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View Full Version : Are USB Hard Drives bootable?


akopman
10-27-2008, 11:08 PM
The new Macbook does not have a firewire port. Can I still use SuperDuper to make bootable clones using the USB 2.0 port?

dnanian
10-28-2008, 08:43 AM
Not a problem, as long as the USB drive is properly partitioned (using the "GUID" partition scheme -- see the "Options" Button in the Partition tab of Disk Utility).

akopman
10-28-2008, 09:18 AM
Not a problem, as long as the USB drive is properly partitioned (using the "GUID" partition scheme -- see the "Options" Button in the Partition tab of Disk Utility).

Many, many thanks. I now realize that my backups (apple partition) which I was relying on were NOT bootable after I acquired my new iMac.

You may have "saved" my sanity

macmanmk
10-29-2008, 11:38 PM
Not a problem, as long as the USB drive is properly partitioned (using the "GUID" partition scheme -- see the "Options" Button in the Partition tab of Disk Utility).

Well, there could be problems. I recently set up one of the new MacBooks and cloned it to three different GUID formatted hard drives...a Western Digital MyBook, a G-Technology G-Drive and an OtherWorld Computing Mercury Elite AL Pro drive. After cloning, the MacBook would absolutely not boot up from the Western Digital or G-Tech drives. It would boot up from the Other World drive. I saw the exact same behavior with a MacBook Air. Nobody has ever been able to explain why clones performed on three separate GUID formatted disks were not bootable on two of those three disks. I just think people should know that being able to boot from any old USB drive partitioned as a GUID disk is not a certainty.

dnanian
10-29-2008, 11:41 PM
I continue to recommend the drives I recommend in general in the User's Guide, so -- indeed -- not everything will work. But, in general, most USB drives should work. Why yours didn't I don't know.

macmanmk
10-29-2008, 11:58 PM
The same drives that I'm unable to boot a MacBook Air or 2008 MacBook from work just fine for booting Macs that have FireWire. There just must be a problem with the controller chips in some of the WD and G-Tech drives.