Boot from firewire on 2010 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kapalua12, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Just wondering since there are no fast connectivity ports compared to todays standards.

    If I were to boot the iMac with a G Technology Firewite/eSATA drive to which I had cloned a disk copy with Carbon Copy Cloner, would the 2010 iMac boot and run pretty fast if the hard drive (internal) ever fails?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Yes. Firewire is plenty fast for booting from external drives.
     
  3. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 18, 2013
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    Columbia, SC
    #3
    I second it; I ran my 2010 iMac off of a FireWire OWC On-The-Go SSD drive and it was very fast. Not quite as fast as my new iMac, but much faster than using the internal HDD.
     
  4. kapalua12 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Did you leave the internal HDD installed and use it for data storage only or continue to use it for applications as well?
     
  5. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Neither. I set the SSD as the primary boot device in preferences, and used SuperDuper! to back up the external SSD to the internal HDD. My long term data storage needs are handled by a Gigabit connected NAS.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    "If I were to boot the iMac with a G Technology Firewite/eSATA drive to which I had cloned a disk copy with Carbon Copy Cloner, would the 2010 iMac boot and run pretty fast if the hard drive (internal) ever fails?"

    You might notice a _slightly_ slower boot time.

    But once you were "up and running", I doubt you'd notice any speed differences at all.

    If the internal drive fails, booting from an external drive is an easy way to "keep things going".

    Actually, you should create and maintain an "external bootable backup" in any case. You never know when you may need it!
     
  7. kapalua12 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Thanks, it sounds like the speed of that older iMac would benefit from a bootable external SSD. Something to consider. Do you know of any drive enclosures to put a Vertex 3 MAX IOPS or a Samsung 840 in, to breathe new life into the system?
     
  8. rnb2 macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2006
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    West Haven, CT, USA
    #8
    I had good luck with OWC's aluminum 2.5" enclosure, but you should probably get the power supply (sold separately) as well. You'll also want to limit the number of devices on the FW bus if possible - I'd say a max of 2, and they should both be powered. Macs are pretty notorious for power issues on the FireWire bus, especially with bus-powered devices.

    You should notice a pretty decent performance improvement compared to the internal drive - it should even boot faster, honestly. That was my experience with my 2009 i7.

    How to arrange your data will depend on how large an SSD you get - if it's large enough for everything including user data, just clone everything over and do a nightly or weekly clone back to the internal. If the SSD isn't large enough for your user data, then clone everything except /Users to the SSD. For safety's sake, you should probably go into Users and Groups, right click on your user, select "Advanced Options", and point it specifically at Macintosh HD/Users/YourUsername before doing the clone - this should avoid any issues with the SSD clone not being able to find the /Users folder on boot.
     
  9. jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

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    Mid-West USA
    #9
    The FW bus limitation is something I didn't know about until I chained four or five devices on my iMac. I know that seems like a lot, but the issue came about on the third device. It has to be powered on in order for device four and five to recognized. I was surprised even though they all have their own power supply and I thought Firewire was pass through on FW devices that were not powered up. I'm in the process of shortening the cables between devices, more short FW cables arrive tomorrow.

    So I guess the bus does have a practical limit unless you want all the devices on all the time. At least that is what I've found. I kind of miss my MacPro desktop with multi-drive bays at times like this.:(
     
  10. kapalua12 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    So is it easy to do a clean install on the external SSD of Mountain Lion and boot to that drive to run the 2010 i7 iMac and just leave the internal 1TB HDD currently running the system in place?

    Since I already downloaded Mountain Lion previously to upgrade Snow Leopard on my 2010 internal HDD, will the App Store let me download another copy of ML to install on the soon to be, new external SSD?
     
  11. rnb2 macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    West Haven, CT, USA
    #11
    I would clone the current system (using SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner) from the internal drive to the SSD, so no need to upgrade anything. Not sure if the unregistered version of SuperDuper will let you exclude folders (I know it won't do an incremental backup) - if so, you could even use that if you buy an SSD that won't hold the OS and user data. If not, SuperDuper is only $28US, and well worth it for the ability to do a nightly incremental clone of your system.
     

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