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wwc 11-30-2008 03:38 PM

Vantec NexStar 3 2.5" IDE enclosure
I've tried using SuperDuper! with my Vantec NexStar 3 2.5" IDE enclosure. I've tried multiple drives with mostly poor results. The backup usually works. Afterward, however, Mac OS X (Tiger) sometimes refuses to mount the cloned drive; the drive never appears in Finder and nothing useful appears in the system log files.

I have never successfully booted to a drive in this enclosure. I recommend staying away.

gantte 12-23-2008 11:52 PM

Hi, first the setup introduction.
I'm using a macbookpro 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Leopard 10.5.6.
My internal disk is Hitachi HTS723232L9A360 (320GB 7200rpm SATA)

I bought my SuperDuper! about 2 weeks ago. I bought another identical Hitachi raw drive (identical to the internal disk above) from OWC and also a case for the drive. The case is an AMS Venus DS2 model 2215SESBk (SATA internal to eSATA+USB2.0)

I connect the external Hitachi via the USB 2.0 connector, as the macbookpro does not have eSATA connections.

This combo works flawlessly with SuperDuper!. It initially formatted using Disk Utility as Mac OS Extended Journaled. Then I did the initial SuperDuper! Erase, full copy and make disk bootable. Since I don't know the magic key code to select an alternative boot volume on power up, I use System Preferences --> Startup Disk and the external disk is recognized, I select it and the system reboots from the external disk.
FM! (F*g magic!) As it should work!

Now, today I was in Sam's and found a real deal on a Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini. This is also a 320GB disk, and with the same USB 2.0 to USBmini connector. I formatted Mac OS Extended Journaled, and let SuperDuper! have it's next two hours doing the initially Erase, Copy all and make bootable.

Unfortunately, when this finished, this Maxtor OneTouch was NOT recognized as a valid Bootable disk using System Prefs --> Startup Disk. So I tried then to recopy the data, but this time using Smart Update. This took less than 10 minutes and I verified in the Log that the disk was set to be bootable.

Still I cannot see the Maxtor OneTouch as bootable.
Here is the info from System Profiler:
Capacity: 298.09 GB
Removable Media: Yes
Detachable Drive: Yes
BSD Name: disk1
Product ID: 0x7350
Vendor ID: 0x0d49
Version: 1.25
Serial Number: ----------
Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
Manufacturer: Maxtor
Location ID: 0xfd100000
Current Available (mA): 500
Current Required (mA): 100
Mac OS 9 Drivers: No
Partition Map Type: MBR (Master Boot Record)
S.M.A.R.T. status: Not Supported
Capacity: 298.09 GB
Available: 160.21 GB
Writable: Yes
File System: Journaled HFS+
BSD Name: disk1s1
Mount Point: /Volumes/GanttBackup2

If I unplug the Maxtor, using the SAME USB CABLE and plug in my external Hitachi, it spins up, mounts and is recognizable with Startup Disk. Here is the info from Profiler from the Hitachi:

JM20336 SATA, USB Combo:
Capacity: 298.09 GB
Removable Media: Yes
Detachable Drive: Yes
BSD Name: disk1
Product ID: 0x2336
Vendor ID: 0x152d (JMicron Technology Corp.)
Version: 1.00
Serial Number: ---------------
Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
Manufacturer: JMicron
Location ID: 0xfd100000
Current Available (mA): 500
Current Required (mA): 2
Mac OS 9 Drivers: No
Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
S.M.A.R.T. status: Not Supported
Capacity: 297.77 GB
Available: 160.15 GB
Writable: Yes
File System: Journaled HFS+
BSD Name: disk1s2
Mount Point: /Volumes/GanttBackup 1

Any ideas on why the external USB connected Hitachi is bootable and the external USB connected Maxtor OneTouch is not bootable?

In comparing the two profiles of these drive, I note that the Partition map type of the Maxtor that is not seen as "bootable" is: MBR (Master Boot Record).

While the Partition map type of the Hitachi is: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
This *is* seen as bootable.


Finally, thank you for a wonderful backup tool.

gantte 12-24-2008 12:18 AM

OK, I just found in the FAQ this statement:
"Macs cannot start up from volumes that are partitioned with Master Boot Record, regardless of chip. So, make sure your external drives are partitioned with APM (if you want them to work with both Intel and Power PC Macs) or GUID (if you're only working with Intel)."

So since I've discovered that that the non-booting Maxtor OneTouch is partitioned "Master Boot Record" I assume this is directly related to my problem. So-o-o, what is "APM" and is it possible to reformat my Maxtor OneTouch so that SuperDuper! images are bootable?

Thanks again.

gantte 12-24-2008 12:46 AM

Ok, I've found under Disk Utility the way to select the Maxtor OneTouch to be partitioned with GPT (GUID Partition Table). I just blown away my previous work on the OneTouch and Erased and Partitioned it as one disk, with GPT. I'm now re-cloning the disk and I'm confident that my booting woes will be resolved in a few hours. Sorry for all the followups, hopefully this will help the next guy.

dnanian 12-24-2008 07:21 AM

Glad you've figured it out - I was a bit worried as I read your list that you were going to partition as "APM", which was incorrect for your situation.

gantte 12-24-2008 10:17 AM

I'm now able to recognize and boot from the externally cloned Maxtor OneTouch 4 disk drive! By holding down my "Option" key on power up, and holding it a few seconds, I got two big icons right in the center of my screen. I chose the orange USB disk icon and up it came. Excellent! I'm still not sure why when I formatted my external Hitachi in the case, that it was formatted as GPT with no intervention on my part. I formatted the OneTouch yesterday exactly that way I did the Hitachi, and the "default" behaviour was Master Boot Record mode.

Anyway, a few lessons learned and hopefully if others want to pick up a Maxtor OneTouch 4 320GB USB disk at Sam's Warehouse/Sam' Club, they were $95.
By having a few extra drives around, dedicated to doing nothing but SuperDuper!
backups, you really prevent catastrophic and timely downtime. My work on my
computer is worth a lot more than the $95 for the disk and + $27 into the SuperDuper!.

Thank you for a wonderful, easy to use, and completely MUST HAVE tool.

dnanian 12-24-2008 10:18 AM

Glad it's now working as expected, gantte!

JB3 01-09-2009 03:08 PM

SuperDuper and Seagate FreeAgent Go, Mac Version
Hi all!

During Christmas I bought my sons and I the new Seagate FreeAgent Go for Mac 500GB external HD packages, thanks to Aston Kucher's TV ad's impression on my sons that this was a good thing, and MacWorld's review that it was a solid speedy drive.

This last week I put SuperDuper to work creating bootable backups of (first) a black Intel MacBook. Wonderful. Works using USB 2 (requires two cables) or Firewire 400. Thank you Shirt Pocket and Seagate.

I then went to work on a PowerBook G4, 1.5 GHz, making sure to use the firewire port, since I wanted it to be a bootable backup when I restarted from the backup. No dice.

The transfer rate in backing up the internal drive was exceptional, and took minimal time, but when I tried to boot from the drive using the Seagate's supplied FW 800 to 800 cable or FW 800 to 400 conversion cable, the PowerBook would not boot from the drive. I then tried to boot another newer PowerBook G4 with the faster 1.67 GHz processor using the same disc. Still no dice.

I used Disc Utility to check the partitioning information on the Seagate external and found it to be a GUID partition.

Is this perhaps the reason it will not boot on the PowerBooks (PPC G4 Macs)? If so, I have already determined that erasing the drive with Disc Utility (v11.1 under System 10.5.6) or using SuperDuper will not return it to an APM status.

How can I format the disc as APM to try on the two PPC PowerBook G4's that I have? (Note: see the following posts to make a PPC or dual-boot drive from this disc.)


chris_johnsen 01-09-2009 03:45 PM

The Disk Utility application can repartition a drive (select the drive, select the Partition tab, select Options…, select Apple Partition Map, …). Changing repartitioning will erase all the existing data. If you need to preserve the data you might be able to use a third party application like iPartition.

JB3 01-09-2009 03:54 PM

Reformatting a Mac GUID formatted Disc to APM for PPC Macs and More
How to format a GUID Disc to APM:

Open Disc Utility. Select the disc to be re-formatted. Select Partition, choose the desired number of partitions (which can be 1), then options. The options dialog will allow you to select the type of format: GUID, APM, or Master Boot Record, and will show information regarding which format will work as a start-up disc on Intel and PPC systems. (Note: The options button remains grayed out until you select a number of partitions.)


Further references for creating a dual (Intel [I]and[I] PPC) bootable SuperDuper backup include these two excellent references:


JB3 01-09-2009 03:56 PM

Thanks, Chris.

iPartition is a great utility for just that reason and perfect in this instance.


Bob Anderson 03-20-2009 08:42 PM

Having had some problems with the LaCie power supplies I decided to look around for an alternative.
I ended up buying two Freecom 500 GB external firewire drives Model 31251.
After six months of use I don't think I'll be buying any more LaCie drives.
These Freecom drives are brilliant. I'm using one, reformatted, on a G5 tower and the other, straight out of the box, on an Intel iMac.
Both drives work perfectly with Time Machine and are bootable from their SD backups.
They're also, on this side of the pond anyway, much cheaper than the LaCie models......£90 ish from Amazon.

nekomatic 03-24-2009 10:00 AM

Has anyone got any experience with the LG XD1 series external portable hard disks please? They seem to be the cheapest 500 GB portables on sale in the UK at the moment, excluding no-name brands and WD Passports.

dnanian 03-24-2009 10:03 AM

No direct experience nor any users I remember having the drive, no.

One thing, though. You're buying a drive to do backups because you value your data. Going for the "cheapest" isn't always the best thing to do... isn't your data worth the few extra $ you'd have to pay to get a high quality drive?

nekomatic 03-24-2009 01:13 PM

Of course, but if a choice of high quality drives is available it seems reasonable to pick the cheapest one. At the moment I don't know if the LG drive is high quality or not, that's why I'm asking for people's experiences of it ;)

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