boot from usb 2.0 drive.

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
does anyone know if it is possable to boot of a usb2 external drive, id love to install linux or something onto mine but i can't figure out how to make it boot.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    mikefmikef Posts: 698member
    I couldn't boot from my homebrew Coolmax USB 2.0 enclosure either... when I hold down "Select" at boot, it does not appear. I assumed it wasn't possible to boot using USB.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    two maxtor one-touch external usb 2.0 drives I have set up as clones using carbon copy cloner are available to be picked as the startup disk. I have never actually booted from them but this is a start.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    First, install a OS on the external HD.


    Go to system preferences, there's a tab called 'startupdisc', there, u should be able to select an OS.

    That's the way it works on my PB, it has a firewire ext HD though...

    hope this helps
  • Reply 4 of 8
    mikefmikef Posts: 698member

    Originally posted by drazztikka

    That's the way it works on my PB, it has a firewire ext HD though...

    Uhh, the original question was asking about booting from a USB drive... I think we're all well aware that it's possible to boot from an external Firewire drive.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    mikefmikef Posts: 698member
    I "installed" the OS using CCC but as I mentioned, it doesn't come up as a bootable drive. I think it's safe to say that it's not possible to boot from a USB drive.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    regreg Posts: 832member
    We tried USB2 and it did not work. The site I was at did not allow you to have any hard drive in any machine. You had to have an external boot drive for everything. We took out the orginal HD put it in an USB2 enclosure and it did not work. Swapped it to a firewire enclosure and it worked like a charm. This was for G4 desktops and G3 iMacs.

  • Reply 7 of 8
    USB booting is posible, I even booted OS 9, from a USB flash drive. The boot volume has to be formmated in HFS or HFS+.
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