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Following on from this question:

Can Apple Macintosh computers boot from a USB volume?

Can I use any USB 2.0 DVD drive to boot a Mac from?

I had a look around my local PC World today and only the more expensive drives explicitly state on the packaging that they were Mac compatible. Is this just because these products have been through Apple's hardware approval/testing programme, or do Mac's have some special requirement?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted


I have an oldish Iomega External DVD Writer which works out of the box on my MacBook. These drives generally register themselves as external DVD/CD Reader/Writers, and therefore are recognised natively since they don't need any magic drivers etc.

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The accepted answear is wrong. The Intel Macbook's have lots of problems booting from USB. Reports of bootability differ widly and there is much confusion on the issue. I tried two different external cd drives on my Macbook Air and it was unable to boot from them. They worked fine in OSX but could not be booted from. rEFIt didn't help.

The only "solution" [sic] I've found in the case of MacBook Air is to buy the Apple SuperDrive.

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