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Old 06-18-2005, 10:09 PM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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Location: Weston, MA
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I can't boot from my SuperDuper! copy. Why?

First, I'm assuming that you made a full "Backup - all files" (or a Sandbox) with either Erase, then copy or Smart Update. Copy newer and Copy different do not guarantee bootability, and should not be used for bootable copies.

Given that, the answer to this is easy for USB drives used with Power PC Macs: Power PC Macintosh computers don't support booting from USB, whether USB 1 or 2. No program can create a bootable USB volume for Power PC Macintoshes at this time. Intel Macs, however, work fine with USB 2 drives.

FireWire drives are trickier. Some FireWire drives do not support booting Macintosh computers, even though this isn't indicated on the packaging. In fact, many drives indicate they're Mac-compatible, even though they don't support booting.

In general, we recommend sticking with one of the major Mac-friendly manufacturers such as OWC, WiebeTech, LaCie and Maxtor. They work hard to ensure their drives are fully compatible, and traditionally do extensive testing with current Mac hardware.

The most important thing is to have an Oxford-based FireWire bridge chipset. Prolific and Initio "Oxford compatible" chipsets often have problems with OSX, both when copying and trying to boot.

Finally, since some release of 10.4 after 10.4.0, probably right around the time Boot Camp came out, Disk Utility started being able to format a partition as HFS+, even though the underlying partition scheme is Master Boot Record (Windows).

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).
--Dave Nanian

Last edited by dnanian; 08-14-2006 at 03:31 PM. Reason: Added additional information about drives and partition types
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