Running off an external hard drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mickoin, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. mickoin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #1
    Mac crew, hypothetical; say one has a macbook pro who's logic board carps itself. Nothing can be done. It's a goner. However, the hard drive is still good. Say that same person removes the hard drive puts it in a case and buys a new iMac. Say there are some programmes on the macbook pro hard drive that can't be copied across to the new iMac. Would there be a way for that person to boot up his iMac using the macbook pro hard drive connected via firewire as the main hard drive? Effectively rendering the iMac just a display to... well display what's on the computer he really wants to use? Would that be possible?
     
  2. brijazz macrumors 6502

    brijazz

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #2
    Yup, that's an easy one:

    1) Connect your external drive to your iMac
    2) Open "System Preferences" and select "Startup Disk"
    3) Choose your external drive from the list, and hit "Restart".

    Your iMac will now be booting off of the external drive, and everything should appear as it did when you were using your MacBook.
     
  3. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #3
    It might work, but then again, it might not. The only way to know is to try it.

    The iMac and the Macbook Pro have different video cards, and that might cause a hang when trying to boot.
     
  4. Lokrado macrumors regular

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    Jan 26, 2009
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4
    -.- ignorance is blizz i see

    of course it will work, OS X contains all the drivers for all the hardware they ever supported (discluding legacy hardware). Done this a billion times when rescuing data from broken macs
     
  5. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #5
    Have you even considered that that iMac has a video card that was not yet supported when that MacBook Pro was manufactured?
     
  6. emaja macrumors 68000

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    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #6
    Software Update will grab the mew drivers when you run it. The basic display drivers will work in the meantime.

    Heck, you probably would be able to even clone the drive over and be back where you were when the MBP crashed - old programs and everything.
     
  7. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #7
    People are making comments based on assumptions. The new iMac will have Snow Leopard. The old MacBook Pro most likely has Leopard. A software update to Leopard will NOT install the video drivers that are in Snow Leopard.

    Where are you going to clone the drive to? I hope you do not think you can clone that drive to the new iMac!

    Me thinketh people speaketh before thinketh!
     
  8. emaja macrumors 68000

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    May 3, 2005
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    Chicago, IL
    #8
    ...and you have made an assumption as well.

    Pot, meet kettle - LOL!

    We do need clarification from OP.
     
  9. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #9
    Reality: new iMac loaded with Snow Leopard
    Reality: MacBook Pro with a broken logic board would have Leopard loaded. If it had Snow Leopard loaded, it would still be in Apple warranty and would be repaired free by Apple.

    So, what assumption have I made?

    Logical deduction reasoning is not that difficult!
     
  10. bobnugget macrumors regular

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    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, England
    #10
    So if I loaded snow leopard on my original MBP it would be back in warranty?
     
  11. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #11
    Edit: I love your sarcasm.

    But, just in case you are for real, the Apple warranty is for one year from date of purchase, but you already knew that. Naturally, you would need to provide a purchase receipt.
     
  12. emaja macrumors 68000

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    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #12
    Since you went there, reading comprehension is not that difficult either. I don't see where the OS is mentioned, therefore you made an assumption.

    If the OS on the MBP is Leopard, the new iMac that is preloaded with SL will not boot. If SL was installed on the MBP the a simple drive cloning will work.

    No need to be snarky.
     
  13. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #13
    Post #4 and #6 refer to the OS.
     
  14. emaja macrumors 68000

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    May 3, 2005
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    Chicago, IL
    #14
    Neither #4 nor #6 say what version of OSX are being run by OP.

    We are going back and forth, but OP needs to say what is being run in order to get the right answer.
     
  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
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    Singapore
    #15
    first - the external hard drive must use firewire interfaces, USB is no longer supported for booting.

    secondly - dont mix and match hardware, in theory it works but in pratice it never will.

    whats the best idea is to create a boot drive NOW, not later :)
     
  16. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    Aug 26, 2009
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    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #16
    ??

    I'm 100% sure that USb is still supported for booting.

    Heck, you can even boot from a SD card on MBPs, and the card reader is plugged on a USB lane inside the computer.
     
  17. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #17
    Superduper the laptop drive over to the new iMac.

    done. The imac is now a clone of your old macbook and you don't have to bother with any externals or booting from an external or anything.
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #18
    hmmmmms. i was sure that they dropped USB bootability support. but your SD arguement proves me wrong i guess :p nice thinking
     
  19. mickoin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 16, 2008
    #19
    usb bootability is a negative. Just got the apple symbol, after 8 hours i decided that it probably was never going to work.

    yes - currently Imac is on snow lep.
    MBP was the os before.

    will "superduper-ing" my drive over to the imac be a problem with the different os? and what does it do to my current hard drive? I hope it doesn't replace everything rather dump next to it.
    Could I partition my imac hard drive then run both os's and select on start up... sort of like bootcamp. Or is that just the dumbest thing you've ever heard?
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Singapore
    #20
    you can most certainly do that :) backup the hard drive - insert OSX disc, run Disk Utility from in there, partition, then install each OS :)
     
  21. brijazz macrumors 6502

    brijazz

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #21
    You might want to try using Migration Assistant to "integrate" data from your MBP drive with your existing iMac drive.
     
  22. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #22
    Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6: How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac



    Btw, DoFoT9, where have you heard, that booting from a USB device has been discontinued?

    The following document (Starting from an external USB storage device (Intel-based Macs)) only lists 10.4 and 10.5 as affected products. Hmm. I don't remember if I ever booted from a USB HDD since upgrading to 10.6, but knowing my computational habits, I might have.
     
  23. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #23
    Spinns: I'm not sure. For some reason I always thought that was the case. I guess not. Thinking back now I know 10.5 can boot via usb
     
  24. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #24
    I installed Snow Leopard to my newest Hackintosh using a USB flash drive. But that does not prove that a Mac can be booted from USB or not.
     
  25. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
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    Singapore
    #25
    That's true, but I am now fairly confident that you CAN boot from USB. :) my brain is weird.
     

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