11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 23, 2009 1:43 PM by Steve Zavodny
Steve Zavodny Level 1 (85 points)
How do you know what version Mac OSX is on ANOTHER drive without starting that drive
and seeing the system profiler? In fact, because the drive wont start up, Now I am wondering if it is pre-intel. ? CMD-I doesn't do it. Thanks

MP 8c, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Niel Level 10 (298,501 points)
    Open the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences and see what's noted for that drive, or retrieve the build from the System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist file.

    (49390)
  • Steve Zavodny Level 1 (85 points)
    very nice thank you.
    hmm, now why wouldn't that disk start up? It defers to some other.
  • Steve Zavodny Level 1 (85 points)
    OK its not a guid partition. Gotta fix that
  • dechamp Level 4 (3,490 points)
    One possibility for why the machine won't boot is also that the OS may be a version that was used before your machine was made. Mac's can not boot from an OS from before they were manufactured. In fact some machines require a specific version of an OS like 10.2.4 or 10.5.2 and will not boot from 10.2.1 or 10.5.0

    I've seen this on PowerMac's with upgraded video cards that were not considered with the proper video drivers on earlier releases of the OS.

    BTW, what OS are you running? Your profile says 10.5.7?
  • Steve Zavodny Level 1 (85 points)
    hmm, after partitioning to GUID, the snow leopard install disk does not even recognize the reformatted disks or volumes available for installation. Odder yet the system profiler shows these drives on the parallel SCSI device tree. These are my eSATA drives plugged into a PCI SeriTek/2SE2-E controller card.
    Neither does the start up disk preference pane.
  • dechamp Level 4 (3,490 points)
    One of the reasons I don't bother using eSATA cards and drives is that they are very spotty with booting MacOS. Apple does not specifically support this, just Firewire and now USB also for Intel Mac's.

    Some cards have advertised that they can boot a Mac, but OS's change and they do not...

    According to this page, that card was designed to be able to boot MacOS on a G5 or PPC Mac: http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/amug/reviews/articles/firmtek/2se2e/

    I don't know if they support this on an Intel Mac with Snow Leopard. In addition, Firmtek has new drivers for the card and Snow Leopard: http://www.firmtek.com/download/

    but if you need drivers to see a card, or the drives, then it probably won't be able to boot a Mac.

    Here's the write-up on their new driver: http://www.storagenewsletter.com/news/connection/firmtek-apple-snow-leopard-comp atible-driver - The word "boot" is not on the page, so I'm not sure.

    Interesting page about eSata and Snow Leopard: http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/1051087
  • Steve Zavodny Level 1 (85 points)
    OK this is good thank you.
    I'm afraid to try the new driver yet cuz it's vacation time to go; we'll see.
    Why mess with this? Well, I got the HDDs and the enclosure from my previous PPC, so I'd like to make use of it all without $pending again.
  • dechamp Level 4 (3,490 points)
    Why mess with this? Well, I got the HDDs and the enclosure from my previous PPC, so I'd like to make use of it all without $pending again.


    I don't see any problems with using the card and drives on your new Mac. Hardware is too pricey to just leave behind if you can't help it. With the new drivers I suspect you'll be able to use your drives, I just don't think you'll be able to boot from them if the interface card requires drivers. They should still be very fast storage devices, and probably reliable due to the ongoing support the vendor has provided.

    I went through the same type of issue when I bought my Dual G4 1.42 Tower (upgraded from a Quadra 840AV ). Several of my devices were SCSI (I was into SCSI Wide/Fast drive arrays at the time for video capture), and I was able to use an Adaptec card for scanning for several years with Jaguar and Panther. I'd spent quite a bit of cash to ensure high quality and performance and didn't want to loose all of the investment. Eventually the SATA hard drives and other USB and Firewire replacements became so cheap and performance improved enough that loosing SCSI with Tiger was not a big deal. I do think I should get about 5 years of hardware compatibility with most products and I keep older Mac's around for dedicated services as long as they aren't a costly maintenance issue.
  • Steve Zavodny Level 1 (85 points)
    Thank you. So I cannot boot MacPro from those eSATA drives. Here is why, they said:

    "While the SeriTek/2SE2-E is bootable with a PowerMac G5 11-2 model it is not bootable
    with any Mac Pro model. The reason is the PowerMac G5 uses Open Firmware. The Mac Pro
    uses EFI instead and cannot read the open firmware code. Thus, the Mac Pro is not bootable
    with the FirmTek card."

    So, what a waste. Should I turn them into a scratch RAID (2 drives striped)? Does anyone know what kind of speed I would get vs. a raided scratch on 2 internal drives (striped)? How would I figure out the speed? is the eSATA bus speed standard on all these macs? etc.
  • dechamp Level 4 (3,490 points)
    Like I said at the first, I don't use eSATA, so I'd think you would want to start another thread based on these performance and use issues. There are probably quite a few other users with eSATA drives that are not checking this thread due to the title.

    We all tend to look down the list of questions to see if there is anything that we have some experience with. I don't look at some questions at all until they are marked "Solved" because I don't have a clue about the problem, and just want to learn the answer

    Good Luck.
  • Steve Zavodny Level 1 (85 points)
    roger; i suspected this might be your answer, against the slim possibility you happened to know.
    Thanks