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External Hard Drive


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Has anybody tried installing the Mac OS X onto an External Hard Drive?

 

If not, would this be at all feasable?

 

Surely you could just go into the BIOS and make it load up the External Hard Drive....

 

Just a theory, tell me if im wrong...and the explanation please ;)

 

TheFighter

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I did that to get things working, and it was fairly seemless.

 

One thing I noticed is that it is extremely slow to load on one of my boxes.

 

The nice thing is you can walk around with it and try it one whatever Intel box yo have access to.

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You'd just have to be able to boot off a USB / Firewire...

So yeah, it depends on the mobo / bios

 

I had real problems doing it from or to my external firewire drive, but it worked beautifully on a cheap USB2 case I picked up. External drive is the method I'm using for my laptop. If you do use an external drive and end up with the dreaded "waiting for root device," let me know, as I have a workaroud.

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Cool....well, this makes this alot easier now.

 

Because, as you will see on my other post http://forum.osx86project.org/index.php?showtopic=1665 I am having a spot of trouble with getting together a New Computer. So now I dont have to worry as much, because if I buy and external then I dont have to worry about competly screwing up the computer and voiding the warrenty! lol

 

Thanks guys...I'll browse around the forum for a nice and easy tutorial that covers the ups and downs of an external drive install. Thanks :)

 

TheFighter

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It seems that the ability to boot from an external USB hard drive depends on your motherboard. Mine supports booting from USB, so it started to load, but then the OS X bootloader didn't support my USB controller (at least that's what I'm guessing), and it said it couldn't find files necessary to load (specifically com.apple.Boot.plist).

 

So give it a try, and good luck, but don't count on it working. It's worked for some and not for many.

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I had real problems doing it from or to my external firewire drive, but it worked beautifully on a cheap USB2 case I picked up.  External drive is the method I'm using for my laptop.  If you do use an external drive and end up with the dreaded "waiting for root device," let me know, as I have a workaroud.

 

What's your workaround? I had that problem trying to install it via USB external hdd. Like you i'm using a laptop and with very flimsy bios settings to work with. This option would be ideal as it would keep data in my laptop intact. Thanks in advance!

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What's your workaround?  I had that problem trying to install it via USB external hdd.  Like you i'm using a laptop and with very flimsy bios settings to work with.  This option would be ideal as it would keep data in my laptop intact.  Thanks in advance!

 

I use the Darwin chain loader in the Windows Boot.ini which passes it over to the external drive with the HFS+ partition. As for the "Waiting for root device hang, if it stalls out and is not accessing, simply unplug the USB drive cable for a couple of seconds and then plug it back in: for reasons unknown to me, this works nearly every time. I suspect the USB mass storage driver gets reloaded when the drive is plugged back in.

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I personally like Firewiare/USB hard drives, so you can take them to other computers easily, my External HD said it was OSX and XP compatible (mabey it was because of firewire??)

 

Correct me if i'm wrong but Firewire i think is the only way OS X will install onto it natively....i could easily be wrong....its the only time i had it show up for me at the bootloader....

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Would this external be good enough for the job? It says its compatibility is with PC's....which I think means its got FAT32 on it.

 

Dont know, but have a look please. Thanks

 

http://www.dabs.com/uk/channels/components...?quicklinx=3Q27

 

TheFighter

 

Looks like the drive would work, but I'm concerned that they don't specify USB2. Generally if it's not stated it's not there, and running an OS off of USB 1 would truly suck hard. If, however, it *is* USB2, then you're off to the races.

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Correct me if i'm wrong but Firewire i think is the only way OS X will install onto it natively....i could easily be wrong....its the only time i had it show up for me at the bootloader....

 

I ran into nothing but trouble tyring to use my firewire drive, and ended up getting a USB 2 drive to get around it. So, yes, you can use an external USB drive. Obviously it works out better if your BIOS will allow booting to USB, but this is not required.

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  • 4 months later...

I'm using a Laptop USB HDD caddy that has been working fine with both 10.4.3, and 10.4.5,

 

As previously mentioned though, there is noticeable slowdown, the biggest being if you try to load full screen videos, or any kind of DVD, you are going to experience unbearable jerking...or if you try and multitask too, you'll likely experience a crash, which is a pain...

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yeah so i have a extra 120 gig hard drive laying around. I bought a usb ide adapter. I installed osx onto the drive but didnt catch how i could boot onto it without bios support. Is the chain0 solution compatible with external drives?

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