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Looking for a way to keep my software and partition my HD

by mcarr1973 / November 7, 2008 10:35 AM PST


This question might sound dumb but Im new to how External Hard drives work. So hopefully someone can ansewer a question for me:

If I set up an external hard drive for my mac, Can I put and run software on it?

The reason Im asking is because I would like to partition my mac with osx 10.4 and osx 10.5 and to do this I would have to reformat (erase to factory settings) my mac. If I do this I will lose all of my software.

So Im hoping if I use an external hard drive, I can copy all my software to it. Then partition my mac, and then send all my software back to my mac.

Does anyone know if something like this will work? or have any other suggestions?

I have a lot of third party software on my computer that I cant get again, they are all in my applications folder sooo I was hoping to copy the contents to the external HD then put it back.

Will the software still work?

Thank You,

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 7, 2008 9:46 PM PST

There is/was a program(paid) that would partition the drive without destroying the contents. I believe it was/is called iPartition. Google for it.

You can usually install software on any drive that is attached to your Mac but bear in mind that it is not just the application that gets installed. While the app is located someplace, the preferences, library entry, application support data(if any) will be installed on the drive from which the machine is booted.
When you move an application from the internal to the external, it will continue to run correctly. However, when you delete the contents of the main drive, you may well be deleting an integral part of the application, one that is required to make the application function correctly.
Probably the best way to move everything from one drive to the other is to use an application like Carbon Copy Cloner, there are others, to make an exact copy of your internal and then transfer it to the external. The external now become bootable and you are free to mess with the internal.

Another way to go would be to leave the internal drive exactly like it is, with whatever OS version is currently on it, attach the external FIREWIRE (preferably Firewire 800 if your Mac supports it) connected hard drive (go for 500GB or more) and then install the new OS onto it. That will save you the hassle of trying to ensure that all your existing programs continue to work correctly if you move the.
You then have the choice of which OS to boot into when you start up your Mac. Remember that you cannot have 10.4 and 10.5 running at the same time.

It would have helped a bit if you had mentioned exactly what sort of Mac you had.

Do you have a particular reason for wanting 10.4 and 10.5 on your machine?


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Thank You P
by mcarr1973 / November 21, 2008 10:28 PM PST
In reply to: Partitions


Yes, there is a reason Id like 10.4 and 10.5 on my machine because the mac zbrush runs on 10.5 and my maya runs on 10.4

I have just purchased a lavie external hard drive and mac osx 10.5.4 and im going to give it a try hopfully I can figure out how to upload the 10.5 to the external drive without messing up the internal drive.

I have an imac 10.4.

Oh you mentioned that I cannot have 10.4 and 10.5 running at the same time. How would I transfer files then?


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That external drive
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 22, 2008 9:46 AM PST
In reply to: Thank You P

Installing 10.5 on the external is just a question of booting your iMac from the 10.5 DVD and choosing the external drive as the place to install it.

To transfer files from one OS to the other is straight forward.

Example: You are booted into 10.4 which is on the internal HD of the iMac. The external drive appears mounted on the desktop. (it will usually be below the internal HD)
(Note. the drive you are booted from is normally the top icon on the right hand side of the screen. All other attached drives appear below it.)
You have created a file in Maya that needs to be further processed in Mac xbrush.
Locate the file you want to transfer to the external drive and drag it to the icon of the external drive. Do not let go, the icon of the external drive will open and reveal the contents of the drive. Continue to drag the file to the location you want it to be. As you drag the file over a folder, the folder will open. When you reach your destination, let go of the mouse button.
Exactly the same principle applies in the opposite direction.

Restart the iMac and hold down the option key. Choose the external as the startup disk. When booted, launch Mac zbrush and open the file you just moved over.

Question: Are you sure that Maya will not run on 10.5? The 2009 version requires it but it would be worth checking to see if your version will run on 10.5
BTW, the last, not the latest, version of zbrush runs on 10.4


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Thank You P
by mcarr1973 / November 23, 2008 2:32 AM PST
In reply to: That external drive

Thank you Mrmacfixit,

I have installed the external hard drive as well as 10.5.4 on it not too bad it was simpler than I had thought. I thank you very much.

I heard of problems in the past running maya 8.0 or 8.5 on mac 10.5 so I didn't want to take the chance, thats why I wanted to keep the 10.4.

I now realize that the maya does work just as good on the 10.5 mac osx and I didn't even have to re-install it (beautiful thing).

zbrush 3 dose not run on mac 10.4 thats why I got the external hard drive to put 10.5 on to be able to run zbrush 3.12.

In the end it all worked out and I dont even need the 10.4 now. So I can now use the external as a back up yay.

Do you use these graphics programs? you seen very knowledgeable about them. If you do theres another great tool out now its called Unity 3d. pretty awesome program if you ever want to check it out? Its my whole purpose of using these programs. you can even create games for the iphone, mac, pc, wii, and all of they above.

Now if I could only afford the zbrush lol

Thanks alot have a great day and happy holidays.


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Thank you
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 23, 2008 4:03 AM PST
In reply to: Thank You P

Glad everything worked out for you.

No, I'm afraid that Maya just left me cold when I tried the demo and decided that Photoshop Elements with, perhaps, a little of the regular Photoshop thrown in, was about my level of artistic expertise.

In your case, I hammered Google looking for system specs for both those programs, but thanks for the compliment.

Enjoy your new toys,


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