View Full Version : Error messages while booting from external disk

05-31-2009, 08:23 AM
I've been using SD for a while now with much success on a few LaCie d2 and d3 disks. Recently I made a clone on a smaller portable USB disk. When booting from that disk, I see a whole bunch of errors/notifications passing by. The mac does start up after this and everything seems to work.

This was using a Macbook pro running Leopard and using a Freecom external mobile usb disk.

Now I made a SD clone using:
- Macbook unibody intel / Leopard
- Western Digital My Passport Studio 320 Gb formatted as GUID
- clone using Erase, then copy, connected with USB (as the unibody has no FW)

Again, after doing this I can boot from the external disk, but I see the same error messages while staring up. I can't say exactly what kinds of messages, as they pass by too quickly (white on black background). After they have passed by I get the normal login screen and everything works fine.

Has anyone else seen this situation? I've been looking around and there are many situations in which people cannot boot at all from an external disk after having used SD to make a clone, but in those cases they can't boot at all. I can boot, but I receive these ugly messages. Since I get them in 2 different cases with different macs and different external disks, it doesn't seem to be a unique case

05-31-2009, 11:07 AM
Sounds to me like you've got "verbose boot" turned on in your NVRAM, actually. Try running the following in Terminal:

nvram -p

What do you have set for "boot-args"?

05-31-2009, 11:40 AM
Sounds to me like you've got "verbose boot" turned on in your NVRAM, actually. Try running the following in Terminal:

nvram -p

What do you have set for "boot-args"?
never heard of NVRAM, will look that up.

What's with the boot-args then?

The problem I talked about happens in both my 1.5 year old MacbookPro (intel) as well as a brand new Macbook bought last week

05-31-2009, 11:45 AM
What results do you get from that command?

05-31-2009, 11:51 AM
A whole bunch of gibberish it seems. What should I look for? The boot-args variable isn't there

05-31-2009, 11:53 AM
Really - that's weird. It should at least be there.

I can't think of any reason, other than boot-args, for you to be getting diagnostics on boot that would print to your screen. If you'd like, you can restart, generate a system profiler report, ZIP it and email it to me at support. I'll take a look.

05-31-2009, 11:56 AM
Thanks for the help. How do I generate a system profiler report when starting up?

05-31-2009, 11:57 AM
You do it once you're running. Drop me a note to support and I'll provide you with some instructions.

05-31-2009, 12:03 PM
Ok thanks I'll do that.

But again: this problem happens on both (different) macbooks and different external harddisks. But not if I use a LaCie harddisk. So I would think it has nothing to do with the mac itself, but with either the USB harddisks or the interaction between them and SD, wouldn't you think?

05-31-2009, 12:13 PM
No, I don't think it has anything to do with interaction with SD. I think it has to do with the drive, or your firmware settings. We have no idea if a drive is USB or not, actually - we just copy files...

05-31-2009, 12:27 PM
But then, if it where either the drive or the firmware settings: why would it happen on both an older macbook pro and a brand new macbook (never having been in contact with each other). Pure coincidence?

And why don't I have the problem booting from an external LaCie D3 disk but I do have the problem booting up from an external Freecom disk, using the Macbook pro?

Using the new Macbook (which has no Firewire), I have now confirmed that the problem exists both on the USB disk and on a LaCie D3 disk

05-31-2009, 12:29 PM
I don't know. That's why I need to look at the logging - so I can try to point you in the right direction.

This is not a problem that others have reported, so I don't know why two different Macs are having it, other than you might have a program installed on both that's causing issues. That's why I need more information, and that's why I asked for the system profiler report.

06-01-2009, 03:09 AM
For everyone reading this thread: in the end we figured out the problem only exists when moving a clone from one machine to a different machine. Apparrently when you do that, you will get the startup messages when booting on the new computer.

It does not happen when you make a clone of machine A and startup from that clone with the same machine.

I was not aware of the fact that you could not move around clones between machines. At least, it is possible, but you will get the error messages/notification when booting on the new machine. Not so bad for a single time, but not something you want to see every day.

Thanks to Dave for all the help figuring this one out

06-01-2009, 08:10 AM
As I mentioned in email, you can safely move copies of Macs around from Mac to Mac, but only if the other Mac is capable of running the same build of OS X.

New Macs often come with special builds, and those special builds are required to support the new hardware, features, or to tweak the environment in one way or another.

This is why you'll see me suggesting migrating, when first prompted to "copy from another Mac" on your first boot, from a backup, if you're using a brand new Mac - it might require one or two versions of the OS (e.g. 10.5.7, 10.5.8) before the OS is 'universal' among the new Macs released.

06-01-2009, 08:57 AM
Ok, thanks for clearing that up. Makes sense.