps launch instantly, but I don’t do those tasks often anyway. So the disk churning that drove me to do this was all in the User folder, e.g., opening and closing files, annoying TM backups, etc. The one exception is VMware Fusion, which used to just churn endlessly even when I wasn’t doing anything. I moved the disk image to the SSD, and now it flies along happily. That plus spacing out my TM backups with TimeMachineEditor has made the machine much more responsive.

      • Wayne
        November 14, 2014

        Yep. So if you want to increase the ‘user folder disk churning’ that you speak of, you will need to get a huge SSD drive. Or move those particular files to an SSD drive. The way I have set my system up is that I use a Promise Thuderbolt Pegasus RAID drive for my user folder. It flies! Then the SSD for system and apps as described above.

  5. Jordan
    May 6, 2014

    Thanks for this great tutorial.

    I have one question, Once I do this, am I able to then delete the everything except my user directory data from the HDD? That is, everything I CCC’d onto the SSD can I now delete from the HDD?

    • Wayne
      May 7, 2014

      Yes you can delete it all if you want, but it doesn’t hurt to keep it. If you keep it you have a spare bootable system you can boot off in an emergency.

  6. Howard
    May 13, 2014

    If you keep everything but your home file on the old drive you’ll still have application folders on both drives. Will this cause any problems? I assume that application upgrades will only be installed on the boot drive. Any comments?

  7. Steve
    May 21, 2014

    Hi Wayne, I am intending to follow your guide but I would rather do a clean install of Mavericks and then re-install the applications rather than clone my existing install over. If I do this, will I still be able to simply ‘splice’ in my two user folders that will still be resident on the internal HDD of my iMac? I’m guessing not as the fresh Mavericks install won’t know about these two users so won’t even give me the option to point to their new location. Any ideas on how I can combine a fresh install with existing user folders? Thanks for your time.

  8. Curt Johnson
    May 30, 2014

    I installed an ssd in the optical bay drive of my 11,1 27 inch iMac. I have my applications, most data, and apps on the SSD. On my HD I only have iPhoto library and music. So I have two mounted disk drives on my desktop (SSD & HDD). I also have two separate 500 gig external disk drives mounted on screen but can’t figure out how to use time machine with the SSD as the source to back up to one of the externals and use TimeMachine to back up the HDD as source to the other external HDD. Any insights as how to back up the two in-computer disk drives to the two separate externals?Thanks

  9. blabla
    June 14, 2014

    Can you do the blackmagic test (disc read speed) and show us the result? You Can find it in the app store. My hhd does around 100 mb/s. I would see if the ssd is much faster.

    • Wayne
      June 15, 2014

      On the SSD the write is 105MB/s, read is 360MB/s on the first test.
      On the following tests the write can vary between 15Mbps and 100Mb/s and read varies from 5MB/s to 550MB/s

  10. Joe
    June 14, 2014

    I used your instructions to install SSD in a Mac Pro 4,1. If the original user directory was on a filevault 2 encrypted volume, you’ll want to follow the instructions here:


    to install “unlock” launch agent so that upon boot from the SSD it can unlock the “old” user directory on the encrypted volume. Otherwise, if you follow your directions and change the user directory to point to the old filevault 2 encrypted directory and then restart you will not be able to login as the encrypted volume is not unlocked at boot time. The only way out of this snag is to boot from another admin user change the user directory of the desired user back to the SSD default, install unlock, reboot, change user directory back to encrypted volume, and reboot.

    • Wayne
      June 15, 2014

      Thanks Joe.

  11. Ian Comaish
    September 10, 2014

    Hi Wayne. I think I remember Dubbo Zoo from many years ago. I have added an SSD to my iMac (a bit of work!) and saw your method to use it to boot up, etc. I have Bootcamp on my old hard drive with a windows partition….can I use your method, do you think? I guess I could press alt on booting and select the Bootcamp partition still??? Thanks for your work.
    Ian C

    • Wayne
      September 10, 2014

      Yes I think that should work.

  12. Jason
    September 17, 2014

    Hi Wayne,

    I followed the steps exactly like you suggested. After I re-linked my user folder and restarted, all the desktop items were restore but the OS was not responsive for more than 30 mins, so I had to turn off the power. When the computer was turned on again, I was unable to access the OS at all. I’m still on 10.6.8.

  13. Fiona Lyn
    September 18, 2014

    Waiting for the SSD price down.I think after you replace your HD with SSD, you can easily use mac time capsule backup your mac to a pc installed the replaced HD.

  14. Jostein
    October 10, 2014

    I cloned everything except users and it works fine. I am using my old HDD in the optical bay. I would like to erase the old systems files from the HDD as they take up a good chunk and are cloned to the SSD. Is there a way to do this without messing up the users folders? Cheers for a good tutorial!

    • Wayne
      October 11, 2014

      Yes if you want you can just delete everything in system folder from old HDD but keep users folder where it is.

  15. Dick Bowyer
    October 14, 2014

    Thank you for info. If I run parallels with Windows xp virtual machine, is this best done from SSD or internal HD. If the former, how do I move across to SSD?

    • Wayne
      October 14, 2014

      It’s up to you. If you use windows a lot and you want it to run very fast, put it on the SSD, if you don’t use it much, put it on normal HD. I’ve never used parallels so I don’t know how to choose where it resides, but I assume there’s a setting somewhere where you choose where to run it from.

  16. Wolfgang
    October 18, 2014

    Great post, I had my used 2010 iMac now for several months and since it has a 2T HD in it, I wasn’t paying much attention to the 250 Gig SSD it also has.

    Than I started searching and came on this post. I set i all up as Wayne described purchased Carbon Copy because another cloning program I had did not do the job.

    It worked perfect, the speed increase is amazing, we have three users and the flipping over alone is so much faster, all the programs load much faster.

    Thanks Wayne.

  17. Joe
    October 20, 2014

    Moving towards SSD is the smarter choice to boost up the speed of the Mac but still the hidden and duplicate files has slow down the speed of my Mac. Lastly I have to go towards the Speedup Mac software to dump away all the junk.

  18. Kyle
    October 21, 2014

    Thanks for this great article! I just have 2 questions:

    1. Can you confirm that the TRIM enabler is necessary for Mavericks/Yosemite? I assume it is, but it never hurts to ask.

    2. I have no intention of paying $40 for software (CCC) that I’ll only use once. Yes, I see that they have a 30-day free trial, but I don’t want to be able to boot from the HDD; I want it to contain the user folders and nothing else. Here’s how I *think* is the best way to do this. Please let me know if you would recommend an alternate route (or if you think I’m foolish not to just use CCC your way).

    Boot from the recovery disk and copy the HDD to an external HD. Install OS afresh on the SSD and create profiles. Erase the HD. Copy profiles to HDD and follow your step #6. Then, finally, use migration assistant to import data from external HD.

  19. Tom
    November 3, 2014

    Thanks so much to MHT for this instruction. After untold hours trying to get an upgrade to work, this method saved my butt. I replaced the internal drive and added an SSD and could not get them to play together. I have SuperDuper and TimeMachine and neither could restore my data the way CCC did it – folder specific. I must add that SuperDuper has been a solid system for me for years, as I was able to work from it’s bootable backup while trying to do this upgrade. Just so happens it could not restore folder-by-folder as was needed in this instance. Took a while to dig up this article, but I’m sure glad someone took the time to document their own process.

    • Wayne
      November 6, 2014

      Thanks Tom, glad it worked.

  20. Chris
    November 14, 2014

    Hi wayne thanks very much this worked great for me!
    Only thing is I’m having the same issue as Joseph that my air port time capsule is backing up the whole 470gb again.
    Say for instance I erase the time capsule and start again with a fresh back up. In the event that I got a new Macbook with a single drive, if I went to back up from time machine to restore it would it restore as normal when the back up was made on a machine with two drives on it set up the way it is?

    Thanks again

  21. Wayne
    January 16, 2013

    Thanks for the link!

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