View Full Version : Internal SSD, external FW user (home) directory

01-23-2010, 07:12 PM
I've installed an SSD in my shiny new i7 27" iMac and want to keep my user (home) directory on an external FW 800 drive -- obviously because this has MUCH higher capacity.

I'm upgrading from a MacPro where I'm currently using the SSD drive with the user directory stored on another internal hard drive. I use SuperDuper to clone the drive containing this directory.

My strategy for the new iMac is:
1. Install the SSD internally (yes I've read how to do this) in the iMac
2. A clean, format and installation of Snow Leopard using the included DVD

The next step is hard to figure out for me.

I'd like to simply take out the existing user drive and put it in an external FW 800 enclosure, then set up Snow Leopard with the same username and change the user directory to the new external HDD. This would preserve all of my huge iPhoto and iTunes data bases plus my user account settings, startup programs, registration codes, etc. Of course I do expect it will bring over incompatabilities but this seems sooo much easier to do.

I know 'best practices' is to set up fresh then use Migration Assistant to copy over my existing user directory, but I have no idea how to force Migration Assistant to copy the old user directory to the external HDD. The issue is the SSD has nowhere the capacity to hold all my user files.

Can I somehow use SD to help? All of my old crash recoveries and HDD upgrades were made so much easier with SD but this was when I had everything on one drive.

Your FAQ is largely aimed at the 'traditonal' one drive setup. I suspect more and more people will try out the SSD/separate home directory route in the future.


01-23-2010, 07:17 PM
Actually, I'd Control+click the account in the Accounts preference pane and use the advanced options there to point at the home folder you want on the external.

02-27-2010, 09:18 AM
What's up SteveW25561? Did you find the good way to use SuperDuper?