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  #1  
Old 11-26-2022, 10:04 AM
itsjustmeee123 itsjustmeee123 is online now
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Default External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

Does anyone here regularly boot off of an external drive with their Mac for day to day use and ProTools? I’m finding that I’m running out of room on a regular basis with my internal iMac 512 drive. My work drive, sample drives, backups, etc. are all on SSDs. life would probably be a lot easier installing larger plug-ins and just managing day-to-day files like my iTunes library, iMovie projects and others if my boot up drive was larger. Just curious here if anyone has any issues with doing that.
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2022, 01:06 PM
Sardi Sardi is offline
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Default External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsjustmeee123 View Post
Does anyone here regularly boot off of an external drive with their Mac for day to day use and ProTools? I’m finding that I’m running out of room on a regular basis with my internal iMac 512 drive. My work drive, sample drives, backups, etc. are all on SSDs. life would probably be a lot easier installing larger plug-ins and just managing day-to-day files like my iTunes library, iMovie projects and others if my boot up drive was larger. Just curious here if anyone has any issues with doing that.

Why don’t you just move your iTunes library and iMovie projects to an external drive? If that’s what causing your boot drive to fill up, get them off your boot drive.

Also, plugins are typically very small in size. Ones that come with a library of sounds (sample based VIs, IRs etc.) can also have their content reside on an external drive.


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  #3  
Old 11-26-2022, 05:12 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsjustmeee123 View Post
Does anyone here regularly boot off of an external drive with their Mac for day to day use and ProTools? I’m finding that I’m running out of room on a regular basis with my internal iMac 512 drive. My work drive, sample drives, backups, etc. are all on SSDs. life would probably be a lot easier installing larger plug-ins and just managing day-to-day files like my iTunes library, iMovie projects and others if my boot up drive was larger. Just curious here if anyone has any issues with doing that.
I boot a MBP from fast external SSD all the time, to work with multiple boot OS images. But especially if a laptop I'd want my primary boot drive to be internal.

You don't give much useful info for others to give you much advice. Starting with what exact mac do you have now? What drive(s)? Is the internal boot drive upgradeable?

T2 and Apple Silicon equipped Mac's complicate doing external booting, and recent macOS complicate clone Mac boot drives to an external drive, often easier to do a clean install. All that is not specific to Pro Tools and is well discussed on the interwebs.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 11-27-2022 at 01:15 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2022, 10:23 AM
itsjustmeee123 itsjustmeee123 is online now
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Default Re: External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

Sorry about the lack of info. I have an IMac 2019. 3.6 GHz 8 core intel with 64 GB of ram. Mac OS Monterey 12.6.1

And I have moved as much as I can like my iTunes library, managing my Dropbox folder, deleting downloads, etc but I have had to find room at times for downloading OS updates and programs that need to be on the boot up drive. I just ordered a 1tb Samsung T7 yesterday (which btw was on a nice Black Friday discount on Amazon) and I'm going to try and use that as my boot drive.
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2022, 11:25 AM
bradch00 bradch00 is online now
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Default Re: External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

I have been booting off external SSD drives for years, due to testing. I like to have a “production” system with only GA software and plug-ins, plus at least one or two for test development and Q&A. My old 2014 iMac worked well for this as does the new Apple Studio Max picked up last spring. Currently I am still using SSD my old Thunderbolt enclosures through an adapter, but have order an OWC M.2 and 8TB of drives over the weekend. Now when I do add another system, I always build it from scratch, even on the old iMac. Buy decent quality SSDs. I have been running on Samsung, Crucial and Angelbird since 2015 without a single failure. (Angelbird was because it was difficult to properly configure non-Apple branded SSD at one time….)
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2022, 12:52 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsjustmeee123 View Post
Sorry about the lack of info. I have an IMac 2019. 3.6 GHz 8 core intel with 64 GB of ram. Mac OS Monterey 12.6.1
You could make it easy for folks, I am not going to pick through CPU offerings to guess exactly what you have. 24”? 27”? 5K? Model code? EMC ?

And what current drive(s). You can also upgrade the internal drive(s) which while more work can still be a great option. OWC is probably the place to start for options there. Including for high speed PCIe/NVMe SSD upgrades for Apple’s proprietary slots. If you want to keep the iMac for a while that might be worth it.

For your USB 3.2 Gen 2 (in stupid USB-IF naming) aka 10 Gbit USB I suspect you should be using the USB Type-C ports on your iMac not the Type-A ports that may be only USB 3.0 aka 5 Gbps. The T7 can make use of that extra speed as it is not SATA, but it is also not Thunderbolt, so does not deliver high-end Thunderbolt 3 SSD performance.

Securing the T7 and USB Type-C connections so the do not get accidentally disconnected is worth worrying about. There are different mounts and clips out there that might be usable.

Since you are already on Monterey you can only clone boot drives using Apple’s APFS Replicator. Depends on what you are working on/tolerance for risk, but if doing a clean macOS install on the external drive you might want to do a clean Ventura install. I am not sure how many more major macOS releases there will be for Intel Macs, but if doing a new clean macOS install I would be tempted to move forward to Ventura (which I have on my one MacBook Pro, currently booting off an external Thunderbolt SSD and will get cloned back internally in future.).

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 11-27-2022 at 03:02 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2022, 02:59 PM
Sugarnutz Sugarnutz is offline
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Default Re: External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

Mid-2015 retina MacBook Pro 2.2GHz i7, 16Gb, 512Gb running Monterey PT 2022.10, dual boot Mojave on a 512Gb NVMe drive in USB 3.0 adapter, mostly Logic Pro but still have PT 2019.12 with no issues.
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2022, 03:25 PM
itsjustmeee123 itsjustmeee123 is online now
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Default Re: External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
You could make it easy for folks, I am not going to pick through CPU offerings to guess exactly what you have. 24”? 27”? 5K? Model code? EMC ?

And what current drive(s). You can also upgrade the internal drive(s) which while more work can still be a great option. OWC is probably the place to start for options there. Including for high speed PCIe/NVMe SSD upgrades for Apple’s proprietary slots. If you want to keep the iMac for a while that might be worth it.

For your USB 3.2 Gen 2 (in stupid USB-IF naming) aka 10 Gbit USB I suspect you should be using the USB Type-C ports on your iMac not the Type-A ports that may be only USB 3.0 aka 5 Gbps. The T7 can make use of that extra speed as it is not SATA, but it is also not Thunderbolt, so does not deliver high-end Thunderbolt 3 SSD performance.

Securing the T7 and USB Type-C connections so the do not get accidentally disconnected is worth worrying about. There are different mounts and clips out there that might be usable.

Since you are already on Monterey you can only clone boot drives using Apple’s APFS Replicator. Depends on what you are working on/tolerance for risk, but if doing a clean macOS install on the external drive you might want to do a clean Ventura install. I am not sure how many more major macOS releases there will be for Intel Macs, but if doing a new clean macOS install I would be tempted to move forward to Ventura (which I have on my one MacBook Pro, currently booting off an external Thunderbolt SSD and will get cloned back internally in future.).
Sorry Darryl. It's a 5K, 27 inch. Model Identifier Mac 19.1. I used Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable backup and set it as my startup disk. When there's more compatibility with Ventura, I'll make that jump.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2022, 03:38 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsjustmeee123 View Post
Sorry Darryl. It's a 5K, 27 inch. Model Identifier Mac 19.1. I used Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable backup and set it as my startup disk. When there's more compatibility with Ventura, I'll make that jump.
Gotcha. Thanks, the iMac suffers from having so many models/variants. But everything I said is correct for that model.

CCC is using APFS Replicator for you. If you have not already, have a read of this so you are clear on the limits of CCC and cloning bootable drives. https://bombich.com/kb/ccc6/cloning-...ftware-restore As always, great clarity/communication from Bombich.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2022, 05:19 PM
itsjustmeee123 itsjustmeee123 is online now
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Default Re: External SSD boot drive for OS and Pro Tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
Gotcha. Thanks, the iMac suffers from having so many models/variants. But everything I said is correct for that model.

CCC is using APFS Replicator for you. If you have not already, have a read of this so you are clear on the limits of CCC and cloning bootable drives. https://bombich.com/kb/ccc6/cloning-...ftware-restore As always, great clarity/communication from Bombich.
Thanks for your help, Darryl. Yeah, I'm aware of the whole CCC legacy bootable option. I just tried my external boot disk and it loads Pro Tools considerably slower because I get the "verifying Pro Tools" message. But it does load. And I also noticed that my Waves plugins weren't available. Looks like I will have to move my Waves licenses to a thumb drive in order for them to function.
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