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edoates 08-21-2006 05:09 PM

Firewire drive startup problem: OSX 10.4.7
I just erased (diskutility) a Firewire drive (both the "drive" and the "partition" on a drive (Wiebetech Duo-800(500GB)) drive which as booted successfully with Superdrive clones before.

But this time, no joy. The "dev" folder appears when I open the drive with Finder; as I understand it, this folder should be invisible for bootable drives.

I did a "smart" update to the newly erased drive with the "backup all files" settings.

The drive appears on the system preferences Startup preference panel, but not on the "option restart" list. When the Startup Preference is set to this drive, the gray startup screen shows the folder with the question mark icon, before booting from my internal drive.

Any clues as to what I've done incorrectly here?

Just before this, I cloned a safety (offsite) backup by just erasing the drive with DiskUtility, then backing up. It booted fine.


dnanian 08-21-2006 05:16 PM

The "dev" folder appearing is actually expected -- OSX returns incorrect Finder flags and metadata for /dev when you're booted from the drive. Finder should hide it when you restart from it, though (and it won't hurt anything).

As far as a restart goes, Ed -- it's hard to say. Usually, if it doesn't show up at Option-boot, it's because:
  • The drive itself didn't spin up properly
  • The drive is partitioned with MBR (or GUID for a Power PC Mac)

edoates 08-21-2006 06:01 PM

"MBR?" "GUID?" I didn't set either of those "partition" options; in fact, I just "erased" the drive (no OS 9 drivers, case insensitive Mac OS Extended (Journalled)), then erased the volume.

Maybe I'll go back to zero again (yikes, another 1 hour full backup), and reset everything.

The computer in question is a G5 2.5 dual processor.


dnanian 08-21-2006 06:13 PM

Don't do that, Ed. Select the drive (not volume) in Disk Utility, switch to the partition tab, and look at the bottom. What partition format does it say is used?

edoates 08-21-2006 07:06 PM

Too late. I did check when I "repartitioned" that the option was set to Apple Partition Map; I didn't look at what it was set at before I hit the "partition" button.

So I'll let you know if all is OK again after the backup.

If it doesn't work again, is there anything else you can think of that I should check?


dnanian 08-21-2006 07:47 PM

Yes. What I'd do is power everything off, including the FW drive. Then -- with the FW drive unplugged -- get to the Option boot screen and wait for the watch to change to an arrow.

Once there, plug in the FW drive and listen for it spinning up. Once up, plug in FW and refresh Option-boot: let's see if the drive shows up.

edoates 08-22-2006 01:10 PM

Well, I tried that; same deal: the drive does not show up on the "option startup" list, nor will it start up when selected in preferences. The "partition" type is Apple Partition Map according to Disk utility.

Anything else to check before I erase the drive, install OS X from CD to verify that it can be booted that way, and then doing the SuperDuper! backup?


dnanian 08-22-2006 03:02 PM

Nothing else offhand I can think of, Ed -- you can try an "archive-and-install" of OSX to it, though, to see if that makes a difference.

edoates 08-22-2006 04:44 PM

I think I'll do an "erase and install," make sure it boots, then do a "smart update" which should completely replace everything, but keep the ability to boot from the cloned drive.

I'll let you know what happens.

dnanian 08-22-2006 04:54 PM

Well, the "bootability" is simply setting things up with the right partition type and blessing, which is why this is a weird error. If the device is supported by the OS, it should just work...

edoates 09-09-2006 06:57 PM

I just want to close the loop here. I must have been mistaken about ever booting from the drive in question (Wiebetech Duo-800/500GB); when I did a full "erase and install" on the drive in question from the Tiger CD, at the point at which the installation reboots from the target drive, it failed to boot with exactly the same indication: the folder with a question mark in it.

So, I can only assume that this drive cannot be used as a boot drive. There are two drives inside the box, and it is possible that the other drive will boot up, but I've spent enough time on it. I have a safety backup off site (well, in my office instead of the main house), and it does boot successfully, so I can use that as a quick boot / SuperDuper restore drive.


dnanian 09-09-2006 07:01 PM

You should call the guys at Wiebetech, Ed. I don't see why the drive wouldn't work, and they might know.

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