Fusion Drive Support for Older Macs Present in Mac OS X Mountain Lion Without Needing Hardware

Last week, at Apple’s iPad Mini event, Apple announced some refreshed versions for Mac computers. Among other features, they also unveiled a new type of storage plan for iMac and Mac mini machines which is called Fusion Drive. Fusion Drive lets the users enjoy both performance and the capacity of hard-drives in the same machine.

Fusion Drive is a kind of hybrid drive in which a fast performing SSD is combined with a capacious hard drive. The SSD holds the core applications, system files and most demanding files whereas the HDD houses other files which are not used often. The software support for Fusion drive is already present in Mac OS X Mountain Lion, so the whole setup works flawlessly. Mountain Lion version controls everything automatically without the consent of the user. The end user sees only single drive on his PC.

Earlier when this new feature was introduced, everyone was thinking that it was coupled with a specific hardware. But a Mac developer Patrick Stein shared in his tumblr post the success of creating Fusion Drive on his old Mac without installing any extra hardware. He performed all the steps only by using some commands on OS X Mountain Lion.

Patrick combined Solid State Drive and a hard drive by using the Core Storage feature of OS X which combines the two drive into a single drive. Once a single drive is shown on PC he used Mac OS Extended make the file creation and transfer easy across both the devices.

TIN>diskutil cs create bla disk1 disk7 Started CoreStorage operation 
$<3>Unmounting disk1 $<3>Repartitioning disk1 $<3>Unmounting disk 
$<3>Creating the partition map 
$<3>Rediscovering disk1 
$<3>Adding disk1s2 to Logical Volume Group 
$<3>Unmounting disk7 
$<3>Repartitioning disk7 
$<3>Unmounting disk 
$<3>Creating the partition map 
$<3>Rediscovering disk7 
$<3>Adding disk7s2 to Logical Volume Group 
$<3>Creating Core Storage Logical Volume Group 
$<3>Switching disk1s2 to Core Storage 
$<3>Switching disk7s2 to Core Storage $<3>Waiting for Logical Volume Group to appear 
$<3>Discovered new Logical Volume Group "DE85044F-EADA-4F26-93B7-8CD0ADF006EC" 
$<3>Core Storage LVG UUID: DE85044F-EADA-4F26-93B7-8CD0ADF006EC 
$<3>Finished CoreStorage operation 
TIN>diskutil cs list CoreStorage logical volume groups (1 found) | +-- Logical Volume Group DE85044F-EADA-4F26-93B7-8CD0ADF006EC ========================================================= Name: bla Size: 869502550016 B (869.5 GB) Free Space: 865776689152 B (865.8 GB) | +-< Physical Volume 682DCC34-74A4-4290-80AE-EB127BA24746 | ---------------------------------------------------- | Index: 0 | Disk: disk1s2 | Status: Online | Size: 119690149888 B (119.7 GB) | +-< Physical Volume 5FA828A9-3EDD-4CBC-8C93-27C0E07C2E8A ---------------------------------------------------- Index: 1 Disk: disk7s2 Status: Online Size: 749812400128 B (749.8 GB) 
TIN>diskutil coreStorage createVolume DE85044F-EADA-4F26-93B7-8CD0ADF006EC jhfs+ blub 500g (13:12:32) Started CoreStorage operation 
$<3>Waiting for Logical Volume to appear 
$<3>Formatting file system for Logical Volume $<3>Initialized /dev/rdisk8 as a 466 GB HFS Plus volume with a 40960k journal 
$<3>Mounting disk 
$<3>Core Storage LV UUID: 6CBDCB9F-A08E-4E79-BDA7-69853BA24C1E 
$<3>Core Storage disk: disk8 
$<3>Finished CoreStorage operation

If you want to know the exact procedural steps to create Fusion Drive on Mac, just visit the Patrick Stein site. Here is the exact URL of the post showing how you can make the Fusion Drive in three Simple step.

  • massa

    That means I should be able to add a SSD disk, then convert my original boot disk with

    diskutil cs convert disk1

    to be a a LVG and then add the SSD with

    diskutil cs addDisk LVG1 disk2

    Will that work on my MacPro from 2007 with Lion (without Montain), that
    I cannot upgrade to MountainLion?

    • http://www.shoutpedia.com/ a_usman

      Technically there won’t be any benefit if you fuse two drives without installing Mountain Lion. The reason is that Mountain Lion controls the migration of frequently used and and less-frequently used files. If you are still on older operating system, what you may get is single volume drive but not the actual benefit.