Boot externally from existing hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by finster, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. finster macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    #1
    Hi all,

    My new 96GB SSD has arrived as I'm planning to replace the HD in My 2009 Mac Mini. I'm erring towards waiting for Lion to be released and then doing a clean install onto the SSD.

    In the meantime, can I swap the units around and boot externally from the existing HD (I've got a USB-SATA cable somewhere).

    Thanks.
     
  2. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #3
    Yes, you can.
    Hold down the OPTION/Alt key shortly after you pressed the power button to select to boot from any internal or external boot device.

    But know, that USB is abysmally slow and will hamper your experience.
     
  4. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #4
    Another tip: If you miss the timing with the boot chime, you can also manually select the external drive from System Preferences -> Startup Disk.
     
  5. finster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    #5
    Excellent - this is what I was hoping but didn't know the key to press.
    Good point - hopefully it won't be for long though, just want to get things ready for Lion.

    I suppose I could always install SL on the SSD and then do an upgrade, but it seems like good timing to do a clean install.

    Thanks.
     
  6. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #6
    The 'clean install' we are familiar with won't be an official option for Lion when you download it from the App Store. Of course, if you extract the relevant disk image and burn it on a DVD or other media, you can apparently use that to do a clean install. At any rate, Apple's official path for a clean install is to install Snow Leopard, then upgrade from there, so you wouldn't be far from that approach if you just installed SL on the SSD now and waited it out a week for Lion.
     
  7. finster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    #7
    Yes, I was intending to extract a disk image and burn it to a DVD, but thinking about it, it might make sense for me to: -
    1. Take the HD out, put the SSD in
    2. Boot from the HD via USB
    3. Buy Lion when its out (from my running SL USB instance)
    4. Instead of upgrading the HD, install it to the empty SSD
    Does that sound like it would work?

    I can't explain why, but I don't like the idea of installing Lion over the top of SL - surely there'll be some files left behind eating up my precious SSD space...
     
  8. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #8
    Hi finster,
    so far it seems that the 'Lion OS' is not self contained & needs some resources from the SL...(that's WHY it needs the 10.6.8 to be installed).
     
  9. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #9
    Then why can Lion (DPs and GM) be installed onto an empty partition from a self made Lion installer?
     
  10. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #10
    Hi again,
    here is the support for TRIM on my Corsair SSD:
     

    Attached Files:

  11. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #11
    I suspect you are thinking about using full erase (IIRC hdparm?) and IIRC then you can use finnix.org 's boot cd for that.
     
  12. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #12
    That's how I would approach it. Again, it all depends on being able to extract the disk image from the official download.
     
  13. finster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    #13
    Thanks everybody, hard drive and SSD now swapped, and I'm booting from the (now external) hard drive via USB. Works fine (albeit a bit slow). So bring on Lion!
     

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