Making a bootable external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MrTaiPan, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. MrTaiPan macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2009
    **Please keep in mind...there is NO BACKUP!**

    I was installing a software update on my mother's Intel iMac. While installing, the iMac told me that there was a problem and to contact the software manufacturer. When I went to reboot, it would not. All I get is the universal sign for stop (circle with a 45 degree angle line through it). My mother has no backups whatsoever. She needs her information. I am in need of a safe way to retrieve her information.

    I have tried the basic help from Apple's site--nothing worked. A friend told me that I might be able to boot the computer from a bootable external hard drive and pull the information off that way.

    I have access to two mac laptops and multiple external hard drives. If I can't even boot the iMac, can I make a bootable drive off of one of the mac laptops and then use it to the iMac? If so, how do I make the bootable drive?

    Another possibility is to buy a new HD for the iMac and then pull the information off of the old one, but I'd like to try the bootable external hard drive first, if possible.

    THANK YOU!!!
  2. NEAME macrumors member


    Sep 27, 2008
    Redding CA
    Quick fix

    Have you tried to boot from your system disk originals.

  3. RHatton macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2009
    Louisville, KY
    Take one of the external drives and open disk utility. Go to the Partition tab on the external hard drive and create 1 partition from the drop down and make it Mac OS X Extended(Journaled) and apply. Download Super duper from the web and use it to clone the internal drive to the external. Done. When you want to boot the computer up from the external hold down Alt(Option) when turning the computer on and choose to boot from the external. You can use super duper to reinstall the OS on the imac if you want. Just clone one of the other macs and copy the clone from the external onto the iMac.
  4. donuttakedonuts macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2009
    You can use carbon copy cloner, included with leopard, instead of superduper.

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