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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:57 pm 
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Was looking for something else & ran across I think, an Apple article that said a certain Mac or newer was needed to boot from USB3 drives, but it's not clear if that meant actually to use USB3, or whether it was a Firmware or OS X deal.

After several attempts at cloning various OS X versions, I can never get it to show in Startup Disk or alt boot as bootable.

Or might it be the silly, almost useless Bus powered WD My Passport 25AA ?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:17 pm 
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I don't know of anything unique about USB 3 drives that cause them not to work on USB 2 systems. If a system boots off USB it shouldn't care whether the device is USB 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, or whatever.

The only time I have boot problems on USB is when the disk isn't GPT formatted. Or, well, when the system isn't USB bootable (never got my G5 to recognize USB as a valid boot device).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:44 pm 
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Yeah, I never got my G5 Quad to boot from USB, but all 3 eMacs could using alt key, & on the 1.42 GHz eMac it even showed in Startup Disk CP until I reset NVRAM once!

GPT?

Disk Utility reports both bootable USB2 Drive & unbeatable USB 3 drive as GUID Mac OS Extended Journaled, & both as Bootable, but the USB3 drive will not show in Startup nDisk CP or alt boot!???


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Maybe more specifics? I remember when chipsets made a difference to Firewire bootability.

Drive size? I recall reading that the partition (or maybe the entire drive??) has to be smaller than 2 TB to be bootable.

Which actual computer and model drive are we talking about here?


Last edited by Limnos on Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:07 pm 
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3 Computers tried Actually, eMac 1.42 GHZ for 10.4/10.5, Mid 2007 iMac 2.4 GHz & Mid 2011 iMac i7 3.4 GHz for 10.6.8 through 10.11.5.

2 GB MY PASSPORT FOR MAC

Nobody knows what chipset is in it outside of one person at WD! :upset:

But it is a special USB3 thingamabob directly integrated on the HDD.

https://www.wdc.com/products/portable-s ... fgodJAgELQ


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Oh. Sorry. GPT is GUID Partition Table. Everyone but Apple calls it GPT. Spend your life wrenching Linux & Windows long enough and you start adopting their terms.

I actually worked on one of those HDs once after it failed but didn't make any headway. Even swapped a controller over from a same-model drive (USB plug and all) and it still didn't come back to life.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:12 pm 
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Lousy is right, I'd certainly not recommend them to anyone... on fact I'd say you might get more enjoyment of lighting a $100 bill on fire & watching it go up in smoke... but somewhere in the past I must've POed the Save your Money gods! :bonk:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Both Seagate and WD do this USB controller nonsense, I wouldn't be too surprised if Toshiba did it too, although the last Toshiba I tore apart was a normal SATA drive. Third parties so far have always been SATA but they're always more expensive too. I try to buy bare drives and cases and build my own but that's always the most expensive option.

If you really want to find out you could buy a USB 3 flash drive, you can get 16GB is under $10 now, 32GB is a little above $10 for most makes/models. I find them useful for bootable media, though using them in parallel when installing software on dozens of systems at the same time works well too. I own the 16GB version of that drive and the 128GB version (black friday sale), so far they've been working great.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:35 pm 
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I have stopped buying standard external drives and go with bare drives and a Voyageur docking station. In fact I just bought a second one so I can better coordinate archiving material to archive drives. I keep one plugged in all the time and use CCC in a Time Machine mode to back up automatically every 3 hours to a 2 TB WD blue drive. It seems WD (and possibly HGST) is still one of the better brands to use in terms of the drives themselves, but I have never really trusted complete package external drives since most likely the vendor is going to put the cheapest drive inside of them. One of the reasons I would not buy a Time Capsule, since nobody seems to be able to tell me what is inside of it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:19 am 
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I usually buy cases & appoint my own preferred drives, but things were going downhill here really fast due to leaky roof & I thought my last 2 computers were dead or dying, no time to wait for delivery, so I rushed out to Staples to get a drive while one Mac would still boot sometimes... I was also having trouble with all the backups I had... didn't want a WD case, didn't want a 2.5" drive for sure, but the only other choice was a Seagate 3 TB. :(

MB, do USB 2 Macs boot from USB3 Flash drives?

And thanks for the GPT/GUID info. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:14 am 
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It seems it is something to do with that particular WD drive, not related to USB3, but rather for how they have made it.
https://community.wd.com/t/can-i-make-a ... rive/11684

Maybe the "Built-in 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption with WD Security software helps keep your content private and safe" is the interferring spanner in the works that inhibits the Mac's ability to see it as a bootable volume. But that's just my speculation.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:42 am 
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Thanks Roam, I'm pretty sure you're correct, I wonder on the encryption though, not using any SW it came with, because strongly there was none... & all apps, finder, etc. see all the files I put on it, 'suppose it could still be some boot anomaly.
One pf these days I'll try the old PPC trick, boot-device ud:3,\\:tbxi hd:,\\:tbxi"

Hmmm, does CMD+option+o+f still work on IntelMacs?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:09 pm 
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I'm currently using a 2010 MacBook Pro (a USB 2 system) that boots off USB 3.0 flash drives all the time. On occasion I've booted off USB 3.0 HDs too.

WD is one of the few companies out there who still engineers their own bridge chips, everyone else - even Seagate - just buys off the shelf parts from the squintillion of companies out there making bridge chips. I think this is why WD has so many unique and inexplicable problems with their external drives.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:07 pm 
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Thanks much MB. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:16 pm 
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Here another +1 for "avoid WD external drives."

- Anonymous


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