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Ask Max: Booting an Intel Mac from an External Drive

Asked on 10/29/2007:

I have purchased several computers from you guys and now I have a question. Can I boot if a system is loaded on an external hard drive to my MacBook Pro Intel?

PS what 800 firewire drive would you suggest?


You can boot an Intel Mac from an external drive, but due to a partition scheme change on the new Intel Macs, you have to format the drive with a GUID Partition Table. This is an option under the Partition tab in Disk Utility. Click on the Options button to see your partitioning options and select GUID. Once formatted, you can clone over an OS. Not all install discs let you install on an external drive, so be prepared to clone if necessary. Carbon Copy Cloner is my choice for cloning.

As for external boot drive recommendations, LaCie drives are a great option. The LaCie 500GB Hard Disk eSATA is great for having a versatile boot drive that will work on any Intel Mac system.

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