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  1. #1
    Two External Bootable Partitions Possible?
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Two External Bootable Partitions Possible?
    Hi Everyone!
    I'm new to posting on this forum, so I hope I'm in the correct section.
    What I want to accomplish is to buy a Firewire external hard drive and partition it into 3 partitions. Two will be bootable and one will be for storing some documents and stuff and junk. (Lighten the load on the hard drives- Move pictures and unneeded documents)

    Partition One will be made into a clone of our Home Macbook Pro. Partition Two will be made into a clone of our Business Macbook. The idea behind all of this is that each of our Macs has to go in for repairs. While, for instance, the Home Macbook is in the shop, I'd like to be able to use the Business Macbook and boot into the Home Macbook's image.

    When it's repaired, I'll restore the Macbook's drive from the back up on the external drive. Then, I'll switch and send the Business Macbook for repair, using the external drive to boot into the Business Macbook's clone from the Home Macbook. (Huh? Now even I'm confused.)

    For long term, I'd like to keep each of these clones current: Mirroring their respective hard drives with incremental back ups. Then, next time something goes haywire, we're good to go. I see lots of programs are available to make back-ups, but I don't know about the booting part being acceptable by the Macbook.

    Basically, I'm asking if I can partition One external into two bootable partitions (plus a non bootable one) and choose which partition I want on startup (by using the OPTION key method). Will the Macbook see both partitions as bootable?
    I'm running OS X .4.11.
    Thank you all for your advice! I appreciate it.
    Paul

  2. #2
    Two External Bootable Partitions Possible?
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Are these MacBooks all IDENTICAL? If not, I wouldn't be booting one from the backup of another. There could be differences in drivers and settings that would cause issues when used with the wrong MacBook. Worst-case scenario... you fry your hardware doing so.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
    ------
    Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

  3. #3
    Two External Bootable Partitions Possible?
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Yikes!
    Thanks lifesabeach! You may have saved me from goofing things up.
    On the surface of it, the two are indeed identical. (Same Make, Model, year, Etc) But, I'll bet there's some obscure setting somewhere in one or the other that will wreak havoc, as you pointed out.

    What I'll do now is format the external drive for my business Macbook, as that is the most critical of the backup needs. When the home computer is in the shop, I'll just copy the files onto a separate (non bootable) partition and access them as needed from the external on my business macbook. Does that sound best? (Other than buying two separate external drives.)
    Thanks,
    Paul

  4. #4
    Two External Bootable Partitions Possible?
    baggss's Avatar
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    If the machines are the exact same hardware models, you should be fine. Individual system settings within the user profile won't be an issue.


  5. #5
    Two External Bootable Partitions Possible?
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird Doo Head View Post
    Yikes!
    Thanks lifesabeach! You may have saved me from goofing things up.
    On the surface of it, the two are indeed identical. (Same Make, Model, year, Etc) But, I'll bet there's some obscure setting somewhere in one or the other that will wreak havoc, as you pointed out.

    What I'll do now is format the external drive for my business Macbook, as that is the most critical of the backup needs. When the home computer is in the shop, I'll just copy the files onto a separate (non bootable) partition and access them as needed from the external on my business macbook. Does that sound best? (Other than buying two separate external drives.)
    Thanks,
    Paul
    I doubt there's anything all that obscure between the two that would cause a problem. In any event, is there something you are doing on one versus the other that really requires booting from its specific image to maintain productivity? I'd certainly keep a complete backup of each computer, but to make life REALLY easy, rather than lug an external drive around, copy the data files you work with to a re-writable DMG file before sending the laptop they are from off for service, copy that DMG into the other computer, and work directly with that. Save changes directly to the DMG file.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
    ------
    Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
    ------
    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

  6. #6
    Two External Bootable Partitions Possible?
    PGB1's Avatar
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    The DMG file sounds like a very safe idea. I think I'll experiment around with that idea tonight or tomorrow. Then, I can use the external as a plain and simple back up storage place for each machine, keeping it protected.

    I have been using (dot)Mac only for backups, but with low prices on mass storage it only makes sense to switch. (If I used the other features of (dot)Mac, I'd reconsider.

    Now, off to experiment! (And learn)
    Paul

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