I'm about to put a SSD (60GB) into my MacBook Pro, the disc drive is coming out and the current drive (320GB) will sit in a bracket in its place. I'd like to use the SSD as the main drive for the OS, Apps, and frequently accessed files and the old drive for everything else.

My question is can I back up the old drive with Time Machine, install the new SSD as the boot drive and then restore from Time Machine? Is Time Machine smart enough to spread the data over two drives?


  • 2
    No it isn't. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, it won't even start the restoration if the target is too small.
    – user479
    Nov 15, 2011 at 0:40
  • 1
    I had a feeling this might be the case. I actually wouldn't mind doing a clean install, I guess I'll be doing it the old fashioned way :)
    – kreek
    Nov 15, 2011 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


No. But you may clean HDD to make users and system&library info take no more than 40-45GB (System/Library/Apps) and then use migration assistant ticking only things you need. Or Time Machine if you exclude or move some folders beforehand.

P.S. I wonder if your MBP is pre-unibody one because it is the only type that will benefit from HDD in the bracket in the place of optical disk. For newer MBPs it's better to put SSD in bracket.

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