Intel Mac hard drive query

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Echo toxin, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Echo toxin macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2006
    OK... this is what I was thinking as I rode back to work this afternoon...

    I have a Mac mini and three hard drives:

    i) internal 5400rpm 80Gb SATA
    ii) external 7200rpm 80Gb USB2
    iii) external 7200rpm 400Gb Firewire

    I'm wondering if it's possible to install Mac OS X on the USB2 drive and have it work quite happily there as my main OS. Will my Intel Mac boot from a USB2 drive? If anything goes wrong will disk repair tools fix USB2 disks?

    Then I would reformat the internal SATA drive and put on XP or Vista as neither of those will boot from external drives.

    Then use the 400Gb external Firewire for data (partition a bit as FAT32 and the rest as HFS+).

    Anyone know if this scenario is likely to work before I muck it all up this evening for nothing. Is it worth it? Will using an OS on a USB2 drive seem horrendously slow?
  2. fishkorp macrumors 68020


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ellicott City, MD
    Intel Macs can boot from USB, just hold 'option' down on startup. I boot a second version of OSX off a USB drive for weird application testing I need to do. At least it works on my MacBook Pro, but it's suuuuuuuuuuper slow starting up.
  3. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    wouldn't it be easier to partition the internal drive for OSX/XP and just use the externals for storage? If you ran the OS off of an external, then wouldn't your entire system basically run at the speed of the USB bus?
  4. Echo toxin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2006
    Thanks for your thoughts.

    I thought that because I had an external drive at 7200rpm that the system would be quicker. But of course data would be limited to the throughput of the USB. So the internal SATA drive at 5400rpm is still quicker.

    I set up Boot Camp and moved my data on to my external drive. Is there anyway now that I can redirect my Home folders - Movies, Documents, Music etc to point to the Firewire drive?
  5. Marioz macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2006
    Rivarolo, Italy
    you can put an alias of the external folder inside your home folders (right click "make alias")
  6. Markleshark macrumors 603


    Aug 15, 2006
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    Using Alias' Right click and create a Alias' of the folders :)

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