Boot from External Firewire DVD / Optibay-Boot Camp Problems

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Piplodocus, Oct 13, 2010.


Will a Mid-2010 i7 MBP boot Win/Linux from an external Firewire DVD drive?

Poll closed Apr 11, 2011.
  1. WTF do I know? I thought the USB one would have worked!

    2 vote(s)
  2. Yeah! FW FTW!

    0 vote(s)
  3. Nope. Fail. Time to pull the MBP to bits again, or spend hours trying to work some dodgy EFI hack.

    1 vote(s)
  1. Piplodocus macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Is it possible to boot from an external Firewire DVD Drive? It certainly isnt from an external USB DVD. Real answers only please, not "I think so" ones based on HDDs or rumours you may have heard!... ;)

    I've got an MCE Optibay in my Mid-2010 i7 MBP. When installing Bootcamp it refuses to install from the external USB DVD drive. In the end I pulled the 2nd HDD out and reconnected the internal DVD. It then worked fine without a hitch. Then I reinstalled the 2nd HDD and all was fine for a few days.

    Now I want to resize my Win7 partition (bigger, as MS Visual Studio's bigger than I thought, and I might stick some games on). I can shrink the OSX partition fine with Disk Utility, but windows won't grow the Win7 one because the empty space is before the Win7 partition, not after it. Apparently this can be done with GParted. Guess what? I can't boot the Linux based GParted CDROM from the external USB DVD drive! So, will a Firewire one work where USB fails, and solve my alternative OS booting issues? If I buy one I can then either use GParted, or delete the Win7 partition and start again without having to pull the laptop to bits all over again, only to put it back once I'm done, and possibly have the same issues in the future. Obviously I don't want to blow extra money getting a Firewire DVD drive though if it's a waste of money... :mad:

  2. Tortri macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    No, it won't work.

    I have a MPB 15 i7 with an optibay installed, connected via firewire 800 is my sata docking station. I connected my DVD Burner to it via sata male to female cable. It works great for normal use, but still has the same issues when trying to install windows/linux which sucks because I want to install Ubuntu 10.0 and can't. :-\
  3. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Rubbish. :( So macs are completely unbootable and any OS uninstallable without an internal optical drive?

    Any cunning workarounds? Is there any way the "boot from network" can help me out? Can I make a partition on my Hackintosh with a copy of the CD/DVD in, and boot via the network from that? :confused:
  4. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2006
    washington dc
    Could you get a small Linix distro and boot from the SD Card slot? That is bootable.
  5. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    two words "Virtual Machine".... My MBP boots to Mac OS only, but I run windows, centos, solaris, fedora VM's all day long. I personally use VMWare Fusion, but there is Parallels which is supposed to be nice, and then there is Virtualbox --- all of which run just fine.
  6. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Not on a 17" that has Expresscard instead! ;-)
  7. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Yep, that's the way my thoughts are heading. It'd definitely be easier since I could do everything from OSX too then. Only problem is I still have to put the DVD back in, and I currently don't have £50 for parallels.

    Do you know if you can install Win 7 in parallels with the Home Premium upgrade only disc? Did it for Bootcamp, but don't know if it works fine with parallels and is just "Naughty" accord to the EULA, or if it just doesn't work. If that's the case it'll cost me a lot more than £50! :confused:
  8. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Virtualbox is freeware and works great I am told. All three Supports Windows 7. Also, I purchased and run the student version of VMWare Fusion (I am not in school, but my kids are)

    As for the DVD's... it is not an issue at all. You can install the VM from the DVD directly, or you can pull an iso image with disk utilities and install from the iso file. It's all good.

    You mentioned you have the MCE optibay. Did you install their software which activates the external DVD as if it were internal? It's pretty important to have done that.
  9. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    The optibay s/w is version specific and the one I got with the Optibay originally had different versions for up to and including DVD player v5.2. I have DVD Player v5.3, so only got the new version in the small hours of this morning, then checked that a DVD played. I assumed it only fiddled some DVD player setting under the hood somewhere (hence why it's DVD Player version specific) and wouldn't affect Booting/EFI at all. Does it do something else too then? I haven't tried to check booting from it since.

    Anyone know what it actually does in detail (what flags/files/etc get changed where)?

    Had a good look at Parallels on the web but haven't tried the demo (as I don't have the money at the moment so didn't see the point!). I like the way it will integrate Win apps into the OSX GUI. Nicely! I'll definitely check out Virtualbox though. If it's freeware then it's probably what I'll do for now. Thanks for the tip! VM's definitely the way to go long term as after a few days I'm already getting slightly tired with booting into OSX, then a bit later wanting to try some coding and having to reboot. It'd also mean I wouldn't need office/itunes on there twice (for writing stuff up and viewing mobileme without having to reboot)!

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