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Can I boot in Target Mode if the hard disk is bad?

Just curious, if the hard disk is bad, can I still boot in to Target Mode ? To paraphrase, do I need to have a working hard drive and OS in order to boot in Target Mode?

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Up to a point...

If your drive is having problems you may have a problem gaining access to it with any method.

Target mode does not use your HD's OS, so going into it won't be the issue. Access to the HD from the other system could be a problem because of the condition of your HD. Try cooling your system in your refrigerator for a few hours if you have problems. Sometimes cooling can help in accessing a drive thats going.

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Update: A 600 MHz G3 iBook was brought to me. Symptom was it gets perpetually stuck in the opening screen with the Apple logo and spinning wheel icon on boot. Hard drive problem with OS, I surmise. So I connect it to my Powerbook via a firewire cable and boot it in target mode. It doesn't mount. So I launch Disk Utility and the bad iBook HDD shows up in it. I erase it with the Utility tools, and everything seems good. I try to clone my Powerbook HDD to it with SuperDuper! but after 80% of the process is done I get an error message and the process aborts. Looks like the target HDD finally gave up the ghost.

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Check the drives format. I don't think the G3 iBook low level & format is the same as your PowerBook. Its so long now I don't remember exactly, but I think your iBook has Apple Partition map Vs GUID and has a HFS Vs Mac OS Extended (HFS Plus) format.

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I will check but I think they are the same. Almost a year ago, I have successfully cloned a Powerbook G4 1 GHz hard drive with Tiger OS onto a G3 iBook 500 MHz. After booting the G3 to target mode, I simply used the Powerbook's Disk Utility to erase the iBook hard disk and used SuperDuper to do the cloning process. After a restart, the iBook worked flawlessly. Sure, it was slow but it worked.

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I used Disk Utility to look, I see the 600 MHz G3, 800 Mhz G4 iBooks, and my 1.5 GHz Powerbook all use Apple Partition Map for the Partition Map Scheme while my Macbooks use the GUID Partition Table. As for the volume format, all of them use the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) system.

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