Boot from external

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by LJMoloney, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. LJMoloney macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    #1
    I would like to purchase a MacBook Air, i7 8/256, a 27 inch thunderbolt monitor, and an fire wire external hard drive,

    I plan on this computer being dual use, both fixed on the desktop with the Tbolt monitor and as portable device for use on the road.

    I would like to make the external drive the start up drive. That's pretty simple to do. I also want to leave the os on the MBA so that when not hooked up to the external hd it will self boot. Will this work.?

    I also want to make a partition on both the internal hd and the external hd and add windows either 7 or 8 to use with boot camp. What do you all think will this work and if not why not.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    "I would like to make the external drive the start up drive. That's pretty simple to do. I also want to leave the os on the MBA so that when not hooked up to the external hd it will self boot. Will this work.?"

    Yes, but...

    Probably easiest thing to do is to:
    - buy the mac and the external drive together
    - set up the os on the mac when you buy it (with account, etc.), and then use CarbonCopyCloner to "dupe" your fresh copy of the OS to a partition on the external drive.

    It is ALWAYS good practice to have a second bootable version of the OS "close-at-hand".

    Having said that, booting from the internal SSD drive on the MBAir will be far FAR faster than booting from an external Firewire drive.

    So, conduct some experiments yourself -- I think you'll prefer booting and running from the MBAir's internal drive....
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Partly. Go into System Preferences and under Startup Disk select the FW disk as the boot drive. If you boot and that drive is not present, the system will search for a bootable drive and find the internal SSD and boot from that. Only problem is that is going to be a slow boot because it takes time for the system to do that search for other boot drives.

    I'm not quite following why you would want to boot from the FW though? I would just boot/run from the MBA SSD and you could store large files on the FW if space is the concern.
     
  4. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #4
    This would work so much better if you bought a thunderbolt external like the Elgato rather than a firewire one.
     
  5. LJMoloney thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    #5
    The thing is the thunberbolt drives are expen$ive and they are limited in size my vision is to have a 1tb or more external. elgato has a 256 that is border line affordable, the 512 is beyond my good sense. (As an aside I have elgato's hybrid tv tunner and I use it to stream to my iPad, works pretty good) Currently I have an early 2009 Mac mini. I boot from am external fire wire 1tb seagate hard drive and it works good. I seldom shutdown my Mac Mini it's pretty common to go 2 weeks between reboots so boot times are not really and issue, they could be with the set up I am proposing but that why I asked opinions here. Will I have to shut down my computer every time I take it off the desk top to use on the road on in another part of the house?
     
  6. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #6
    Yes, if you are booted from an external firewire. Unless you can carry both drive and computer connected without breaking the connection, which sounds like a recipe for trouble.

    Its not just boot times, you are running your system off a firewire connection. Which is fine, and doable, but doesn't seem like a logical first choice. Especially when you want a copy of the OS on the flash drive anyway.

    Your applications running off the flash drive is by far the optimal setup. Why don't you just use the external for media storage, you can point iTunes and iPhoto and anything really to look to the external for their libraries, and just keep booted off the internal.
     

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