Can MacOS boot from an ethernet networked firewire drive.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dogbone, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #1
    I've just tested my new bootable firewire drive and it worked well. Then just for fun I thought I'd try and use it to boot up a different mac on my ethernet network. I selected 'network' as the startup volume but when it tried to start all I got was a flashing 'World' icon.

    Then I remembered that OSX can only boot up from a firewire drive, and I was wondering if that means that the firewire drive must be directly connected to the mac.

    Then I wondered why there is a choice to boot from a network then I thought maybe they mean it has to be a firewire network and not an ethernet network.

    Is this right.
     
  2. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #2
    No, you can boot off an Ethernet network, but there's more to it than just installing OS X to another computer. You have to have a computer that is set up to broadcast boot information, effectively turning your Mac into a dummy terminal. Is there some reason you want to do this, or is it just a curiosity thing? If it's the latter, I assure you it's not particularly exciting.
     
  3. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #3
    Well it started out that I just made a bootable clone of my hd with super duper and I was about to plug it in to another mac to take over it's personality because I thought it would be cool to see. So I was about to unplug it and plug it into the other mac when I couldn't be bothered to sort through all the cords that I've threaded around and out of the way. But then I thought to myself, 'hey, I don't need to unplug anything, it's on a network I can boot off it as it is'.

    But it didn't work, I just got a flashing network symbol at bootup time. Then I thought to myself 'oh that's right, it needs to be directly firewire connected to boot up'. Then when I thought about it some more I thought 'why is the mac even giving me a choice to boot off a networked drive'.

    Basically I just want to do it if it is possible because, yes, sad as you may think it is, I do find it exciting. Unless of course it requires some complex terminal stuff that may destroy everything if I make a mistake. In that case it wouldn't be worth the risk.

    In the meantime though, I have connected it directly by firewire into the other mac and booted my whole HD. I was impressed and the gf was impressed as well. She was particularly impressed to see that it didn't destroy her computer.:) , which she was convinced was going to happen. "no good can possibly come of this" I could hear her thinking.

    You have to have a computer that is set up to broadcast boot information, effectively turning your Mac into a dummy terminal.

    I'm not trying to boot of the other mac on the network but the bootable firewire drive that is connected to my mac which is connected to her computer via ethernet. Is this possible?
     
  4. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #4
    No, it's not. Your hard drive is not bootable, except locally (direct FW connection only). You can't just boot from a hard drive connected to a network. You need Mac OS X Server and then you have to configure it as a network boot provider and install the network boot image. You'd be turning your Mac into a dummy terminal, being hosted by the other Mac. Moving the Firewire hard drive is significantly easier (if the FW drive is your boot drive, why is it moving at all?).
     
  5. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #5
    The firewire drive isn't my boot drive, but it could be. I'm still tossing up whether to go with Super Duper's advice to use it as a boot drive and leave my internal intact or whether to just keep it updated via smart update and use my internal normally.

    Thanks for letting me understand why it can't boot of an ethernet network.
     
  6. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #6
    No problem. It might be a fun thing to do once, but once you get over that geeky thrill of making it work, the slowness and pointlessness of it all sets in, ruining the fun.
     

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