External, Firewire Drive Recommendations for MacPro (Snow Leopard and Lion OS)

Can someone recommend a brand for an external hard drive for Apple products, please? It needs to be a bootable drive. I use Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper for backups. Just purchased a drive but it won't support bootable feature on Apple (1TB USB Buffalo drive). Thanks in advance for any help.

Thanks for all the info, Rob. I now have 6 drives (4 internal and 2 external)on MacPro. One drive with Snow Leopard and one drive with Lion. Just added a 2TB Seagate (with power supply) to mix. Backing up all Aperture photos on one drive and iPhoto on another. Gets confusing. Anyway,I'm staying with SL on my MacBook Pro until I get finished with a photo book I am creating in iPhoto, then maybe will take the leap on MBP. Take care.

Sorry mike

I try to explain it, all (or at least most) functions on a computer are software controlled, including keyboard, mouse, screen and input and output, plus USB power requirements! Which means that if you want to boot from an external disk there is no software available (including the USB power software request) at the time of booting on your computer until the booting is finished.

If you boot up from an external disk all the boot up software needed for the computer to function, including, as I said, the control of power supply to the USB of your external disk, is on your external disk!! and that is the problem.

So if you boot from an external disk your computer cannot do anything, and I mean anything at all until it has all the software instructions, which reside on your external disk.....

This will create a difficulty as you will understand, and to solve it, supply power first to the drive and this then will then supply all the software instructions to your mac.

I suggest in order to check that everything works as you require, make sure you have the original boot cd that came with the machine, then boot up the machine, make a complete HD copy on the external disk, which you already did, on the external drive, change the boot up sequence to boot up from external disk and reboot, see if this works, if not, them you can reboot from your CD and change the boot sequence back to the original sequence. nothing will have changed then and you are back where you started.


Guess that eliminates the USB drive. You would think that the computer would supply power to the drive like it usually does. Think I will go to Apple store in Anglet and find a drive. Thanks very much for your info. Ciao.

hi mike

Superduper should completely duplicate your internal drive to the external drive giving you the possibility to boot from internal or external drive (either one or the other, not both at the same time!)

The drive should be connected to an external power supply, as when you boot up your mac, from the external drive, the external drive needs power to tell your mac what to do, if not, your machine will not boot from the external drive as your mac has no instruction, yet, to feed power to the external drive via the usb connection, it will boot up from the internal drive instead.

I know it is confusing but computers are not like humans and often do not use common sense....

I hope can you understand the "Logic" in all this if not let me know if you need further info.

btw, we are far apart as I am living in "Cucax cabardes" near "Carcassonne" and you are somewhere south of Bordeaux as far as I know.


Rob Vogel

Rob, re-formatted USB using GUID partition and made another clone of hard drive. Everything worked fine using Carbon Copy Cloner. I checked Startup Disk and there it was ready to go. However, I did not reboot because if it went wrong, I would be totally dismayed. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it.) Would still like to understand your comment on connecting to external power supply.

Thank you for your reply. Great info. One (maybe two) questions. I just purchased a 1TB "Buffalo" USB drive thinking I would use CCC or SuperDuper to make startup drive should I completely lose my drive on my MBPro.

I will format using your recommendation.

Just don't understand your last comment about the drive being connected to an external power supply. Thought USB would eliminate the power supply. Now back to square one and a visit to Amazon. If you don't mind me asking, where are you located? I am in Dax.

I am using a NAS (network attached storage) box which allow me to boot up directly, also an external USB drive attached to the Mac, which also allows me to boot up my Mac machine bypassing the old operating system installed on the machine. both drives are "1TB Western digital" Drives and have been running now for a number of years You can boot up from an USB drive by formatting the drive as a "GUID" partition (globally unique identifier) this is the standard formatting format for "intel macs", do not use the "apple partition map" mode, it is for the older macs, To start from a USB storage device select it in Startup Disk preferences, or press and hold the Option key to access Startup Manager. note the drive must be connected to an external power supply!!


Rob Vogel