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Old 03-11-2010, 06:42 PM
sgmorr sgmorr is offline
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Problem Booting From a Clone on a Firewire HD

This is a bit of a complicated question. I use SuperDuper to make and maintain a bootable clone of my iMac's HD on my OWC Mercury Elite 1 TB peripheral HD connected with FW 800. Works fine. After updating my clone weekly (I also use Time Machine daily just to be clear about my backing up!), I usually do a test boot from my clone by selecting "restart" and then holding "option" at the gong until I get to the screen that gives my a choice between Mac HD and Clone. So far, so good. Works every time.

Today, I got the idea to try booting from Clone starting with my iMac being shut down. My OWC was powered on of course. So I powered my iMac on with the power button, then held "option" at the gong and it took several minutes for start up to occur. I never did get the screen giving me the choice of Mac HD or Clone, but finally arrived at my Desktop (several minutes longer than a usual start up).

Curiously, I went to the Apple menu and chose "about this Mac" and the little screen showed Mac OS X, the processor, the memory, but it DID NOT show the startup disk as it usually does. Usually, of course, it will show startup disk as "Mac HD" and if I'm booted from my clone, it will show startup disk as "Clone."

I thought this was curious so I just did a standard restart again (without holding "option") and all I ever got was a solid gray screen after five minutes. I was a bit shaken but I finally decided to depress the power button and the iMac shutdown. I disconnected my FW drive for good measure and powered my iMac back up and it started normally. I verified my internal HD with Disk Utility and it was fine. I reconnected my FW drive, it mounted normally on my Desktop and I successfully booted from it by restarting and holding the "option" key.

Question: did I not follow correct procedure in attempting to startup from my FW clone when my iMac was powered off initially? Should this be possible? After all, you would want to be able to do this if your internal HD had failed, correct?

Seems like I was able to do this with my old G4 iMac, Tiger, and a peripheral clone just fine.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:48 PM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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I have no idea what happened here. It sounds, to me, like it started up from some other drive that was running a version of OSX earlier than 10.4.6 (which, as I recall, is when the startup disk started being listed in the "About This Mac" panel).

Why it didn't even give you a menu when you held down "Option", though, I can't say. That's a ROM/Firmware feature, and it certainly should have!
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:53 PM
sgmorr sgmorr is offline
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Thanks Dave, but there's no other drive in my iMac or connected to my iMac except the internal HD with Snow Leopard and the OWC Mercury Elite drive with a Super Duper clone of my internal connected with Firewire 800.

I guess I should give it another try. If I start with my iMac shutdown and with my peripheral drive powered up, and then power up my iMac and hold down the option key just as I hear the gong it theoretically should work, right? In this scenario, when should I release the option key?

Thanks Dave.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:54 PM
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I can't think of any reason why the "Startup Disk" would be suppressed unless, perhaps, OSX doesn't put it there when there's only a single drive attached. That hasn't been my experience, though.

You should hold down Option from power on all the way until you get the menu, in general.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:55 PM
sgmorr sgmorr is offline
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Could it have anything to do with using the Apple wireless keyboard and wireless Magic Mouse?
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:36 PM
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If this is a relatively early Mac, yes.
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