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As its name suggests, the Startup Disk System Preference is where you tell your Mac which disk to boot from. Many of you will just have the one disk, for example, our disk right here and this is a Startup Disk that we currently use. And if that's the case that's fine but others may have other options, for example a bootable DVD as we have here, this is our Leopard install disk and you can't boot from it and that's why it appears in the Startup Disk System Preference. You might also find one from utility such as Alsoft DiskWarrior that is capable of booting your Mac.
You might see a bootable partition on your startup drive or an additional hard drive that has a bootable version of OS X on it. For example if we have installed OS X on our Macintosh HD2, it too would appear among the selection of startup drives. You could see a Windows volume if you have installed boot camp and you might also see a net boot volume if you have a OS server running on your network. In such cases, the details that we will leave to the OS X server title published by Lynda.com, you would select a network system item and click Restart.
To change to a different bootable volume, you just select that volume and you press Restart, so if I want to start from the DVD, I select it, I click Restart and that is the volume that the Mac will boot from. I don't care to do that right now, however. Optionally, you can boot from any volume and when the Mac starts up, hold down the Option key, in the resulting window choose the volume you want to start from and then click the right-arrow to proceed with booting. When you start up this way, note that the next time you start up, the Mac will use the setting you choose in the Startup Disk System Preference rather than the volume you chose when you held down the Option key.
Now when you see Windows on X, where X is the name of a volume, it means you have installed Boot Camp. This is Apple's technology for running windows natively on an Intel Mac. When you select this and click Restart, you will be running Windows exactly like you are running it on a Windows PC. It's running natively. And I will talk about Boot Camp in a separate lesson, finally there is Target Disk Mode, click that button and you will be asked if you would like to restart your computer in Target Disk Mode, we don't want to, I will cancel that, but I will explain what this is for.
Each Mac has the ability to act like an external hard drive to another Mac connected to it by a FireWire cable. This is called FireWire Target Disk Mode. It works this way: you string a FireWire cable between one Mac and the other. On the Mac that you would like to appear is a hard drive, go to the Startup Disk System Preference and click that Target Disk Mode button that I just showed you. When the Mac restarts, it will display a FireWire symbol that bounces around on a dark background on your Mac screen. That Mac Startup Volume will look here as an external hard drive on the other Mac's desktop.
When the Mac is not at that way, the Mac connected to it has full access to the contents of that drive. Any other partitions on that drive or drives attached to that Mac will not appear just the startup volume. You can also do this the old fashioned way and that old fashioned way is to connect the two computers via a FireWire cable and restart the one that you would like to appear as an external drive by holding down the T key on that Mac. This throws that Mac into FireWire Target Disk Mode. So FireWire Target Disk Mode, selecting other volumes, click Restart and there you have the Startup Disk System Preference.
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