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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > iMac boot from ext HD ?

iMac boot from ext HD ?
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rotuts
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Apr 28, 2015, 08:45 AM
 
i have the current iMac, non retinal, and wonder if it would boot from a cloned OS

on a USB 3.0 HD ?

many thanks
MacPro 2.66 dual 3GB RAM 1.5 TB HD's
24" + 21" Samsung flat panels
Miglia mini HD (Great!)
     
bdmarsh
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Apr 28, 2015, 02:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by rotuts View Post
i have the current iMac, non retinal, and wonder if it would boot from a cloned OS
on a USB 3.0 HD ?
many thanks
It should work - (can also boot from Firewire if the iMac has firewire ports, or Thunderbolt ports)

the only time I've seen it not work is if the internal drive has failed in a particular way that can prevent the EFI firmware from detecting other drives, or can be partially responsive that can make it very difficult to work with (it can cause the computer to act extremely slowly as it tries to access the internal drive) - while rare, I have seen it a few times over the years.
     
panjandrum
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Apr 28, 2015, 02:29 PM
 
Agreed. This will likely work without problem. As has been mentioned, there are, occasionally, ways in which a failed drive will interfere with the operation of the computer even thought it has been booted from another drive. In that case, removing the bad drive is the only solution. But that is a relatively uncommon occurrence.
     
Chongo
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Apr 28, 2015, 03:16 PM
 
The HDD died on my old mid 2007 20" iMac. I formated a seagate free agent and downloaded Yosemite and she's back up and running. My brother is going to perform surgery and replace the drive in the near future.
     
Camali
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Apr 28, 2015, 04:24 PM
 
I use a Thunderbolt drive with SSD to boot a 2013 iMac. Obviously boots much faster than the internal HD and haven't had any problems.
     
billearl
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Apr 28, 2015, 04:45 PM
 
I found that my late 2013 iMac would boot from a cloned OS on a USB 3.0 HD only if connected directly to an iMac USB port, but not through a USB 3.0 hub.
     
DCJ001
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Apr 28, 2015, 06:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by billearl View Post
I found that my late 2013 iMac would boot from a cloned OS on a USB 3.0 HD only if connected directly to an iMac USB port, but not through a USB 3.0 hub.
I believe that you were not using a powered hub, and that, if you were to use a powered hub, it would work.
     
billearl
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May 1, 2015, 12:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post
I believe that you were not using a powered hub, and that, if you were to use a powered hub, it would work.
No. It was definitely a powered hub.
     
honestone
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May 2, 2015, 01:06 PM
 
I have an external Seagate 1 TB drive with 1 USB 2.0 and two Firewire 800 ports. I have cloned the OS from both my late 2012 MacMini and my mid 2013 MacBook Air on two partitions on the drive. For the MacMini, I can boot from that cloned OS via a Firewire 800 cable. For the Air, I have a Thunderbolt-to-Firewire 800 adapter, and I can boot it from the cloned OS vis this Thunderbolt-to-Firewire 800 connection.
     
   
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