Booting from USB drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by flashofthedark, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. flashofthedark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    #1
    I've got a 2007 20-inch iMac logic board with a broken internal SATA connector. I've tried epoxy, solder, etc. but I can't keep the part to stay on properly. Does OS X have to see an internal hard drive attached to continue boot, or can I have an external USB drive attached and have the system automatically boot to that drive upon startup without having to go through some special procedure? It's for a client of mine, he's old, and I don't want him to have to press a special key combination to get into his OS.
     
  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #2
    Just go into system preferences and change the start up disk.
     
  3. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

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    #3
    You can use a USB install but will need to boot the Mac while pressing the ALT key.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    Once you are started up from the external drive, you can set it to always boot from it by setting it in the Startup Disk pref pane.
     
  5. flashofthedark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    And I can do that with a USB drive instead of an external? Are you sure OS X will still boot without an internal HDD attached? For some reason I have a memory of OS X refusing to boot if there's no internal attached, maybe in the G4 G5 days.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    USB drives are external drive. OS X will boot if there is no internal drive.
     
  7. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #7
    Yes it will.
     
  8. flashofthedark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Chico, CA
    #8
    Ah, I meant internal. And I keep pointing out USB specifically because I thought I recall know OS X prefers firewire over USB for certain operations (like target mode).

    Thank you.
     
  9. flashofthedark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 20, 2012
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    #9
    On some Macs, the USB ports are very slow compared to the firewire ports. Is this true for the 2007 iMac? I'm guessing I should stick with a firewire 400 enclosure for the boot drive; I want it to be about as responsive as the internal drive.
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    FireWire 400 is slightly faster in real world use than USB 2. But still not as fast as the internal SATA drive. You could use the FireWire 800 port, that's almost as fast, but still slower.
     
  11. ivnj macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    #11
    usb works. I even installed 10.8 to a SD card and booted no problems and lag.
     

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