Two hard drives, two operating systems, one MacBoo

Posted by: mashwin

Two hard drives, two operating systems, one MacBoo - 05/02/13 10:43 PM

HI All,
I have a MacBook Pro (mid-2010) with Mac OS Lion. I plan on having this computer all through the rest of college (another two and a half years, hopefully) so I want to upgrade it just a bit. What I would like to do is take out my optical drive, install a second hard drive mount, and put an SSD in that spot. Now, this would be pretty simple if it were just Mac OS Lion that I wanted on it, but here's the catch - I'd like to put my copy of Windows 7 on that drive as well. I currently use one hard drive for Mac/Windows 7 using boot camp, so I figured it'd be possible to do this with 2 hard drives.

Basically I'd like to put the OSes and a few programs on the SSD, and the files/remaining programs on my big HDD. Is this even possible? Any suggestions?

In summary: Mac OS Lion and Windows 7 + a few Mac/Windows apps on the SSD; Mac OS and Windows data files and programs on the HDD. Can it be done?

I currently have a 750 GB 7200 rpm drive and I also use Parallels. I would basically just be getting the SSD for a little extra storage space and speed. What if I installed the SSD in the current hard drive spot, put the Mac OS on it and put the Windows OS on it (through boot camp), THEN removed the optical drive, put the big hard drive in, and started moving things to it? Would this be possible? Thanks.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: Two hard drives, two operating systems, one MacBoo - 05/02/13 11:11 PM

Hey there!

I have the same setup and it works great!

You'll definitely need to put the SSD in the hard drive bay and leave it there. The SSDs I've tried haven't worked very well in the optical bay.

If you'd be using the MackBook Pro to install Windows onto the SSD, you'll need to do that with the optical drive still installed -- on that model MacBook Pro there's no way to install Windows via anything other than the internal optical drive (USB sticks and external optical/hard drives will not work) ...

After you've got your OSes and stuff installed and running on your SSD, then you can swap-out the optical for your old mechanical HD. Be aware, though, that if you have to reinstall Windows, or repair it from a bootable recovery disk, you'll need to get the optical drive back in the machine ...

As for Windows running apps off a second disk, I've never tried that -- I don't know if Windows needs those apps to be on the same partition as the OS or not ...

Other than that, there shouldn't be any issues -- I have three laptops that have run very well with that configuration. And with the possible exception of maxing-out the RAM, installing an SSD is probably the single best improvement you can make to those machines -- you won't believe how zippy they are! =)