Anyone use external drive for boot?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Chupa Chupa, May 3, 2011.

  1. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Just wondering if there is a speed penalty if I used a FW800 enclosure. I'd prefer to use only ext. drives b/c the internal is so tricky to replace.
  2. discounteggroll macrumors 6502


    Aug 6, 2006
    Greenwich, CT
    I've setup external HD's on iMacs where the logic board sata connection got fried. FW800 will definitely be usable, but not as pure as straight SATA. I am not sure if your imac has SATA2 interface, but let's use that as an estimate. FW800 has a transfer speed of ~100 MB/sec. SATA2 has a transfer speed of 300 MB/Sec.
  3. rnb2 macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2006
    West Haven, CT, USA
    Are you really contemplating not using the internal drive at all? That doesn't make sense - you're throwing away performance just in case it fails. Better to buy a FW800 external (or Thunderbolt external when available), use Super Duper to clone the internal to the external on a regular basis (like daily), and switch to the external IF the internal fails.

    I boot my 2009 i7 iMac from a FW800 SSD, and it works great, but I would not recommend running any machine from a platter-based hard drive over FW800 unless the internal has failed.
  4. hashilli macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    I use to run two or three different installs, two on externals over FW. They were really, really old backup, but convenient when I needed to access old files or a particular *AMP stack for development, etc. Heck, I've worked for weeks on an external.

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