How to make external hardrive bootable????

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by backinblack875, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. backinblack875 macrumors 6502a

    backinblack875

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    #1
    ok so i have a mac mini running snow leopard running 10.6.4... with a 120GB HD

    and i am planning on getting this external hard drive:
    http://www.amazon.com/Iomega-Prestige-Desktop-External-34919/dp/B003GALRIA/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

    is there a way to make this my main hard drive or boot from it? i need more space for my itunes media(movies/tv shows) and i dont want it to work like a flash drive because then it wont be in my library... among other things....

    also, if i do make it my main/boot hard drive, what will happen to the one inside the mac mini? the 120GB one, will it just be gone?(which i would be ok with). if it is still there could i use it to bootcamp windows?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    Use CarbonCopyCloner (CCC) (free) or SuperDuper (SD) to make a bootable image of your existing Mac OS X installation on an external HDD.

    Making a clone (1:1 copy)

    • How to use CarbonCopyCloner
      CCC offers you to select a SOURCE DISK, in this case your old HDD, and a TARGET DISK, in this case your new HDD. After you made your selection, there is only the CLONE button to click and to enter your account password. There are more options of course, but they are meant for backing up instead of making 1:1 copies.​
    • How to use SuperDuper
      SD offers you to select the source disk (COPY ...) and a target disk (TO ...). It has additional options for backing up only system or user files and to create a disk image and some more, but for the cloning process the above will do and the free version will suffice.​
     
  3. backinblack875 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    backinblack875

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    #3
    will all my current stuff on my hard drive move over to it?
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #4
    As cloning produces a 1:1 copy, you will copy all your current staff on your internal HDD to the external HDD.

    Anyway, if you use USB 2.0 as a connection to your Mac mini, the usage of the external HDD as boot HDD might be a bit slow, as USB 2.0 only offers a maximum transfer speed of 35MB/s (and only in bursts, not continuously), thus a Firewire 800 enclosure or HDD would work much better as external boot drive.

    Btw, the cloning will produce a 1:1 copy, it will not actually move the data from the internal HDD to the external HDD, as moving means "copy file, delete original on source", thus you will be left with two copies of the same data and you still need (if you want to) delete the original HDD's data.

    Btw, why don't you use the external HDD as storage, like most other people do?
     
  5. backinblack875 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    backinblack875

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    #5
    well what exactly is it? haha
     
  6. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #6
    What is exactly what?

    If you use either CCC or SD and choose the Mac mini HDD as source and the external HDD as target, CCC or SD will copy every file and folder, regardless of them being hidden or system files, from the HDD inside the Mac mini onto the external HDD you have connected.
    After the copying process is finished, you will have two copies of each file and folder, one copy on the Mac mini HDD and one copy on the external HDD, thus the word "cloning" in relation to this copying process.

    If you "move" a file from one HDD (1) to another HDD (2), the file will be copied from 1 to 2 and after the copying process is finished, the original file on 1 will be deleted, thus the word "cloning" is not used in relation to this method.

    And USB 2.0 is slower than Firewire 800, which you have, as you have the 2009 Mac mini model.
    Thus booting from the internal HDD is the fastest (up to 90MB/s), then comes Firewire 800 (65 - 75 MB/s), then comes USB 2.0 (25 - 35 MB/s).


    And in relation to your short answer:

     
  7. backinblack875 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    backinblack875

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    #7
    no what is exactly is this:

    "Btw, why don't you use the external HDD as storage, like most other people do?"
     
  8. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #8
    You really don't want to use an external USB drive as your main boot drive as it's pretty slow. Do what everyone else does when their iTunes library gets large and move the entire iTunes library to the external drive. Then in iTunes go to preferences > Advanced > iTunes Media Folder location and click choose... to choose the new location.

    Here's a great iLounge article on how to do so properly. It's a lengthy read but you'll learn a lot and shouldn't lose any setting this way.
     
  9. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #9
    A question, on why you don't want to use the external HDD as storage.

    Am I missing something? I just came from some other thread with a slightly different tone: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1035759
     
  10. backinblack875 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    backinblack875

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    #10
    ohhhhh wait NVM!!!

    because what is taking up most my space is my itunes media (tv shows/movies) and if i use the external to store them they wont appear in itunes... which is just me wanting all my media in itunes so i can see it all in the individual media tabs (ie. movies, TV shows) in itunes
     
  11. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #11
    That is why you should read the article, which QuarterSwede linked to:

    Sneak Peek from that article:

     
  12. backinblack875 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    backinblack875

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    #12
    ok seems like this is my answer... i dont have the drive yet so ill have to try it when i get it
     
  13. backinblack875 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    backinblack875

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    #13
    yes, thanks i realize that now. i posted that one before at the same time he did so i did not see it.

    thanks for the help guys
     
  14. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #14
    Good luck finding an external HDD, know that they don't need to be "Mac OS X" compatible, as they can easily be formatted with Disk Utility.

    Maybe this slightly older guide can help you:
    http://guides.macrumors.com/External_Hard_Drives
     

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