Mac Mini - Booting From External HD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by scb02, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. scb02 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    I have an old mac mini and it has died (get a folder with a question mark flash up, then the apple logo, then a blue wallpaper and nothing) the disc drive is broke i have a copy of Leopard, and have got the DMG also, is it possible to boot to a USB external HD on my MacMini?

    Thanks
     
  2. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #2
    Yes its easy, just make sure your external hard disk is formatted to HFS+, pop in your Leopard disc and when it asks which drive you want to install it on just select the HFS+ formatted external drive. If you have a time machine backup of your dead internal drive you can also restore it to the external drive too. there are loads of articles about how to do all this if you google it :)
    I've been doing this on my late 2006 iMac for the past month or two my internal one died too, while it is possible it isnt very fast over USB2. if you do anything particularly hard disc intensive the whole system does grind to a halt. Cant speak from experience but if you plan on booting from firewire 800 i'd imagine it'd be alot quicker. Hope that helps!
     
  3. scb02 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #3
    I dont want to install too the External HD i want to install from it? I.E mount my leopard .dmg and copy it to the external HD and boot the installer from there?

    make sense?
     
  4. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #4
    Not sure if dmg installs are supported. Why not just get an external DVD drive? Some are under $50.

    Cheers,
     
  5. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #5
    oh sorry i didnt get what you meant, but yes you can do that too ive got it one setup with a bootable partition containing a snow leopard installation disc which was .DMG. Comes in dead handy.

    using disk utility you need to create a HFS+ partition on the external hard disc big enough to fit the disc contents, a 10GB one should suffice. You can then use the restore function in the disk utility to restore the partition from your .DMG.

    You can then boot from it at any time using the startup disc option in the system preferences. If youve never done this before it might sound complicated but it's really easy :) Should also work if like this if you want to burn it to a DVD or a flash drive. man i love disc utility
     
  6. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
  7. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #7
    Is this an Intel Mac Mini or G4? Intel Minis require GUID partition map while the G4 PPC would use APM. The G4 PPC also requires a firewire hard drive to boot while the Intel can boot from USB or firewire.

    I have my retail Tiger/Leopard discs imaged the same way with a partition for each of them to a 2.5" external firewire hard drive. It's a lot quicker to boot/restore and it saves my discs from any more scratches then they might already have :p.
     

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