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Old Mar 25, 2011, 06:39 PM   #1
lavem
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Booting from USB drives on 2011 MacBook Pro

I have installed rEFIt on my new 17" MBP so I can boot of a couple of external USB hard disks. I have one with Windows 7 and one with Ubuntu. Both boot fine on my 2009 13" MBP.

The problem is that as soon as you try and boot from either of them the USB ports seem to shut down causing the external disk to spin down. The Mac (or EFI) then decides its ready to boot the selected OS. Unfortunately the disk doesn't spin up in time or doesn't spin up at all and then it craps out saying it cant find the selected disk. I think this is because the USB ports haven't 'come up' again.

The mad thing is that this happens even with Mac OS X on an external USB hard disk!

Could another kind forum member help me out and try this on a 2011 model? Do you get the same results? Any ideas what's wrong?

I did try and side step the problem by using Ultimate Boot CD with Grub2 but it wont even detect the disks (only the internal). I tried it with the 13" and it does detect them so it definitely looks like somethings screwed up with USB on this thing.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 05:06 PM   #2
kdamianakis
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Problems booting from USB disk - kernel crashes on new mac book pros

Have quad i7 mac book pro with 8GB of ram - can no longer boot from USB the mac osx - have not tried booking from disk.. Booting from DVD seems to be ok..

Any one else with the same problems?

K.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 05:14 PM   #3
lavem
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The new MacBook requires a specially built kernel so if it's an old install you are trying to boot from it will fail.

I've done a clean install on the external drive with the included snow leopard disc and I can now boot os x from USB. I've had no success with Windows or Linux. The drives still spin down.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 08:31 PM   #4
ChunkAhoy
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by lavem View Post
The new MacBook requires a specially built kernel so if it's an old install you are trying to boot from it will fail.

I've done a clean install on the external drive with the included snow leopard disc and I can now boot os x from USB. I've had no success with Windows or Linux. The drives still spin down.

Same thing here, I'm trying to boot a Windows 7 installation disc but i get a black screen with a white flashing cursor. The external optical drive spins down and the Windows installer doesn't get to the further.

The reason why i am using an external optical drive is that i replaced the internal one with a second SSD.

Until someone finds a way to boot from an external drive, i'm out of luck for playing my games
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 10:41 PM   #5
NZed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavem View Post
I have installed rEFIt on my new 17" MBP so I can boot of a couple of external USB hard disks. I have one with Windows 7 and one with Ubuntu. Both boot fine on my 2009 13" MBP.

The problem is that as soon as you try and boot from either of them the USB ports seem to shut down causing the external disk to spin down. The Mac (or EFI) then decides its ready to boot the selected OS. Unfortunately the disk doesn't spin up in time or doesn't spin up at all and then it craps out saying it cant find the selected disk. I think this is because the USB ports haven't 'come up' again.

The mad thing is that this happens even with Mac OS X on an external USB hard disk!

Could another kind forum member help me out and try this on a 2011 model? Do you get the same results? Any ideas what's wrong?

I did try and side step the problem by using Ultimate Boot CD with Grub2 but it wont even detect the disks (only the internal). I tried it with the 13" and it does detect them so it definitely looks like somethings screwed up with USB on this thing.
Omg pls tell me how to do this please. i've been trying it with ubuntu on my 4gb stick a thousand times and it never worked! i also used rEFIt but it never recognized the thumb drive
thanks!
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 11:42 PM   #6
tinymiata
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Hi have the Intel x25 g2 160gb and I was unable to install anything using bootcamp on my MBP 2011 17in. I found I needed to update the firmware on the SSD from 1/26/2011.
I am able to install from a cd/dvd now, USB boot still wont work under bootcamp from a USB drive or my IODD.
http://www.iodd-usa.com/

I am able to boot the original OSX drive using a USB adapter.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 03:16 AM   #7
kdamianakis
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Looks like there are still a few problems..

Lets hope they get resolved soon..

K.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 03:28 AM   #8
jayhawk11
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Happening with mine, too. I have a multiple partition external drive with the OS X installer DVD cloned, and Drive Genius and Data Rescue on other partitions. The partitions all show up when I hold down option as I boot, but the drive spins back down and it will just sit on the Apple screen indefinitely after that.

I just opened a case with ProSoft Engineering to see if it's a Data Rescue/Drive Genius issue, but it looks like this may be back in Apple's court to fix.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 06:18 AM   #9
lavem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NZed View Post
Omg pls tell me how to do this please. i've been trying it with ubuntu on my 4gb stick a thousand times and it never worked! i also used rEFIt but it never recognized the thumb drive
thanks!
My initial post may be a bit misleading. The external USB drives I'm using are traditional spinning hard disks. I have tried to use USB flash drives in the past but they have never worked on my macs even with rEFIt.

Sorry if I gave you any false hopes
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 06:31 AM   #10
lavem
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Thanks for everybody's input so far. I thought I must be the only person in the world trying to boot from an external drive! Glad I'm not the only one.

I noticed that when I boot OS X from the external drive it does still spin down but quickly spins back up again and boots quite happily. My Window and Linux drives just spin down and sits on the grey screen as described by jayhawk11.

I'm sure this an Apple problem but whether they will see it as a problem is another matter.

Has anybody managed to find anything on the Apple forums?
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 06:58 AM   #11
magimat
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here is my story:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...4#post12272764

Long story short: the only way to boot anything else than OSX is from the internal superdrive. The superdrive itself doesn't even work if placed in an external usb enclosure.

I think Apple did this on purpose because they don't want us to remove the superdrive, let apart replace it with a datadoubler/optibay and a secondary HD.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 08:38 PM   #12
ChunkAhoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magimat View Post
here is my story:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...4#post12272764

Long story short: the only way to boot anything else than OSX is from the internal superdrive. The superdrive itself doesn't even work if placed in an external usb enclosure.

I think Apple did this on purpose because they don't want us to remove the superdrive, let apart replace it with a datadoubler/optibay and a secondary HD.

I'm wondering if there is any way to install Windows to the 2nd hard drive using a virtual machine ie:VMWare.
Do you know if anybody has tried this?
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 09:04 PM   #13
ChunkAhoy
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Mmmmhh strange. It seems like you can boot a drive with Windows installed on it with VMWare but you can't install straight on a drive. You can only install in a virtual machine image.

This defeats my solution.
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 11:06 PM   #14
NZed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magimat View Post
here is my story:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...4#post12272764

Long story short: the only way to boot anything else than OSX is from the internal superdrive. The superdrive itself doesn't even work if placed in an external usb enclosure.

I think Apple did this on purpose because they don't want us to remove the superdrive, let apart replace it with a datadoubler/optibay and a secondary HD.
well, this sub-product says it does work when the SuperDrive is put into an external enclosure

http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/index.html

Quote:
SuperDrive - Externalized
Included with every MCE OptiBay is a free USB 2.0 SuperDrive Enclosure to ensure that you still have full functionality of the original internal SuperDrive you just removed from your system. This slim, portable, external USB 2.0 enclosure transforms your original SuperDrive drive into a bootable, bus-powered SuperDrive just as compatible with iTunes, iDVD, Finder Burning, Toast, DVD Player etc. as before! Now just plug in your external SuperDrive or Combo drive to your USB 2.0 port only when needed in order to play, burn, or rip CDs or DVDs or to load new system software or applications. You can also choose the MCE External 24X DVD-/+R/RW + Dual/Double Layer USB 2.0 SuperDrive to instead have the functionality of a higher-speed CD/DVD reader/writer at your disposal in a more stationary desktop form factor. You can also choose not to include any optical drive option in the event you already have an external optical drive of your own.

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Old Mar 30, 2011, 06:45 AM   #15
lavem
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I haven't tried an external CD drive yet but I suspect it will also fail to boot anything other that OS X.

The problem will be the same, all the USB ports seem to just shut off for too long and you end up staring at a grey screen. The USB drive you are booting from just disappears preventing the OS from starting up.

I'll take one home tonight and try it.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 01:42 PM   #16
lavem
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Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, Ultimate Boot CD 5.0.3 and Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha3 all failed to boot from LiteOn eTDU108 external USB DVD drive.

The same discs all booted fine from the internal superdrive.

Ubuntu 10.04 x64 did boot from the external DVD. Unfortunately when I shut down and tried it again it wouldn't boot. I tried several more times without success. Looks like it was a fluke but also indicates that it is a problem that could be fixed.

Tried the included OS X installer disc and it boots from the external DVD drive.

Last edited by lavem; Mar 30, 2011 at 02:32 PM.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 02:38 PM   #17
lavem
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Originally Posted by ChunkAhoy View Post
Mmmmhh strange. It seems like you can boot a drive with Windows installed on it with VMWare but you can't install straight on a drive. You can only install in a virtual machine image.

This defeats my solution.

You could try to side step the problem by removing the primary hard disk from the MBP. Put the SSD you installed in the optical bay in to the primary hard disk bay. Reinstall the optical drive and then install Windows as if it is the only OS on the machine. Swap everything back afterwards and you should be able to boot in to either OS.
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Old Apr 2, 2011, 07:58 AM   #18
ChunkAhoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavem View Post
You could try to side step the problem by removing the primary hard disk from the MBP. Put the SSD you installed in the optical bay in to the primary hard disk bay. Reinstall the optical drive and then install Windows as if it is the only OS on the machine. Swap everything back afterwards and you should be able to boot in to either OS.
Yes i think that would work fine but i was trying to avoid opening the laptop too many times. Anyways this is probably how it will end since i have already wasted so much time trying other solutions.

Another thing that would be great is a pre-installed image of Win7 that someone would upload on the net and we could just use the disk utility to restore.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 07:13 PM   #19
2Turbo
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Does anyone know if I can boot from a Ubuntu Live CD via USB DVD enclosure?
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Old May 17, 2012, 01:48 PM   #20
williamlewis96
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I booted Ubuntu 10.10 from Flash Drive

I've successfully booted Ubuntu 10.10 using ISO-2-USB EFI-Booter worked like a charm...

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/fo...ith-USB-on-MAC
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