Using an External Hard drive as a bootable drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by johng723, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. johng723 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I was wondering how I can use an external hard drive as a bootable drive for Leopard and Windows OS. I'm looking to see how I can hook up the external drive, then use it to reinstall the OS if need be. I know that at the Apple genius bar, they use one to install different versions of Mac OS on computers.

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. S600MBUSA macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #2
    As long as you're using an Intel Mac, you can use a USB or Firewire external hard drive.

    You'll probably want to create a partition large enough to back-up all the data on the Mac you want a bootable copy for. The partition should be created in the Mac OS X Extended (journaled) format.

    Then I would advise downloading a back-up utility like SuperDuper (free, but you lose a little functionality compared with the licensed version). If you use SuperDuper, you'll just open it up, select the HD you want to copy and where you want to copy it to, and let it do its thing. It will make a copy of your entire hard drive to the external drive.

    Then whenever you want, you can press the proper key while starting up to enable you the choice of which drive to boot from. If you boot from the external HD, everything should look and be exactly the same as normal.

    If your Mac's normal hard drive is ever erase, you can simply boot from the external, use Super Duper to copy the external drive to the internal one, and you have everything back.
     
  3. johng723 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Cool, thanks! Would I be able to do that with both the Windows side AND the Mac side of the computer?
     
  4. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    Nov 6, 2007
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    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #4
  5. MarlboroLite macrumors 6502a

    MarlboroLite

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    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    the 13 colonies
    #5
    Can Time Machine boot from the external too? I just switched to mac and I am comfused as to what is the best way to back up....
     
  6. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #6
    Would have thought so as its included in the OS,but then id think you would only need it if daisy chaining the drives
     

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