boot from external instead of internal disk?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by TheSwant, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. TheSwant macrumors newbie

    TheSwant

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Location:
    Malmö, Sweden
    #1
    My hard drive just crashed. I can however use my external drive to boot the system. Right now I can't afford to buy a new computer so instead I was thinking of buying another hard drive and boot the computer from there.

    My external drive is for Time Machine and it can only boot a very basic version of Mac OS X (I got Mac OS X 10.6.8 but it uses 10.6.3). The computer is an iMac 8,1

    anyone
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
  3. Longkeg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Location:
    S. Florida
    #3
    If you have the 10.6 installation disks you should be able to do this with no problem. Right now you're booted into the recovery volume on your Time Machine drive. That will let you get into disk utility so you can reformat a new drive to "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". Connect the newly formatted drive to your iMac and pop the installation DVD into the optical drive. Now boot the machine up with the DVD (restart while holding down the C key or use the Start Up Disk preference pane on the recovery volume). Now select the new drive as your install destination. Once the installation is complete, into your brand new system on your brand new external you should be given the option to restore from your Time machine backup.

    I believe this beast still has a firewire port or two. If you can find an external Firewire drive you may find have a little better experience. The USB throughput on this machine is a little slower than the Firewire, not much but enough to notice.
     
  4. TheSwant thread starter macrumors newbie

    TheSwant

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
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    Malmö, Sweden
    #4
    --- Post Merged, Mar 5, 2018 ---
    Beautiful!
     
  5. Longkeg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Location:
    S. Florida
    #5
    You could try doing the Time Machine restore straight from the recovery volume without doing a fresh install on the new drive but I don't think it will work. I'm pretty sure there has to be system on the new drive for Time Machine to work with. Worth a try though. If it's going to fail you'll know very quickly. Then back to plan A.
     
  6. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #6
    When you've got it all sorted, consider making a clone backup of your hard drive using Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper. That way, if you have the same problem again, you'll be able to boot from a fully functioning version of your hard drive.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    IF you had a CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper) "cloned backup" instead of Time Machine, you'd be "up and running" RIGHT NOW without having to do anything at all.

    The problems you're experiencing demonstrate why a bootable cloned backup is SUPERIOR to a TM backup in any form.

    That said...

    What you need to do next is attempt to examine and repair the internal drive.
    You may have had a "software failure",
    or
    You may have had a hardware failure (often not repairable).

    If you boot to the (limited) features of the TM backup, can you open Disk Utility?
    Can you then use it to "repair" the internal drive?
    If you try this, what results do you get?
     
  8. MSastre macrumors 6502

    MSastre

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    #8
    I'm also a big fan of using bootable cloned backup drives instead of TM. In all the years I've been using Macs, I've never been tempted to use Time Machine. Cloned drives are much faster and easier when problems arise.
     
  9. TheSwant thread starter macrumors newbie

    TheSwant

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Location:
    Malmö, Sweden
    #9
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2018 ---
    No, I can't reach or repair the hard drive in anyway, Disc utility or otherwise
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    OP wrote:
    "No, I can't reach or repair the hard drive in anyway, Disc utility or otherwise"

    In that case, a BOOTABLE CLONED BACKUP would become all the more important.

    Because -- since it is an EXACT COPY of the internal drive, you can just boot and run from it, the same as if you were still working from your internal drive. It would boot to the finder, your accounts, apps and data -- EVERYTHING would still be there, just as it was on the internal.

    It would almost be "like you had never left..."
    (except, of course, that your boot drive was now located externally).

    I'm amazed at the number of Mac users (almost all of them, actually) who can't grasp this.
     
  11. MSastre macrumors 6502

    MSastre

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    #11

    Amen.
     

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10 March 5, 2018