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Mountain Lion installation on home built Fusion Drive
Authored by: BiL Castine on Nov 06, '12 07:30:25AM
I followed Jinx's procedure using a Mac mini server and it was almost trivial to set up (as a bonus, i learned a bit about using the command line hdutil command). the hardest part for me was replacing one of the internal drives with an SSD. The mini is very tight and requires a specialized "logic board removal tool" (bent coat hanger) to slide out the logic board. Luckily iFixit has full instructions and a tool set. Since my OS was installed on only one of the two internal HDDs i was able to extract that drive, replace it with the SSD, place the drive with the OS in an external drive dock, boot from the OS drive, create the CoreStorage volume, then clone the OS to the Fusion drive. Upon booting from the new Fusion drive, i noticed an immediate speed improvement, though i should admit the server OS was small enough to entirely fit on the 256GB SSD.

Of note: you'll want to keep a full backup, as it is not currently possible to create a recovery partition on a CoreStorage volume. I'm using CarbonCopyCloner to create a disk image on a network share once a week, and CrashPlan to backup frequently changing files to another computer in my home (CrashPlan is free when used this way).

Once I'm convinced this is a stable configuration, I'll be repeating it with my 2011 MacBook Pro (256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, OWC DataDoubler) where i really expect to see a speed boost. My home folder and library wouldn't fit on the SSD so once the machine boots, it slows down again as programs access the user library folder. CoreStorage should really shine in this setting.

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