Possible to install OS X and boot from 5gen iPod?

VoodooDaddy

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Original poster
May 14, 2003
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On an intel machine:

basically want to know if OSX can be installed on ipod, computer rebooted, and the ipod selected as the boot drive.

If so, how do you do this? Im still new to macs so if it can be done I need an "idiots guide" how to do it. Thanks.
 

iJawn108

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2006
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On an intel machine:

basically want to know if OSX can be installed on ipod, computer rebooted, and the ipod selected as the boot drive.

If so, how do you do this? Im still new to macs so if it can be done I need an "idiots guide" how to do it. Thanks.
I doubt I'm pretty sure OS X resets USB while Booting.
 

Blubbert

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2006
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I dont know about OSX, but i know you cant install a bootable version of Linux on an iPod. The boot manager that you get when you hold alt on startup shows the ipod, but it wont boot anything off it. I do know that on intel macs USB disks can be used as a bootable drive, so you could try your experiment with an usb or firewire external disk.
 

kinchee87

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2007
189
4
New Zealand
I've been able to put OS X on an external usb drive and boot from it, so I'd say you'd be able to boot OS X from an iPod.
 

VoodooDaddy

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Original poster
May 14, 2003
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156 views, only 5 replies. Does anyone know if you can install OSX to a USB ipod and boot from it on an intel mac?? Id like to know before I go and reformat my ipod only to find it wont work.
 

Hustle

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2007
762
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USA
It wouldn't let me select my iPod as a device to install OSx onto. It had a red mark through it.
 

VoodooDaddy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 14, 2003
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After searching the internet for several days I finally came across 1 post at another forum Id never been to that details how to do it. Yes, you can install OSX to a usb ipod and run off that.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,167
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Cascadia
As others have mentioned, and I can confirm from personal testing, you can boot OS X from an iPod. I have done it with a nano as well as a 30 GB 3G iPod. (Took a lot of work to shrink Tiger down to 4 GB to fit on my nano, though.)

The trick is to do the install to an internal drive, (which, yes, means wiping your internal drive if you have only one, and it has more stuff there than will fit on your iPod,) then using a tool like CarbonCopyCloner to copy your internal hard drive to the iPod.

One caveat. If you are using an Intel Mac, you will have to repartition your iPod using Disk Utility, making sure to select 'GUID Partition Table' under 'options'. This has the effect of making the iPod unusable as an iPod, though. (iPods will only work if they are 'Apple Partition Map' for a Mac-only iPod, or 'Master Boot Record' for a Windows-compatible iPod.) That is correct, if you try to use the iPod's interface, it will give you an error. I haven't tried, but it would seem possible to boot a PowerPC Mac from an 'Apple Partition Map'ped iPod, and still retain iPod functionality.
 

masse

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2007
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MA/GA
I installed OSX from a seperate partition on my hard drive...seemd to be the easiest way.
 

Alex3231

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2007
36
0
West Hartford, CT
If you want to use the iPod only as an external, and not an iPod anymore you can turn it into a osx drive by going into Disk Utility.

From in there, click the iPod in the left window. You want to select the Orange USB drive, not the old partition.

You next select the third tab labeled Partition. From within this window, select options..., and once this opens select the GUID Partition Table. Press okay, and then click Partition.

After this I highly recommend going to the Erase tab and erasing the iPod with the Mac Os Extended (Journaled) selection.

Now you can boot your computer from the tiger dvd and select the iPod as the destination hard disk.

I actually set up an usb external hard drive as a storage/utility drive. What you can do is store programs like Disc Warrior and other disk utility programs on it to maintain your internal drive.
 

BiikeMike

macrumors 65816
Sep 17, 2005
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Aren't there cheaper portable 30 and 80 gig drives that don't involve ruining an iPod?
 

iToaster

macrumors 68000
May 3, 2007
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In front of my MacBook Pro
Aren't there cheaper portable 30 and 80 gig drives that don't involve ruining an iPod?
while quite true, if you have an iPod you don't want to use as an iPod anymore... you know. I had toyed around with the idea of a flash boot of OS X (with a 32 Gb express card) but the memory is too expensive... iPod nano boot people, how did the whole process work with the flash memory?
 

VoodooDaddy

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Original poster
May 14, 2003
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Aren't there cheaper portable 30 and 80 gig drives that don't involve ruining an iPod?
Ive got 2 external hdds, one a usb 250gb, one a firewire 320gb. But both are about 3/4 full of data so reformatting either of those was not an option. The ipod isnt going to be running OSX for extended periods of time so Im not too concerned about burning up the drive.
 

cashel

macrumors member
Oct 30, 2006
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does this actually 'ruin' the ipod? Couldn't I just switch the partition table back and reload ipod software onto it and have an ipod like before?
 

VoodooDaddy

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Original poster
May 14, 2003
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does this actually 'ruin' the ipod? Couldn't I just switch the partition table back and reload ipod software onto it and have an ipod like before?
Just hook up, open iTunes, do a restore, and its back to its former iPod state.