Fusion Drive and External HD

Started Nov 16, 2012 | Questions thread
kb2zuz
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Re: Fusion Drive and External HD
In reply to rpaschal, Nov 16, 2012

In short: You can still use an external drive, just like any other computer. It just won't be part of the merged "fusion drive" and it won't be quicker.

The "Volume" is a "logical drive." In computing you have "physical" and "logical" drives. Physical is the actually drives: the internal SSD, the internal hard disk, the external hard disk. The logical is how the computer sees it. You can partition a drive into multiple parts, so you can have one 2TB hard disk but make a 500GB partition for Windows files, 1 TB for Mac files, and another 500GB to keep private files. In this case you have 1 physical drive, but the computer sees 3 logical drives.

The "fusion drive" is in reality two physical drives inside of the computer: a traditional spinning hard disk and a small "Solid State Drive" software will make one logical drive and will "intelligently" move the things that you use the most to the faster (but smaller) SSD drive. You won't see any moving because in the operating system you'll just see it's just one big drive.

Now, people have been asking "can I just by a mac with an SSD and use an external hard drive and have it work like a fusion drive?" The answer is no because apple did not write the software to do that. They probably have a concern with an external that you can disconnect it, and how would the drive work if all the sudden you disconnected the external drive and most of the things that you think are on your one "fusion drive" just disappear because they are in reality on the external. You can still connect an external drive, but it will just show up like a separate drive, just like it does with any other computer. There have been some people who have been working on hacking the system to make non-apple drives appear as fusion drives, but I would not recommend doing this with an external as it is too easy to accidentally disconnect the external.

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