I need help getting an external drive ready for installing OSX on please.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jebaloo, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Jebaloo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #1
    Hi,

    My macbook's internal HD is broken. I went to the geniuses at the Mac Store and teh best they said I could hope for would be for a data recovery service to deal with it.

    He suggested that I take out the HD and send it off, and in the mean time install OSX on one of my external HD's.

    I have two and so far I have failed to get it to work.

    I have a 120G WD passport connected via usb:
    [​IMG]

    and a Lacie 1TB HD connected either by USB or Firewire:
    [​IMG]

    I'm in the opening screen of the OS, with the OS DVD in the laptop and the HD's plugged in. When I go to select the drive that the OS should be installed on it says that OS cannot be installed on these drives.

    I'm sure I must have to format it in some particular way or something, but does anyone have any advice for me.

    How can I get this to work?

    Thanks so much in advance.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Did you format either of them to HFS+ on GUID partition table in Disk Utility?
     
  3. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 12, 2006
    #3
    Hey.

    both disk are formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

    i have the opriginal Install DVD that came with the laptop.

    The Lacie Drive has some data on it but I can wipe it if need be, the WD passport is empty. Both HD's have only one partition.
     
  4. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #4
    You should be able to install on either of them. But like Eldorian said, they need the GUID partition table to be bootable (they can be HFS+ formatted but not be bootable). With your install disk inserted, open Disk Utility and take a look at how they're formatted.
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #5
    Either drive will work for now.

    Like I said before, you need to make sure it's using the GUID partition table. It can be found in Disk Utility under Partition -> Options...
     

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  6. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Hi, thanks for your help.

    I know that they are both formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journalled), but what is the GUID thing, and how do I find out if my Hd's are formatted like that? Also how do I make them formatted like that if they're (presumably) not?

    Thanks
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #7
    I just showed you in my previous post and attached a screenshot. Get back to us after you've checked there.
     
  8. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 12, 2006
    #8
    Hey thanks for your help, I've done that to my WD dive. Can I do that to my Lacioe drive on its own partition without having to empty the whole HD?
     
  9. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 12, 2006
    #9
    Also...

    Can I use my firends PowerBook to install the OS on the external Firewire Lacie Drive using the MacBook's Startup DVD?

    My Macbook is now all of a sudden not letting me get to the Disk Utility. It's hanging on the grey screen.
     
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #10
    If you change the partition table it will erase the contents of the drive.

    How would you use the PowerBook?
     
  11. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I would insert the Macbook's DVD and turn off the Powebook. Then on restart I could press 'C', and go through the process of instelling the OSX on the attached Lacie Drive.


    ...then attached the LAcie drive to the MacBook and try to boot off that.
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #12
    What's wrong with using the MacBook's optical drive?
     
  13. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    The Macbook is now hanging at the grey screen ons tartup whereas before it was letting me get int othe Disk utility.
    I don't know what's made it suddenly change its mind.
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    You won't be able to use the PowerBook since it is a PowerPC machine.
     
  15. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Bummer. SO how can I install the OS on an external HD if it's not letting me get into the disk utility?


    Is there a trick that I don't know about.
     
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #16
    If the MacBook won't boot off of its original gray installer DVD there might be another problem
     
  17. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Ok, well i'm studk then.

    The guy at the apple store told me to do this after having a good look at the computer.

    I need to send of the HD for data recovery and my work is all done on my laptop, so unless I can install the OS on an external drive whilst a new Hd is being ordered, then I don't know what I'll do.

    Thanks for your help, If you anyone else has any ideas i'd be greatly appreciative.
     
  18. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #18
    In all honesty, any 9.5 mm tall 2.5" SATA hard drive would work. You could easily upgrade beyond the original specifications of the one that shipped with your laptop.

    Your laptop is more then capable of booting without its internal drive as well. Have you tried booting the laptop using just the DVDs with no other devices plugged in? Are the discs in good condition? Are they the ones that came with your laptop?
     
  19. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 12, 2006
    #19
    Well, for no apparent reason it decided to let me get to Disk Utility eventualy, so tahnks to your advice I'm now busy installing OSX on the WD drive formatted as suggested. It all seems to be going ok, i'll let you know what happens.

    Thanks again.
     

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