Take drive out of iMac and boot a Mac mini with it

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by octomac, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. octomac macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2011
    My iMac died and pulled the 3tb drive out of it. Put it in a mini stack max enclosure and hooked it up to my Mac mini via usb3. The drive is not seen when I hold down option on start. Once I boot the drive can be seen and I can even set it as my startup disk but it won't boot off of that.

    Are the iMac and mini boot drives compatible?
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    hmm - not the same. But recently I took out a SSD from my cMBP and placed it in my Mac Mini and everything worked right away.
  3. octomac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2011
    Both machines are on Yosemite for what it's worth.
  4. octomac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2011
    Quick update ... When drive is connected with fw800 it will boot and run. Not sure why usb3 is not working.
  5. octomac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2011
    A few more notes for people that might have this same issue in the future. I bought Seagate backup plus 4tb drive and it was not recognized at boot time even after formatting it. I did a clean install of yosemite on it and it was found at boot up and seemed to perform well however this drive has a built it fan which is annoying so its going back to costco.

    I have still not been able to get the old mac mini drive to boot in the mini stack max when using usb3. I bought this at the other world computing garage sale and it is not refundable so I guess its headed to ebay soon. Anyone considering this enclosure should think twice. The fan is pretty loud compared to the mini.

    My next step is to try a pluggable usb3 lay flat dock to see if that will boot my old drive. Not sure where to go after that.
  6. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    I have several cheap USB3 enclosures ($19) LOGiiX, these have always worked well as boot drives.
    Your pluggable usb3 lay flat dock should function just fine.

  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    There are -some- external docks and enclosures "out there" that just don't seem to support booting in all circumstances.

    Almost all do, but now and then one stumbles onto a combination that just "won't work". This probably has something to do with the controller board or controller chip on the device.

    I had that problem with an OWC "Voyager" USB2/firewire docking station. It would boot in USB mode, but if I tried connecting it via Firewire to one of my Macs, it just wouldn't boot...

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