New MacBook Air features USB software reinstall drive

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  • foobarfoobar Posts: 102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    But its about time this was made standard. I would like to see this with all new macs rather than DVD's.



    I'd like to buy Lion on USB, too.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sabuga View Post


    The only thing that it needs is firewire, and before everyone starts up with the "usb is fine" story, let me explain:



    Still, I bet 99 per cent of people rather have a 2nd USB port than firewire.

    And as long as we're wishing, why not wish for USB target mode? (and USB 3.0 for that matter )
  • tofinotofino Posts: 690member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sabuga;


    The only thing that it needs is firewire, and before everyone starts up with the "usb is fine" story, let me explain: As an apple tech, firewire target disk mode is the BEST feature EVER. If a mac won't boot, you can start it in target disk mode, copy data off, re-install patches etc etc, I use this feature quite alot, but on the current MacBooks, and the MacBookAir's, I can't.



    Agreed. Target disk mode is handy. Accept no substitutes!



    I had to install snow leopard on a friends MacBook air. I didn't have the Ethernet dongle or the DVD drive. While doable over airport, FireWire would have saved a couple of hoops, and it would have been easy to do a quick disk image backup of the whole thing first.



    On the other hand I really like it that the overpowered USB port on the old MacBook air actually charges an iPad. The only Mac that does I think...
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sabuga View Post


    The only thing that it needs is firewire, and before everyone starts up with the "usb is fine" story, let me explain: As an apple tech, firewire target disk mode is the BEST feature EVER. If a mac won't boot, you can start it in target disk mode, copy data off, re-install patches etc etc, I use this feature quite alot, but on the current MacBooks, and the MacBookAir's, I can't.



    If only there was another option like booting from SD or USB. Oh wait, there is, it?s the things I just mentioned.



    I?ve had Mac OS X on a partition of my external HDD for years now. Have an issue? Just hold down option and choose that partition to boot from. Which is a hell of a lot easier than needing a 2nd Mac and a FireWire cable with the appropriate end connectors for those two Macs. It?s just silly for consumers to think Target Disc Mode is easier than the method I just explained.
  • dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    If only there was another option like booting from SD or USB. Oh wait, there is, it’s the things I just mentioned.



    I’ve had Mac OS X on a partition of my external HDD for years now. Have an issue? Just hold down option and choose that partition to boot from. Which is a hell of a lot easier than needing a 2nd Mac and a FireWire cable with the appropriate end connectors for those two Macs. It’s just silly for consumers to think Target Disc Mode is easier than the method I just explained.



    I suppose, but your method not only requires preparation ahead of the fact, but also an external hard drive, preferably partitioned. TDM is still comes in very handy when you or someone you know has gotten into the soup. It's also great for Migration Assistant.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    I suppose, but your method not only requires preparation ahead of the fact, but also an external hard drive, preferably partitioned. TDM is still comes in very handy when you or someone you know has gotten into the soup. It's also great for Migration Assistant.



    I know people with Macs, but I don?t know anyone anymore with the appropriate FireWire cable. Am I suppose to plan to have the appropriate FW cable with me on vacations, along with an adapter for FW400 or FW800 to make sure my bases are covered, assuming there is someone else with a Mac if I need one?



    How about just using your Time Machine drive, or a USB flash drive or a SD card. Those are always in my computer bag and I don?t have to rely on anyone to do a simple Disk Repair.
  • dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I know people with Macs, but I don?t know anyone anymore with the appropriate FireWire cable. Am I suppose to plan to have the appropriate FW cable with me on vacations, along with an adapter for FW400 or FW800 to make sure my bases are covered, assuming there is someone else with a Mac if I need one?



    How about just using your Time Machine drive, or a USB flash drive or a SD card. Those are always in my computer bag and I don?t have to rely on anyone to do a simple Disk Repair.



    If you're expected to be the Mac support guy for everybody you know (I know the feeling, trust me), then I guess the answer is yes. If you've got a Time Machine drive or a Time Capsule (are you really hauling them along on vacations?) then the issue is moot. I do like the flash drive option, but then again, the purpose in that case has to be to troubleshoot the drive, not rescue much data from a crashed drive. You can do that in Single User Mode, no extra parts required. And again, is the Migration Assistant question -- TDM is ideal for that. Or do you not agree?
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    If you're expected to be the Mac support guy for everybody you know (I know the feeling, trust me), then I guess the answer is yes. If you've got a Time Machine drive or a Time Capsule (are you really hauling them along on vacations?) then the issue is moot. I do like the flash drive option, but then again, the purpose in that case has to be to troubleshoot the drive, not rescue much data from a crashed drive. You can do that in Single User Mode, no extra parts required. And again, is the Migration Assistant question -- TDM is ideal for that. Or do you not agree?



    I do not agree.



    Let me put it this way, the way I found out this was a possibility (though difficult to setup in Leopard and part of Disk Utility in SL) was by taking my Mac into an Apple Store. They didn?t pull out another Mac and FW cable. They pulled out an external HDD that had a dozen different boot partitions of Mac OS X versions on it when he booted and pressed Option. For that point on I?ve copied my Restore Disc to a simple method that I can manage in a nice GUI if need be. It doesnt? have to be the Restore Disc either, it can be the OS itself with full access to all the HW.
  • dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I do not agree.



    Let me put it this way, the way I found out this was a possibility (though difficult to setup in Leopard and part of Disk Utility in SL) was by taking my Mac into an Apple Store. They didn?t pull out another Mac and FW cable. They pulled out an external HDD that had a dozen different boot partitions of Mac OS X versions on it when he booted and pressed Option. For that point on I?ve copied my Restore Disc to a simple method that I can manage in a nice GUI if need be. It doesnt? have to be the Restore Disc either, it can be the OS itself with full access to all the HW.



    You lost me there. I asked (again) if you didn't agree that TDM was ideal for Migration Assistant an got an answer about something else. Anyway, full nuke and pave restores are so rarely needed in my experience that they don't factor in much for me as a major issue.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    You lost me there. I asked (again) if you didn't agree that TDM was ideal for Migration Assistant an got an answer about something else. Anyway, full nuke and pave restores are so rarely needed in my experience that they don't factor in much for me as a major issue.



    Ah, your question was about a new Mac in general. No, I don?t agree. You still have to have two Macs on hand and the FW cable. I just plug in my Time Machine backup and BOOM. It?s right in the setup screen for a new Mac. If I lost, broke, or already gave my old Mac away I?m good to go.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,729member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foobar View Post


    And as long as we're wishing, why not wish for USB target mode? (and USB 3.0 for that matter )



    Maybe even 802.11n direct target mode so you don't need a cable.



    If you take two Macs and click on the wifi icon on one of them and choose create network. Then join that network with the other Mac and test a file transfer, it goes pretty quickly. Far more quickly than over a router even with 802.11n. For security, you'd choose a password on the target mode computer.



    Ad-hoc connection would be the best so you don't lose your network on the active machine.



    USB 3 and Light Peak would be the ideal but ad-hoc wifi target mode could probably be enabled on the existing Macs without firewire. I don't know if they could get the USB 2 protocol to work this way.
  • sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    I remember years back people were talking about windows and office coming on thumbrdives instead of DVDs. How fitting that OSX would be the first major piece of software to do this.
  • dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Ah, your question was about a new Mac in general. No, I don?t agree. You still have to have two Macs on hand and the FW cable. I just plug in my Time Machine backup and BOOM. It?s right in the setup screen for a new Mac. If I lost, broke, or already gave my old Mac away I?m good to go.



    Two Macs: the new Mac and old Mac. That's why it's called Migration Assistant. Using Time Machine MIGHT be better, assuming you've got one set up already (a very good idea, but universal? hardly) -- but certainly not Time Capsule. Slow, as in agonizing. And of course, even with a Time Machine drive you STILL need the proper cable, unless you've found a way to connect a hard drive to a Mac without one.
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,461member, moderator
    As to FW or USB to connect devices and/or computers. AFAIK, FW alao allows daisy-chaining and USB 2.0 does not.



    Also, it is interesting that the iPod 30-pin connector has pinouts that suopport both (and a lot more).



    It is conceivable, with economies of scale, a 30-pin cable could be the universal adapter (a thin SCSI with no terminator required).



    Lacking connectors on every device, a 30-pin cable -- with adapters for USB and FW would work.



    Lastly, the 30-pin connector, while wider, is 1/2 the thickness of a USB or FW connector -- quite important for thin devices such as MBA, iPad and iPhone.





    http://pinouts.ru/Devices/ipod_pinout.shtml



    .
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,461member, moderator
    .



    Since nobody else has mentioned it...



    Apple, virtually, announced another "personal computer" today, and no one, even Steve, mentioned it.



    If a "personal computer" must be able to be setup without connection to another computer...



    ... Then a thumb drive with contacts that fit the iPad connector, would allow the iPad to be setup / reset similar to the MBA,



    To all those who insist that the above is part of the required defonition of a PC, it seems that Apple could easily silence these nay-sayers.



    But, Apple shouldn't do it for that reason -- rather, the iPad could be sold as the first and only computer for some consumers -- and some business environments, such as kiosks, etc.



    All that, with a simple, inexpensive, little piece of pastic with some eletrical contacts.



    .
  • haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Is that USB key labeled in any way? What happens when later models start including different versions of software on USB keys?
  • haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Drow_Swordsman View Post


    Next, let's do this with MBP's. Keep the optical drives for the MacBooks and iMacs, let's give the MBP ridiculously long battery life.



    Make the DVD drive in MacBook Pros easily removable, and sell secondary batteries that slide into the optical drive bay. Allow people to choose between having an internal optical drive or longer battery life whenever they want. Unless diehard Apple defenders find even the option of an internal DVD drive so personally offensive that they would prefer nobody have it at all.
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,461member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Make the DVD drive in MacBook Pros easily removable, and sell secondary batteries that slide into the optical drive bay. Allow people to choose between having an internal optical drive or longer battery life whenever they want. Unless diehard Apple defenders find even the option of an internal DVD drive so personally offensive that they would prefer nobody have it at all.



    Apple already offers an external USB superdrive for $79.



    .
  • quillzquillz Posts: 209member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    I remember years back people were talking about windows and office coming on thumbrdives instead of DVDs. How fitting that OSX would be the first major piece of software to do this.



    Maybe the first OEM, sure, but it's not exactly difficult to put Windows on a USB drive. In fact, that's the only method I use for installing Vista and 7. It was also probably possible to do it with Mac OS X, too, but I never tried.



    Also keep in mind this is only a read-only reinstall. It's still, at least as far as we know, not a sign that all future Mac OS X builds will be released on USB drives.
  • docno42docno42 Posts: 3,163member
    It's about time!



    The HP MediaSmart Windows Home Servers come with a routine that builds a bootable USB drive to restore your Mac if the hard drive crashes - it works very well (tested it when I upgraded my hard drive). Nice to see Apple doing this, although since it's read only - as another poster opined I would rather see it built into the computer, accessed by a key combo or something. Impossible to loose that way.
  • sabugasabuga Posts: 39member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    If only there was another option like booting from SD or USB. Oh wait, there is, it?s the things I just mentioned.



    I?ve had Mac OS X on a partition of my external HDD for years now. Have an issue? Just hold down option and choose that partition to boot from. Which is a hell of a lot easier than needing a 2nd Mac and a FireWire cable with the appropriate end connectors for those two Macs. It?s just silly for consumers to think Target Disc Mode is easier than the method I just explained.



    Yeah, thats fine for mac savvy users (I myself do that), but as an apple tech, I service Joe off the street's mac, and they most often don't so that. If apple did USB target disk mode, that would be great.
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