External drive booting with OSX

A bit of scratching my head this morning over why a microdrive wasn’t detected as a valid boot device on my PPC Apple hardware.

As it turns out, x86 macs can boot off of USB2 without difficulty. PPC may not use USB devices as startup media. That would explain it!

So that leaves the 20-40 minute boot up off of a CD or DVD or making sure a firewire device is set up for external boot.

It should also be worth mentioning that Intel macs have a different bootloader than PPC macs so that the drives are not interchangeable. In addition to the more traditional MBR, Apple is currently using the GUID Partition Table for x86 macs and Apple Partition Map for PPC.

Suggestion: when troubleshooting PPC hardware, have a firewire boot drive with appropriate software available.

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