Hello StackExchange!

After a couple years of using my macbook pro, performance has deteriorated with each update to OSX. I've tried a few things to improve it, and with no results, I decided to get a 128G SSD and a drive caddy for the CD drive, and install a clean install on it.

Using the SSD as my main boot drive, and wahla, great experience. Now, I just need my old stuff. Migration assistant isn't ideal because:

A) the SSD is 128G, and the HDD is 500G. Lots of applications.
B) I don't want to blindly copy over batches of filesystems, mostly because it's likely that I will copy over whatever caused performance deterioration in the first place (most likely my tinkering).

So, my questions are:
What's the best way to access and organize the files and applications on my HDD?
Can I just copy over specific applications? How do I copy their settings?
Are there things I should remove from the HDD? Like the old User Account?

Thanks in advance.

  • Exactly what kind of tinkering did you do?
    – user24601
    Mar 16, 2015 at 1:53

1 Answer 1


If you want to put your most-used files on the SSD and the less-frequently-used files on the HDD, you could make your own Fusion Drive. I'm paraphrasing the instructions here:

  1. Take a Time Machine backup of everything. THE FUSION DRIVE-MAKING PROCESS WILL WIPE BOTH DRIVES!
  2. Make a bootable OS X USB drive. If you can't, that's fine, but doing so will let Recovery HD live on the SSD. If you don't care about that, you can skip this step.
  3. Boot into your brand-new bootable drive (or Recovery HD, if you don't care if Recovery HD lives on the SSD or the HDD).
  4. Open Terminal and run diskutil list
  5. Take note of the identifiers (the "disk#s#" designations) of the drives you want to use as part of the Fusion Drive. If you're in a bootable drive, you can use the entire HHD, but if you're in Recovery HD, you'll have to only use the partition that is neither EFI nor Recovery HD.
  6. Enter the command diskutil coreStorage create [arbitrary name that you won't have to look at anywhere but in Terminal] [the disk identifiers, separated by a space]
  7. When that process is done, one of the last lines of the output should be Core Storage LVG UUID: [long string of letters and numbers]. That long string is your Logical Volume Group's UUID, and you'll need it for the next step.
  8. Now run the command diskutil coreStorage createVolume [the UUID from the last step] jhfs+ "Macintosh HD" 100%
  9. Once that's done, your computer will officially have a single "volume" named Macintosh HD! Now you can reinstall OS X on it and restore it from your Time Machine backup, and it'll automatically migrate files between the SSD and the HDD based on the frequency of their use.

Good luck!

  • Not a bad idea. I'll look into this fusion drive. However, I'm still looking into how to selectively migrate some of the old filesystem, such as a lot of development tools and applications that are installed.
    – mtronip
    Mar 17, 2015 at 0:33
  • @mtronip If you want selective migration, you'll want to go into System Preferences > Time Machine > Options... and select the files you want to exclude from the backup.
    – user24601
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .