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  1. #1

    cryption's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    22
    Specs:
    Black Macbook 2.0 intel duo, 1gig ram
    Western Digital Passport Studio - bootable external
    When Imaging Macs, I usually have a bootable image on an external hard drive, option boot via firewire and then image the computer with disc utility from a .dmg stored on the external. I have been doing this for ages (I work in my university tech shop), and they just got use new hard drives: The Western Digital Passport Studio.

    It can be seen here: My Passport Studio 320 GB Triple Interface Hard Drives ( WDMT3200 )

    For some reason I'm unable to boot to this drive. I've created a single partition will all the drive's space, and done the usual routine and when I go to option boot it will not boot to the drive. If I go to "startup disc" in the system preferences, it sees the drive as a bootable drive. When I restart to boot to the drive, I get the "question mark" flashing that it cannot find an OS, and then boots to the hard drive.

    I'm wondering if Western Digital has their own partition on the drive that disc utility would see when I partition/format/image it? Could that be what the computer sees, and tries to boot from instead of my partition/image?

    What can I do to make my drive bootable, be it delete the partition I cannot see in disc utility, or create the image in a specific way. Does the fact that I'm having to convert to Firewire 800 to Firewire 400 via a cable make a difference?

    Thanks so much.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,509
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    According to the specifications for the drive it's already factory formatted for use on Mac machines. Is there some reason you created a partition on the drive? It should already have come pre-formatted to HFS + as a single partition. They even mention it's ready for Time Machine.

    Should be no other partitions (hidden or otherwise) except the single 320 Gb.

    A simple clone to the drive using "SuperDuper" or "Carbon Copy Cloner" should render it bootable.

    If your Mac is not an Intel Mac, then you would have to attach the drive via the FW cable. FW 400 or 800 works. As far as converting the FW 800 to 400 is concerned, I really don't know if that would prevent the drive from booting.

    Regards.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Aug 24, 2009
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by cryption View Post
    When Imaging Macs, I usually have a bootable image on an external hard drive, option boot via firewire and then image the computer with disc utility from a .dmg stored on the external. I have been doing this for ages (I work in my university tech shop), and they just got use new hard drives: The Western Digital Passport Studio.
    ...
    Thanks so much.
    Try booting from USB. I can't seem to boot the drive via Firewire on any of my Macs, but it boots fine via USB.

    It's very annoying because the Firewire 800 drive cost nearly twice what the USB drive costs.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Sep 22, 2009
    Posts
    1
    Same problem here
    I recently purchased a WD Passport Studio drive (500GB) and am having the same problems. When I tried to clone my internal drive with Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper via FW800/400, the process becomes stalled after about 8-9 min. I was only successful cloning by doing the following: a) connect via USB, b) use Carbon Copy Cloner (didn't try incremental with SuperDuper), c) used "Incremental Backup" and d) resumed the cloning every time it stalled. Beforehand, I a) successfully verified both the target and source disks, b) formatted the drive as Mac Extended (journaled), c) partitioned the drive and d) turned off Spotlight and Google indexing.

    Even though I Carbon Copy Cloner indicated that I had a successful clone, my MBP couldn't see the external drive whether I connected via USB, FW400 or FW800. I took the drive and my MBP to the Genius Bar where I was able to boot from one of their G-RAID external drives, but the store's MBP also couldn't see my WD Drive. Therefore I can assume that my MBP works and there's something about the drive.

    From what I read about WD, it seems there's some sort of spin-down feature that prevents cloning or using it as a bootable volume.

    Bombich Software Forums - View topic - DO NOT USE a*****WESTERN DIGITAL*****drive...

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Feb 01, 2010
    Posts
    1
    Western Digital Passport boot problem
    I have the same exact problem (Huntsville, TX). A WD Passport 320 external firewire connection, and it behaves exactly the way yours does (cryption). I am running a Powerbook G4 rather than Intel (OS10.4.9) and get the same exact behavior you do. Have you had any luck since you posted? I tried creating the clone several times, via both CCC and SuperDuper. No luck at all. The clone is created, but it is non-bootable.

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