MacBook not booting from external Hard Drive.

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by chrisvince, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. chrisvince macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2009

    I have a Black Macbook with 2GB ram, 250GB HDD, 2.4GHz Processor and have been trying to boot off of my 320GB firewire External HDD but it has so far been unsuccessful.

    I have the external formatted as GUID Partition Table, and have the four system disk folders on the drive (Applications, Library, System, Users) which I copied from a time machine backup.

    I have tried booting the MB while holding down the option key and the external HDD appears as a drive available for booting on. But when I select the external HDD a cross with a circle around it appears and it boots off the internal HDD instead of the external HDD.

    Is there anything I'm doing wrong???

  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Copying over the System folders won't work, there are lots of hidden folders that won't be transferred using a normal Finder drag and drop. You might get around this, but it's probably more hassle than it's worth...

    You should either install OS X on the external from an installer disk or use a cloning tool like SuperDuper! to make a clone of a (working) Mac OS X boot disk.
  3. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    I'm a big fan of using the Restore function in Disk Utility. This will also generate a bootable clone of your drive to the external. SuperDuper and CCC exclude some files from the cloning, so I feel more comfortable with Disk Utility. The trade off is that Disk Utility takes longer...

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