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Thunderbolt Supports Booting From External Disk

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Ever since Apple and Intel introduced the Thunderbolt high-speed data connectivity standard back in late February, there has been speculation about whether the standard would support booting from external disks. At that initial release on revamped MacBook Pros, Andy Ihnatko reported that booting was not supported, although Target Disk Mode was supported. But a report from The Mac Observer early last month indicated that booting from disk would be supported over Thunderbolt.

With Apple's Thunderbolt cable and the first third-party drive systems hitting the Apple Store yesterday, Apple posted a few support articles outlining some of the Thunderbolt functionality, but failing to disclose any booting capabilities and thus leaving potential customers still in the dark about compatibility.


AnandTech's 12 TB Promise RAID setup

It now appears, however, that we do have confirmation that booting over Thunderbolt is supported, as we received word yesterday from a reader who had received multiple confirmations from LaCie representatives that the feature will indeed be supported. Meanwhile, AnandTech has already received one of the new 12 TB RAID systems from Promise and confirms that booting over Thunderbolt is supported.

Article Link: Thunderbolt Supports Booting From External Disk
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MoreAwesomeDanU

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2010
235
85
sweet! now i won't have to take my imac apart to get a ssd drive in there for the os and all the apps
 
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2 Replies

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2010
180
0
There's really no reason why it shouldn't.
If Apple expects their proprietary cable to become a defacto standard they can't be imposing restrictions just to protect their precious... (OSX).
 
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Noiseboy

macrumors regular
Dec 25, 2002
213
18
Lurking nearby.
While it's good to know that it is indeed supported it will be some time before it comes down into my price range though hopefully more and more peripherals will spring up in the coming weeks/months.
 
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0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
1,745
828
here and there but not over there
Anything else would have been a big fail.

This is the beauty of MacOS that you can easily clone (a live running) system to external drives and than boot up the same (or complete different Mac) from that image. Would have been sad not to support this.
 
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gmcalpin

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2008
462
74
Somerville, MA
Sweet! Now I just need to wait for OWC to make Thunderbolt enclosures and Monoprice to make Thunderbolt cables, and I can buy an iMac instead of a Mac Pro for my next computer.
 
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gmcalpin

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2008
462
74
Somerville, MA
There's really no reason why it shouldn't.
If Apple expects their proprietary cable to become a defacto standard they can't be imposing restrictions just to protect their precious... (OSX).
…Proprietary?

The fact that they are currently the only people making them doesn't mean it's proprietary.
 
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shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,403
206
Purcellville, VA
I'm sorry, but this alone is worth the "absurd" $50 cable.
I assume that other manufacturers will start shipping TB cables for less money.

Just like an HDMI cable that sells for $75 at a retail store can be purchased for $10 from other suppliers, I expect that in a few months, we'll be able to find TB cables selling in the $5-10 range.
 
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Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
3,504
1,266
Sweet! Now I just need to wait for OWC to make Thunderbolt enclosures and Monoprice to make Thunderbolt cables, and I can buy an iMac instead of a Mac Pro for my next computer.

Agreed. The need for MacPros is diminishing. A few more years and a low-end Air will be snappy enough for most current programs and with Thunderbolt it will be an excellent portable that expands to a snappy desktop.
 
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soco

Contributor
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
116
Yardley, PA
I assume that other manufacturers will start shipping TB cables for less money.

Just like an HDMI cable that sells for $75 at a retail store can be purchased for $10 from other suppliers, I expect that in a few months, we'll be able to find TB cables selling in the $5-10 range.

Oh I don't doubt this at all. I just meant that for now, people are bugging out about Apple's, when it should be obvious that they'd charge the premium as you can't get the cable elsewhere.

Yet.
 
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uncle.zed

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2009
46
23
YES!!! 2xOCZ vertex 3 with SATA 3 RAID 0 in small TB box behind my iMac27". YEAS please/.
 
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blesscheese

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2010
695
176
Central CA
Agreed. The need for MacPros is diminishing. A few more years and a low-end Air will be snappy enough for most current programs and with Thunderbolt it will be an excellent portable that expands to a snappy desktop.

You know, I knew there was a reason why they put all that bloat in the software...your vision of the future would definitely cramp sales at the high end of the market.

Seriously, as pointed out, anything less than being able to boot off an external drive via TB would have been a huge fail.
 
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macbwizard

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2005
282
54
Um... any modern mac can boot from USB as well as FW, not sure why anyone expected TB to be any different.
 
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*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
So now we *like* Thunderbolt?

Yesterday a lot of you panned it as a failure or approaching one, and now it's "I WANT."

Gotta love the usual MR crew.
 
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8CoreWhore

macrumors 68020
Jan 17, 2008
2,281
409
Big D
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

I like it.
 
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Stente

macrumors newbie
Dec 19, 2007
12
0
iMac + external SSD = win?

So this means I can buy a SSD external drive for my iMac and boot up through it?

I would greatly appreciate an answer :eek: ?
 
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ratsg

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2010
336
9
Its not proprietary, and its not Apple's. It's Intel's.

Didn't we have a story last week where either HP or Sony was adding Thunderbolt technology to their systems, but under a different name?


There's really no reason why it shouldn't.
If Apple expects their proprietary cable to become a defacto standard they can't be imposing restrictions just to protect their precious... (OSX).
 
Comment

bmk

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2007
165
13
Paris
Um... any modern mac can boot from USB as well as FW, not sure why anyone expected TB to be any different.

The point is that Thunderbolt speeds would mean it would be as fast or faster than your internal hard drive. Yes it's possible to boot with a firewire disk but it's not practical to use it in any real sense to work on.
 
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Nanker/Phelge

macrumors regular
Dec 6, 2010
168
1
Does anyone with a TB Macbook Pro/iMac and another non TB comp have TB cable in hand yet? If so can you check if Target Disk Mode works via the Mini Displayport jack?
 
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