Boot Mac With External Hard Drive

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Jan 18, 2017 Here is a guide on how to create a bootable external Mac hard drive to run macOS from an external hard drive. There are quite a few reasons for why you may want to be able to have an additional startup drive for your Mac. One of the main reasons is backup of your current system. Another is creating a drive for testing your Mac’s hardware. Jan 18, 2017 When you wish to do this, plug in the drive and reboot your Mac holding the Option key. Much like you did when installing, you will see your Macintosh HD and your now bootable External Drive show up as options. Clicking the External will start your Mac up on this new volume.

My machine is dying. It's probably the 1TB Fusion drive going bad but its an old machine and I'm already planning on upgrading once (if) Apple announces something new. In the meantime, the machine is hanging with beachballs ever few minutes and its driving me nuts.
Can I use a Samsung T5 external and have it make any difference at all? The iMac only has USB-2, Firewire 800 and TB-2 ports so I know any benefits of an SSD is essentially wiped out but will this be enough to hold me over until I can get a new one? I tried using an external carbon copy clone with a 7200HD and its usable, but barely.
I don't really want to put in internal SSD in there and spend 2 or 3 hundred bucks just to find out they're dropping a new machine in another month. Another idea is to get a Thunderbolt hub but again, thats a few hundred bucks I'd rather not spend.
So, does buying the T35 make any sense at all or is is basically the same as a standard HD with the old USB connections?
Any other suggestions on how to hold me over?

In this article, you will learn how to speed up your older iMac by booting to an external solid state drive. For this example, you will discover how you can boot to Mac OS Mojave using a Samsung T5 SSD.

Before we get into how to do it, let’s cover a few reasons why you might want to consider booting to an external SSD with Mac OS Mojave installed. This may surprise you, but even in 2019, some iMacs come with a 5,400 RPM spinning hard drive installed.

Hard drives that run at 5,400 RPM or 7,200 RPM are noticeably slower than modern solid state drives. A solid state drive is also slightly faster than Apple’s Fusion drives, which are a combination of flash storage and a traditional spinning hard drive.

If you don’t upgrade to an SSD when you order your iMac, the only way to upgrade to a solid state drive afterward is to remove the iMac screen. Removing the iMac display screen is the only way to gain access to the inner components of the computer. A more cost effective and less intrusive method is to use an external solid state drive instead, like the Samsung T5.

Booting from a solid state drive like the Samsung T5 should give you a boost in performance, especially if you are running an older iMac with a 5,400 RPM hard drive. On top of booting from an external solid state drive, it is also a good idea to store your media files on another solid state drive separate from your operating system.

Having two solid state drives will speed up your photo and video editing workflow and video rendering times, and as of 2019, the prices on solid state drives have come down considerably. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up an external boot drive with Mac OS Mojave, check out the video tutorial in this article.

Boot Mac With External Hard Drive

If you are running a similar setup using solid state drives, let me know in the comment section below.