New Mac Pro External SSD problem (won't boot Mavericks)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sand84, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. sand84 macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2014
    We recently upgraded to the new Mac Pro (late 2013) workstation.
    I have a 480GB SSD preloaded with all of my 3D/design software.
    I want to use this as an external OSX boot drive, not the internal.
    So, I plugged it into my older 2008 Mac Pro (at this point the SSD ran Snow Leopard) and booted with it. I then go to and get the free update to Mavericks 10.9.1
    I wait... it says success.. I boot the external SSD on the old Mac Pro... Mavericks is working fine on this machine. All good up until now.

    I then connect the (supposedly Mavericks ready) SSD to the new Mac Pro via thunderbolt. The Mac boots from the internal and I tell it to restart with the 480 SSD I just updated on the old tower. It restarts and I get the "no symbol/circle dash" at startup. I don't get it. Basically I need to boot from the drive with all my acquired software (the 480GB SSD). I understand if I partition it and install Mavericks on the new machine it will erase everything. Not sure if it's just me or the free install of Mavericks, or a combination of installing on a Snow Leopard machine and transferring it over as an external bootable drive on the new machine, but I'm stumped.
    I may be overlooking an easy fix here, any advice or ideas are appreciated.
    Thank you!
  2. marstan macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2013
    I had the same problem with a new Mac Mini. It is probably because OS X downloads or enables special settings/drivers for the target hardware used at installation. Try this: While booted from the internal on the nMP, reinstall Mavericks on top of the external drive. Reboot to the external and you should find all of your programs and data intact.
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    This happens quite frequently when Apple releases new hardware. The OS X system installed on the nMP is a different build of 10.9.1 than 10.9.1 on older Macs. It's likely that Apple will make the 10.9.2 update universal on Mavericks systems. We'll have to wait and see on that.
    In the mean time, Marstan has the right track. Boot to the recovery system on your nMP, and reinstall OS X, using the external as the destination for the reinstall. That will fix it up.
  4. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    Yup - there is a 10.9.1 that is specific to the nMP
  5. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2008
    I wonder; if you install the 10.9.1 specific update for Mac Pro (Late 2013) onto the external OSX, if it would boot on the nMP...
  6. sand84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2014

    Hold alt during startup --> select Recovery Mode with the external plugged in.
    Reinstall MAC OS X --> point it towards the external, let it reinstall 10.9.1.

    (I guess nMP doesn't agree with the 10.9.1 install from the old MP.)
  7. unfragile macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2013
    Did you loose anything that was preinstalled?
  8. sand84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2014
    No, it kept the software. I already had a clone made though, always a good idea.
  9. unfragile macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2013
    Nice to know. I will do the same when my nMacPro arrives (by February).

    Thank you.
  10. ampakine macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    Sounds too good to be true!

    Hold alt during startup --> select Recovery Mode with the external plugged in.
    Reinstall MAC OS X --> point it towards the external, let it reinstall 10.9.1.

    I'm right now eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new
    "late 2013" Mac Pro. I would like to preserve ALL of my
    rather eccentric and customized software as is (not just
    whatever Migration/Setup Assistant deems necessary).

    I'm tying to understand if the above will work for me.
    Here's what I would like to accomplish:

    1. Clone my current Mac Pro OSX to an external disk.
    2. Upgrade the cloned os x to the latest (Mavericks)
    3. Copy/restore the upgraded osx back to the new Mac Pro.

    My question is this: doesn't the "reinstall" step above wipe out
    the cloned osx? Isn't what you want to do is "upgrade" your
    current system, not "restore" it.

    I would really appreciate any further elucidation,


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