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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Booting from external drive... with complications


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starsky72

 
Member Since: Apr 12, 2008
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Hi

I am having a few difficulties and hope someone can help..

I have a 21inch iMac running Snow Leopard. It has a broken screen so I am using an external monitor. It also has a damagedinternal hard drive so I have installed OSX on an external drive.

All was fine and dandy until this morning when it decided to boot from the undamaged part of the internal drive which has Windows 7 installed.

Now I don't seem to be able to choose/change things to make it boot from the external drive. When I try to click the "black diamond" to choose boot from OSX it cant find OSX as its on an external drive.

I've tried umpteen reboots holding different keys down but it just boots to Windows...

Can anyone suggest anything (other than throwing it out of the window!)


Stu
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chscag

 
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, OS X Mavericks

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Don't you think it's time to replace or repair the 21" iMac? With a broken display and a bad hard drive, the machine is pretty much useless.

Anyway, the next time you reboot hold down the option key as soon as you hear the chime. If the external hard drive is bootable, it'll show up. If it doesn't show up, that probably means your external hard drive has joined the 21" display and internal hard drive.
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starsky72

 
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Does seem a shame to ditch it when the "heart" of the machine still works fine, however I have been looking at a new one but thought I would wait until the latest refreshed models are released.
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chscag

 
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, OS X Mavericks

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I share your pain. I've been in the same situation myself, however, if you can't afford to replace the display and the hard drive for whatever reason, it might be best to move on.

Have you thought about buying a Mac Mini? Since you have an external display all you would need is to add a keyboard and mouse. The Mini is a nice machine and is affordable.

On the other hand, if you're able to do some repairs yourself, you might consider replacing the display and hard drive as a DIY project. Both are fairly difficult tasks especially on an iMac, but they're certainly doable.

Take a look at the procedure involved by going to iFixit: The free repair manual. Of course you will also need to add in the cost of the display and new hard drive.
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