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Using an external drive to boot?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by johnbro23, May 14, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    I'm expecting a LaCie D2 160GB external drive to show up next week, and I was wondering if it's a good idea to make it my main drive.

    First of all, do you think it's even a good idea? Will it make my computer faster, since it's a faster RPM than the one in my eMac?

    Do I need to put OS X on the external drive before I boot to it? Do I need to do anything else before I boot to it?

    Hopefully someone can answer my questions. Thanks in advance!
  2. macrumors 68000


    Generally slower on external drive.
    Wont make system faster but some things may be faster to load off external.
    Need to install OX on the drive first
    then select it as startup volume in system prefs
    and restart.

    I dont recommend putting the OS on the external
    but I would put the lesser used apps on it and as backup, as iTunes storage it is really great.
  3. macrumors demi-god


    1. Maybe, maybe not. The RPM of the external may be faster, but you might find the connection to the computer to become the limiting factor.
    2. You can't boot from a drive that doesn't have an operating system (like Mac OS X) installed on it. Therefore, if you want to boot your Mac from that external drive, you must install Mac OS X on it.
    3. The only thing you'll need to do is tell your Mac to boot from that drive using the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences in Mac OS X. No other preparations are needed (besides making sure the drive is properly formatted for Macintosh use before installing - otherwise Mac OS X will refuse to install).
  4. macrumors 6502

    You should be able to boot from the drive with no problems. But you will have to first install a copy of Panther or Tiger or whatever version you'll be using on the drive. Then just set your startup disk (in system preferences) to the external drive.

    As far as performance goes .... I don't think that there will be much difference, but I've never really tested.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Well that answers my question. If the performance won't increase, then I won't even bother with booting from the external.

    Just one more question, will the external be "plug and play"... like I don't need to put any software on it or anything before I start moving files to it?
  6. macrumors demi-god


    Yes - you don't need to install anything before you'll be able to use the drive for file storage.

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