Purpose of running OSX from an external drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ndriver182, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    I was listening to one of Leo Laporte's podcasts the other day (I'm sure many of you know who he is) and he was talking to a caller about running an external hard drive through firewire for his iMac to increase HD access speed and to have a significantly larger drive for storage. He mentioned that over a firewire connection you can actually boot OSX off that removable drive. My question is this, is there any point to doing this with a MBP? I have a couple of external drives for storage purposes, but they only have USB 2.0 connections. If I installed OSX on an external hard drive and then took my laptop somewhere without my external drive what exactly would I do since the laptop wouldn't have OSX on it? Sorry for the newb questions, but they didn't really have time to go into a lot of details on the radio program.
  2. FJ218700 macrumors 68000


    Mar 8, 2007
    Blue Dot, Red State
    let's say you have a Mac at home and one at work. If you run the system off a 2.5 inch external all day at work, shut down, put the drive in your pocket, and boot from it again at home, It's like you have only one computer and everything is synchronized.

    I did this for a a few years with Panther.
  3. A Cute Baby Lam macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2007
    I boot my 12" PB from an external HD, but only because the internal drive failed and it was cheaper to use an external drive than get the internal one replaced.
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    It's an excellent technique for troubleshooting, forensics, and security.
  5. ndriver182 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    So it sounds like there really isn't a practical point of me doing something like this since I don't have a mac at work and only have the MBP at home. Unless I really just wanted faster hard drive access speeds and capacity, correct? Also, if I did that, the notebook would be useless without the external drive attached, right? In other words, if I took the notebook to the livingroom, friends place, parent's house... whatever, I'd have to bring the drive with me to even operate the computer at all.
  6. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2006
    Yes, that is correct. You might like to make a bootable backup of you machine, though. This way, if your internal drive fails you can boot to the external and continue using the machine.

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