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Booting to an external hard drive on start-up

4430 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Jun 10, 2009 5:02 AM by pm9801 RSS
Melinda Lyons Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
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May 12, 2009 1:47 PM
My intel-based MacBook was backed up via Time Machine. Unfortunately, it was stolen. I have an older G-5 iMac, and I am trying to use it as a conduit between a formatted blank external hard-drive, and my hard drive that was my time machine. I have used my husband's MacBook Pro to "restore" the blank external hard drive from my time machine. Now here's the rub: When I try to program the old G-5 Mac to see the external hard drive as the start-up disk, the external hard drive does not show up on the screen system preferences>start up disk. It is a fire-wire, and it is hooked up and ready to go. How do I get the G5 to see this hard drive, so I can access it as my stolen MacBook????
iMac G5, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 7.8 GHz Power PC G5, 1 GB RAM
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,010 points)
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    May 12, 2009 2:15 PM (in response to Melinda Lyons)
    Sorry to hear about your stolen Mac. You may have to do part of the process you used over again. Note: The external drive must be a FireWire drive for it to be bootable on the iMac G5. If it is, you can consider the following.

    An iMac G5 is a PowerPC Mac. If the MacBook had Leopard, the iMac G5 should be able to boot the same system. However, there is one difference and it is the +partition map scheme+ used by the hard drive.

    Intel Macs use +GUID Partition Table+ by default. So if that external drive to which you restored the MacBook's system was formatted on an Intel Mac, it will use +GUID Partition Table+ by default.

    PowerPC Macs can access drives that use +GUID Partition Table+ (as long as the OS is Tiger or Leopard), but cannot start up from such drives. PowerPC Macs use +Apple Partition Map+ as the default +partition map scheme+, and need +Apple Partition Map+ for the drive to be bootable. (Intel Macs can boot from drives using either +Apple Partition Map+ or +GUID Partition Table+.)

    So the solution is to reformat (erase) that external drive while connected to your husband's MacBook Pro. Run Disk Utility and select the external drive (not the volume indented under the drive) in the sidebar and go to the Partition tab (instead of the Erase tab). Note if the +Partition Map Scheme+ shown at the bottom of the window is currently +GUID Partition Table+. If so, you need to change it. On the Partition tab, reset the +Volume Scheme+ to *1 Partition*. Click on the Options button. In the panel that drops down, select *Apple Partition Map* and OK. Back at the main window, name the volume and set the Format to *Mac OS Extended (Jourmaled)*. Click Apply.

    Repeat what you did before to restore your Time Machine archive to the external drive. This time, the external drive should be bootable on the iMac G5, so it should be a valid choice on System Preferences +Startup Disk+ pane.
    Various including Intel iMac, Power Mac G5, Pismo w/G4, Power Mac 8100 w/G3, Mac OS X (10.5.6), also Mac OS X 10.4.11, Mac OS X 10.3.9, and Mac OS 9.x
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,010 points)
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    May 12, 2009 2:32 PM (in response to Melinda Lyons)
    Please note the edit I made above about the drive needing to be a FireWire drive. If it is USB 2.0, it will probably not boot the iMac G5, no matter what the +partition map scheme+ is currently.

    I am again using TimeMachine to back up the new stuff on the old Power PC formated drive, will I be able to use time machine to restore my new MacBook Intel when I eventually buy it???


    I'm not sure you can continue to use the same Time Machine archive going forward. However, you should be able to use the same restore method (booting from the Mac OS X installation disc) to restore the existing Time Machine archive to the new MacBook. Alternately, since you have a bootable external drive with the restored system from the old MacBook, you could use a cloning utility (Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper) to clone that external drive volume to the new MacBook's internal drive (after starting up from the external drive). It may be worth a try, since you can always reinstall a fresh system on the new MacBook and start over.

    If the new MacBook is a different model, you want want to use its existing system, and migrate your personal data from your Time Machine archive using the Migration Assistant program. Leopard is an universal system, so your previous system (if up-to-date) should work on any supported Mac. But you never know...
    Various including Intel iMac, Power Mac G5, Pismo w/G4, Power Mac 8100 w/G3, Mac OS X (10.5.6), also Mac OS X 10.4.11, Mac OS X 10.3.9, and Mac OS 9.x
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,010 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2009 12:29 PM (in response to Melinda Lyons)
    And it is a FireWire drive, correct?

    Is that external drive able to boot the MacBook Pro (or at least appear as a startup choice on it)?

    I have used my husband's MacBook Pro to "restore" the blank external hard drive from my time machine.


    I never asked how you did that... Did you start up from a Leopard installation disc and use the command under Installer's Utilities menu to +Restore System From Backup+ ? You cannot restore a complete volume using the +flying through space+ interface; that is just for restoring specific items, such as files and folders.
    Various including Intel iMac, Power Mac G5, Pismo w/G4, Power Mac 8100 w/G3, Mac OS X (10.5.6), also Mac OS X 10.4.11, Mac OS X 10.3.9, and Mac OS 9.x
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,010 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2009 1:45 PM (in response to Melinda Lyons)
    Let me summarize, to make sure nothing was missed:

    The external drive is FireWire, not USB 2.0.

    When you run Disk Utility and select the external drive in the sidebar, the +Partition Map Scheme+ at the bottom of the windows says +Apple Partition Map+, not +GUID Partition Table+.

    The iMac G5 can access to the drive when you connect it, but it does not show up as a startup choice in System Preferences +Startup Disk+ pane.

    The MacBook Pro can access it and select it as a startup choice.

    If the above points are confirmed, instead of using System Preferences +Startup Disk+ pane, try restarting with the Option key held down (with the external drive connected). This should give you Startup Manager. All of your available options for startup volume should be shown. If the system on the external drive is shown, select it and click on the continue arrow.
    Various including Intel iMac, Power Mac G5, Pismo w/G4, Power Mac 8100 w/G3, Mac OS X (10.5.6), also Mac OS X 10.4.11, Mac OS X 10.3.9, and Mac OS 9.x
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,010 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2009 2:30 PM (in response to Melinda Lyons)
    Not sure why it's not working. Granted, I've never tried to do exactly what you are trying to do, especially between an Intel Mac and PowerPC Mac.

    What OS does the iMac G5 have on the internal drive? You should be able to boot it normally and access your data on the external drive, even copy it off to the iMac's drive.
    Various including Intel iMac, Power Mac G5, Pismo w/G4, Power Mac 8100 w/G3, Mac OS X (10.5.6), also Mac OS X 10.4.11, Mac OS X 10.3.9, and Mac OS 9.x
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,010 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2009 3:45 PM (in response to Melinda Lyons)
    I was just saying that you can access the files from the restored external drive connected over FireWire, and just run the iMac G5 normally (with its current system). Sounds like you were doing that already, except using your Time Machine archive drive instead.

    If I try to "restore" from my Time Machine, backed up from my MacBook onto my G5, will that work?


    It might work, as long as you have a Leopard disc (retail) that can boot the iMac G5. But if the restored system does not boot (for the same reason the external does not boot), you'll have to reinstall a fresh system on the iMac G5.

    but I can't bring up programs from the time machine onto the G5.


    Can't you install those programs on the G5 separately, from the original discs or downloads?
    Various including Intel iMac, Power Mac G5, Pismo w/G4, Power Mac 8100 w/G3, Mac OS X (10.5.6), also Mac OS X 10.4.11, Mac OS X 10.3.9, and Mac OS 9.x
  • pm9801 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 10, 2009 5:02 AM (in response to Melinda Lyons)
    Hi,
    I've had a similar problem getting an iMac G5 to boot from an external FW drive iomega ultramax pro.
    The difference is that I was seeing the drive in start-up preferences but it was still not booting from it.
    Is your external drive one of those enclosures with 2 in-built hard drive units? Mine is.
    The top drive in it was formerly my Time Machine backup - GUID partition map. I was trying to boot from the lower drive (Apple Partition Map) without success. I then guessed that the unit was presenting the top drive to the iMac first, so the iMac was ignoring the other drive in the enclosure at boot. When I physically swapped them round, suddenly the APM drive was available as a boot drive.

    I've not seen anyone mention this anywhere else.
    Good luck

    --
    Phil
    Mac OS X (10.5.7), RISC OS 4.39

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