Lion on Ext. Firewire HHD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ricardoflamingo, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. ricardoflamingo macrumors member

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #1
    I got a new Mini. Does anyone know how to put a Lion system on an external Firewire hard drive? I tried and it will not start up. I get the white screen with the grey Apple logo and the gears keep spinning. Apple is telling me it cannot be done, I have to buy a copy of Lion. I find that obscene. Buy it when it came with the computer?!!! HELP!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    You could use Carbon Copy Cloner and clone the drive. That should work.
     
  3. ricardoflamingo thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    All I want to do is put a system on it, not everything else. Would CCC let me do that?
     
  4. KScottMyers macrumors regular

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    #4
    Boot into recover mode and do a clean internet install to the external drive.

    Image the drive with CCC if you need to do this agin down the road.
     
  5. ricardoflamingo thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    "Boot into recover mode and do a clean internet install to the external drive"

    That is what I did. Why won't it work?
     
  6. KScottMyers macrumors regular

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    #6
    Not sure. I've done the same with no issue.

    Try imaging your internal drive to the external just to see if it boots.
     
  7. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #7
    When you are booted to Recovery HD, use Disk Utility to image your internal to the external. Use the Restore tab, set the source and destination, and check "erase destination..." to enable block copy.

    The external drive must be partitioned using GUID table, and formatted as Mac OS Extended (journaled). (This can also be done using Disk Utility's Partition tab. Click the Options... button to set the partition table type as GUID.)
     
  8. ricardoflamingo thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    I appreciate every one's help and ideas, but for the life of me I have been unable to get this thing restarted with a Firewire hard drive. Done the restore thing and done CCC thing. Also did the command-R thing, nothing. Is there something I am missing about Lion and Firewire? BTW, I am trying to do this with a WD 160gig HHD in an Igloo Firewire 400 dual bay box. This box works fine otherwise.
     
  9. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #9
    cmd-R will restart only to the Restore HD partition.

    Have you tried the opt key during startup? This allows you to select which volume you want to startup on.
     
  10. ricardoflamingo thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #10
    "Have you tried the opt key during startup? This allows you to select which volume you want to startup on."
    Been there done that. I have owned Macs since '95 and this is the cake!
     
  11. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #11
    Um... Ok. I knew that how?

    That step wasn't in any of the posts so far. Mentioning cmd-R in your last post - which definitely wouldn't have booted to the external - led me to make the suggestion. I understand your frustration, but "biting the hand that feeds" won't help... Oh, My Mac experience goes back to 1984* :p .

    Anyway, about the only thing I can think of is a possible problem with the partition map (assuming the Restore block-copy (with "erase destination... checked) completed normally).

    Startup again on the Restore HD. Find Terminal from the tools/utilities menu (don't remember exact name). Use the following command to get a list of the device's partition map details, and post the results. That might give us hint of where to go next.

    Code:
    % [B]diskutil list[/B]
    There's no problem I'm aware of with Lion and FW. I have 5 FW800 drives always connected to my MBP, including bootable partitions of Lion and SL installers, "Emergency" Lion and SL installs, and even the Recovery HD. I also have a FW800 bus powered drive I use for imaging my internal that I just plug into the end of the chain.

    *(in addition to being a s/w engineer since the pre-dawn of GUIs)
     
  12. ricardoflamingo thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #12
    My apologies,I wasn't trying to be a smart a**. I just never encountered this kind of frustration using a Mac. I have usually kept a system on an ext firewire hhd. BTW, when I did the restore I made sure the partition map was GUID.
     
  13. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    #13
    It's possible that the external hard drive isn't bootable, not all are.
     
  14. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #14
    FWIW I was running Lion on an external USB drive for a while and that was fine. A bit slow, but passable. It could be that for some reason the FW drive isn't getting activated at boot time, rendering it not bootable. (I think that's what DewGuy1999 was insinuating).

    Have you used this particular drive before on this Mac as a bootable device?

    B
     
  15. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #15
    No prob. It's always hard to tell what experience the OP has, based on just a couple of posts (and the reply-er, too, for that matter ;) ).

    Something balamw said gave me an idea of something else to try. Leave the drive disconnected (but powered up), then boot up using opt. Once the manager comes up, then connect the drive and wait - hopefully it'll show up.

    Something else to look at to see if the system thinks it's bootable. Startup on Recovery HD (with the external HD connected and powered up), then select Startup Disk (should be in the tool menu). If it's bootable, it should show up in the list of bootable partitions.
     
  16. ricardoflamingo thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    "Have you used this particular drive before on this Mac as a bootable device?"

    No. I used it with Leopard 10.5.8 on a 1st gen Mini.I have installed Lion on it. It just will not boot, white screen, grey Apple logo, and never-ending spinning gears.
     
  17. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #17
    You should be able to get the following info while booted to Mini's internal:

    What version and build number of Lion is installed on the Mini?

    What version does Startup Disk show for the external?

    Forgetting all the restore/installs done to this point - the symptom you see when booting the external is something one might see if the build were earlier than the minimum for the machine.

    The latest Mini and Air models take a special version of 10.7.1. Nothing that meaningful in itself, but it got me thinking.

    The version on the external should be moot when the internal is imaged (Restore) to the external. But, I thought it might be worth noting those version/build numbers.
     

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