Issues with booting from Firewire SSD with other Drives Attached

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sfoxy, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    #1
    Hi,

    I have trawled google on this and can't find anything (difficult one to search for). But I have just switched my boot / Mountain Lion installation to an SSD external firewire 800 drive. With just that attached to the Firewire port, everything is peachy, boots really fast and everything in OS is great.

    However, if I also have one or both of my WD My Book firewire drives diasy chained, then the SSD struggles to boot. It's very slow, and after about 15 minutes, the logon screen finally appears, and then it takes ages after typing in my password.

    After that, once in OS, then everything is fine again.

    I have been disconnecting the 2 WD drives whilst booting and then re-connecting after boot, but that is a pain.

    So, I just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on what is causing this?

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #2
    Do you have your external SSD specified as the boot drive? It sounds like it is looking on you other drives for a boot partition and trying to boot from them. You can specify this in your Preferences.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    If you mean in 'Startup Disk' in preferences, then yes I do. As I say it does eventually boot but takes an awful long time.

    Is there somewhere else to specify as the boot drive?
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #4
    Maybe you should try using a thunderbolt adapter for your SSD as firewire is REALLY holding back the point of even using SSD. Its like driving your Ferrari during rush hour traffic.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    #5
    It's a 2010 iMac so hasn't got Thunderbolt. I know what you are saying, but even on Firewire once booted I am seeing a huge difference. I know the Read / Wrote times are slower than the internal disk, but the random reads and writes are much better and there isn't the constant slogging of the disk to listen to either! Definitely worth the upgrade in my eyes.

    Actually considering getting a kit to fit it internally now.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #6
    didn't know what year yours was. There is some degradation when you daisy chain firewire devices. I'm really not sure what the solution would be other than disconnecting your other 2 drives during boot. Maybe someone with more knowledge can help.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    #7
    Thanks anyway.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    "However, if I also have one or both of my WD My Book firewire drives diasy chained, then the SSD struggles to boot. It's very slow, and after about 15 minutes, the logon screen finally appears, and then it takes ages after typing in my password."

    Questions:
    When you boot, do you have ALL your daisy-chained drives on?
    Or some?
    Or none?

    It might be necessary to have all the drives in the chain on.
    Or, perhaps you can get away with one on but the other off.
    Only way to find out what works is to experiment (and keep notes).

    Actually, perhaps the best solution is to just unplug the "downstream" drives until you're ready to use them….
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    #9
    Have tried all combinations and the only one that works is having just the SSD on, but that means having to keep unplugging the others when booting, which I am trying to avoid. It is the solution I am using at the moment but would rather not.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    "Have tried all combinations and the only one that works is having just the SSD on, but that means having to keep unplugging the others when booting, which I am trying to avoid. It is the solution I am using at the moment but would rather not."

    By "unplugging", do you mean
    1. unplugging from the firwire chain "behind" the SSD, or
    2. unplugging from the wall to turn them off?

    If the answer is 2, do this:
    - buy a small power strip
    - plug the firewire drives (and nothing else) into the power strip
    - this way, you can leave the power strip "off" until booted, then, one reach down to "flip the switch" gets everything going.
     

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