MB Air & booting from 3rd-party drives

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Fishrrman, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Hello all -

    Just wondering about the following:

    1. Can the MBAir be booted up from a _third party_ (i.e., NOT Apple-labeled) USB2 DVD/CD drive? Or, does it absolutely require the Apple external Superdrive?

    2. Will the MBAir boot from an external USB2 hard drive, also?

    - John
  2. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    1) Yes. I have a home-made LG Blu-Ray external drive in a $10 dollar enclosure and it worked.

    2) Yes. I've done it many times when I needed to recondition the SSD or perform disk checks/repairs
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    As the other replier said... ^^^

    I wouldn't recommend the MBA SuperDrive. It looks pretty but the cable on it is junk. In addition, it's a pain in the a$$ because it doesn't work half the time or when using certain hubs and etc.

    Plus you can buy a BluRay drive that is fully backwards compatible for your same $100.

    Any USB drive is bootable if it's made bootable. You can use Super Duper's "sandbox" drive software to make your USB drive run Mac OS X completely by itself.

    Good luck.
  4. Fishrrman thread starter macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Thanks for the replies.

    I've been a Mac user exclusively since 1987, but have NEVER owned a Mac laptop.

    I've reached the point where it's about time to get one, for trips and the like. At home, I'll remain a "desktop guy".

    The MacBook Air looked nifty - but limited - when it was introduced. On top of that was a higher price. But I see that Apple's refurb store has some for downright attractive prices, vis-a-vis something like the 13" MacBook Pro.

    I was just wondering how the lack of ports restricted use, if at all (such as in "bootability", a big point for me). I guess you can boot it up externally as you would any other Mac (via USB).

    A little off-topic, but would the 1.86ghz "second generation" MB Air lag much behind the current entry-level MB Pro 13", insofar as speed and processing power go? I won't be doing any video work, almost no photo editing. Just browsing, email, playing music, etc.

    - John
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Fishrrman, A second generation 1.86 would have the SSD, which makes a huge difference. For what you want to do, you'd absolutely love it.

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