I have an iMac with a fusion drive. A while back, the drive separated into two seperate drives, with one OS on both the SSD and HDD each. The Apple Technician was unable to help me to join them again into a single fusion drive over the phone, and so I gave up and just used the OS on the HDD, while rarely using the speedy SSD for importing and rendering video only. However, the 3TB HDD is nearly full, and thus is running incredibly slow - almost unusable. Is there any way for me to delete the unused OS from the SSD, and move just the OS from the HDD to the SSD, while still leaving the data on the HDD. I have 2.8 TB worth of data on the HDD, and only 200 GB free on the SSD, so is there a way to move just the System OS to the faster drive, while leaving all of the data on the HDD without merging them into a Fusion Drive again?


No - that won't be easy at all but it's exactly what Fusion Drive was engineered to do.

What would be easy is to make a backup of all the files you care about - preferably using Time Machine and a second clone copy if you're not sure Time Machine will work for all your files as a just in case.

Then delete about 30 GB of space so you have room to get a clean installer and make a bootable install drive with the OS of your choice.

When you boot from that installer - the trick will be wiping both the SSD and HDD entirely - then getting it back into Fusion Drive configuration.

Now that you have an OS and user data on Fusion arrangement - loading from your backup (either in the Migration Assistant portion of the new OS setup or running Migration Assistant) would get you the SSD boost without having to implement your own dual tier storage system.

Since most of these specific tasks are already asked / answered here and would be far too long for one answer - here's the outline and I'll try to link to detailed questions on each:

  1. Backup via Time Machine
  2. Optional backup using a clone (Disk Utility / Carbon Copy Cloner / Super duper)
  3. Clear space so you have 30 GB free
  4. Download the OS installer you want
  5. Make a bootable USB installer drive
  6. Boot from the installer (or Internet Recovery) and erase SSD and HDD entirely
  7. Then form an SSD/HDD Fusion Drive before installing the OS
  8. Install the OS on Fusion Drive
  9. Restore files from the backup

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