Booting the Ultimate Boot CD in a Mac Pro

• Chris Liscio

I spent way more time than I should have getting my Mac Pro to boot a version of the Ultimate Boot CD

I have some WD Green Power drives in a ReadyNAS NV+, and the latest one I purchased was parking its heads far too often. Its load cycle count was growing very high over the few days I owned it.

I followed these instructions to disable the idle timer on my drives, but I just couldn't get the Ultimate Boot CD to boot at all on my Early 2008 Mac Pro. It would freeze before it ever presented me with its (large) options menu. The CDs booted fine on my 13" MacBook Pro, so obviously it didn't like my Mac Pro. (I can't say I ever imagined I'd boot any flavour of DOS on an 8-core machine with 10GB RAM—crazy!)

After a whole lot of searching, and failed attempts, I finally decided to try the 5.0 beta of UBCD this morning, and that managed to work.

The key (for me, anyway) was to choose option #3 in the FreeDOS boot menu that's presented to you. That was the only one that was able to detect my CD drive, and actually pass the initial part of the boot process.

So now all my WD Green Power drives have their idle timers disabled, and they seem to be living happily in the ReadyNAS, for now…