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I have a MacBook pro version 10.9.3 with 2.9 GHz Intel core i7 processor. 8GB of ram and a 750GB HD. I'm running windows through parallels and allocated 4GM of memory to it and a used my bootcamp image (400gb).

When running parallels both sides are slow. I thought that maybe buying a SSD would speed things up. Is this true? If So will I be able to back up my partition when upgrading? What would be the best way to go about it?

Thanks for any advice!

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I thought that maybe buying a SSD would speed things up. Is this true?

The simple answer is yes. It sounds as though you may also be paging out due to RAM limitations as well, however. When you run out of RAM, your machine uses your drive as a disk cache, essentially, which slows down your machine ( a HDD/SSD is meant to be a dedicated storage device, not temporary). That being said, upgrading to a SSD would still make the machine quicker even if you are paging out.

If So will I be able to back up my partition when upgrading? What would be the best way to go about it?

Yes, you will be able to back up the other partition. I highly recommend following this clear and concise guide, by ASC member clintonfrombirmingham when doing so.

  • This would also not save the Bootcamp partition ... – Scott Earle May 24 '14 at 4:28
  • @ScottEarle Good point. You need a utility like Winclone in addition to CCC. – njboot May 24 '14 at 4:32
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If you need to keep the original Bootcamp partition as well as the OS X partition, then I would recommend that you use something like Winclone to make an image of the Bootcamp partition.

In this case, I would suggest:

  1. Buy an SSD that is larger than the minimum size you need (including the size of your current Bootcamp partition).
  2. Use Winclone to create an image of your Bootcamp partition, and put this somewhere safe..
  3. Install the SSD in the Mac.
  4. Put the old Hard Disk Drive into an external enclosure.
  5. Boot from the external enclosure
  6. Use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the HDD's OS X partition to the SSD.
  7. Boot from the newly-created OS X partition on the SSD.
  8. Marvel at how much FASTER everything is. Just ... lovely.
  9. Create a Bootcamp partition using the Bootcamp Assistant, and let it think you are going to install Windows on it. Make sure it is at least as large as the original Bootcamp partition.
  10. Use Winclone to put the image created in step 2 onto the newly-created Bootcamp partition.
  11. Make sure Bootcamp still works, by booting into it. While in there, resize the NTFS filesystem to fill the partition.
  12. Reboot into OS X and start Parallels, using the (new) Bootcamp partition.
  13. There is no step 13!

That should all work, pretty much. It's all complicated by having the Bootcamp partition, as you can see.

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I have a similar setup for developing and have very few problems with the speed of the VM, but switching to an SSD did help incredibly in load times on both sides. That was most of the delays I was experiencing in the VM, with the type of programs I use. It's much more pleasant to use now...

I do this each time I upgrade the HDD. Since it is the first time, you do have to go out and buy an empty enclosure.

  1. Get an external enclosure (preferably something with FireWire 800 for speed)
    1. I like Macally (something like this). Mine has lasted for close to 4 years.
  2. Get a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner (or similar) and install it
  3. Put the new SSD drive in the external enclosure
    1. Make sure the drives are the same size, or the new one is bigger
  4. Use the cloner to make a duplicate of your internal drive to the external
    1. You will need to partition the SSD first, of course (osx hfs+ journaled)
    2. This will take at least a few hours
    3. It should tell you that the partition will be "bootable" after this
  5. Turn everything off
  6. Swap the drives (ssd => internal, internal => external enclosure)
  7. Turn it back on. Everything should be exactly the same now, only faster.

You don't have to do it exactly this way, but it's safer to keep the computer running and clone to the external drive first. If something goes wrong cloning you still have the machine running as normal.

Bonus:

  1. You now have an exact bootable backup. Backup weekly to the external using the same tool.
  2. If you need, you can plug it into the FW port and boot off it directly
  • This will not backup the Bootcamp partition from the original disk, however – Scott Earle May 21 '14 at 7:46
  • Can't CC clone the bootcamp too? I thought it could. Damn. Then the other option is to partition it the same, and use another tool (e.g. winclone, as mentioned) to separately clone the windows partition. That does require having a third disk around that is large enough to store the .iso/etc for windows – Andrew Backer May 21 '14 at 9:01
  • I'm not even sure that just partitioning the SSD and putting Windows into it would work the same magic that you need in order to boot into it using Bootcamp. Hence my suggestion of creating the partition on the new OS X using the Bootcamp Assistant – Scott Earle May 21 '14 at 9:11

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