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I recently added an external SSD to my 2012 Mac mini, connected with a USB 3.0 cable. I also have a 500 GB HDD and everything works fine.

I am just wondering if it's recommend to move the home folder to the HDD to reduce the writing to the SSD.

One more thing, since the addition of the SSD, I'm avoiding entering sleep mode (again, to prevent pointless writing to the SSD) and I'm turning the computer off instead. Is there a solution for this?

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    – fsb
    Oct 17, 2016 at 18:06

2 Answers 2

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To disable hibernation go to terminal and type

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

If you'd like to reenable later down the line use:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3

As far as moving the home folder, I feel is a bit silly given the price of ssds. If you do want to do it that's fine, but I don't think most people would suggest doing so. Especially given that it's an external drive connected with a cable I would suggest leaving everything on one drive. Less chance of things going wrong, just make sure you have back ups.

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  • If I will disable the hibernation - the menning is that I still could use the sleep mode, and it's just don't write anything to the disk?
    – Gozalitos
    Oct 17, 2016 at 17:45
  • I would assume you can still put it into sleep but I'm not sure why you would do that. There are also setting in system preferences under power saving, uncheck anything related to the computer going to sleep or hibernate. Additionally, I don't really think you should be concerned with all this detail. More than likely if you use sleep mode everyday and keep your home folder on the ssd you likely won't have any problems with your disk for several years. Oct 17, 2016 at 17:49
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If you're concerned about "pointless writing to the SSD" because you feel that it would wear out the drive faster, let me just say that you should put that notion to rest. SSDs have advanced tremendously since they started to become popular several years ago and the concern about cells getting worn out is really no longer applicable in a home setting.

I don't recall where I've most recently seen statistics, but for a (say) 240GB SSD to get worn out, you would need to be continuously writing to it non-stop for a few years before some cells start to fail due to wear. Even in the home power user scenario, you're not going to be doing that by a long shot. If it does? You'll start to notice as the OS will probably begin complaining (but not fail). By that time, a 1TB SSD will be available probably for less than you bought your 240GB for.

Use your SSD and don't worry about the writes.

Now as far as putting your HOME directory on it, I don't know if I would necessarily do that simply because external USB drives have a tendency to be disconnected and unmounted and you don't want to risk corruption of your data; not thinking files getting unrecoverable corrupt, but more like iPhoto needing to rebuild its database corrupt because it didn't finish writing its consistency. But installing (say) your Steam applications to it? Go right ahead.

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