6 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2006 8:21 PM by Majordadusma
Mitch Monyak Level 1 (5 points)
Has anyone tried useing an External firewire hard drive as the main start up hard drive? If so any problems? Also how reliable are external firewire hard drives?

700mhz Imac G4, Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • Rogue Crew Level 1 (5 points)
    Yeah, I've recently started using a LaCie Porsche 160GB FW as my startup drive and I'm having a little problem - but only a little problem.

    My specs: iMac 1.25 GHz 1 GB RAM. 2 Drives:
    "ROGUE" (internal)
    "NEON" (external)
    I have set "Startup Disk" in System Preferences on both drives to make NEON the startup drive. All is well on Restart, but if I Shut Down, Rogue becomes the boot volume, and I have to Restart. Most of the time, I just put the iMac to sleep, but occasionally, I shut down, then after the usual long wait, I have to restart. It's only annoying, but I wish I could fix it.

    iMac G4 20 Mac OS X (10.4)

    iMac G4 20   Mac OS X (10.4)  
  • Androcles Level 3 (535 points)
    I did it with a copy of my system made with SuperDuper! It's an exact copy, but I noticed a considerable speed difference. The external drive only spins at 5400rpm, so that's another factor. Worked fine, but I probably wouldn't want to run my daily operations off of it...
  • Duane Level 10 (120,839 points)
    Sure, I have been doing it for a long time. I have encountered no problems and the external drive is just as reliable as the internal drive.

    The external drive is an IOGear 7200 RPM, 160 GB drive.
  • Majordadusma Level 6 (9,425 points)
    Other than FW speed perhaps being slower than that of the internal drive, you should have no problems. The only thing I can think of that might be worthy of note is that if you use FW target disk mode, you won't be able to see the external drive, since FW TDM only sees the primary internal drive...

  • Duane Level 10 (120,839 points)
    In my experience the external Firewire drive provides as fast as, or faster, response than the internal drive.

    Instead of using FireWire target disk mode, connect the external Firewire drive to the other Mac directly.
  • Majordadusma Level 6 (9,425 points)
    Duane & All:

    I sure wasn't trying to make a case against FW boot drives and I hope that it didn't come across that way! I use them all the time without incident or reservation.

    From my own day-to-day experience with using both methods of booting/operating, I wouldn't (and don't) hesitate to boot and run from FW. I agree with you: I personally can't perceive a difference in speed in normal use. Internal ATA is supposedly faster, for those who'd bicker about what may be trivial differences in practical use.

    I mentioned FW TDM only because folks get caught by surprise when they change a boot drive to slave or FW and find out after-the-fact that they can't see the drive when attempting to troubleshoot or otherwise access it with that method, not understanding what the problem is.


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