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How to Install OSX on External SSD USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt

In this Video im going to share How to Install OSX on a External SSD over USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt on the StoreJet 500
Transcend StoreJet 500 Thunderbolt SSD Prices & Availability:

I will use two different approaches, one will be a clean install of OSX on our external SSD and the other will be cloning the internal hard drive to the external USB or Thunderbolt Drive.

On my opinion the cloning process is much more effective as we will have our system ready in about one hour with all our apps installed.

Hope that the video is helpful
All the Best

Filed Under: Mac Operating System

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Comments (15)

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  1. Roger Olivier says:

    Thank you. I must install Yosemite first.

  2. wellyton takaeso says:

    link app elcapitan??

  3. erand droory says:

    Shit video.. IDIOT!!!

  4. John Joseph says:


  5. Ray AtL says:

    Is this video "supposed" to be "helpful"? I feel punished for wasting my time watching it…

  6. James Pinhorn says:

    I have an update on my situation. It turns out that when you 'update' an SSD drive with normal Sierra to High Sierra, it uses a new format, APFS, instead of Mac OS Extended Journaled. But it doesn't reformat the disk. So when I first created my boot disk on a Thunderbolt SSD, it was prior to High Sierra, so I formatted the disk as Mac OS Extended Journal and proceeded. Then later I 'updated' to High Sierra. This is when the trouble began. I noticed that the external drive went from having 200 gigs free on it to almost being full. It might have also been downloading my entire photo library which was a mistake. So I did two things. I chose 'optimize' in my photo library to store most of my pictures and videos in the cloud. I also reformatted the external SSD as APFS and then did a new clean install of High Sierra, not an 'upgrade'. This seems to have solved the problem. I left all Energy Settings as default tonight, and left the computer on low power mode for hours. I came back and clicked the mouse and everything woke up just as it normally should. So those of you who want to make an external SSD Thunderbolt drive for the 2011 iMac series, format the Thunderbolt disk as APFS and do a full fresh install of High Sierra on it, and keep the drive mostly empty of everything except apps and the system. I hope this helps someone. Tx for the replies Roberto!

  7. James Pinhorn says:

    So this has not worked out for me at all. I have purchased the exact drive suggested in the install video and here is what my research has shown me. No matter what preferences you select in terms of ENERGY SAVER on the Mac, once you leave your iMac idol for a number of minutes this drive will go to 'sleep' (the little blue light will stop flashing). When you 'wake up' your Mac or even stop the screen saver with all options turned off, the drive will not wake up no way no how and it is your Startup Disk so your Mac is now in super slow rainbow spinning ball mode. The only way to wake it is a restart or to reselect the drive as the Startup disk in System Preferences, which takes forever because of above mentioned spinning beach ball. There are some utilities that claim to keep externals awake and I might try one, but once left for a while this drive will power down and not wake up and your system is now stuck until you take a very time consuming action. It has been suggested on the web that it's because this particular drive is powered by the Thunderbolt cable, if you use a powered drive (with power adaptor) you won't have this problem, but then others have suggested that the same thing happens. Thoughts?

  8. James Pinhorn says:

    I have hit a real snag with this install. My computer basically slows to a complete halt of spinning beachballs. If I open Startup Disk and rebless the computer and tell it where the external operating system is it goes away, but I have to do this once or twice a day. It has only happened since I upgrade to High Sierra. Thoughts?

  9. Ajaz Khan says:

    I can’t select disk. The message shows is disk is locked. Please help

  10. James Pinhorn says:

    One more question. I bought a 256 GB Thunderbolt SSD (the one you recommended actually) and I just installed my OSX on it as it is not large enough to contain my full 1 TB system for a clone. Now I am booted up with my wonderful zippy new system! BUT, when I try and run a Time Machine backup it now says my backup is like 700 gigs, it seems to be combining the two systems, my SSD and my old Hard Drive which has my huge iTunes library on it for example. But because it is such a huge backup it's failing every time I try to make a backup now… I expected to just backup my SSD and then make a manual copy of my important files from the old Hard Drive. Any ideas here?

  11. Randy Braithwaite says:

    I have a question about using an external SSD with the new Mac Mini 2014. I would like to have quickness with the photo app. Is it necessary for me to have all my photos stored on the external SSD in order to make this program fast or is it good enough to just have the photo app installed on external SSD with the photos on the internall spinning drive? Also?,Which SSD do you recommend and is a usb dock necessary?

  12. James Pinhorn says:

    I have a basic question. I am doing this this weekend. Once I set it up, can I still access my apps and music etc from my original iMac? Can I just install OS X on the external ssd and then use the HD on the iMac for everything else? What’s the best way, is cloning the full iMac necessary?

  13. Rainforest says:

    Should I use a USB ssd or thunderbolt (external disk)

    It's on an iMac 2011 Late edition

  14. Felipe D says:

    Hi Roberto Jorge ! Awesome video, although I have a question. I recently purchased a Samsung t5 SSD 500Gb and want to do the same as you did here, the thing is that the connection will be 3.0 and what you did was on a Thunderbolt, so, what can I expect from the overall speed ? Will it run great ? Thank you for answering !!!

  15. Srihari Gopal says:

    Roberto – thanks for your wonderful videos. I have a Mac Mini (2014 late) and considering either Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 external SSD. What kind of transfer speeds were you getting with Thunderbolt external SSD? I saw from your previous video that USB 3.0 External SSD gets transfer speeds of approx 200 MB/sec. 

    Interested to see how Thunderbolt speeds compare. Thanks again

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