Booting 2007 Intel iMac from external drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by zmanzero, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. zmanzero macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #1
    My iMac's internal drive recently died (the second one, the first was under warranty) so I purchased a Seagate 1TB external drive from Walmart to get it back up and running. To make a long story short, it will not boot my iMac. After discussions with Apple (they even sent me a Leopard disc to install before upgrading to Snow Leopard thinking it was a firmware thing) we have concluded that my iMac can't boot from the Seagate drive. I get the kernel panic foreign language grey screen.

    After research I was led to OCW and after calling them I was recommended this - http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MSQ7500GB16/ - as a drive to boot my iMac.

    My question is does anybody have experience with my situation and how did you resolve it? Has anyone had experience with the NewerTech drive and was it favorable? Thanks for any input.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    That is quite an expensive HDD, I got 1 TB HDDs with Firewire 800 ports (WD My Studio edition) for less than that.

    Anyway, you can boot your iMac with any external HDD if properly formatted, I have done it with USB and Firewire 800 HDDs with my 2007 iMac.
    You could also invest that much money in an SSD and replace the HDD yourself, it is not that easy, but not that hard. iFixIt has guides for your model, and YouTube probably has some videos to offer too for your model. Thus you could get a 128 to 180 GB SSD for 150 USD or a 1 TB HDD for less than 100 USD and do it yourself, if you are up to it.

     
  3. zmanzero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #3
    Thank you for your reply simsaladimbamba, I also thought that any external HD, if properly formatted, would boot this iMac. But that is apparently not the case. The Seagate is properly formatted (GUID) and checks out good but fails to boot. The slightly higher price for the drive i posted i can deal with, I would like to hear if any others have used that drive to boot and/or other makes of HD's that worked. I wish to boot externally instead of taking the iMac apart and installing a new internal drive.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    "The slightly higher price for the drive i posted i can deal with, I would like to hear if any others have used that drive to boot and/or other makes of HD's that worked. I wish to boot externally instead of taking the iMac apart and installing a new internal drive."

    You don't have to waste your money on high-dollar external drives.

    Can you afford $25?

    If so, then get one of these gadgets:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=usb+sata+dock&x=0&y=0
    (Many items shown, they all work the same, just get one you like that's cheap, although getting one that is USB3 would be even better)

    Then, get a "bare" SATA drive from the vendor of your choice. Sometimes you might even be able to find a previously-used one for free -- even if it was used in a PC, just re-initialize it and you're good to go.

    Put the drive in the dock, initialize it, install a System onto it.
    You'll have a fully-bootable "external" drive. The dock may not seem as "attractive" as a "cased" external drive, but it's far more versatile. You can now swap out drives freely. Your storage needs can "expand" with your requirements, but you don't need another "cased drive". Just get another bare drive. If the dock has a problem, just get another -dock-, keep using your good drives. The dock will become a -very- useful piece of hardware on your desktop.

    I use a USB/SATA dock to boot my own 2007 iMac to various Systems as needed. I'm usually using Lion on it these days.
     
  5. zmanzero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for the info Fishrrman, that looks like a viable way to go. I've been doing some more research on my problem and I think I'm going to go ahead and get the drive I posted in my first post. I'll use the firewire to boot, it's faster than the usb 2 and 500gb should do me storage wise. The drive that fried was 320gb and after using it for 3 years it was only half full so I should be ok. OWC looks like a reputable company so I'm gonna roll on it.

    Thanks for the responses folks, it led me to look at different options for me and I appreciate that.
     

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