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Old 10-30-2008, 04:50 AM   #9
iamback's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Amsterdam, NL
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Originally Posted by Howard Allen View Post
Yes, that comment raised my eyebrows, too. Current Macs (that have FW) will boot readily from FW external drives. I have two external HDs: one has FW and USB2, the other has FW400, FW800, USB2 and eSATA; I use FW400 on both, and use the 4-interface drive as a bootable backup (with SuperDuper!).

USB2 is sure no guarantee of bootability. My only Windows (XP) PC is a Sony Vaio laptop that has USB2 and FW (Sony's flavour--uses a mini connector). It won't boot from either. In fact, a couple years ago, when I was trying to come up with a strategy for a bootable backup--in case the laptop's internal HD went kaput when I was in a remote location--I found a Microsoft technical note that said flat out that Windows wouldn't boot (or at least they didn't recommend trying) from external USB hard drives. I don't know if this has changed with Vista--I would certainly hope so, because the lack of an external boot option seems to me a very serious shortcoming.
Whether a machine can boot from a USB drive is a matter of the BIOS, not the OS. My poor old Grace PC's BIOS does not know there would be things like external HDs on USB, and cannot boot from it. My MacBook, less than 1 year old and fitted with both USB2 (2) and Firewire (1) is perfectly able to boot from my external USB2 drive, though.

Marjolein Katsma
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