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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Is it possible to install OS X on a USB drive???

Is it possible to install OS X on a USB drive???
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Sickofwaiting
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Jan 31, 2005, 04:57 PM
 
I have an older iMac I am trying to install Panther on but I ran into a little problem. The CD rom drive is busted and there are no firewire ports. I have a usb hard drive enclosure, and I am wondering if there is some way that I can install Panther on the iMac's hard drive when it's in the usb enclosure, and the pop it back into the iMac?? I know this is possible if there was firewire access, but is it possible to install Panther to a USB hard drive???
waiting this long for a new 15 will drive
anyone insane
     
Randman
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Jan 31, 2005, 05:01 PM
 
How will you install Panther on the USB drive with no working CD drive? Or am I missing something?

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larkost
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Jan 31, 2005, 05:56 PM
 
Besides the whole lack-of-cd drive problem... the generic answer is: yes MacOS X supports booting off of a USB chain. However, it also requires that your USB bridge chip supports usb booting, and because Windows does not support booting off external drives most of the bridge chip makers have decided not to implement that part of the protocol. So you almost get there... but not quite. Ironically, the makers of the chips in USB-thunb drives have implemented that part of the protocol, so you can boot off them.
     
tooki
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Jan 31, 2005, 06:32 PM
 
Slightly off-topic, I know, but potentially relevant since the installer will only allow you to install onto a bootable volume: Only Macs with AGP graphics can boot from USB. That excludes the tray-loading G3 iMacs. Later iMacs, all iBooks, the Pismo PowerBook and later, and all the Power Mac G4 and G5 models (except the "PCI Graphics" ["Yikes!"] G4), can boot from USB and FireWire.

tooki
     
Sickofwaiting  (op)
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Jan 31, 2005, 07:47 PM
 
ok, I obviously was unclear when describing my dilema. I am working on up grading an older iMac. I also have a new 15" AluPB. So I am going to pull the HD out of the old iMac, pop it into a firewire/usb hard drive enclosure, and then interact with the iMac's hard drive from my powerbook. Sorry for the confusion, and thanks for any tips
waiting this long for a new 15 will drive
anyone insane
     
ginoledesma
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Jan 31, 2005, 09:06 PM
 
From Apple's support library:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106474
Don't start up from an external USB device

If you select a USB startup disk from System Preferences, in some cases the computer may not start up from the USB disk.

This is expected behavior.

Under Mac OS X, Apple does not support starting up from USB devices. Although some configurations may allow a USB volume to be selected as a startup volume via the Startup Manager, this may not work for all configurations, and Apple is unable to provide assistance in troubleshooting such configurations.
     
The Oracle
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Jan 31, 2005, 11:45 PM
 
at usb 1 speeds, you could start up now and it might finish next month.

Let us know how that works out.

All-seeing and all-knowing since 2000 B.C.
     
   
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