Previous 1 2 Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Jan 18, 2014 11:40 AM by _LB
DFTeitel Level 1 (5 points)

I have a variety of external drives with universal Lion systems on them, and none of them connected via USB boots my MacBook Pro Retina. I don't have ability yet to connect by thunderbolt. Does anyone else have this problem, or knows of support. Applecare has yet to figure it out.

  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Are the system disks on those externals encrypted with FileVault 2?

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 (30,000 points)

    If none of them are connecting via USB ports or the Thunderbolt port, how are they connected?



  • DFTeitel Level 1 (5 points)

    nope - no encryption on any of the volumes. And one was created from scratch by the Recovery HD partition on the MBPro Retina.

  • DFTeitel Level 1 (5 points)

    I confused you by the statement "none of them connected via USB boots my MacBook Pro Retina" statement - I meant that none of them boot my computer, all of which are connected USB. Sorry. I can't connect them by thunderbolt because Apple isn't selling their thunderbolt-FW 800 adapter yet (I hope they will soon!).

  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Are the disks mounted when you look at them in Disk Utility?


    If not, mount them, then run Repair permissions on all the drives and the volumes. See if that helps.


    After doing so, open


     > System Preferences... Startup Disk


    Do any of the external disks show up in the list?

  • DFTeitel Level 1 (5 points)

    Yes, they all are fine in Disk Utility and I've run repair permissions on a couple of them. They show up fine in "Startup Disk" in System Prefs, and when I hold the option key down on boot up. They are all fine and work with all of my other Macs, including a new MacBook Air, but when this computer tries to boot from them, I get the circle with a slash through it, meaning that they are not compatible boot up volumes. All I want is to be able to boot from an external drive from time to time to use Disk Warrior, iPartition and other utilities, like I do on all my other Macs from time to time, but it just isn't possible, at least not via USB.

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 (30,000 points)

    Did you check out this doc - It might have some useful tips. As I might have said, there are some known 'issues' with the USB ports on 2012 MacBook Pros.



  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Could be a h/w problem as the above poster suggests.


    In any case, last thing I can think of is run Software Update in case there are any new drivers for rMBP related to your external hardware.


    Failing that report it to Apple and/or take it into your nearest Apple store for a check.

  • DFTeitel Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks, all. Good thoughts. I have tried the software update. In fact, there was an update for the 2012 MBPro but I had run the day I got the computer (Monday). That USB post is interesting and may be the answer.


    I have checked with Applecare support - they had no answer but have sent it to their engineers, who will get back to me in a few days. If they come up with an answer, I'll let you know. In the meantime, one of my drives is a Seagate GoFlex so I'm planning on seeing if I can buy the thunderbolt connection for it locally, to see whether I can boot from it via thunderbolt. If so, I Clinton's thought that it may be a problem with the USB 3 configured ports would be supported.

  • geomoe Level 1 (5 points)

    I received new Retina today and had same experience - intended to boot from a Lion bootable external USB drive that works on my 2010 MacBook Pro (in fact, a clone of it made with Carbon Copy Cloner), and it won't boot from it - as described above, I can select it, but get a circle with a bar through it after it tries to boot. 

    I had an empty parition on that external USB drive, so I used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the new Retina to that.  It boots from that clone as an external USB drive just fine.  Something is different in the Lion installation on the new computer.

  • DFTeitel Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks very much for your reply. I use Super Duper, and I cloned my drive to an external USB drive as well. It does indeed boot the computer! It's fascinating because a boot-up volume that I created using the Recovery HD partition on the Retina computer doesn't boot up the computer (I get the same circle/slash) but the clone does. That I can't figure out. Also, I bought a thunderbolt cable and it is possible to use the Retina as a target drive on a MacBook Air. So there are ways to boot from another source and mount the drive to use Disk Warrior, iPartition, etc.


    Thanks for all your help, everyone. Although it is still annoying that the usual way to boot up from another drive doesn't work, at least there are workarounds to make it possible to mount the volume as a secondary one.

  • snoodis Level 1 (0 points)

    I received new MacBook Pro 13" mid 2012 today and had same experience - intended to boot from a Lion bootable external USB drive that works on my early 2011 MacBook Pro, and it won't boot from it - as described above, I can select it, but get a circle with a bar through it after it tries to boot.


    This seems to be an issue with new Macs?

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 (30,000 points)

    The Lion v. 10.7.4 that ships with the 2012 drives has some files specific to that model of computer. You wouldn't be able to boot, for example, from an earlier Lion USB flash drive. You should be able to boot into the Recovery partition, of course.


    What are you trying to do, exactly?



  • snoodis Level 1 (0 points)

    >>>What are you trying to do, exactly?


    I broke my macbook pro early 2011 by spilling water, doh!

    It was running 10.7.4

    I managed to salvage the HD from it and was happy it survived.

    I was able to use that HD to boot up via USB to another (borrowed) macbook pro early 2011 so I could continue working on jobs and back-up my data.


    I bought a mid 2012 Macbook pro today (running 10.7.3 which I updated online) and was surprised I could not boot from it via USB with my old HD.


    I was hoping to reformat the drive on my new Mac 2012 and copy the contents from the old HD, so that all my settings and software remained the same.

    But it's beginning to sound like if I do that I won't be able to boot my new Mac at all?

    BTW, I was shocked to find new Macs don't come shipped with start-up OS discs. I have bought many new Macs before and I was always able to boot from the CD or DVD supplied.


    So now I feel like I'm in double-danger, because in the past if I made a mistake I could just reinstall my system but it seems there is no way to do that now?


    Regards Craig


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