View Full Version : MB Air & booting from 3rd-party drives

Feb 28, 2010, 10:06 AM
Hello all -

Just wondering about the following:

1. Can the MBAir be booted up from a _third party_ (i.e., NOT Apple-labeled) USB2 DVD/CD drive? Or, does it absolutely require the Apple external Superdrive?

2. Will the MBAir boot from an external USB2 hard drive, also?

- John

Feb 28, 2010, 11:04 AM
1) Yes. I have a home-made LG Blu-Ray external drive in a $10 dollar enclosure and it worked.

2) Yes. I've done it many times when I needed to recondition the SSD or perform disk checks/repairs

Feb 28, 2010, 12:51 PM
As the other replier said... ^^^

I wouldn't recommend the MBA SuperDrive. It looks pretty but the cable on it is junk. In addition, it's a pain in the a$$ because it doesn't work half the time or when using certain hubs and etc.

Plus you can buy a BluRay drive that is fully backwards compatible for your same $100.

Any USB drive is bootable if it's made bootable. You can use Super Duper's "sandbox" drive software to make your USB drive run Mac OS X completely by itself.

Good luck.

Mar 1, 2010, 08:58 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I've been a Mac user exclusively since 1987, but have NEVER owned a Mac laptop.

I've reached the point where it's about time to get one, for trips and the like. At home, I'll remain a "desktop guy".

The MacBook Air looked nifty - but limited - when it was introduced. On top of that was a higher price. But I see that Apple's refurb store has some for downright attractive prices, vis-a-vis something like the 13" MacBook Pro.

I was just wondering how the lack of ports restricted use, if at all (such as in "bootability", a big point for me). I guess you can boot it up externally as you would any other Mac (via USB).

A little off-topic, but would the 1.86ghz "second generation" MB Air lag much behind the current entry-level MB Pro 13", insofar as speed and processing power go? I won't be doing any video work, almost no photo editing. Just browsing, email, playing music, etc.

- John

Mar 1, 2010, 01:08 PM
Fishrrman, A second generation 1.86 would have the SSD, which makes a huge difference. For what you want to do, you'd absolutely love it.