Shirt Pocket Discussions

Shirt Pocket Discussions (
-   General (
-   -   Self Powered FireWire Drives that Boots OS X? (

d-v-c 08-19-2007 04:30 PM

Self Powered FireWire Drives that Boots OS X?
Can anyone recommend a Self Powered FireWire Drive that they use that they know Boots OS X.

I only need 80GB. Something like the SmartDisk Firelite FWFL80. Supposedly a firmware upgrade is needed, which I don't want do have to do. Want it to work out of the box.

More questions:

1) If my backup takes say 50GB, can use the free space be used as a data drive?

2) If I partition the drive and backup to one (which will be bootable), can I use the second partition for data?

3) With two partitions, which is the one that boots?

4) Any way to backup two computers to the same disk? I would think only one backup can boot? Unless you can partition the drive and backup to each partition and then, somehow, choose the partition to boot from.

dnanian 08-19-2007 04:50 PM

I'm not quite sure why you wouldn't want to upgrade the firmware in a drive -- it's always a good idea to keep the drive current with its current firmware, since they tend to fix bugs in the drive.

Anyway, I've used the LaCie Little Big Disk as well as some of the smaller OWC drives. It's important to note that bus powered drives of larger capacity can sometimes draw too much power and cause problems...

Anyway -- if you want to be able to start up from a drive, it's pretty important to have enough free space for the OS's temporary, swapfiles, etc. So, don't cut it too close. But, you can partition appropriately and use the rest of the drive space as desired.

The one that boots is the one you select to boot.

You can back up two computers to the same disk -- just partition... and choose the partition to boot from.

gcole 12-30-2007 01:15 AM

making FireLite bootable

Originally Posted by d-v-c (Post 13558)
Can anyone recommend a Self Powered FireWire Drive that they use that they know Boots OS X.

I only need 80GB. Something like the SmartDisk Firelite FWFL80. Supposedly a firmware upgrade is needed, which I don't want do have to do. Want it to work out of the box.

I just went through some games with this, and may be able to help a little.

I have two portable 160GB bus-powered drives: a G-Drive Mini (FW400 and USB2), and a FireLite (dual FW400). Both were used straight out of the box (separately) as the backup target in SD 2.1.4 on a recent MBP running 10.4.11. Each drive was connected using FW400.

The G-Drive was bootable with no special action; the FireLite was not.

The G-Drive has a Hitachi mechanism; the FireLite did not say anything meaningful ("SmartDsk [sic] FireLite Media"). In Disk Utility, Get Info on the drives both said Apple_partition_scheme, while Get Info on the lone volume of each drive was nearly identical -- both Apple_HFS, Bootable, etc. The one noticeable difference was that the G-Drive was journaled, while the FireLite drive was not. I enabled journaling on the FireLite and rebooted, but no joy.

I tried (on separate occasions) holding down the option key at boot time, and explicitly choosing the FireLite as the startup disk in System Preferences, but neither helped.

The other oddity about the FireLite was that Get Info on the device showed drive 1, partition 0, while Get Info on the volume showed drive 1, partition 4. That "4" seemed a bit high considering I hadn't really done anything to it.

Since the forums here had notes from some who indicated their FireLite was bootable, I decided to start from scratch. I erased the FireLite, electing to write all zeroes. (That took about 1.5 hours.)

Then I moved to the Partition tab and checked the options button. Apple's description is:
GUID Partition Table
To use the disk to start up an Intel-based Macintosh computer

Apple Partition Map
To use the disk to start up a PowerPC-based Macintosh computer or to use the disk as a non-startup disk with any Mac

Master Boot Record
To use the disk to start up DOS...
That seems pretty clear, so I selected the GUID Partition Table, partitioned, and backed up again with SD. This time, success! The FireLite booted straight away.

So I'm still confused, given that the G-Drive was bootable using the Apple Partition Map, but at least the FireLite boots now. (As a side note, the volume now indicates drive 1, partition 2.)

pjg37363 12-30-2007 07:34 AM

As a suggestion; I use an 80 GB self-powered from OWC as backup for my ibook and it works well. You can get by for less than 100 bucks!

bucky 12-30-2007 09:21 AM

I use the Lacie firewire " Little Disc " 160 GB, they also do a 120 GB for under 80. I'm a novice but find this drive so easy to use to make a bootable clone when using Super Duper. This is a portable drive and very compact.

Hope this helps!

bluemoon59 04-24-2008 02:34 AM

Self Powered Drives
So I am trying to do this with an Iomega attached builds an image but I cannot set it as Startup Disk....I had sort of come to the conclusion that this was impossible because if the drive needs to be powered from the Mac in order for the Mac to boot then I needed an externally powered drive to achieve this...but apparently not from reading these threads. Anyone got any clues why my Iomega wont become Startup Disk before I go and buy another Lacie ?

dnanian 04-24-2008 07:52 AM

It's hard to know why GUID might be 'forced' with the FireLite, but you should use GUID for Intel Macs if you have a choice.

I've tested the LittleBigDisk, the Apricorn portable as well as some OWC self-powered units -- and all work well.

nekomatic 04-25-2008 08:21 AM

I've got a couple of Smartdisk Firelite drives and they successfully boot both my old G3 Powerbook and my new MacBook. I probably did initialise/partition each of them before use with the appropriate partition scheme though.

There doesn't seem to be any issue with the drive being powered from the Mac.

Dave, in my limited experience there isn't too much correlation between the capacity of a drive and its power consumption - I've got a 20 G 2.5in drive which is labelled 0.7 A and a 160 G which says it only takes 0.45 A, for example. I don't know about drives over 160 G though...

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:57 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.