Booting From External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by IMcD23, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. IMcD23 macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #1
    A few months ago, I bought a Western Digital 500GB Hard drive and made 2 partitions on it. One for my backup files and one for the clone of my hd made w/ Carbon Copy Cloner. How do I boot off of the clone. It is listed in the startup disk section in sys. prefs, but when I reboot and hold down the Option key, it doesn't show. It's light is on. Oh, by the way, I have a 17 inch Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz iMac. The partition table says it is invalid when I try to edit the partitions. Any Suggestions???
     
  2. DVNIEL macrumors 6502a

    DVNIEL

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    #2
    Are you connected via firewire to the drive? I heard there are some drives that don't work if you're connected via USB 2.0.
     
  3. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #3
    I can not connect via firewire because there is no port on the drive. I have booted off of it before, though
     
  4. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

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    #4
    Macs currently do no support booting from USB (although I have heard people doing this for some reason) so you're out of luck.
     
  5. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #5
    but... i've done it before and it is in the startup disk place, is it the partition table? is it the firmware on my mac? what blocks that?
     
  6. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #6
    Intel Macs will boot from USB or Firewire hard drives, PowerPC Macs are Firewire only.
     
  7. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #7
    Actually, I believe that there are a few of PPC Macs that can boot from USB. If I remember correctly, I think the last Revision of the PowerBook could. This is partially because Apple dropped FW support on the 5th gen iPod (10/12/05). The latest PB was released a week later. I remember being pissed off at the dropped firewire because of it's ability to be booted from, but I think the PB released that next week remedied it.

    http://developer.apple.com/document...tosh_CPUs-G4/PowerBook_G419Dec00/PBG4-45.html

    Similar notes can be found for other PPC machines as well.
     
  8. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #8
    I do have an intel mac, but only one, so I can't try it on another one...:mad:
     
  9. darthmullet macrumors member

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    #9
    try rEFIt

    rEFIt allows you to boot from most volumes, i use it to "quad boot" my MBP:
    Internal Mac OS X and Windows
    External (USB 2.0) Mac OS X Carbon Copy and Linux
    It doesn't explain why it isn't working like it was, but it is a great solution, i think.
     
  10. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

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    #10
    As it shows up in Systems Preferences / Startup Disks, it is strange that you cannot boot from it.

    Have you tried to Repair the Disk and Repair Permissions on the Backup drive using Disk Utility? Also check the disk to make sure that it is formatted as :

    Partition Scheme : GUID Partition Table
     
  11. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #11
    darthmullet: I will try rEFIt. Maybe that will help.

    chas0001: Doing that right now. Will edit with more info.

    EDIT: No repairs were necessary. It shows a MBR Partition table, not GUID... but to change that, I will have to erase the drive, correct? rEFIt shows the same as the normal one...darn
     
  12. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #12
    Can I delete the two other partitions on my internal hard disk to put the stuff on there, because I was wanting to do the very same as darthmullet. I wanted to boot off the clone to partition the internal drive and then put the files on the external hd on the internal hd and then put ubuntu linux on the external hd along with the CCC backup...:eek:
     
  13. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

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    #13
    The USB drive definitely has to be formatted using the GUID Partition table in order to boot from a Intel MAC. If you need to know how to do it just post.

    If you are able to loose the backup data, just reformat it and then perform the clone again from your Internal Hard Drive.
     
  14. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

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    #14
    If you want to repartition your internal drive, whilst retaining the MACOS you have the following options (and possibly others)

    1. Reformat the USB drive to GUID. Clone your internal drive to it (as a backup and something to boot from) and then boot from the USB drive. If you use the diskutil application you can only reformat the whole internal disk (loosing eveything on the internal disk), so you would have to clone the USB back to the internal drive after reformatting. It does not let you delete partitions and resize others. If use use DISKUTIL in command mode (via the TERMINAL.app) you can delete partitions and resize them. You really have to know what you are doing. See this http://www.macgeekery.com/tips/cli/nondestructively_resizing_volumes

    or

    2. Reformat the USB drive to GUID. Clone your internal drive to it (as a backup and something to boot from) and then boot from the USB drive. Download iPartition and use it to delete the partitions you dont want on the internal disk and to resize the main partition. I use this application a lot (I have many disks) and have never had a problem with it. Unfortunately it is not FREE.

    *
    I know its a lot of peeing about but I would always recommend having a full backup of the system somewhere just in case something goes wrong. This stems from being a Windows user in the past.

    Good Luck.
     
  15. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #15
    You learn something new every day :eek:
     
  16. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #16
    The only thing is that I have 67 gbs of files on the external hd. (including my itunes lib.) I can't repartition or I will lose that.
     
  17. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

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    #17
    Do you have enough space to backup the USB drive onto the internal drive (i.e. create a folder in the internal drive and copy everything from the usb drive into it). You can then copy it all back when you have finished partitioning the internal drive.

    You could use iPartition to partition the USB drive (i.e add a new partition that will contain the clone of your internal hard drive) but then you will not have a backup of the files on it if something was to go wrong.

    Without knowing the capacities and free space of all your drives it very hard to advise you.
     
  18. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #18
    yeah we need to know how much space you have.

    but to boot, like others have said, the drive has to have the GUID partition scheme, so you'll have to reformat it to get it in that scheme.
     
  19. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #19
    Internal Disk:

    Partition Scheme: GUID Partition Table
    Total Capacity: 149.1 GB
    PARTITION 1: "Mac OS X" (System)
    Mount Point: /
    Capacity: 49.6 GB (53,214,642,176 Bytes)
    Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    Available: 14.8 GB (15,913,975,808 Bytes)
    Used: 34.7 GB (37,300,666,368 Bytes)
    PARTITION 2:disk0s3 "blank partition"(meant to be deleted) 49.7GB
    PARTITION 3:"Untitled" crashed windows partition (meant to be deleted) 49.6GB

    External Disk:

    Partition Scheme: Master Boot Record
    Total Capacity: 465.8 GB
    PARTITION 1: "FILES" (My Large Files)
    Capacity: 232.9 GB
    Mount Point: /Volumes/Files
    Format: MS-DOS File System (FAT32)
    Available: 164.9 GB
    Used: 67.9 GB
    PARTITION 2: "OS" (My Carbon Copy Cloner "Clone")
    Capacity: 232.9 GB
    Mount Point: /Volumes/OS
    Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    Available: 199.2 GB
    Used: 33.7 GB


    THERE YOU GO
     
  20. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

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    #20
    Thanks.

    If you had no data you wanted to keep on the USB drive then it would be much easier. Unfortunately that is not an option, unless you have other storage available. The whole problem is that you do not have enough space to keep a complete backup (including the stuff on the SUB drive) of your system should something go wrong!

    OK...

    1. Reclone your internal drive to the USB drive so that you have a complete, up to date backup.
    2. Run Migration Assistant from your /Applications/Utilities folder.
    -- We want to check that the USB drives contents are recognized by this program
    • Click Continue
    • Enter your admin password
    • Click Continue
    • Choose 'from another volume on this mac'
    • Check the next screen to see if the cloned OS appears on the USB drive
    • If it does then thats good and continue. If it does not then your screwed.
    3. -- Now we have to reinstall os x on the internal drive - by wiping your internal drive!
    • boot from the OS X Install DVD (press and hold C during startup)
    • After choosing the language select UTILITIES and DISK UTILITY from the main menu.
    • In disk utility select your INTERNAL disk and click on the partition tab. Restore your internal drive to 1 partition and name it eg. Macintosh HD. Remember to click on the options button and ensure that GUID Partition Table is selected. Now click on the Partition button.
    4. Now close Disk Utility and continue installing OS X onto your INTERNAL DRIVE.
    • When it completes your computer will reboot.
    • When it has booted the 'Startup' Assistant will run and your will be asked to enter some personal information.
    • It will then ask you if you want to migrate your system from another computer (this is the Migration Assistant).
    • Say yes and tell it that you want to migrate from another volume on your computer.
    • It should now list the backup you created in the USB drive. Select it and then let the migration assistant copy everything back to your internal drive. This may take a while.
    • When it has finished restart the computer and make sure that everything is there that should be.
    • now run Software update and get your computer up to date. There may be quite a few updates to install depending on the version of your OS X Install DVD.

    This is the only method I can think of that will always ensure you have a backup of your internal disk should anything go wrong. There may be other options. e.g. buy another external HD.

    Good Luck :)
     
  21. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #21
    What all does Mig. Assist. copy over?
     
  22. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

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    #22
    Migration assistant can copy everything over e.g. Accounts, applications, application preferences, settings. Essentially the internal hard drive will look exactly like the USB image (apart from the fact that Software Updates will need to be applied). This utility is mainly used when people move everything to a new computer. I always use it and have never had a problem. It also allows you do do selective migrations e.g. Just copy over users.

    If you choose this option ensure that you check every box when it asks you want to want to copy over.
     
  23. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #23
    Good
     
  24. IMcD23 thread starter macrumors regular

    IMcD23

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    #24
    What install options? (ex. ilife, x11, etc.) does it matter?
     
  25. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

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    #25
    I usually install everything apart from Languages and printer drivers and any trial software e.g. Microsoft Word

    It really depends upon what you want to use. If you choose not to install stuff now you can always install it at a later date.
     

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