Booting from USB source on an iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by hojoon0724, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. hojoon0724 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    So here's what I need to do.
    I'm trying to sell my MacBook Pro and use a different computer.
    The problem is that the iMac only has 250gb and my MBP has 500gb.

    So since I got an external that's 1.5tb, I'm trying to partition it so that one has 1tb and the other has 500gb.

    Then I want to make a carbon copy of my MBP disk to the 500gb external and have the iMac boot on that external.

    Is it possible?
    Of course, it won't be as zippy as using the internal but I have no other choice.
    I gotta sell my MBP.

    Any answers or suggestions are welcome. Thanks everyone.
  2. rnb2 macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2006
    West Haven, CT, USA
    Should work fine, but would be better if you used Firewire instead of USB (even FW400 is faster than USB2). Other than that, you shouldn't have any issues - one of the nice things with OS X is that the OS itself has all of the drivers for all of the models, so a single external drive should be able to boot just about any recent Mac.

    That being said, you would probably be better off keeping the OS and Applications on the iMac's internal drive, and putting your user folder on the USB drive.
  3. hojoon0724 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for the clarification

    I'm trying to sell this iMac too in the near future and buy myself the new 27" iMac.

    I only need it to barely work until then.

    It would be a waste of time to copy and install the apps and sell it after just a month.

    But thanks so much.
    I'm using Disk Utility to do a restore from MBP to external.

    One more question tho, how do I boot from the external?
    Do I press alt/option key after I turn it on?
  4. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2007
    Macs in general are USB bootable - need to be running 10.4.5 or later. PPC macs and intel macs have different needs are paritioning schemes and such - which kind of iMac and which OS are you running?

    To select a startup disk:
    From .
  5. eman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2007
    In the great white north
    If you have Intel macs, use Carbon Copy Cloner to make a perfect bootable clone copy to an external. The external HD only needs to be as big as the info on the macbook pro internal HD.
    IE... If your internal macbook pro has an internal 500Gb HD, but only has 100Gb of info on it. Your external HD only needs to be 100Gb in size to hold the info.
    Once you have your USB external HD cloned, it should start any other Intel mac and you can clone your USB external HD to any internal HD.

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