How to setup OSX on external drive?

Starter

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My internal harddrive is full, so I tried to load Tiger and iLife 05 onto the extermal drive. Everything seemed to work fine, except it wouldn't boot to the external harddrive directly.

The first time I turned Mac on, it booted to internal drive (Panther OS) despite the fact I set the boot drive to the external. Once it booted up on the Internal drive, I could restart and it would boot to the external drive, and everything worked fine.

To resolve this problem, I tried to delete the OSX on the internal drive, but then the iMac wouldn't work at all (unix errors...."panic...."). I therefore reinstalled Tiger on the internal drive to recover, but I'm now basically back to where I started.

Q: How do I install OSX on external harddrive so that it will boot directly (without restart)?

Any help would be greately appreciated!
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800Mhz iMac (lampshade type)
256RAM, 60GB Harddrive
Lacie 250GB external Harddrive
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
If the FW drive (it is FireWire, right?) is connected at boot time and is powered up and selected as the startup volume, then the Mac should boot from it the first time, always.

However: Why not clean up so that you have the OS and software on the internal drive and data etc. on the external - so the internal always has enough space free?
 

Starter

Registered
I appreciate your response!

To answer your question --

I do not understand how OSX thinks (I worked at Apple 15 years ago and was an "expert" with prior OS versions, but with the switch to UNIX I haven't kept up). Therefore...

I don't understand Library files
I don't understand User files

Seems like both need to be on the same drive as the OS for iLife to work (other apps don't seem to care). For example, I can't seem to get the same user profile/security profiles for my files on a different drive then the OS (the documents folder won't have the House symbol...it will just look and act like a regular folder).

Also, it appears to me that iPhoto and iTunes can't find my photos & songs unless they are in the same drive as the OS.

I'm I wrong?

Having the OS on the internal drive and documents/photos/songs on the other drive would be a good solution for me, but I can't get that to work either.

Thanks for your help...any comments to the above would be greately appreciated.
 

jamerican

Registered
Starter said:
I appreciate your response!

Also, it appears to me that iPhoto and iTunes can't find my photos & songs unless they are in the same drive as the OS.

I'm I wrong?

Having the OS on the internal drive and documents/photos/songs on the other drive would be a good solution for me, but I can't get that to work either.

Thanks for your help...any comments to the above would be greately appreciated.
I have my entire iTunes library (100+ Gigs) on 2 external HD's (one is a backup). You just have to set the iTunes preferences to look for the library on the external drive. I would imagine the same would be true of iPhoto.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Also with Panther/Tiger, you can simply put a folder that's on an external HD in the Finder's sidebar for quick access. Sure: No home folder icon, but that shouldn't worry you. Yes, the Library folder in your user's home folder will still grow a bit over time, because the system basically stores everything in there... You just have to make sure that the _big_ things go to the external...
 
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