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Mike
Mike, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2186
Experience:  Apple trained Technician, A+ Certified, 20+ years of Mac support, repairs, training, and consulting
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How can I get iMac 10.3.9 to give me a choice of (a) booting

Customer Question

How can I get iMac 10.3.9 to give me a choice of (a) booting from the hard disk, or (b) booting from external firewire drive. I can boot from the firewire if I choose it in the start-up box in the preferences.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  James replied 7 years ago.
Hi chuck

If you start the computer holding in the option key during start up
It will open the start up manager for you to choose which OS to start from
Or in system preferences you can select Startup Disk and select the OS you want to start from,
the computer will restart in that system

James [Mac-Access]
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I tried holding the Option key, but on starting it disregarded that. It does boot , as I said in my question, when the choice is selected in the Preferences. So apparently, I was doing what should be done but holding the Option key did not suceed in doing what I wanted. ???
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I guess you cannot solve the problem- since I already have done what you sggest.
Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
Hi,

Do you by chance have an Aluminum keybaord?

Do you have access to another USB keyboard to try?

Let me know,
Mike
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Holding the Option Key down longer (and right before the "chime") I was able to bring up a screen that showed the Macintosh Hard Drive as well as the Firewire External Drive. Then I booted to the Firewire Drive- and it all worked.

From the Mac booted on the Firewire Drive, I ran Disk Utility on the Macintosh Hard Drive (which now was not the System drive. It came up with errors that Disk Utility could not correct. Not knowing what to do from there I decided to reboot into the Mac Hard Drive.

My understanding was that when I restart from the Apple Menu the machine should automatically boot to the main Mac Hard Drive- it did not do so- it just hung up. The only way I could get back to being booted from the Mac Hard Drive was to shut the machine off. I disconnected the Firewire Drive.

Then, holding the Option Key down for a long time the Mac Hard Drive showed up as the only choice for a boot-up drive.

Long story but I think I am back to "square one".


Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
Hi,

With errors being reported on the Mac drive, you might want to consider backing it up completely onto the FireWire drive to protect your data. A good backup software is Carbon Copy Cloner. It makes an identical copy of your drive, makes it bootable and then you can boot from it, repair/erase the hard drive, and then use CCC to restore the main drive.

Then you can run a utility like Drive Genius or Disk Warrior to fix the drive. If it still cannot be fixed, since it is backed up, I would re-format the drive and then restore it from the backup.

And I think you found out that holding the option key down as the chime sounds or before it, and keeping it down until the Startup Manager runs is the solution to choosing drives.

Mike
Mike, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2186
Experience: Apple trained Technician, A+ Certified, 20+ years of Mac support, repairs, training, and consulting
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