Install Mac OS X on USB HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by elfin buddy, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Location:
    Tuttlingen, Germany
    #1
    Hi there!

    I have an old Lombard whose hard drive I wish to upgrade. I have a new unformatted hard drive for it, but the Lombard's CD drive no longer works so I can't just install the hard drive and then install Mac OS X.

    I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this, but it seems either sketchy or expensive so far. I could buy an external FireWire enclosure for the new hard drive and use my PowerBook to install a bootable copy of Mac OS X onto the drive through the FireWire interface. But FireWire enclosures are expensive and I wouldn't have much need for it after I complete the installation. USB enclosures are dirt cheap, but I know that you can't boot Mac OS X from an external USB drive.

    What I'm wondering is if Mac OS X would just install on the USB drive, at which point I could remove the hard drive from the enclosure and install in the Lombard. If Mac OS X would refuse to install on a USB drive, is there any way I can use something like Carbon Copy Cloner to copy a bootable Mac OS X system onto the drive, and then just install it in the Lombard?

    There are so many grey areas that I'm not sure what my best course of action would be.

    Please help! :eek:
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    AFAIK, you could only install OS X on a FW device. This may have changed with the advent of the MacTels (they apparently will boot from USB devices), but unless you have one to test with, the device must be a firewire device if you want to install OS X (from a generic OS X installer) on it.
     
  3. elfin buddy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Location:
    Tuttlingen, Germany
    #3
    Okay, do you know if Carbon Copy Cloner will let me make an exact copy of my current Lombard system onto a USB enclosure?

    If so, I could just do that and then swap hard drives, couldn't I?
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    I don't know.. but I don't see why it wouldn't. As long as it mounted as a /Volume, then CCC or SuperDuper! will ditto onto it.
     
  5. realityisterror macrumors 65816

    realityisterror

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Snellville, GA
    #5
    I know it's not really answering the question, but...

    Hmm.. I'm not sure if the Lombard had FireWire... but you can install Tiger off of an iPod. It would work the same way with any other hard drive you could boot from. A lot of people did this to install Tiger on computers without DVD drives.

    Conversely, you could find a new drive for the Lombard. There's a combo drive for only $100...
     
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Not pre MacTel. On a PPC, it MUST be Firewire.

    EDIT: I should note that I cannot find any concrete info from Apple to back up my claim.
     
  7. elfin buddy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Location:
    Tuttlingen, Germany
    #7
    Okay, thanks for the input!

    No, the Lombard doesn't have FireWire, which further restricts my options. And while a working combo drive would be nice, it would only be used this once for installing OS X, and that's it. The laptop itself is probably worth only $200, so I'm hesitant to spend another $100 on a combo drive, haha ;)

    I guess the best thing for me to do would be to pick up a USB enclosure for cheap and try my luck with CCC.

    Again, thanks for the help! (damn, I love this place...)
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    FYI Tiger "out of the box" shouldn't work on your Lombard. You will probably have to use XPostFacto to get it installed and working on there.

    Of course, you never said you were installing Tiger.. so I hope it's Panther or earlier?
     
  9. elfin buddy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Location:
    Tuttlingen, Germany
    #9
    Yup, the Lombard's running Panther beautifully at the moment. (beautiful is after taking into consideration that it's only 333MHz on a 6GB drive with 192MB RAM, haha...)

    I was considering throwing Tiger on there, but if it doesn't work out of the box, I probably won't bother. I'll look into it a bit more...thanks for the heads up!
     
  10. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    It won't work out of the box becuase the Lombard doesn't meet the min specs (built-in firewire).
     

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