ipod as a starup disk not working


macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2004
i have an 80gig, 5.5G ipod. i used the restore process to install tiger from my ipod but my system doesnt recognize the ipod as a startup disk in the system preferences. any reason for this?


macrumors 68030
May 7, 2002
2 Much Infinite Loops
the iPod connected with a firewire cable would work as a startup disk.

but since apple started kissing peecee users a$s, the iPod cannot be used as a startup disk. at least not supported.

i wish one day, apple would use firewire again.


macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2006
My understanding is that with the redesigned 5G iPods, they lost the firewire bus, which is what allowed the ipod to be recognized as a startup drive. Can't use a USB drive to start up in OSX, and the iPods now are strictly USB. You can power any ipod in every generation with firewire, but can't transmit data to any ipod over firewire. The shuffle, nano, and video ipod 5Gs, and every subsequent ipod, are all USB only.

Here's a recent thread discussion on this topic. When the 5G ipods were released, there were numerous threads about the loss of the Firewire data channels and the effect that had [including the inability to use it as a bootable drive.]

Note that the thread I linked also begins to discuss why you shouldn't use the ipod as an external drive for heavy use [including simply booting]: it has no ability to dissipate heat at all, and will constantly spin, generating lots of heat, which leads to the breakdown of the hardware.

I can't use my 5G iPod as a startup, but I keep my 3G around for just that purpose in the case of emergency.


macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
sturigdson said:
Can't use a USB drive to start up in OSX ...
You can boot up the Intel Macs with USB drives. My wife's MB is currently running from an external USB2 drive while we wait for a replacement hard drive.

What Mac are you running?