Can I boot one powerbook from another using TDM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by scorpsjl, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. scorpsjl macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2006
    Hi! I have a bit of a conundrum: I have an old (~2004) PB 15' which won't start up. It hangs indefinitely on the gray screen with an apple and rotating gear. However, I can't boot from disk because the CD-ROM drive is broken!

    I also have a more recent blackbook. I was hoping to do the following: start up my blackbook in target disk mode, and boot up my powerbook using the blackbook as bootdisk.

    Question: will this work, and more importantly, will it somehow wipe my blackbook's hard drive?

    Thanks! Also, if anyone wants to try to diagnose my powerbook, suggestions welcome! Last question: how does one go about settiing up a harddrive to boot off of? This is my other option. Strangely, I can't seem to find any websites about it.
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    you can use Carbon Copy Cloner and an external hard drive to make a bootable backup
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I would just get an external USB case for a 2.5" drive; they're cheap.

    You could then remove the failing drive, attach it to the blackbook, and install a system on it from your original PB disks (I say that because I'm not sure blackbook systems would boot the PB, and it's probably faster than cloning anyway). You could use Disk Utility to format it first and make sure it's OK.

    Then use it to start the PB.

    Or maybe take it to the Mac Store or find someone with a bootable drive that you could use to test it.

  4. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    No, you cannot do this.
    PowerPC machines are incapable of starting up from an Intel disk and vice versa. Not only is there different code, they use a different partition scheme.

    However, you would be able to access the files and copy them to a flash drive or hard disk if you need any off the machine.
  5. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You can't boot from the black MacBook's hard drive, but you could boot from a DVD in the MacBook's disk drive, since the drive in your PowerBook isn't working. The hardware isn't the problem, so if you simply place your PowerBook's install disk in the MacBook, place the MacBook in TDM, and boot the PowerBook with the option key held down, you'll be able to boot from that disk.

  6. scorpsjl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2006
    Thanks for all the replies! I will try to boot using a CD in the Blackbook, and if that doesn't work for some reason, I'll go with making a bootable usb drive. I'm traveling right now, so I won't be able to try for a few days, but hopefully it will work!

    Although, I want to ask: if there's something wrong with my hard drive, do I risk messing it up more by continually starting up and letting it hang? The important thing to me here is the content on the hard drive in the old powerbook, not the computer itself...
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If the content on the hard drive is important, I'd simply take it out, stick it in an enclosure and copy it over onto another hard drive.

    Then I'd whack myself on the fingers a few times to remind me to have a proper backup solution for important documents at all times, because computers/hard drives are not failproof, and can fail at any given time.

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