Any way to boot an existing installation of 10.5.8 Leopard from USB ?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by neur0n23, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. neur0n23, Feb 26, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015

    neur0n23 macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2015
    Hi there,

    long time lurker first time poster here,

    I am having a problem - I have upgraded my trusty old A1211 Macbook Pro with a new drive.
    Everything is working superb, a fresh installation of Lion is installed on my new drive - already installed inside my macbook.

    The thing is I have removed my old drive (used for years with software, settings, libraries and whatnot) and installed it inside a USB case.

    The disk is detected correctly works great BUT it will not allow me to boot from USB into my old installation of OSX 10.5.8 Leopard that is still UNTOUCHED on my old external drive.

    It will boot ok as 10.5.8 when installed inside my macbook but it will NOT allow me to boot into 10.5.8 when it is inside my USB enclosure.

    I have tried installing it inside my FIREWIRE enclosure and it still will NOT boot into 10.5.8.

    From what I have read - 10.5.8 does not have a file that would allow it to boot from either USB or FIREWIRE - is that the case ?

    The drive is correctly detected, it is accessible I can access the files copy / delete / move them - but it REFUSES to boot into my old system ...

    I tried partitioning my new drive - I created a partition the size of my old drive and intended to use CARBON COPY CLONER to clone my old HDD with 10.5.8 and make it a secondary partition on my new drive - I wanted to clone the data from my old drive into the new one - and be able to boot my machine INTO my 10.5.8 OS X installation (leaving my Lion partition intact and ready to be used when needed).

    After selecting my SOURCE partition (old HDD with 10.5.8) and selecting my DESTINATION partition - CCC displays a message saying "warning, the resulting partition will not be bootable - the source drive is missing a mach_kernel file)

    Any ideas how I could boot into my old 10.5.8 system - without removing and installing the disk as a primary internal drive ?

    Just to clarify:

    I have my new drive with Lion inside my macbook
    I start themachine press OPTION key - and have all drives listed
    I select my OLD drive with 10.5.8 hit enter and for a fraction of a second it displays a crossed circle (like this one
    Then it proceeds to boot inside lion using my new drive instaled inside my machine.
  2. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Are you trying to boot off the USB hard drive from the Option key menu or by setting System Preferences --> Startup Disk? I do not believe it will appear in the Lion Startup Disk preference pane.

    Why do you need to boot into 10.5 anyway? If you are trying to migrate data to Lion you can simply use Migration Assistant in the /Applications folder.
  3. neur0n23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2015
    Thank You for your reply.
    And indeed Sir, You are right - it will not appear.
    I am trying to boot using the Option key.
    I tried using System Prefs --> Startup disk tool - but it doesn't even appear as an option in there (the disk is plugged in and detected in the system - it does not appear however in the list of startup disks to select from.

    The disk holds my fathers entire system, settings, old garage band files, old Adobe CS4 installation, files, everything. As it is a real mess - I wanted to skip doing a full migration off the old System, and wanted to have a Clean OSX install on my new primary drive - and retain the option for him to boot into his old OS - as he goes and when he needs it.
    I can migrate all this stuff manually into Lion, and as You suggested - I could use the migration assistant.

    At this point however I intend to suspend logical reasoning and will dedicate my efforts to boot into this pathetic 10.5.8 installation - even if it is the last thing I do.

    I have a second macbook pro - with almost the exact same setup - the difference being the "old drive" in that scenario holds a 10.6.8 Snow Leopard installation - not a 10.5.8 Leopard one - and this one boots off both USB or Firewire enclosures - LIKE A CHARM.

    In the last 5 hours I managed to make a complete Clone of the old 10.5.8 partition (using Carbon Copy Cloner) INTO my new drive - and as I suspected - holding option on startup - it sees the clone copy on the second partition - but after selecting it and hitting enter it displays a crossed circle logo for half a second - and then ignores my command and proceeds to boot into Lion installation on the first partition. Had I upgraded the 10.5.8 to 10.6.8 before I had my hard drives switched - It would work a-ok.

    What infuriates me is that If I ripped open the macbook - and installed my old drive in place of the new one - It WILL boot into 10.5.8 without a hitch.

    But if I tell it to boot into 10.5.8 off a USB / FW enclosure - it defaults to the drive installed INSIDE the MB.

    Why ?
  4. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Leopard is bootable off of USB in both installers and when installed on external drives. There is a rare possibility that your USB enclosure just does not want to be bootable as I have had two enclosures that will not boot a Mac or PC regardless of version installed on the drive inside. I would avoid trying to clone the drive and rather just try a different enclosure.

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