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Booting from an external FW drive on MacBook Pro 13"

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I finally upgraded from a Titanium PowerBook G4 to a MacBook Pro 13" with GeForce 320M. Pretty nice, a few issues but overall great.


I used to be able to boot my old PowerPC Powerbooks from external firewire drives if needed. I can't seem to do that with this new MacBook Pro.


Does anyone know if Apple turned off that option with SnowLeopard or on these new Macbook Pros? I can access the drive (a Macally 3.5 SATA FW400/USB 2.0 external enclosure) with the drive but I can't boot from it with 10.6.3 installed on it. Maybe my firewire 400 to 800 adapter cable is faulty? Or the enclosure? Or the MacBook Pro itself?


Any ideas?


Thanks for your help.

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I've booted mine from eSata and USB with zero issues. Make sure it's formatted correctly and you aren't using target disk mode, sorry its been years since I've used FW so I've likely forgotten more than I can recall. I actually use a Macally enclosure as well as an external eSata raid enclosure sometimes, both smoke the internal drive as far as IO. VMFusion runs a multitude faster when the virtual OS is on anther drive as well.


If I where to guess it isn't formatted correctly unless you can do it on another mac. If you're close to a store that sells macs take your drive up and try it on one of them.

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Thanks Trentburns,


I forget how much USB2 has supplanted Firewire. I was able to boot the MacBook Pro 13" Geforce 320M from a Rosewill USB/eSata 2.5" enclosure with 10.6 installed on it connected via USB2.


I still can't get the MacBook Pro to boot from the Macally 3.5" and 2.5" external HD enclosures even with USB2. I'll try reinstalling OSX 10.6 on them via USB2 and see if they boot with a install off of USB2 as opposed to Firewire. Maybe it's some Macally with Apple issue? Whatever. Not that important.


At least some success.


Thanks again, you were a big help.


Take care all.

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I think you have your drives incorrectly formatted. They might be HFS+, but they might have a PowerPC partition table.



Load up Disk Utility and look at the details of the drive.

The Partition Map Scheme has to be GUID, so that you can boot OS X with an Intel Mac.


When you re-partition the drive, select "Options..." -> "GUID" and then partition.

This should allow the drives to be bootable with a system.

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