2 hard drives question...

Sam/B

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 31, 2005
88
0
Newport - South Wales
Could I install a second hard drive, install the OS onto that, then copy files from my original hard drive onto the new one whilst the OS on the original hard drive is faulty? The reason is my G4 wont go into the OS as an error message that I can't fix appears on startup. What I thought I could do since I have alot of stuff not backed up on that drive is, get a second hard drive, install the OS onto that so I can load the computer up then just copy files from the original drive to the new one then reinstall the OS on the original drive. Is that possible?

The only other way which was suggested to me by someone on here is through a firewire connection but I don't think I can get access to a second mac (I have a few windows systems if I can use that for transferring files by firewire?)

thanks

p.s. the drive that wont load into the OS just has a kernal error but I can't seem to fix it
see here for the fault - http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=234289
 

Sam/B

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 31, 2005
88
0
Newport - South Wales
I was told you can apparently use a windows hard drive in a mac if you format it to the right settings? is that right? Does it need formatting to fat or fat32? is that all that needs doing as I have a few spare windows harddrives somewhere lurking about but no mac drives. I might have to buy a 5/6 gig mac drive from somewhere if you cant use the windows one (If anyone has a small spare mac drive they could sell me)
 

frankblundt

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2005
1,271
0
South of the border
Drives don't have an inherent flavour - only the format you choose to give them. Any IDE drive can be reformatted to HFS+ (Mac) or NTFS (Windows) or FAT32 (both, but a bit of a dog).

Only things to watch out for are the jumper settings on the drive (Cable select / Master / Slave) and if it's a pre-MDD G4 it won't format a drive beyond 137GB no matter how big it is (it will work tho, you just don't get to use the extra space). G4s will only take IDE drives also. I think the G5s were the first Macs to use SATA drives.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
15,929
1
Portland, OR
You cannot install OS X onto FAT* formatted disks. The disk MUST be HFS+.

That being said.. an HD is an HD. How you format it is up to you.. there's no such thing as a "windows HD" or a "mac HD". There are only formats for HDs that work with certain OSes.
 

skypix

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2006
1
0
Jumper setting?

Re the post above, I just installed an external firewire drive in a Venus enclosure with Oxford chipset, so I could make it bootable.

I put the jumper on "master". I ran RsyncX to write OS X to the external drive. Everything went smoothly. But I cannot get the external drive to boot when I do a startup to test it. I want to have this for an emergency.

I'd read that holding down the option key gives you the choice of which drive to boot from. But doing that only gives me the Macintosh HD icon (with a gray X in a circle in the lower right corner), and no external partition at all to choose from. Boot up goes normally after I select the Mac HD.

All the data is backed up to the external drive, it works great. Just won't boot from it. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong?

thanks for any help!
Jim
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
15,929
1
Portland, OR
Yes...

1) If it's formatted FAT32 it won't be bootable no matter what you do.

2) You have to bless the system to make it bootable. You should really try relying on apps like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your boot drive and take all the guesswork out of backing up in this manner.

For more info on blessing, see:

http://www.bombich.com/mactips/image.html