MacBook Pro 2011 15" wont boot from external USB HD

Discussion in 'macOS' started by kapitanemo, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. kapitanemo macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2011
    Hi Guys,

    So Im in the practice of having a 'repair drive'. Basically I format and install OSX on an external USB HD plus a few maintenance programs. I do this so I can run diagnostics/housekeeping/optimization without being booted into the internal drive.

    Anyhow, I formatted and installed OSX using my old white MB. Everything worked fine, I even installed the combo update. I get to boot into it on my white MB but when I try to boot into it on my unibody 15" MBP it doesnt want to. It gets stuck at the grey screen with the apple logo on it but w/o a spinner at the bottom and there is not activity shown by the external drive's LED.. so I dont know what gives!! TIA

    both OSX versions on the internal and external drives are up to date. I did the combo update on the external. I installed OSX on the external using a retail disc of snow leopard. I also repaired my permissions on both installations of OSX...:confused:
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I believe that you need to make a clone that will boot your new machine; a system, even one that is the same number (eg 10.6.6) won't necessary boot all machines. And the disks that came with your machine won't necessarily boot all machines either.
  3. jayhawk11 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    ^ This.

    To boot the new computer, you have to make a boot partition using the restore discs that came with the MacBook Pro. It has a model-specific version of Snow Leopard right now. That particular branch of Mac OS X hasn't been forked back into the main OS. Probably will be reunited in 10.6.8.
  4. kapitanemo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2011
    OK thanks for the input everyone, but for anyone with the same issue in the future here's a fix that worked...

    I used the OSX dvd that came with my MBP,
    inserted it into my MBP (which was booted into the internal hd),
    told it to install OSX onto the external hd which was also connected to my MBP

    it worked even better than I thought because:

    instead of reformatting and slapping a fresh copy of OSX onto the repair drive,
    it did an upgrade and install (or whatever its called),
    and just upgraded the unbootable 10.6.7 OSX to a MBP bootable 10.6.7 OSX,
    with the previously installed programs and everything. Pretty nice surprise.
  5. manuell macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2007
    fixed How to fix the MacBook Pro 2011 boot issue

    Iv'e got the solution :)

    How to fix the MacBook Pro 2011 boot issue | MacBook Pro 2011 can't boot from external drive

    What you need:

    -FireWire cable 400-800 or 800-800
    - your old Mac
    -a 10.6 install DVD
    - your new 2011 MacBook Pro
    - external harddrive with preinstalled OS X 2011 MacBook Pro edition

    1. prepare your new 2011 MacBook Pro, eg install your internal hdd form your old mac in your new 2011 MacBook Pro or restore your TimeMachine Backup into your new 2011 MacBook Pro. Note: do not boot your new 2011 MacBook Pro
    2. connect your old and your new mac with the firewire cable, if you previously restored your backup and your 2011 MacBook Pro is still in FireWire Modus do not shut down your new MacBook Pro
    3. start your new 2011 MacBook Pro and hold down the T key, so it shows the FireWire / Thunderbold Icons
    4. connect your external harddrive with preinstalled OS X 2011 MacBook Pro edition to your old Mac
    5. start your old Mac with the 10.6 install DVD
    6. start Disk Utility to find out which volume is your drive inside the 2011 MBP and which drive is your preinstalled OSX 2011 MBP edition
    7. writ down the volume information eg /Volumes/oldmac is your internal drive inside the 2011 MBP and /Volumes/Macintosh HD is the external preinstalled 2011 MBP OS X edition.
    8. quit Disk Utility
    9. open Terminal

    10. execute command rm -rf /Volumes/oldmac/System/Library/Caches/*.*
    This will empty the kernel cache

    11. execute command rm -rf /Volumes/oldmac/mach_kernel
    This will delete the old kernel version

    12. execute command cp /Volumes/Macintosh HD/mach_kernel /Volumes/oldmac/mach_kernel
    This will copy the new kernel version into your system

    13. execute command cp -f /Volumes/Macintosh HD/System/Library/Extensions/ /Volumes/oldmac/System/Library/Extensions/
    This will copy all the extensions from the 2011 MBP OS X install to your old system

    14. execute command shutdown -h now
    This will shutdown your old mac

    15. press the power button so the new 2011 MBP shuts down

    now you can reboot your new MBP 2011 with your system that was restored with Time Machine

    I have to find it out, because I wouldn't use the migration assistant and don't wanted to reinstall the retail OS X from the 2011 MBP. In my opinion, this is the cleanses solution for now until maybe 10.6.8 is out.

Share This Page