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I have a new Mac Mini that's running the latest version of Snow Leopard. The internal drive is a bit of a slouch. I'd like to move the swap file (or whatever it's called is OS X) to my faster external drive (Firewire 800, permanently connected).

Is this possible? I've read that the old solutions aren't working in 10.6.

My Mac has 2GB of RAM, so the swap file is used quite a bit when I'm doing intensive work (Photoshop etc).

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 26 '09 at 21:10

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Just a thought, but if you're doing intensive Photoshop activity, would it be easier to move Photoshop's scratch files to another drive instead of moving the swap file? It might be easier? –  Steve Folly Dec 27 '09 at 21:01

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I found a tool called Xupport that moved the swap file in just two clicks (I downloaded the trial version) - http://www.applicorn.com

A quick restart later and everything is running as before (but hopefully faster - time will tell).

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AFAIK the USB bus is a far less reliable bus than most internal hard drive buses. Your looking at four measures for hard drive performance.

* low-latency.
* low-bandwidth.
* low amount of - or prefferable no - data transfer disruption.
* Enough bandwidth to allow bursts of traffic

The USB 2.0 bus (do not have experience with 3.0 busses) are sub-par on all these fronts.

Besides the performance increase - even if it was possible on a usb drive- would not be noticeable. If you want to increase performance I'd suggest doubling the memory or getting an SSD.

-- edit --

Firewire is better on these fronts as it's design favours such usage scenario's, however it might still not rival the modern internal busses.

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Sorry, I should have added that it's a Firewire 800 drive. –  Milky Joe Dec 26 '09 at 21:09

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