Booting OSX From External Drive... Possible?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by rspeaker, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. rspeaker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    #1
    My brother's OSX-running PC has recently failed him. Completely. So, while he is saving for a mini, I was thinking I could share my iMac with him. I am pretty protective of my computer and its contents, so I was thinking if he could get an external harddrive that he could load OSX and all his stuff onto, plug that into my iMac, and then be able to boot off of it (it would be especially helpful if a Boot Camp-style selection were possible.) He could get his website and various files in order, and then when he gets a mini, he could simply plug his external harddrive into it and transfer files over.

    Is this possible? I've used Macs for about a year and a half, but I have never needed to do anything like this. Thanks.

    EDIT: I did search for threads, "osx external hdd," "osx external hard drive," "osx partition external hdd," "osx partition external harddrive," and "osx partition external hard drive," and couldn't find anything relevant. Sorry.
     
  2. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #2
    Yes, you can install and boot OS X from an external firewire hard drive. However, wouldn't it be a heck of a lot easier to just create an account for your brother?
     
  3. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a

    thewhitehart

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    The town without George Bailey
    #3
    Your sig tells me that you have an intel imac. If you wish to make a bootable version of Tiger on an external drive, make sure you use the GUID partition scheme instead of the Apple Partition Map. The intel version of Tiger uses a different partition scheme to be bootable.

    Select the drive to be partitioned in Disk Utility, press the 'Partition' button, then hit the round 'Option' button at the bottom of the dialogue box. The GUID Partition Table will be an option.
     
  4. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Rome
    #4
    Yeah, if you're really intent on keeping everything separate, then create an account for him on your computer.

    If he boots off an external drive then your internal drive will appear as a mounted drive on the desktop, and he'll have complete access to all of its contents.
     
  5. rspeaker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    #5
    It would probably be easier, but I feel more comfortable with him not being on the same hdd as my account. It is not that I distrust him, or that I have terrible, terrible secrets I don't want people to know... just like my privacy, I suppose.

    So, how does one go about putting OSX on an external hdd, and then selecting it to boot up?

    EDIT: So if my internal drive would appear as mounted and give him total access, I don't want that. Perhaps I'll go for creating an account for him, and him using an external hdd to store all of his stuff? Maybe that'd be easier...
     
  6. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #6
    This is very counter-productive. You are giving him MORE access to your files by using an external hard drive. First off, as allready pointed out, your internal hard drive will be mounted on the desktop. Secondly, he could just boot to your internal hard drive anyway if he wanted. It is a FAR better option to just create a new limited account.
     
  7. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a

    thewhitehart

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    The town without George Bailey
    #7
    Telecomm is right. If he boots from an external drive on your imac, he will have access to everything in your account! In the best interest of security, make him a non-admin user on your machine. OS X is Unix based and is meant for multiple users - he can't screw with anything if he doesn't know your admin password.

    EDIT: Yep. Didn't notice your edit. :)
     
  8. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #8
    NOTE: This post is really only relevant to the paranoid.

    The one main thing to watch for in multi-user accounts on OS X is screwed up permissions. Adobe is horrible about this! They typically give "other" full access to their installed apps, meaning that any user can alter or delete them. Do an "ls -l" on your Applications folder in Terminal to have a look see at the permissions.

    Secondly, check out the permissions on your home folder. I'm guessing you'll just want to disallow access for anyone but yourself.
     
  9. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #9
    Filevault would have been another option. Then he could have booted off the external hard drive, and while yours would mount, everything in your home folder would be encrypted and thus safe.
     
  10. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #10
    if i were you, i'd have him boot to the external, and just put a password on your internal drive. i like my privacy as well
     

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