External Hard Drive Q's

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tommy060289, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. tommy060289 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    #1
    Hey everyone, I'd like to get an external hard drive and put an OS X image on it so I can install my computers from it, so here goes:

    1. How do you go about putting the image on a disk, do you just drag and drop it from a CD and then when you want to boot from tht image you hold the option key on starting the mac and select the external and an install process starts?

    2. Does the external need to be in any particular format to be used inthe same manner as an installation disk?

    3. Can the disk be used for anything other than installing OS X? For example, can I put the image in a folder called install and then another folder called documents or whatever and put stuff in there?

    4. Is there anyway I could set the hard drive to be readable by both mac and windows. I know fat32 but it's not great for larger drives and ideally I'd like to be able to take it to Uni with me and save work on their windows systems and move it back and forth? Would my only option be to create a partition that windows can read?
     
  2. ChazB macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    #2
    I don't know the answers to your questions, but I suspect that creating a bootable OSX installation on a flash drive would be a better option for what you want to do. Guide here.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #3
    1. You use CCC to clone the DMG or ISO (mounted or not) to the USB flash memory thumb drive, you can't just drag the DMG or ISO to the USB drive, as the DMG or ISO file is not bootable itself.

    2. How to format a new HDD/SSD to install Mac OS X or make a bootable copy onto

    3. It depends, but as using simple ISO or DMG files is not possible, you have a lot of folders from the installer on the drive already, thus you need another subfolder for the additional files. I have an external HDD partition with the Mac OS X installer and all the subsequent update installers and it works okay.

    4. As HFS+ and GUID are required to have a bootable installer, you can't create a FAT32, exFAT or NTFS partition on it and be readable by Windows, as Windows needs a partition scheme called "Master Boot Record (MBR)" to mount external devices (HDDs and such), thus using MBR would make the Mac OS X installer not bootable.

     
  4. tommy060289 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    #4
    so could I create two partitions on the hard drive, one in GUID so that I can install OS X from it and then one in either FAT32 or NTFS (and use NTFS-3G)

    Which do you think would be better, having native support or using NTFS with the program?
     
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #5
    HFS+ is the name of the file system, GUID is the name of the partition map scheme.
    If you want the Mac OS X installer on an external HDD, you need to use GUID as partition map scheme, a guide on how to do this is in my second answer.
    If you want to have an NTFS partition on that same drive, you can't use MBR as partition map scheme, thus the NTFS volume might not be recognisable in Windows, thus you need Mac Drive, though if you use Mac Drive, you can simply use HFS+ as file system for the data partition.
    Why not use a USB flash memory thumb drive as source for the Mac OS X installer and just use the external HDD for exFAT formatted partitions?
     

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