boot from external HD

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by derajfast, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #1
    i just installed tiger on an external harddrive and it worked well, but once i restarted, it booted from my internal hdd......is there a way i can easily switch between the 2 without having to restart or change the settings from which disk to boot from first? i mean i know something as simple as clicking which i want to boot from probably doesnt exist, but is there anything that can make it easier?
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    #2
    You have to hold specific key when you restart your computer.

    last time I checked, I think it was the key "c". not sure.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    reberto

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #3
    I think that is to boot off of a CD. Try going to System Prefs/Start-up disk. I should show up there.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #4
    so every time i want to boot from another drive i have to restart and hold down a key?
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #5
    I think so (that is if you want to boot from a secondary/external drive). I think you can do this by holding down "option" when booting. Holding down "c" boots from the cd, and you could do it that way. Put in your system cd, boot up holding "c", go to startup disk, and then select the external. There has to be an easier way than that, but i am unaware of it.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #6
    hmm so theres no program that lets me toggle between them or anything?
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7

    Well, as reberto says, open up System Preferences and under Start Up Disk, you should be able to select your external drive to start from every time if that's what you want. :)

    OSX looks for appropriate start up volumes on boot up anyway, so if you select the external but you have appropriate system files on your inbuilt hard drive and you unplug the external, it should still start up from the original internal drive however it may take a little longer as it goes searching for appropriate files.

    Having said that, I've only had experience with the original 10.0 and not 10.4 and from what some people say around here, that feature may have been overwritten however I don't know why and I think that's unlikely. :)
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
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  9. macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #9
    Sry for the double post, but, lets say if the internal hd failed, then what command would you use to boot from the external? Would you boot holding cmd-opt-shift-delete?
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #10

    I guess you would but sorry, I don't have an external nearby to try it out on. :(
     
  11. macrumors regular

    cygni

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    #11
    :( Ok, I am trying to do the very same thing (boot from an external usb hd).
    I have tried everything on this thread and nothing is working. I can't even use the backed up data that I cloned (using carbon copy) before erasing my small internal HD. So I am totally lost as to what to do next.

    Does anyone have advice as to what I can do to force a boot to an external usb HD? I found an article and feedback stating it's simply impossible. I am truly open to any reasonable suggestions and would very much appreciate any help.

    running os x 10.3.9 on g3 ibook (flavored), 288mb ram, all orig. hardware. with a new western digital external 160gb hard drive. thanks!
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Location:
    ct, us
    #12
    pretty sure you can't boot from a USB drive
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #13
    Why...? I used to boot my old Pismo from an external USB1.1 disk... :confused:
     
  14. macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #14
    I didn't think you could boot from USB either but I suspect 'received wisdom' rather than fact is involved. Thearticle above seem to suggest that it's because the firewire ports become live through open firmware while the USB ones don't until later in the boot process.

    Although it doesn't help you, cygni, the lesson for others is always to test booting from your new clone before you erase your current HD.

    Apple seem to suggest that it might work but isn't expected to work
    Link

    Can you boot from your OS X restore/install disk and then access the data on your USB drive? It might not help with the booting issue but it might help.

    If your drive isn't too big and you have a large iPod, you may be able to copy the structure on the USB drive over to a partition on the iPod and then boot from that if it's Firewire?
     
  15. Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #15
    He-he... I like the good old Pismo better and better... ;)

    Thanks for the link. Explains the inconsistency... :)

    Hmm... maybe I should try this with my current iBook one of these days... I have that old USB1.1 disk laying around somewhere...

    To the OP (to get back on topic ;)): Does the external USB drive show up if you hold down the option key during boot, as faintember suggested earlier, (should give you a slow blue screen with one button for each bootable volume and some arrows, like this)?
     
  16. macrumors regular

    cygni

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    #16
    Yes, lesson learned. Sadly I do not have an ipod or firewire port, but I will try accessing the drive through my install disk and see what happens. Thank you!


    for me the external doesn't show up, just the internal hard drive is displayed as an option. Maybe I could try installing classic and see if it gives more startup options. Thanks for the link!
     

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