Alum Macbook & Mac Mini Won't Boot Off USB Hard drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by sk8bit, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. sk8bit macrumors newbie

    sk8bit

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Location:
    nyc
    #1
    I've set up bootable external hard drives at least 100 times or more. Recently I purchased a Mac Mini and a Alum Macbook Late 2008, I had a WD 500GB portable passport that had two interfaces (USB/Firewire 800).

    The portable drive was set up with four partitions, Leopard Installer, Leopard Server Installer, Intel Leopard OS, and Back Up. The drive had a partition scheme GUID which works best with Intel macs. Now here's the hickup, I managed to use this drive to install and troubleshoot Leopard on tons of different models. The weird thing is that when I tried to re-image my new Mac Mini with the drive via USB cable it would see the partition but fail to boot from it, but I was able to boot from the Intel Leopard OS partition with no issues.

    Now I read up on WD drives, other techs on apple's discussion board have mentioned that WD protable drives don't have the ability to boot macs and run into multiple issues. So I took the 2.5 drive out of the WD enclosure and place it in my own, then tried a second attempt but no success on booting the Leopard installer partition. I grabbed another portable drive, set it up from scratch with the same layout but still no luck. This gave me the assumption that my Mac Mini may have a logicboard issue of some kind so I tried using both portable drives on my Alum Macbook and got the same result; it can only boot off the Intel Leopard OS.

    Both Macs have the lastest firmware installed which really shouldn't prevent me from booting off the image of a Leopard Retail disc but each mac can boot off their on installation dvds that came in the box, and a homemade clone of a retail copy of Leopard. The Alum Macbook I have is the one that was release without firewire, so booting off of that isn't and option, furthermore, they don't have the ability to start up in target disc mode. So even though my Macbook is somewhat handicap, I figured my Mac Mini should be able to follow through because it wasn't design with these faults, yet my hands are still tied in a knot.

    I know I'm not crazy but let me know if you ran into a similar issue or have a solution to the hell I'm experience from what you read above .
     
  2. foeniox macrumors newbie

    foeniox

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #2
    what version of the install disk did you use to make the image?

    since they both boot off the installed leopard partition (and their own internal partition!) I'm inclined to be suspicious of the installer disk image.

    can you try booting an older mac with it? if you have access to a pre leopard intel machine that would be perfect.

    what do you mean when you say fails? what happens?
     
  3. sk8bit thread starter macrumors newbie

    sk8bit

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Location:
    nyc
    #3
    I'm using a Retail copy of Leopard 10.5.6. and a Retail copy of Leopard Server 10.5.

    I managed to boot of both installer partitions on older intel macs without any issues.

    When I hold option to see all the bootable drives, I select the installer partition I want to boot off of. Usually it would head straight to the kernel "gray apple" then load but instead it would sit on the same screen with all the drives for about 30 seconds then restart the mac and boot off the internal drive.
     
  4. foeniox macrumors newbie

    foeniox

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #4
    now isn't that interesting! ok the disk versions are clearly up to date

    when you say it boots older macs fine is this something you've tested recently?
    perhaps the partitions since took damage?

    and just to cover all bases, can you try booting straight from the cd's?

    if you can boot the computers with the cd's, do you have another hd lying about? can you fresh partition that and clone the cd's to it. what happens when you try and mount from this hd?

    also, who makes this external hd of yours is it a WD?

    B
     
  5. Objectivist-C macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    #5
    A retail disc won't work unless the machine came with Tiger (i.e., the retail disc will be missing drivers that the Leopard discs that came with the machine would have had).
     
  6. sk8bit thread starter macrumors newbie

    sk8bit

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Location:
    nyc
    #6
    You're talking about an upgrade disc, the Retail Disc I have doesn't check for old versions of OSX unless your attempting an "Upgrade Install" or "Archive Install".

    I managed to figure out the issue, the image I was using was actually 10.5.4; not 10.5.6 for Leopard. I got my hands on a 10.5.6 dmg and made a partition that successfully booted the Leopard installer without any issues.

    The Leopard Server installer I'm using is 10.5, so I need to find something more up to date in order to boot off Alum macs without anything issues. If I run into anything else I'll make sure to post it but I don't think I'm going to find anything more up to date than 10.5 so I may be forced to use a DVD.
     
  7. foeniox macrumors newbie

    foeniox

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #7
    no, the latest retail disk has to have the right drivers. otherwise how would people upgrade their os's? 10.5.6, as far as I'm aware is the latest disk and as such must cover all the machines released before it

    op, it's great you found the problem. one thing you could try for your server install partition. if you make the partition larger than the disk capacity - so that after you image the install disk there is spare room - you could copy in the right kexts from the 10.5.6 disk and it should work.

    which kexts are the right ones? you could sift through one by one but I'd stick them all in - let the loader figure it out
     
  8. Objectivist-C macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    #8
    You read good.
     
  9. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #9
    How did you format the drive before putting OS X on it? I ask because did you format the USB disk to have Mac Intel boot options?

    1. Plug in the USB disk and have it be a self powered one.
    2. Open /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.
    3. In Disk Utility highlight the drive (in the left hand column).
    4. Still in Disk Utility select the 'Partition' tab and make just 1 tab (if you choose so)
    5. Now at the bottom of the pane select the "Options" button and in the drop-down select the Intel boot partition and the format it with that. This will make the disk boot able on an Intel Mac.

    Now this will erase the drive so be prepared for that.
     
  10. sk8bit thread starter macrumors newbie

    sk8bit

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Location:
    nyc
    #10
    I never thought about doing that, but that sounds like a good idea. You have a guide that I could follow so I place things in the right place???
     
  11. foeniox macrumors newbie

    foeniox

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #11
    what are you talking about? Firstly it's "you read well" not "you read good"

    and secondly i spoke of a 10.5.6 retail disk, you spoke only of a retail disk.
     
  12. foeniox macrumors newbie

    foeniox

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #12
    OP says in his 1st post the drive has GUID boot sectors .. furthermore it mounts on some intel macs .. do people just not read anymore?!
     
  13. foeniox macrumors newbie

    foeniox

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #13
    Not a guide as such, but its not complex.

    /System/Library/Extensions/ contains all the kernel extensions (.kext)

    All you need to do is image the 10.5.0 Server disc as you have been doing so far, but with a bit of extra space. (extra 100MB should be plenty)

    Now take all the .kext's from the 10.5.6 retail disk and copy them into /System/Library/Extensions/ on the 10.5.0 Server partition.

    Don't replace the ones that already exist and it will only copy the missing (required) ones.
     
  14. sk8bit thread starter macrumors newbie

    sk8bit

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Location:
    nyc
    #14
    Ok, sounds simple. I'll give it a try later on today and let you know if I'm successful. Thanks for the info and assistance.
     

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