When new versions of an operating system are released, its not uncommon to want to test out how the new software will work with your hardware, software, and data. The worst thing to experience is when your “upgrade” becomes a “downgrade” because none of your data is accessible or software available.
Apple recently released Snow Leopard and we walked readers through how to install snow leopard from a USB Drive. Now we’ll explain the steps on how to install snow leopard onto an External Hard Drive so users can test out the new OS X 10.6 without risking the potential negative impacts of an upgrade on their Leopard Installation.
The steps to install Snow Leopard onto an external hard drive are very similar to the steps of booting OS X from a USB drive. In fact, if you have a large enough USB flash drive, you can use these same steps to install Snow Leopard on to it. This 128 GB USB Flash Drive can service just as well as a normal External Hard Drive, and may even run a bit faster than your typical HD.
The installation requires at least 8.1gb of space, so a normal 8gb flash drive won’t work. If you’re using an External Hard Drive you can install the complete installation (11gb). If this isn’t enough space be sure to customize the installation and remove printer settings and extra languages.
Once the installation to my External Hard Drive started, it took 30 minutes to complete. The total install time including setting up the External Hard Drive as a GUID bootable device took close to 40 minutes.
This time depends completely on your computer settings and hard drive speeds.
I didn’t have any problems installing Snow Leopard to an External Hard Drive with the steps listed above, however after the installation completed it tried to reboot to the external hard drive on its own. It got stuck during the restart but powering off the Mac and starting again holding down alt (option) allowed me to select and boot from the hard drive.
Let us know what problems you’re having with your installation efforts and Maciverse will do our best to Help.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was amazed at the speed of the OS on the External Hard Drive. I expected Snow Leopard to run slower than the native hard drive but that wasn’t the case. Safari opened quickly, finder also was zippy, and the dock functioned without any speed issues. Moving files around and creating video with Quicktime X worked flawlessly.
It functioned so well that I’ve decided to do a fresh install on to my internal hard drive on my Mac. I’ll backup the data on the drive and follow the steps listed above but will select my internal hard drive as the volume.
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