Need help booting from external drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cocoatronik, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. cocoatronik macrumors member

    cocoatronik

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #1
    I'm using a G-Tech 320GB mini hard drive connected via firewire 400 to my G5 iMac running OS 10.4.11. I used SuperDuper to make what is supposed to be a fully bootable clone on the external drive (following this tutorial). The volume on the external drive looks okay when accessed via Finder, but I can't seem to boot from it.

    I've tried powering up with the Option key depressed, but the only choice that's displayed is the Macintosh HD. I've also tried powering up with the T key depressed, which gave me a firewire icon floating around the screen, but nothing I could apparently do with it.

    This backup is mainly in preparation of upgrading to Leopard, so I would really like something to boot from in case things go bad. I don't see that using Target Disk Mode under the Startup Disk mode preferences will help, because that assumes I'm able to boot the machine normally in order to change that setting -- right?

    (Note: I've also tried booting from this drive using a G4 PowerBook running Leopard 10.5.4. I get the same results.)
     
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #2
    Well since it will not show up in the panel that appears when Option is held at at startup, it is safe to assume that the OS does not see a bootable drive there- as you know.

    I am going to assume that it also does not show up in the Startup Disk pane of the Systems Preferences, correct? I would not expect it to.

    Next go into Disk Utility and take a look at the Partition Scheme that appears at the bottom of the screen when the drive is selected in the left column. Does it say APM or does it possibly say MBR (or even less likely GUID).

    If that lists anything other than APM, the drive needs to be formatted again and repartitioned (even if you only intend a single partition). To make sure it has an APM (Apple Partition Map), since that is what your G5 need to boot from, after erasing the drive (using Mac OS Extended (Journaled) )in the Erase tab go into the Partition tab. If the Options button at the bottom is grey, then change the partition number at the top of the column to 2, then back to 1 and the button will become clickable. Click it and ensure that APM is selected, then proceed with the partitioning. You will then have a fresh, properly formatted drive to begin the clone process again.

    While I love SuperDuper, you might want to use the free Carbon Copy Cloner this time around. One reason I say this is when you first set it up with the original drive as the source and the new drive as the destination it will show a green light in the right hand column if the new drive will be bootable with similar text describing that. When you see that you can feel certain that the final result will be be able to be booted from. Now I have never had SuperDuper fail to make a bootable drive to be honest-- but I have always made sure the drives are formatted and partition mapped correctly before beginning, so that is why I am suggesting you check out all that about the current state of your drive before you begin again.

    You were smart to test it before you counted on it! Too many people just go ahead and think SuperDuper and CCC are infallible and don't test the clones, only to lead to heartache down the line! Be sure to test a new one the same way (with the Option key or the Startup Disk pane).
     
  3. cocoatronik thread starter macrumors member

    cocoatronik

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #3
    Thanks for your help!

    Interestingly, the volume does show in the Startdup Disk pane under System Preferences. But the partition scheme is GUID (the default when I partitioned the drive using Disk Utility).

    I repartitioned using APM, which I now see is required for booting a PowerPC machine. This is the first time I've partitioned anything, so I wasn't even aware of the different schemes.

    I will attempt making another clone using these partitions and report back tomorrow (although this sure looks like the issue).

    Thanks again for your help!
     
  4. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #4
    Good to know that was the case- makes troubleshooting a lot easier as I feel certain you will be successful this time around. Sucks that you have to take the time to back it all up again, but easier than finding out later that it did not work right!

    Good luck!
     
  5. cocoatronik thread starter macrumors member

    cocoatronik

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #5
    Update: All is well!

    I re-partitioned the external drive using the APM scheme, then made another clone using Carbon Copy Cloner. This works!

    Maybe it's because I'm using older machines, but when I power up with 'Option' depressed, I do not get the nice display illustrated in the tutorial in which the firewire clone is easily identified. Instead, I get 2 identical icons that both say "Macintosh HD." But the second of these does boot from the external drive with no problem. (To be certain, I tested this on an entirely different machine.)

    Note: I'm pretty sure that the issue was the APM scheme, so SuperDuper probably would have worked just as well after fixing that.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #6
    Great! Glad to hear!

    I assume then that both the drives in question have the same name when viewed on the desktop then???

    If you just highlight the name of the external then press enter and rename it it will show up in the "option" version of startup showing that name. That is probably a good idea so that it makes it easier to keep them straight!
     
  7. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #7
    Also in the Option version of startup, any custom icons you have applied to the drives show up as well as the changed names, such as this on my desktop (had to shoot a picture, as screenshots don't work that early in the startup sequence BTW!)--
     

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  8. cocoatronik thread starter macrumors member

    cocoatronik

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #8
    Oddly enough, the external volume shows on the desktop and in Finder as "clone_imac," which is what I named the partition. It also displays the orange firewire drive logo.

    I've seen a lot of photos similar to the screenshot you've posted, but mine looks quite different on both my machines (G5 iMac and G4 PowerBook).

    I see a rectangular button on the left with a "refresh" icon, and a rectangular button on the right with a "right arrow" icon. In between these are the two identical "Macintosh HD" icons. On top of these hard drive graphics is an old-style OS "X" (the thin, blue "X" with serifs). The selected drive is slightly darker, but there is no arrow underneath them indicating which one is selected. Here is an example I found on the web (this one just showing a single drive)...

    [​IMG]

    Any ideas why this is different? My guess is it's just because I'm using older machines.

    Meanwhile, my upgrade to Leopard seems to have gone well, so no need for the backup at the moment. :cool:
     

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