iMac doesn't boot from CD/DVD/USB

Discussion in 'iMac' started by zvezdochots, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    zvezdochots

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    #1
    Hi! I have an iMac 2011 with Intel SSD 520 Series installed instead of SuperDrive. OS X 10.8.3 works normally, but iMac doesn't boot from external devices like DVD or USB flash drives. I tried to completely reinstall OS X, but it didn't help. I have no ideas about the reason of this problem.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #2
    The problem here could be the OS which you use on the externals or the way you put an OS on an external.

    Example, if you boot from an Apple Installer disk which is an earlier version than your iMac came with it won't boot.
    If you copied over the OS without using a special Application like Carbon Copy Cloner it won't boot.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    zvezdochots

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    #3
    I don't think so. I tried all external drives with MacBook Pro (with the same SSD!) and the all work well. I tried Win7 DVD, Ubuntu from CD and USB.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #4
    Ah, you should have told us in your initial post, we can't just guess.

    Reset SMC and try again.

    Resetting the System Management Controller - Support - Apple
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    zvezdochots

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
  6. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #6
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    zvezdochots

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    #7
  8. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #8
    How do you try to boot from the external's?

    Do you have a wireless keyboard?
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    zvezdochots

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    #9
    I tried all possible ways to boot from an external drive. I have apple wired keyboard. When I choose Windows in boot menu, I see black screen with blinking cursor.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #10
    Reason I asked about wireless keyboard is it sometimes does not pick up entries.
    Do you have any boot manager replacement installed like rEFIt or rEFInd.
    Could be issues with these.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    zvezdochots

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
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    #11
    No, I don't have any of them. I also tried to install rEFIt, but it didn't help.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #12
    Running out of ideas here, you could try to run Apple Hardware Test but the problem is likely to be: Can't boot from it!
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    zvezdochots

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    #13
    No trouble found :(
     
  14. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #14
    May I ask you how you booted from it, was it by holding Command-R or the Option key?
    If it is from the Option key it tells me your boot manager is OK.

    I think the problem here is actually the SSD in the optical bay, what else can it be.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    I think justperry in the post above has found the key issue.

    Try this:
    1. Hook up an external boot source to the Mac and have it powered-up and ready to go
    2. Shut down the iMac completely and let it sit for 10 seconds (leave the external device on)
    3. Press the power-on button
    4. As soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN
    5. In a few moments, the startup manager should appear. It will show you all the bootable volumes that the Mac has found, both internally and externally
    6. Do you see the presence of your external booting source?

    IF YES - select it with the tab key or mouse pointer, then hit the enter key

    IF NO - I'll guess that _something_ is wrong with the OS installation on that volume, and it lacks some critical file necessary to boot the Mac. Or there might be a hardware or connection problem.

    Other thought - the Intel SSD may begin the boot process so quickly, that you can't "intervene" to switch-boot from another source.

    Seems to me that in the early days of Mac, having a disc installed in the CD drive (they were just CD drives back then, and they could hold an entire system!) would "give it priority" in the boot process -- that is to say, the Mac would "look there first" for a bootable volume, and if one was found, would always try to boot from it _first_, before looking elsewhere.

    Not sure if this carries over to present-day. But if something like that still applies, the presence of the Intel drive would be "a substitute" for the DVD drive. And the Mac, finding a bootable volume present there, would "grab it" as the boot volume first, giving you no chance to switch it to another source.

    Again, I think the exception is the routine above to invoke the startup manager first.
     
  16. macrumors regular

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  17. thread starter macrumors newbie

    zvezdochots

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    #17
    Problem was in the SSD installed instead of an optical drive. Now it's solved, thanks!
     

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