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Butch 07-17-2005 05:18 PM

Bootable hard drives
A new person here wondering if there is, somewhere in this forum, a post or a thread that lists which external hard drives worked well for you or were not acceptable/reliable.

Our moderator here expressed doubt as to whether a firewire SimpleDrive, by SimpleTech, external drive would be bootable.

Most posts that I have read refer to La Cie equipment.

Not knowing what determines the bootability of an external hard drive, I am looking for recommendations from satisfied and unsatisfied backer uppers.


dnanian 07-17-2005 05:22 PM

In general, Butch, we suggest LaCie, OWC and WiebeTech drives, though others may work too...

Anyone out there manage to boot from a SimpleDrive?

Butch 07-18-2005 01:45 PM

That's good to know Dave, but there are many models of these recommended drives. Is every model of these three manufacturers recommended?

And there are many other brands that you haven't recommended. Iomega, Maxtor, Seagate, Western, IOGear, Transcend, SmartDisk and MicroNet, to name a few. And each one of these have several different models to pick from.

My SimpleDrive is on it's way back to the retailer, without having been used because of the doubt you expressed, and now I am searching out a replacement.

Knowing what other brands or models, other than those you recommended, that have or haven't worked for Mac users would be useful information, not only for myself but anyone shopping for a reliable hard drive.

How does one know which hard drive will or will not be bootable? Try to find a list.

I am not trying to be argumentative or sarcastic, merely seeking information and advice.

dnanian 07-18-2005 01:57 PM

Pretty much any of those manufacturer's FireWire drives are good, and will be bootable. The models typically differ by their # of interfaces (FireWire, FireWire 800, USB) and sizes -- and whether they're intended to be "portable".

So, the best thing to do is to buy from one of these "Mac-aware" manufacturers! You can usually call them, too -- at least at OWC and WiebeTech, you'll get someone who knows what they're talking about, and can answer your questions.

Maxtrax 01-08-2006 12:55 AM

Can you tell me if a Century Global Manhattan Series Firewire Drive is bootable? I have a 75 GB external and I would like to use it with the OS onboard.
Thank you.

dnanian 01-08-2006 09:28 AM

Wow, I've never heard of it, Maxtrax, and have no idea. The best way to check is to install a basic copy of the OS, using your Tiger DVD, to the drive. If that boots, it's bootable.

Maxtrax 01-08-2006 10:05 AM

One of the first external firewire drives. At 600 bucks for 75 Gigs, I'm trying to get some use out of it.

dnanian 01-08-2006 10:24 AM

Yeah, I understand. Seems very unlikely it'll work, but you can try to install OSX and see.

sdsl 01-09-2006 01:39 AM

It is useful to check manufacturers web sites before buying, as they frequently discuss the bootability of the firewire drive for Macintoshes.

[In fact, sometimes the companies even bundle a backup program with their drives, but the included version is a "lite" one that will not create a bootable clone, and if you order the upgrade from them to "full" version it will create a bootable clone. That is indicative of a drive that is bootable with the right software (like SuperDuper).]

I have multiple Seagate External USB 2.0/Firewire 400 drives, all are bootable. I also have multiple Maxtor One-Touch external USB 2.0/Firewire 400 drives, all again bootable. And I have one Firelite CMS drive with firewire 400, also bootable.

Making up a list of "good drives" would be too long to maintain -- I think virtually every *modern* firewire drive should boot a Mac. Keeping a list of torublesome drives might be a lot smaller and would make more sense. An old drive or one from an odd manufacturer would be suspect.

Besides sticking with the big companies like Iomega, Maxtor, Seagate, Lacie, CMS, another approach is to check with Mac stores that sell certain brands -- the salepeople will tell you if they boot Macs (they probably all do). Also, check Mac-oriented web sites like MacConnection that sell Mac-oriented hardware. And finally, MacAddict and MacWorld have recently reviewed external hard drives ... another good source, as bootability was discussed in those articles as I recall.

dnanian 01-09-2006 07:58 AM

A general rule of thumb is that Oxford-based drives are more likely to support boot than Initio ones. I try to stick with the Mac supporting companies like LaCie, Maxtor, WiebeTech and OWC.

I test with each all the time, too.

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