I need to boot from an external HD, but my CD drive is dead/can't backup OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Justin Horne, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Justin Horne macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2007
    Basically, my macbook internal HD is stating that it needs repair. System is running super sluggish and getting the beachball a lot. On a friends MBP, exact same symptoms, I repaired the HD from the OS X cd in Disk utility, and it was greatly improved...
    Having said that, my MB drive is dead, so I can't boot from the CD. I found how to boot from an external drive, but how do I make a copy of my OS X CD? I have a windows 7 computer also, are there any utilities there that will be able to do it? Like, can I rip it somehow, put it on my iPod, then make a DMG in OS X to put on the external?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    Your options are rather limited by the faulty CD-DVD drive:
    1. Get the internal drive repaired
    2. Get a cheap external CD-DVD drive, with a firewire or USB interface
    3. Use another (same type, Intel) computer with a working CD-DVD drive and boot your computer in Target Disk mode (cold boot with the "t" key pressed), which will make your internal drive available as a firewire external drive, then connect the host computer to your machine with a firewire cable, your internal drive should appear on the desktop of the host computer. Then use Disk Utility or better, Disk Warrior to repair it. Then maybe a reinstall of the OS.
    ---- After the internal drive/OS is working fine. you can make a 10-15 GB partition on the external drive. Use DU to make a disk image of the OS Install DVD (type CD-Master, of course this will done on a machine with a working drive), use DU to restore that image to the newly made partition (same name as the install disk). Then you can boot (option key at startup) from that disk partition and reinstall the OS from there in the future (which is what I assume you really mean by "backup the OS".
    Good luck
  3. Justin Horne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2007
    Hmm... Is there any easy way to backup the disc using Windows, then clone it to an external HD? I have a few 2.0/ firewire external harddrives, and an old Firewire iPod and new 2.0 iPod...
  4. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    There's no reason you could not, at first, leave your internal where it is and install OS onto the external. Once done, boot from the external and transfer your files from the internal to the external (perhaps it is easiest to use the migration assistant during OS install). Then, if you wish, swap out the ailing drive with the new disk.

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