Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 05, 2016, 12:44:16 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Question for Mac lovers ...  (Read 2776 times)

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Question for Mac lovers ...
« on: September 11, 2009, 04:54:44 AM »
I have a client who has a Mac with a dead DVD internal drive and she doesn't want to send it back to Apple and pay a fortune for a new drive to be fitted (Sorry not sure of the type of Mac machine because I haven't seen it).

Looking at USB and Firewire drives there seem to be quite a few compatible with Macs but obviously the USB drives are bit less pricey.

Three quick questions:

  • Can you use any USB DVD+/-RW/DL/RAM drives on Macs or are you limited to drives that are specifically Mac compat?
  • Can you install Snow Leopard from an external USB drive (I assume you hold Option or Alt during startup to get the boot menu).
  • Finally is there any quick way to establish if the MAc USB ports are v1.1 or 2 spec.?

Thanks

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,294
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Question for Mac lovers ...
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 06:00:38 AM »
Okay just for the record (given the thread title - so no one gets the wrong idea) I detest anything Apple.

But... I have had occasion to stand next to next from time to tome and I am observant.

1. Yes, any drive will do.
2. I'm 85% sure that's possible as I seem to recall hearing about folks doing that on several of the beta OS forums I frequent.
3. You mean visually? I doubt it ... but it's all backwards compatable so it shouldn't matter.

That's the best I can do hope it helps. :)

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Question for Mac lovers ...
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 06:21:52 AM »
Thanks.

Actually I have been reading around and you can check the USB device from the System Info - USB 2 devices are listed as 'fast' in the devices, 1.1 omits fast.

Re. installing Snow Leopard there seems to be some confusion over whether you can do it from a USB device or whether
you need a firewire device. I'd guess the confusion largely arises because many Mac user don't know the difference ;)

Re. hardware compatibility I suspected that pretty much any USB drive would do but it is a bit disconcerting that some devices get Mac compatibility listed and others don't (even from the same manufacturer).

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Question for Mac lovers ...
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 12:07:42 PM »
I'd recommend going Firewire... USB works but Apple support for Firewire, particularly WRT OS installs is far more comprehensive. Also, depending on the age of the machine, you might not even have access to a USB 2.0 port. In that case, FW will be much quicker. FWIW, I've been down this path with a circa 2001 iBook - USB 1.0 ports and a first generation FW port. The USB is so slow it's insulting! I have successfully used all manner of USB devices, including DVD burners and external harddrives, though.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Question for Mac lovers ...
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 01:08:53 PM »
I have chatted to her and the USB is 2.0.

She doesn't really need a DVD writer so I figure that in the long term a USB drive is going to be much cheaper and if she wants to flog it on eBay it will sell more easily. I just want to be absolutely certain that the Mac will allow Snow Leopard to be installed from a USB drive - reading the forums it is obvious that some people have but there seems to be a conflict.

Actually I am not convinced there is anything wrong with her internal drive - it seems to cope with all discs except the Snow Leopard disc. There is a lot of forum chatter and complaints about duff SL discs. The strange thing is she has never had any problem before but two SL discs have actually come out of the drive scratched! Apple are sending her a third but I am keen to eliminate the drive as an issue before she tries it in the internal drive.

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Question for Mac lovers ...
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2009, 01:18:58 PM »
You should be good to go, then! I used a USB DVD drive to install Tiger on my iBook, through the USB 1 port. N-I-G-H-T-M-A-R-E! You should have much easier time with USB 2  :) BTW, with OS X you can install the OS TO AN EXTERNAL HARDDRIVE (or even an iPod/iPhone) and then transfer that to a second machine. Thus, if you have access to a second Mac with a reliable DVD drive and USB 2, you could take this route, if you don't want to buy a USB drive.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Question for Mac lovers ...
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2009, 01:27:12 PM »
Unfortunately no second Mac

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,294
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Question for Mac lovers ...
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2009, 03:49:44 PM »
Unfortunately no second Mac
I'm looking at that as a positive think; if one had two Macs, that would tend to obligate them to buy the T-shirt, start commenting on paintings & waring sandals, and to like the idea of paying $9 a cup for coffee ... It all spirals down hill from there really.

One Mac is best, it allows one to engage in an experiment that can then be safely grown out of.

I have one that someone gave me, it's a PowerCenter 150 running OS9. I'll admit it was fun trying to figure out how to hack together a copy of OS9 to run on a box that old...it took most of a day. But now it sits in the corner collecting dust...which it started doing a week after a friend & I got it running...it doesn't bother me any at all.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 03:52:42 PM by Stoic Joker »

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Question for Mac lovers ...
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2009, 05:12:32 PM »
Unfortunately no second Mac
I'm looking at that as a positive think; if one had two Macs, that would tend to obligate them to buy the T-shirt, start commenting on paintings & waring sandals, and to like the idea of paying $9 a cup for coffee ... It all spirals down hill from there really.

One Mac is best, it allows one to engage in an experiment that can then be safely grown out of.

I have one that someone gave me, it's a PowerCenter 150 running OS9. I'll admit it was fun trying to figure out how to hack together a copy of OS9 to run on a box that old...it took most of a day. But now it sits in the corner collecting dust...which it started doing a week after a friend & I got it running...it doesn't bother me any at all.

 ;D ;D ;D
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin