best way to move volume to another physical drive - OSX
August 12, 2015 3:56 PM   Subscribe

I have a Mac Pro, and I currently have Volume X on a USB 3 drive which I use as a workspace. I'd like to move it to my Thunderbolt drive so I can use the USB 3 drive elsewhere. Can I do this without breaking path references on my SSD? What's the best way?
posted by Ain to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Volume meaning a partition on the drive? As in, shows up under /Volumes? If that's the case, and you're not running El Capitan (OS X 10.11), just use Disk Utility to resize your Thunderbolt disk appropriately, then use the Restore thing to copy the data between the two. Or, resize the TB disk to however big you want it (bigger than the space used on the existing partition), call it "whatever Volume X is named 2", and just straight up copy between the two, then disconnect the USB disk and drop the " 2" off of the new one. Guide to resizing partitions, guide to restoring disk-to-disk. (For the latter, find the "Copy Volumes" header; you basically go to the Restore tab, drag the source into the source, drag the destination into the destination, and mash Go.) Carbon Copy Cloner is also a good way to do a copy like this (and is pretty nice for doing system backups as well).

OS X cares not what the thing in /Volumes points to, as long as it points to something with the same name. You can have something mounted at /Volumes/Stuff that is sometimes a directly-connected USB hard drive, sometimes a directly-connected Thunderbolt disk, or a network-connected Windows file share if you want (though obviously not at the same time). As long as the paths on the actual target (the drive or share) are the same, you'll be fine. Copying with Carbon Copy Cloner or Disk Utility will ensure that.

If "Volume X" means something else, though, none of this may apply.
posted by mrg at 4:12 PM on August 12, 2015

The note about El Capitan is that they've very much drastically changed how Disk Utility works in the new (currently beta) OS X, and it appears you can't do any of the Restore stuff anymore. You can still resize, but you'll have to use something like Carbon Copy Cloner to do the actual copying. Also, the resizing UI is completely different - instead of stacks of rectangles it's a pie chart.
posted by mrg at 4:14 PM on August 12, 2015

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