External HDD, bootable and storage.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Alper1234, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Alper1234 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    Hey Guys,

    i think my problem is more then simple, but i need verification from some elders. I used to work over a decade with Windows and therefore it's sometimes, not always, a little bit difficult.

    I am getting the new Macbook and i am preparing for my Brother my Old Mac (early 2011) - don't ask, company is sponsoring it. Anyways, i bought an external HDD and i would like to use it:

    • as Regular Storage
    • Bootable USB HDD to get Lion/ Mountain Lion it.
    So how do i do that?
    Correct me if i am wrong, but i think, i need two partitions.
    • 10 GB for Lion (is that enough? Lion takes 4 GB - future use for Mountain L.)
    • Rest of HDD as another Partionen, for regular use (How to format - FAT32? Mainly using Mac OS)

    It would be great to have 3 partitions. Win 7/8 (bootable), Mountain Lion (bootable) and regular storage. Possible?

    10 GB's for each OS?

    cheers, Alper
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd suggest 2 partitions:
    - partition 1: cloned backup of your internal hard drive (should be approximately the size of your internal drive)
    - partition 2: general storage (can be whatever size that's left).

    You can also put a windows partition on the drive, but I don't recommend it. I've read too many posts from users with "dual formatted drives" (for both Mac and Windows) who have had problems with the Mac partitions disappearing after they plugged the drive into a Windows computer and accidentally did the wrong thing. POOF! All the Mac stuff is gone. If you want to store Mac files that you value, store them on a Mac-ONLY formatted drive.

    If you need a "dual purpose drive" that can be used to exchange data between the Mac and Windows, I suggest a drive with a single partition for this purpose (cross-use) ONLY. It could be either a hard drive or a higher-capacity flash drive.

    For your Mac backup drive, create the cloned backup using CarbonCopyCloner, which is FREE:

    One of the best pieces of Mac software out there.
  3. Alper1234 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    hi and thanks for your reply!

    I think i couldn't express myself. In these days and also with the new MacBook, there won't be any Optical drives in use anymore i am very happy about that.

    What i actually want, is to have a bootable piece of Os ready in my external drive. If i don't need to have 2 partitions, great, but is it possible to have a fat32 formatted HDD bootable with Lion and windows 7 and also no conflict with my storage of other files?

    Also great piece of advice with the backup Partition, my SSD will have only 256 GB so i could create a backup to start archiving my stuff:D

    The rest i could use for my storage, but still i would love to have Lion/Windows 7 rest on my HDD to ready if i need them.

  4. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    No, it needs to be formatted MacOS Extended to be bootable with Lion.
    As Fisherman says, you'll need one partiton for the bootable bit, and one partition for storage.
  5. Alper1234 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    Thank you very much!

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