Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: May 18, 2013 8:22 AM by studyplenty
resonator79 Level 1 Level 1

Here's an interesting thing I noticed with both my Macbook Pros:

While I can boot from an external USB DVD drive with the original optical drive still in the device, once it's removed and replaced by a second hard drive I can't anymore. Same with USB keys.

Can anybody confirm this? And - is there a workaround in way shape or form?

Macbook Pro Early 2009, Mac OS X (10.5.8), -
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9
    Classic Mac OS

    USB booting is relatively new to the Mac platform.  Mac OS X couldn't boot Macs from USB on PowerPC Macs except for a very limited number of drives.    You may have either encountered a drive whose firmware has never been updated, or you might have found a bug with your Optibay, which needs to be consulted with the Optibay manufacturer.

  • resonator79 Level 1 Level 1

    The Optibay doesn't "do" anything, it's just a case that's shaped exactly like a superdrive which holds a 2,5" hd. There's no controller chip or so, it's a straight SATA->SATA connection.

    As for the drive - neither a Macbook Air Superdrive nor the original superdrive in an external enclosure does work.

  • a brody Level 9 Level 9
    Classic Mac OS

    The Optibay is not an Apple Product.  Take it up with the manufacturer and ask if they have ever noticed these side effects.

  • resonator79 Level 1 Level 1

    Gee, "a brody", thanks a bunch for that info! I wasn't aware ... Correct me if I'm wrong, but an answer like this sounds an aweful lot like a f-off to me. This is your definition of "community"?


    This is perfectly legit here. The behaviour is the exactly same WITH or WITHOUT the Optibay present. And why wouldn't it be that way, the Optibay doesn't do anything, it just sits there and holds a HD in place. The only reason I mentioned it was to get the "why don't you have the internal drive in there" questions out of the way beforehand.

    Now, this is about booting off an external DVD drive (also by Apple) without the original optical drive present. Let's just say the original drive breaks, and since I don't use it I won't replace it, just remove it. The Macbook Pro just shouldn't behave that way.

    And I was merely asking if somebody could confirm the behaviour and/or had a workaround.

  • MacRS4 Level 2 Level 2

    I've noted this behaviour in my 2009, 2010 and now 2011 models. Now, the fact is I put the OptiBay in meaning that I wanted to boot from an external USB - I think this is why the assumption is it's something to do with the OptiBay.


    It isn't.


    My 17" 2011 MBP is sitting right here OptiBay less with it's normal SuperDrive in place - and guess what, I still can't boot from any of the my 3 external DVD drives. It's nothing to do with the OptiBay.


    Thing is, if you don't have the OptiBay in why don't you just boot from the internal SuperDrive......


    I feel your pain, it's really frustrating. If I want to put a fresh Boot Camp build on, or even boot from the DVD to run any utlities I have to strip the machine down and put the SuperDrive back in.


    I think the OptiBay is effectively a red-herring here. It's not causing the problem technically - it's irrelevant from what I can see. Well, unless you accept 'causing' to mean putting the OptiBay in 'causes' you to remove the DVD drive

  • MacRS4 Level 2 Level 2

    For what it's worth my 2009 Mac Mini and my 2010 Macbook Air, and my 2011 iMac all boot from external DVDs.


    None of my 2009, 10 and 2011 pro's have ever been able to.

  • MacRS4 Level 2 Level 2

    And on an unrelated point, I think I've just worked out why I'm poor

  • craigyk Level 1 Level 1

    I'd like to confirm I'm having the exact same problem.  It is also discussed here.


    Bottom line:  I have an Intel X25 SSD installed in my 2011 15" MBP and the only disk I can boot from my external USB DVD drive is the OS X install CD.  Any other OS CD I've tried (Fedora,Windows,FreeDOS) does not boot.  They look like they try, but just hang on a blank screen.  They will boot if the SSD drive is removed.  I understand that I'm using a somewhat rarer configuration, but I think this must be a bug, probably on Apple's side.   It would be nice if it could be fixed in an OS/firmware update. 

  • Mac Medic ( Level 6 Level 6

    I removed the optical drive from my new 2011 MBP, moved the stock drive in that bay and installed a SSD drive in the main HD bay. I bought a cheap external optical drive enclosure off eBay and put the SuperDrive in there. Then I went and tested it. I plugged the drive in the USB port, stuck a copy of DiskWarrior in it and it booted fine. Then I put the OS X install disc and it boot fine also.  



    You might try resetting your SMC and PRAM.


    Resetting the System Management Controller  >>




    17" 2.2GHz i7 Quad-Core MacBook Pro  8G RAM  750G HD + OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Boot HD 
  • craigyk Level 1 Level 1

    I have the ~same configuration:  80GB Intel X25M in the main HD bay and a 750GB seagate in the old superdrive bay.


    I'll try that, but I don't have problems booting the OS X DVDs, just the DVD/CD for any other OS.  They boot if the SSD is removed though.... but that isn't very practical, especially since one of the things I was trying to boot was the SSD firmware update CD.


    EDIT:  I can confirm that resetting the SMC did not fix the problem.

  • trifero Level 1 Level 1

    I can confirm this. The New Macbook Pro is able to boot any OS suitable for install from DVD. If you remove the Dvd unit, let´s say for an Optibay, the only OS able to boot from USB is Mac Os.

  • moshen Level 1 Level 1

    Can confirm the same thing here, replaced optical drive with HD and SSD in main drive. 2011 MBP and cannot boot off any USB CD drive. So annoying!!

  • svkrzn Level 1 Level 1

    So the solution is to not replace superdrive with optibay? I rarely use superdrive. If i get into trouble and need to use my mac osx cd i won't be able to do so?


    And what about MB Air that does not have the superdrive at all?

  • trifero Level 1 Level 1

    I had a 2011 MBP. Replaced the de optic drive with a SSD .Also the original hard drive. Never had any problem on booting over USB, optic, hard drive or flash drive.

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