Can't boot new hard drive from external optical drive

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Cognita, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Cognita macrumors newbie


    Mar 2, 2011
    I've searched the forums and can't find an answer to my specific problem.

    I have a late 2006 MacBook 2,1 (intel core 2 duo). My internal optical drive is broken and I use an external Samsung drive for any disc needs. I am trying to replace my grossly outdated 80G HDD with a new Western Digital Scorpio Black 500G 2.5" SATA 7200 drive. When I replaced the HDD and tried booting from the external source (shift+option+⌘+delete) the computer wouldn't see it (Snow Leopard disk). Sometimes it shows a folder with the question mark, sometimes nothing but grey screen and the fan speeds up.

    I'm wondering if this indicates a problem with the new hard drive? Or is it incapable of recognizing the external drive because it isn't formatted yet? Do I need to get some sort of enclosure for the new one and format it prior to inserting it?

  2. dcreb macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2011
    Just did this and the drive has to be formatted first. I used disc utility.
  3. Cognita, Mar 20, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011

    Cognita thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 2, 2011
    Thanks for responding so quickly. I got an enclosure and formatted the new drive with disk utility as suggested. Checked it against my old one and all looked identical (extended journaled, GUID partition). But now that I've reinstalled the new drive into the computer, I still can't boot from the external disk. I plugged in the old drive into the usb ports and the computer boots up from it without seeing the new internal drive. Disk Utility sees the new drive as internal and the old drive as external.

    I'm basically trying to do a fresh install of Snow Leopard and then use time machine to get photos and music and such (from a separate external drive that I use only for back ups). Any other advice for what I'm doing wrong? Wondering If I should repair the new hard drive via disk utility using the old hard drive as the source?
  4. ddehr026 macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    I have had the same problem recently. Apparently osx doesn't play nice with booting from and external dvd. If you can, make a disk image of snow leopard and put it on a thumb drive or external hard drive and boot from that. That seems be the only solution for me...
  5. Cognita thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 2, 2011

    I finally did what I was told would not work (connecting through an external hub):

    • I reinstalled my original hard drive into my laptop.
    • Connected new hard drive in external enclosure via USB and formatted it with Disk Utility.
    • Ejected new hard drive.
    • Connected new hard drive and external optical drive (with Snow Leopard disk inside) to my USB hub with it's own power source.
    • Opened up Disk Utility to verify that it saw both hard drives and optical drive.
    • Restarted computer (with all connected).
    • Was given option to install Snow Leopard upon start.
    • Chose the new external drive and installed it.
    • Got to installation point where I had to restart, so I connected new hard drive directly to laptop USB ports and finished installation according to my needs.
    • Installed new hard drive into laptop.

    All is working well. Thanks for your support.
  6. marchellobb macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2009
    i did verify/repair HDD in disk utility before installing osx from an external cd player, worked fine :)

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