How to enable usb Boot for the mac Bios?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by althorne, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. althorne macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #1
    Hey,

    I'm trying to run featherlinux off a pendrive. It just about works on my friend's dell bios but i read somewhere about being able to enable usb boot on the mac bios.

    Can anyone help me, or is it already enabled and i'm just stupid?

    Cheers,

    -Al
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    1) Macs don't have a BIOS. The use EFI (or OpenFirmware for PowerPC Macs)

    2) On Intel Macs USB booting is always available, but only if there are EFI drivers for the device. It sounds like your pendrive won't work. There is no easy way round this.
     
  3. althorne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2008
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    If EFI boot drivers for that device exist it should be possible to add an EFI System partition on the device and add them. The chances of this seem small.

    Easier would be to just image it onto a DVD and boot from that!
     
  5. althorne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2008
    #5
    i'm trying to run linux from a pendrive if it helps
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #6
    And the Linux you are trying to run supports and is configured for EFI booting? If not it's not going to work unless you can somehow get it working via the BIOS emulation layer built into EFI for BootCamp to work...
     
  7. althorne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2008
    #7
    i'm not sure...

    Now i realise why I shouldn't have got a goddamn mac lol. It's caused me nothing but problems
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Well you should be able to get Linux up and running, although off a pen-drive may be more difficult. I'd go to a specialised site for Linux on Mac help. This looks like a good starting point...
     
  9. althorne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2008
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    althorne, you need to hold down "Option" during boot for the boot selector to show up. When you do this, does the pen drive show up as an option, or not?

    B
     
  11. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #11
    I looked into this a while back. It's rather difficult to get good
    information about it (there was a longish thread in a Ubuntu
    forum).

    As I understand it some Intel Macs can only boot off GPT/HFS
    formatted USB sticks. That makes booting Linux rather awkward,
    if not impossible, and Windows/DOS won't boot at all.

    I'd like to be wrong, though, so if anyone would care to correct
    me...

    ps

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=510030
     
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #12
    That would make sense. The EFI bootloader on Macs will only boot from GPT partitioned disks. To boot from a MBR partitioned disk I think you have to be in the BIOS emulation layer. Unfortunately the BIOS emulation layer (unless things have changed recently) can only see internal disks, not stuff hung off the USB ports.
     
  13. althorne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #13
    do you think it'll let me boot from an hfs+ partitioned usb drive?

    I've tried refit, but it won't load at startup

    I'm not sure what to do now.

    I'm trying to run featherlinux usb 0.7.4 if it helps

    Or is there a way i can add a /boot partition the pendrive or even the actual HDD to get this to work
     
  14. althorne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #14
    hey,

    just an update.

    I found this terminal code.

    Will it help?

    sudo bless –verbose –folder “/Volumes/iTote/System/Library/CoreServices” –bootinfo

    also,

    will i need a *bless program* or doesn't it need that
     
  15. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Why do you want to run Linux? Mac OS X is a proper Unix, and you can install Linux stuff inside (I believe including KDE and GNOME) in OS X too.

    EDIT: I'm not trying to say Apple>>Everything, I'm just wondering if there is a better/easier way to do what you want to do, especially without rebooting.
     
  16. althorne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #16
    it's not just linux. It's other things as well lol
     
  17. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Like what?
     
  18. althorne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2008
    #18
    lack of overclockage, now the lack of a bios (I boot from external devices a lot...)

    Also, apple's crap support and bad warranty. Accidental damage isn't covered for an extortionate warranty.

    But, i like the way OS X works, so that's why i bought one lol

    ---

    But is there a way to make a CD that lets me boot from a pen drive

    ---

    My reasons for having linux are mainly for travelling purposes. Linux uses less battery, so more dvd when travelling
     
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    ^^ Sorry I was wondering why else you wanted USB booting ;).

    Sounds like good reasoning. However accidental damage may well be covered by your home insurance.
     
  20. althorne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #20
    i would have expected it from a £300 warranty.

    And honestly, i like mac as much as anyone else here lol.

    What i'm trying now is installing a faunOS image and their bootstrapper cd image.

    If that works, i'll try feather with the faunOS bootstrapper. if not, i'll try and go from there.
     

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