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Can I run PP CS5.5 from an external hard drive?

New Here ,
Aug 28, 2021 Aug 28, 2021

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Hi- I have a mid 2012 Mac Pro running macOS 10.13 High Sierra. I want to keep High Sierra AND install macOS 10.7 Lion so that I can run Premiere Pro CS5.5. All internal drive bays are being used:

 

  1. Startup drive (512 gb SSD formatted as APFS) Applications
  2. 1 TB HDD Media/Projects
  3. 1 TB SSD VSTs
  4. 1 TB SSD VSTs

 

Questions:

  • Can I install/run Lion and PP CS5.5 on an external hard drive effectively? I have a USB3 external HD, but will have to purchase a USB3 expansion card in order to use it since my Mac Pro has USB2.
  • OR Do you have any suggestions of how to make this work? My initial thought was to partition the startup drive (currently formatted as APFS in order to support High Sierra) so that I can install Lion via a bootable USB and create a dual boot drive. I did this on my MacBook Pro with no issues; however, the startup drive in my MacBook Pro is a HDD and is formatted as Mac OS Journaled. The SSD in my Mac Pro has to be formatted as APFS in order to support High Sierra. I'm concerned with issues partitioning may present.

 

Thanks for taking the time to help.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Sep 05, 2021 Sep 05, 2021

@xta21 wrote:
  • Can I install/run Lion and PP CS5.5 on an external hard drive effectively? I have a USB3 external HD, but will have to purchase a USB3 expansion card in order to use it since my Mac Pro has USB2.

 

In theory it should work to boot the Mac from an external drive.

In practice, though, you may have some potential problems.

 

One problem you already know about: You can’t do it from a USB port, because your Mac has USB 2 ports which are too slow.

 

The other is that if you get a USB

...

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Community Expert ,
Sep 05, 2021 Sep 05, 2021

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@xta21 wrote:
  • Can I install/run Lion and PP CS5.5 on an external hard drive effectively? I have a USB3 external HD, but will have to purchase a USB3 expansion card in order to use it since my Mac Pro has USB2.

 

In theory it should work to boot the Mac from an external drive.

In practice, though, you may have some potential problems.

 

One problem you already know about: You can’t do it from a USB port, because your Mac has USB 2 ports which are too slow.

 

The other is that if you get a USB 3 expansion card, you want to make absolutely sure the Mac Pro can boot off of it. My old Mac Pro tower has a USB 3 expansion card that works OK for non-boot external drives, but the specific USB 3 expansion card I bought does not support booting the Mac Pro from it.

 

It is understood that you said you didn’t want to use one of the four internal drive bays, but it may be the best way to make this work reliably.

 

One possibility is to use one of the four drive bays as an alternative boot drive, and move the drive that was there into another bay that does not already exist. What I mean by that is to add an expansion card that can mount an SSD, or replace one or both of the optical drive bays with a SATA hard drive bay kit. In other words, kits like these allow adding more internal drives to the Mac Pro.

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New Here ,
Sep 07, 2021 Sep 07, 2021

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Thank you both for the thorough responses and suggestions. I went ahead and followed Adobe's instructions for installing legacy CS5 software on High Sierra. I am now running Premiere Pro CS5 on HIgh Sierra from my Mac HD (SSD) and have swapped out one of my internal drives for an SSD dedicated to storing Adobe media and project files. 

 

Conrad C, thanks for the suggestion on adding an expansion card and replacing the optical drives. I will be making those changes in the near future in order to add more internal drives.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 06, 2021 Sep 06, 2021

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It's mostly easy to configure multiple boot drives on any Mac.

 

Booting from a USB2 drive works fine, it's just very slow.  A 2012 MacBook Pro should have FireWire and Thunderbolt and each are much better for external boot drives.

 

Yes, you can reformat your internal Macintosh HD to have a High Sierra boot partition on a Lion boot volume.

 

You biggest challenge is likely to be a clean install of CS5.5 itself as the activation servers may not be working.  I have a 2008 MacBook Pro that I keep around mainly for bringing old After Effects projects forward when needed.  CS4 still launches just fine, I just don't know if I would be able to reinstall it.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 07, 2021 Sep 07, 2021

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I'm always misreading Mac Pro as MacBook Pro!

The FireWire800 ports work really well for booting macOS from an external drive.  The challenging part these days is finding a FireWire drive or FireWire enclosure.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 07, 2021 Sep 07, 2021

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OWC (macsales.com) still sells external drives and enclosures with FireWire ports. They also have USB 3.1 ports, so they can be connected to old, new, and future Macs and PCs.

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