Can I Use This HD as a Main HD?

I’m a bit of a newbie & I just had my iMac HD die this morning and am functioning at the moment off a 2 year old back-up External HD.  I am thinking that rather than spring for a new iMac and have to upgrade all my software (I’m running OS Tiger), that it would be cheaper and just as well to get 2 new WD External HDs and use one as a new Back-Up and use the other as my actual “new HD.”

Is this possible?  What is the difference between a HD that is being used as an “external back-up” and an internal one?  I had this happen 2 years ago, and the guy installed an internal Seagate 500MB HD (which cost $100), while he charged me $500-600 to do this and transfer the data.  Then he had me go to Best Buy and get another $100 external 500MB HD to use as the backup (which is what I’m running off of this moment.)  I do not see what the difference is between a $100 internal and  a $100 external - it just seems like a racket to scare me into paying unnecessarily.

Am I wrong?  Can my idea work?

Thanks in advance for your input & advice!


Hi there, what you want to do is actually pretty normal, and getting 2 external drives to ahve the same data is a smart decision. Now, for an external drive to work as your main drive, the drive needs to allow booting and your computer needs to have a firewire port.

Here’s a list of bootable and non-bootable WD drives you can use for that.

Thanks for the info!  I was looking at this one that is on their main WD website but I don’t see it anywhere on the lists!:

It’s just called " My Book for Mac

That one won’t work, I’ll give you a suggestion but because you’re on Tiger I suspect something I’ll need to confirm… So can you please click on the Apple on the upper-left, select “About this Mac” and share what the screen will show? The processor is very important on this!

The processor is: 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

Then get this drive

Thanks Pizza Matrix - are you sure this will use Tiger?  Its spec say Lion, Leopard, Snow Leopard

The only one I could find that said OS 10.4.10+ was the Studio II  

None of these mention being bootable in their specs (unless I’m missing it somewhere!)

Thank you!

That drive itself is on this list of bootable drives, which says it should be bootable with your Intel-based Mac. The drive itself should work on Tiger if it’s 1TB, but if you want a safe bet then go for the Studio II :slight_smile: