Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Systems and Services > Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 25, 2012, 10:01 PM   #26
Gascogne
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Sweden
Send a message via ICQ to Gascogne Send a message via MSN to Gascogne
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superangel Mac View Post
1. Check the boot manager is correct

Back in the command prompt above, type bcdedit /v You'll then see your boot manager information. Check the first part ('Windows Boot Manager'):
  1. 'device' is on an internal drive partition
  2. 'default' (a long ID) is the same ID as your Windows Thunderbolt drive partition below
Now check the second part ('Windows Load Manager'):
  1. 'device' is on your Windows Thunderbolt drive partition
  2. 'path' is something like '\Windows\system32\winload.exe'
  3. 'osdevice' is the same partition letter as 'device'
  4. 'systemroot' is '\Windows'
If all this is correct, next let's check the partitions are correct.

2. Check the partitions are correct

Still in the command prompt:
  1. Type diskpart and wait for the app to load
  2. Now type list disk to see all your drives (Disk 0 is probably your internal drive, then Disk 1 and Disk 2 are probably your external Thunderbolt drives)
  3. Type select disk 0 (assuming Disk 0 is your internal drive)
  4. Now type list partition to see all partitions on this drive
  5. Find the boot manager partition mentioned above (either 'storage' or 'windows boot', based on your descriptions), then type select partition x where 'x' is the partition number
  6. Type detail partition and you should see this boot manager partition is 'Active' and the info section should say 'System'. If it says 'Inactive', and you're sure this is where the boot manager files are located, next type active. If it was already active, skip to the next step.
  7. Now type select partition y where 'y' is your other NTFS partition (e.g. if you just checked 'windows boot', now check 'storage')
  8. Type detail partition again and ensure that this other partition is inactive and not labelled 'System'. If this is correct, type exit twice to quit. However, if it is marked as 'active', now type inactive, then proceed to exit.

First things first, thank you a lot for all the help even if the problem isnít solved yet.


Bootrec /scanos shows up 0 installed windows.
I have tried to reinstall windows several times with dvd now but it get same error Ė no winload.exe file after the first reboot after everything have been installed from the dvd.
(Donít remember if it showed up as 1 installed windows before, been up all night now trying to solve the windows problem. Really need windows =/ )


Boot manager seems to be correct, the only part I canít figure out it is how one can verify the id for the thunderbolt ssd other than in the command prompt.


The partitions part have some problems I donít know how to solve.
The windows boot on the internal harddrive donít say Ďsystemí as it should (doesn't say anything) and it is active.

The storage partition is correct and inactive.
Gascogne is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2012, 12:26 AM   #27
Superangel Mac
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gascogne View Post
First things first, thank you a lot for all the help even if the problem isn’t solved yet.
You're welcome, I'm just sorry I can't be more help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gascogne View Post
Bootrec /scanos shows up 0 installed windows.
I have tried to reinstall windows several times with dvd now but it get same error – no winload.exe file after the first reboot after everything have been installed from the dvd.
I must admit I've never experienced this before. Windows has always installed fine for me, it's only afterward that I ever broke things and received the 'winload' error. If the installation process can't complete properly (i.e. you never reach the 'Getting your devices ready' screen or the personalisation process), then I guess there's something wrong that I haven't encountered before. Maybe the Windows installer is corrupt or there's something unique about your partitions/drives that's causing problems, but I just don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gascogne View Post
Boot manager seems to be correct, the only part I can’t figure out it is how one can verify the id for the thunderbolt ssd other than in the command prompt.
I checked and it seems the boot manager IDs are dynamically generated. Therefore, as they're not something specific to a drive, I guess there's no way to verify them. They should 'just work'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gascogne View Post
The partitions part have some problems I don’t know how to solve.
The windows boot on the internal harddrive don’t say ‘system’ as it should (doesn't say anything) and it is active. The storage partition is correct and inactive.
Hmm, I'm all out of ideas The last two things I can think of are: checking the Mac side of things (since OS X controls the GUID and MBR), it's possible an error here could be causing problems. There's some information on other forums, but it might not help as it's not really the same problem that you have.

The only thing I can think of is merging the two internal NTFS partitions are trying to install again. Before you do anything, make sure you have a complete backup of the storage partition. If you do, and you're totally sure you have no other options, you could try deleting the storage and windows boot partitions, then creating a new single NTFS partition that will contain both your storage files and the Windows boot files (the latter will be hidden by default in Windows, so you won't know they're there).

If you can do this, then the Windows installer might proceed correctly, but I honestly don't know as everything should have worked correctly before.

Sorry I can't help more
Superangel Mac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2012, 02:54 AM   #28
tmanto02
macrumors 6502a
 
tmanto02's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Earth
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superangel Mac View Post
Hi guys

I recently installed Windows 8 on an external SSD for my Mac. In the end the process was quite straightforward, but there were quite a few hurdles along the way. I found a lot of useful information here on these forums, so I just wanted to say a big thank you and to post my guide here. Hopefully it will save other people some time. (Sorry for not replying to the other posts directly, but I didn't want to cross-post on so many different threads).

I know not everyone likes Microsoft or Windows, but that aside, for those who want and/or need Windows 8 on an external SSD, here's what worked for me. There are many other ways of doing this (for example, you could change the internal drive instead), but adding an external drive is fairly simple and brings with it a fair amount of flexibility.


What You'll Need

In brief:
  • A modern Mac (obviously ^^)
  • A Thunderbolt (or USB 3*) hard-drive enclosure
  • An SSD drive (if not included with the enclosure)
  • A DVD drive
  • Windows 8
  • Boot Camp drivers
  • A blank DVD (a single-layer DVD-R is fine)
  • A USB flash drive or SD card
* Update: Sorry for any confusion, but it seems installing Windows 8 on an external USB 3 drive may be more difficult than expected. However, Lyyrad has managed this, so please read his helpful post.
In detail:
  • A modern Mac: To get the most out of this, you'll need a Mac made in 2011 or thereafter, as you'll need an IO port fast enough to accommodate an SSD drive. 2011 saw the introduction of Thunderbolt and 2012 brought USB 3 too, both of which are fine for our needs. Firewire 800 and USB 2 may be just about okay for older HDDs, but they'll ruin any speed benefits that an SSD would bring.
  • A Thunderbolt (or USB 3) hard-drive enclosure: This is essentially just a case with a small logic board that allows a SATA drive to connect with your Mac. Although Thunderbolt is the fastest and perhaps the most elegant solution, it also carries a large price premium. USB 3 enclosures, whilst not as fast, still offer more than enough bandwidth for our needs and are also cheaper and more readily available. However, the installation process is not as simple. See the Some Buying Advice below for more advice.
  • An SSD drive: Although you could use a regular HDD or hybrid drive (like the Seagate Momentus XT), SSDs will bring much improved performance and are now cheap and stable enough for everyday use. Depending on the enclosure you choose, you may or may not have to buy an SSD separately.
  • A DVD drive: Depending on your Mac, you may or may not already have one of these. If you don't, thankfully an external USB DVD drive should work fine, just as long as you can boot from it. We'll need this in order to correctly install Windows 8.
  • Windows 8: Microsoft are currently offering a cheap Windows 8 Pro upgrade for existing Windows users, so be sure to buy before January 31, 2013. If you already have Windows 7 installed on your Mac, be sure to purchase the Windows 8 upgrade on this machine, as the installer will check your apps and devices for compatibility and also help to download the right version (i.e. if you're using Windows 7 x64, the installer will download Windows 8 x64).
  • Boot Camp drivers: You can download these using Boot Camp Assistant on your Mac. Boot Camp 5.x is around 655 MB, so it'll easily fit on a USB drive or SD card (or even a CD-R, if that's how you roll ).
  • A blank DVD: I know, I know, but we need to burn the Windows 8 upgrade to DVD in order to ensure maximum compatibility. If you purchased a Windows 8 retail disk instead, then you can ignore this requirement.
  • A USB flash drive or SD card: This is just for storing the Boot Camp drivers on.
For your reference, my setup:
  • 2011 iMac
  • Buffalo Ministation Thunderbolt enclosure
  • Plextor M5S 256 GB SSD
  • Windows 8 Pro x64 (upgrade)
  • Boot Camp 5


Some Buying Advice

If you already have your hard-drive enclosure and drive, you can skip this part. If not, feel free to read on.

Enclosures

USB 3 Pros and Cons
  • + Cheap
  • + Plenty of choice
  • + Compatible with more PCs
  • + Should allow Windows to correctly enter standby mode
  • - More difficult to install compared to Thunderbolt (please read Lyrrad's post)
  • - Not as fast as Thunderbolt (although for our purposes this probably isn't an issue)
Remember to check if the enclosure supports SATA III drives, as some older/cheaper enclosures only support SATA I/II. This isn't the end of the world, as SATA standards are backwards compatible, but if your SSD is rated as SATA III (6 Gbps), then I'd choose a SATA III enclosure too.

Also note that some USB 3 enclosures require a small power brick, whereas others are bus-powered (either requiring one or two USB ports depending on the model you choose). Again, it all works out the same, but bus-powered drives are generally more portable.

Finally, USB 2 drives (and Firewire ones too) will be rejected by the Windows installer as the connection speed is probably deemed too slow. There are workarounds, but really you will need at least USB 3 for a satisfactory experience.

Thunderbolt Pros and Cons
  • + The fastest external connection of its type
  • + Thunderbolt enclosures are currently premium products (so generally good quality)
  • + Intel and Apple designed
  • - Thunderbolt enclosures currently carry a large price premium
  • - Some enclosures don't ship with a Thunderbolt cable (which is itself expensive)
  • - There are currently only a few PCs that have Thunderbolt ports
  • - Thunderbolt doesn't currently allow Windows to enter standby mode
Discounting the ridiculously expensive Thunderbolt enclosures and hubs, there are basically three choices at the time of writing (all of which ship with Thunderbolt cables):
  • Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt: Supports both Thunderbolt and USB 3, bespoke logic board offers great performance, beautiful design, three-year warranty. However, it's not available with an SSD as standard, it's difficult to upgrade, and it's more expensive than the LaCie drive.
  • LaCie Rugged: Supports both Thunderbolt and USB 3, available with a 120 GB or 256 GB SSD, not too expensive. However, some reviews say it runs hot under load, it 'only' comes with a two-year warranty, and it's ... very orange (However, the orange removed).
  • Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter (2.5" and 3.5" versions available): Allows an existing GoFlex or Backup Plus drive to be connected and comes with a three-year warranty. However, the price doesn't include a drive, there's no USB 3 support, and the 2.5" version doesn't offer great performance.
Having read reviews at places like Anandtech, the MiniStation seems like a great product, but please see the warning below.

Buffalo MiniStation Warning

Disassembling this drive is a nightmare It's a beautiful piece of hardware, but Buffalo adheres the drive to the enclosure with a large swathe of strong, double-sided tape. Unless you have experience and the right tools, you will damage this enclosure if you try to change the drive.

The lid is soft plastic, plus the metal scratches easily, and you simply have to apply too much force to remove the drive. I pretty much ruined my enclosure, so please keep this in mind if you're thinking of buying the MiniStation to upgrade the drive: it's not for the faint of heart.

However, once you do access the internals, changing the drive is pretty straightforward. Unscrew and unclip the relevant parts to remove the internal black plastic enclosure, cut the warranty label, then wiggle the drive free from the internal metal enclosure. It ships with a nice Seagate Momentus B HDD (500 GB or 1 TB), so you can either keep this or sell it on eBay etc.

Some SSDs may be slightly too large to fit where the HDD was, in which case you'll need to remove the SSD case and try again. Some SSDs have a warranty label on the case, so think twice before you cut it!

Update: There is already an SSD-based MiniStation in Japan, so these should be available internationally in 2013. This way you won't have to mod the drive yourself and thus your warranty/enclosure/sanity will all remain intact.

SSDs

I'll keep this brief, as there's already mountains of information out there, but essentially SSDs bring large performance benefits over traditional HDDs. Yes, they're more expensive, but prices are have no dropped to at or around US$1/GB, which is much better than it used to be.

Aside from the different brands and their varying firmware updates and warranties, most SSDs boil down to: capacity, controller and memory. 60 GB 2.5" drives are about the smallest capacity available now, but note that 60 GB variants often run slower than their larger capacity cousins (in order to keep costs down). Look for 120-256 GB drives for the best price/performance ratio.

The controller basically handles how the drive works. There are many variants on the market, but the two most common brands are SandForce and Marvell. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, so read some reviews to get a feel for how they're optimised (and read Anandtech to learn more about SandForce's TRIM performance issues with incompressible data).

Finally, there are basically three types of memory: SLC, MLC and TLC. In that order, they go from the longest endurance and most expensive, to the weakest endurance and least expensive. MLC tends to hit the sweet spot for most consumer applications, so it is now the most common choice.

In terms of brands, Intel SSDs have a good reputation for their reliability, but they do carry somewhat of a price premium. Samsung SSDs offer great performance, but again aren't cheap. However, there are many other decent brands to consider (Plextor, OCZ, Corsair etc.).


A Few Warnings

This should be obvious, but it's worth repeating before we begin:
  • Always back up your data before messing with your OS: Even straightforward upgrades can go awry, and you'll be sorry if you lose any important data, so don't take any risks.
  • You may void your enclosure and/or drive warranty by doing this: Replacing an enclosure's original drive will void the warranty, and if you have remove an SSD drive from its case, that'll probably void its warranty too. Since most of these products offer generous three-year deals, think carefully before proceeding.
  • You will have to live with some compromises: If you follow these instructions, you'll lose the ability to put Windows into sleep mode when using a Thunderbolt enclosure (USB 3 should be fine, though, as this issue seems to be unique to Thunderbolt on Windows). It's a small bug that'll hopefully be fixed in the future, but think ahead if you can accept this.
  • Don't blame me if all goes wrong: What works for one person might not work for you. As far as I know, these instructions should work nicely across many different configurations, but your experiences may vary.
If your Mac is your primary computer, you should choose a time to upgrade when you need it the least (i.e. a quite evening or weekend). Start to finish, you should only need an hour or so, but always plan for the worst.

Continued below ...
I just wanted to say thanks for such a comprehensive guide! I tried installing to my USB enclosure with no luck, however I might give the Windows To Go method a go and see how that works.

I'm buying a Lacie Rugged Thunderbolt in January so I will let you know how your method goes.
__________________
iPhone 5 for on the go|iPad Air for on the couch|Mac mini for Plex Home Theatre
MacBook Pro w/ Retina display
for everything else
tmanto02 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2012, 03:09 AM   #29
Superangel Mac
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmanto02 View Post
I just wanted to say thanks for such a comprehensive guide! I tried installing to my USB enclosure with no luck, however I might give the Windows To Go method a go and see how that works.

I'm buying a Lacie Rugged Thunderbolt in January so I will let you know how your method goes.
Good luck with the Windows To Go method, tmanto02, I hope it works for you. Let us know what happens once you get the LaCie drive next month too; hope you'll be happy with it
Superangel Mac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2012, 06:01 PM   #30
Gascogne
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Sweden
Send a message via ICQ to Gascogne Send a message via MSN to Gascogne
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superangel Mac View Post
The only thing I can think of is merging the two internal NTFS partitions are trying to install again. Before you do anything, make sure you have a complete backup of the storage partition. If you do, and you're totally sure you have no other options, you could try deleting the storage and windows boot partitions, then creating a new single NTFS partition that will contain both your storage files and the Windows boot files (the latter will be hidden by default in Windows, so you won't know they're there).

If you can do this, then the Windows installer might proceed correctly, but I honestly don't know as everything should have worked correctly before.

Sorry I can't help more
Haven't tried merging the two internal ntfs partitions into one and then install windows on the external.
Might try it in the future but for now I installed windows on the internal and used the external ssd for all games for windows, just wanted to get it done.

So now I can at least play some games when I want to.
Gascogne is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2012, 08:05 PM   #31
Lyrrad
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
An update on the Windows 8 to go USB Method:

Once it's set up, when you boot, you'll see a "Windows" and an "EFI Boot" option at startup. On my Mac, only the "Windows" is bootable. EFI Boot does not work.

I got it working with my 1.5TB HDD with a BlacX USB 2.0 dock, as well as a Seagate USB 3.0 desktop dock (included with their "Backup Plus" drives).

I am currently unable to get it to work with a 3TB hard drive, where I tried to format it with MBR. I get a black screen when trying to boot. I also tried a GPT partition table, and that didn't work. If anyone is able to get it working with hard drives > 2TB, please post here.

I'll try this out with an SSD within a couple of weeks, but I don't anticipate any issues.
Lyrrad is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:30 AM   #32
Superangel Mac
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gascogne View Post
Haven't tried merging the two internal ntfs partitions into one and then install windows on the external.
Might try it in the future but for now I installed windows on the internal and used the external ssd for all games for windows, just wanted to get it done.
Sounds like a good solution. Glad you can at least play some games in the meantime

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyrrad View Post
Once it's set up, when you boot, you'll see a "Windows" and an "EFI Boot" option at startup. On my Mac, only the "Windows" is bootable. EFI Boot does not work.
Thanks for the update, Lyrrad.
Superangel Mac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 2013, 09:26 PM   #33
hfg
macrumors 68020
 
hfg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA.
Many thanks to Superangel Mac for the detailed writeup on installing Windows to an external Thunderbolt drive.

I decided to put Windows on an external 256GB SSD on my new iMac using a Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter. I followed your tutorial step by step in doing it and it is working perfectly. Boots and runs Windows 8 from the external Thunderbolt drive exactly as desired, and the drive can be hidden on the inside-back of the iMac stand with some velcro or double sticky foam tape if desired so it can't be seen from the front or the back.


Thanks Superangel Mac for the effort ..


EDIT: Just for kicks, I tried moving the Windows SSD from the GoFlex TB adapter over to a slot in a LaCie "Little Big Disk" Thunderbolt enclosure. While Windows 8 booted, it stopped with a message that it was missing something and couldn't continue. I did not try to repair it fearing I would end up having to start over. So, I just moved it back to the GoFlex and Windows was again happy.

Has anyone been able to install Windows externally to a ThunderBolt LaCie "Little Big Disk"?



-howard

Last edited by hfg; Jan 2, 2013 at 12:04 AM.
hfg is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2013, 01:41 AM   #34
MICHAELSD
macrumors 68000
 
MICHAELSD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NJ
How quickly would Windows 8 boot up from an external USB 3.0 HDD? I'm still debating over whether to waste flash storage space on my rMBP so Windows can boot quicker when I switch or if I can stick it out with it completely on the external drive.
__________________
Managing/designing the Showtime DEXTER prop store!
15" Retina MacBook Pro (2012 base)
32GB gold iPhone 5s - 16GB iPad Air
MICHAELSD is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 5, 2013, 07:49 AM   #35
Superangel Mac
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by hfg View Post
Thanks Superangel Mac for the effort ..
Quote:
Originally Posted by recoverdata View Post
thanx a lot.... this information was valuable for me...
You're very welcome. To be honest, there's still a lot we don't know about how everything works, but I'm glad this guide can help a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hfg View Post
Has anyone been able to install Windows externally to a ThunderBolt LaCie "Little Big Disk"?
Yes, it should work fine with the Little Big Disk.

I think it's just changing the enclosure probably messes with some of the boot configuration details (i.e. even though it's the same drive connected to the same port, but the Seagate vs. LaCie enclosure is still considered different). I guess this problem is fixable, but I think you made the right decision by sticking with what works (if it ain't broke, don't fix it ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MICHAELSD View Post
How quickly would Windows 8 boot up from an external USB 3.0 HDD?
It's hard to say, as this depends on the Mac, the SSD, and all the other hardware and software being used. However, I just quickly timed my iMac from the moment the Windows BIOS screen shows up (i.e. after the Mac start-up disk is selected) to when the Windows login screen shows up, and it was around 10 seconds, give or take. I think this is about average, but there are a lot of other factors at play.
Superangel Mac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2013, 02:43 PM   #36
hfg
macrumors 68020
 
hfg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA.
HELP ... I need help with a problem:

I am starting to have second thoughts about running Windows 8 on my external SSD/Seagate Thunderbolt drive. It seems to run fine, but I am always wanting more speed!

I currently have my internal SSD partitioned with the small 1GB NTFS boot enable partition as recommended here, and the balance of the SSD is OS X.

How can I either remove the NTFS 1GB partition and reclaim the space in the OS X partition, then re-partition the drive ...

... or ...

Expand the 1GB NTFS partition to 200GB or so for a full Windows installation?


I am looking for help so I don't do something stupid and screw up the overall partitioning scheme and have to start over, especially with the new 2012 OS X not available for download yet from the App Store.

Thanks for any suggestions....

-howard

For those reading:

It was easy to use BootCamp Installer to remove the small NTFS partition and reclaim the space on the internal SSD. I then created a 256GB partition and installed Windows-8 internally.

... and thanks for your help and suggestions Superangel Mac!


.

Last edited by hfg; Jan 10, 2013 at 03:37 PM. Reason: added resolution of problem
hfg is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2013, 10:50 PM   #37
Superangel Mac
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by hfg View Post
How can I either remove the NTFS 1GB partition and reclaim the space in the OS X partition, then re-partition the drive ...

... or ...

Expand the 1GB NTFS partition to 200GB or so for a full Windows installation?
Before you start, please backup the contents of your internal 1GB partition, just in case you change your mind or something goes wrong. If you can create a disk image of this partition, that would be the best, as it contains protected system files which sometimes can't be simply copy and pasted.

For your first suggestion, I think this is possible using Boot Camp Assistant. Just boot into OS X, start Boot Camp Assistant, then it should offer you the option to remove Windows. This will remove your 1GB internal partition and let the OS X partition reclaim the space (the external Windows SSD should be unaffected, but to be extra safe, disconnect the drive whilst in OS X).

After Boot Camp Assistant is finished, close it and then open it again, and now you should have two options: download the latest Boot Camp drivers (if you don't already have them) and install Windows. Note that you'll need a Windows 8 setup DVD to install Windows via Boot Camp Assistant, as I don't think it accepts SD cards or USB flash drives.

If everything is okay, Boot Camp Assistant will now ask you to partition your internal SSD drive. Just move the slider to divide the space however you want (I think the minimum Windows partition size is 20 GB). Boot Camp Assistant will then partition the internal drive, reboot and begin installing Windows 8. From there just follow the normal setup procedure and, after everything is finished, install the Boot Camp drivers. Done

For the second suggestion, I don't think this is possible with Disk Utility, as it won't let you resize NTFS partitions. Third-party partition software might work, but then there's also another problem: the 1GB partition's system files are configured to boot from your external SSD. Therefore, you couldn't just copy the SSD files to the internal drive, as the system wouldn't boot properly. Unless you can fix the boot manager (possible, but time consuming), you'd have to reinstall Windows from scratch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hfg View Post
I am looking for help so I don't do something stupid and screw up the overall partitioning scheme and have to start over, especially with the new 2012 OS X not available for download yet from the App Store.
Yeah, this is risky. I think option one should be straightforward, but please understand things can always go wrong As for downloading OS X, check out OS X Daily for how to clean install Lion or Mountain Lion purchased from the Mac App Store.
Superangel Mac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2013, 11:58 PM   #38
hfg
macrumors 68020
 
hfg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superangel Mac View Post
Before you start, please backup the contents of your internal 1GB partition, just in case you change your mind or something goes wrong. If you can create a disk image of this partition, that would be the best, as it contains protected system files which sometimes can't be simply copy and pasted.

For your first suggestion, I think this is possible using Boot Camp Assistant. Just boot into OS X, start Boot Camp Assistant, then it should offer you the option to remove Windows. This will remove your 1GB internal partition and let the OS X partition reclaim the space (the external Windows SSD should be unaffected, but to be extra safe, disconnect the drive whilst in OS X).

After Boot Camp Assistant is finished, close it and then open it again, and now you should have two options: download the latest Boot Camp drivers (if you don't already have them) and install Windows. Note that you'll need a Windows 8 setup DVD to install Windows via Boot Camp Assistant, as I don't think it accepts SD cards or USB flash drives.

If everything is okay, Boot Camp Assistant will now ask you to partition your internal SSD drive. Just move the slider to divide the space however you want (I think the minimum Windows partition size is 20 GB). Boot Camp Assistant will then partition the internal drive, reboot and begin installing Windows 8. From there just follow the normal setup procedure and, after everything is finished, install the Boot Camp drivers. Done

For the second suggestion, I don't think this is possible with Disk Utility, as it won't let you resize NTFS partitions. Third-party partition software might work, but then there's also another problem: the 1GB partition's system files are configured to boot from your external SSD. Therefore, you couldn't just copy the SSD files to the internal drive, as the system wouldn't boot properly. Unless you can fix the boot manager (possible, but time consuming), you'd have to reinstall Windows from scratch.


Yeah, this is risky. I think option one should be straightforward, but please understand things can always go wrong As for downloading OS X, check out OS X Daily for how to clean install Lion or Mountain Lion purchased from the Mac App Store.
Thanks for the suggestions.

I agree that option 1 is the best place to try first, even though it wasn't actually created with BootCamp, it was created simply with Disk Utility.

There is no file visibility of any files in that little boot-manager partition from either OS X or Windows. I have to see the contents from Terminal with Unix:

Code:
Howards-iMac:WinBoot howard$ ls -l
total 800
drwxr-xr-x@ 1 howard  staff       0 Dec 30 20:00 $RECYCLE.BIN
srwxr-xr-x  1 howard  staff       0 Jun  2  2012 BOOTNXT
-rwxr-xr-x@ 1 howard  staff    8192 Dec 30 22:46 BOOTSECT.BAK
drwxr-xr-x@ 1 howard  staff    8192 Dec 30 20:59 Boot
drwxr-xr-x@ 1 howard  staff       0 Dec 30 22:47 System Volume Information
-rwxr-xr-x@ 1 howard  staff  398156 Jul 25 22:44 bootmgr
Howards-iMac:WinBoot howard$
Only 60MB used ... partition size was minimum possible at 1.41GB with DiskUtility.

As far as clean installing OS X (hopefully it will not come to that!), I don't know if the special version of 10.8.2 that is on the 2012 machines is actually available for download. Other users have had problem restoring their Mac Minis and iMacs, but I don't know if they tried the lengthy Network Restore process.

-howard
hfg is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 2013, 01:54 AM   #39
Superangel Mac
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by hfg View Post
There is no file visibility of any files in that little boot-manager partition from either OS X or Windows. I have to see the contents from Terminal with Unix:
Yes, that's right. If you want to view these files in Windows, open File Explorer, then choose View > Options > View (Tab) > Uncheck Hide protected operating system files. These are specially hidden by default since deleting them will cause havoc

Quote:
Originally Posted by hfg View Post
Only 60MB used ... partition size was minimum possible at 1.41GB with DiskUtility.
Yes, that sounds right. The boot manager files aren't big (even less if you remove the extra language packs). As for Disk Utility, you're right that it has a lower limit on the partition sizes, so ~1GB might be as small as you could make.

As for Boot Camp Assistant, it should work even though the original internal NTFS partition was made manually in Disk Utility. All it looks for is an internal NTFS partition; it doesn't care where it came from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hfg View Post
As far as clean installing OS X (hopefully it will not come to that!), I don't know if the special version of 10.8.2 that is on the 2012 machines is actually available for download.
It's available as far as I know. I purchased the upgrade online in December, followed the OS X Daily guide, and later found out that it does download 10.8.2 automatically. The only updates after a clean install are for Safari and iTunes.

Good luck!
Superangel Mac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 9, 2013, 06:09 PM   #40
tmanto02
macrumors 6502a
 
tmanto02's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Earth
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyrrad View Post
An update on the Windows 8 to go USB Method:

Once it's set up, when you boot, you'll see a "Windows" and an "EFI Boot" option at startup. On my Mac, only the "Windows" is bootable. EFI Boot does not work.

I got it working with my 1.5TB HDD with a BlacX USB 2.0 dock, as well as a Seagate USB 3.0 desktop dock (included with their "Backup Plus" drives).

I am currently unable to get it to work with a 3TB hard drive, where I tried to format it with MBR. I get a black screen when trying to boot. I also tried a GPT partition table, and that didn't work. If anyone is able to get it working with hard drives > 2TB, please post here.

I'll try this out with an SSD within a couple of weeks, but I don't anticipate any issues.
Hey mate I gave the Windows to go method a go however I couldnt get it to boot. Windows would blue screen and say something like "unrecognisable boot device". I am using a 240gb sata 3 ssd and a usb 3 sata 3 enclosure. Neither windows or efi boot would work.

Any ideas?
__________________
iPhone 5 for on the go|iPad Air for on the couch|Mac mini for Plex Home Theatre
MacBook Pro w/ Retina display
for everything else
tmanto02 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 14, 2013, 01:36 PM   #41
Jacobbelveder
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Great guide, thanks for the effort. So far it's been going fine, I had W8 installed on my thunderbolt drive, and all running fine, then I deleted my bootcamp W7 partition, and now there's no option to boot into windows.

I'm pretty sure I've misunderstood how to make/keep the windows boot manager partition on my internal drive. If anyone can help with that, I'll be sorted

So now I'm ready to start again, I've restored the old W7 partition, have my blank TB drive, and the W8 DVD, how do i make this elusive windows boot partition? and how do i keep it and remove my current W7 partition?
Jacobbelveder is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2013, 11:05 PM   #42
jsuaggie
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Great guide. Used it to install Windows 8 Pro 64bit on an esata drive.
jsuaggie is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 26, 2013, 04:02 PM   #43
BleepToBleep
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Hey guys,
I tried the Windows to go method, but unfortunately without success.
I followed each step without any issue with a Lacie Rugged 1 To Thunderbolt, but when attempting to boot on the Mac:
- I do see the "Windows" drive in addition to the internal 3 TB OS X fusion drive. Nothing else (I saw someone had an EFI on the boot selector, I did not)
- When I select Windows to boot from it, I first get the normal PC boot sequence black screen, then I immediately get an error message "No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key".

Any idea what I could do to fix that?

edit: Sorry, my bad! I had not done the bcdboot step. I did it now and even if I got an error message, my drive boots well now.

However I still have a major issue: since my iMac has a 3TB hard drive, I can not run bootcamp on it at all. So I am not able to get the bootcamp drivers. Is there another way?

re-edit: after some more searching, I found a way to download the drivers without using bootcamp: http://www.cafe-encounter.net/p682/d...otcamp-drivers

3rd edit: I tried to install these drivers but Windows says that I can't run these programs/drivers on this computer. I ran this as admin, with various compatibility options, but none of them worked. I don't even have the ethernet adapter installed. How did you manage to work around this?

Last edited by BleepToBleep; Jan 26, 2013 at 07:16 PM.
BleepToBleep is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:14 PM   #44
hfg
macrumors 68020
 
hfg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA.
I had the same message each time I did a Windows install, but "Run as Administrator" seemed to work for me. I also tried setting the compatibility mode to "Windows 7", but that seemed to not work well with Windows 8 where having no selection worked fine. Hoping that the next OS X update will, as reported, have full Windows 8 drivers available.
hfg is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 27, 2013, 03:49 PM   #45
BleepToBleep
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
I tried admin mode and all compatibility modes without success, but in fact I think I found where the issue comes from: my Windows installation is a 32 bits install, and the bootcamp drivers are all made for 64 bits. Now I need to get a 64 bits version of Windows and reinstall it on my thunderbolt drive.

The error message I had before was "This app can't run on your PC". Not very detailed...
BleepToBleep is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:09 AM   #46
BleepToBleep
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
New guide on the windows to go method

Hi all,
Since I encountered quite some issues during my installation of Windows on an external drive, but I succeeded in the end, I have made another very detailed guide on how to proceed, step by step:
http://bleeptobleep.blogspot.fr/2013...-external.html
It's really straight forward in definitive, once you know what to do.
Hope this will be helpful for some people out here

Last edited by BleepToBleep; Feb 1, 2013 at 01:33 PM.
BleepToBleep is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:07 PM   #47
hfg
macrumors 68020
 
hfg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BleepToBleep View Post
Hi all,
Since I encountered quite some issues during my installation of Windows on an eternal drive, but I succeeded in the end, I have made another very detailed guide on how to proceed, step by step:
http://bleeptobleep.blogspot.fr/2013...-external.html
It's really straight forward in definitive, once you know what to do.
Hope this will be helpful for some people out here
Nice writeup on the Windows installation guide.

Thanks for posting that!
hfg is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 12:00 AM   #48
hfg
macrumors 68020
 
hfg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BleepToBleep View Post
Hi all,
Since I encountered quite some issues during my installation of Windows on an external drive, but I succeeded in the end, I have made another very detailed guide on how to proceed, step by step:
http://bleeptobleep.blogspot.fr/2013...-external.html
It's really straight forward in definitive, once you know what to do.
Hope this will be helpful for some people out here
Quick question ...

At the end of your procedure, you mention starting Windows with the "option" key press at boot.

Does this method also enable the "SystemPreferences / StartupDisk" option to allow you to reboot to Windows from OS X (and makes Windows the default boot OS) ... as well as using the BootCamp tools to reboot from Windows back to OS X?

If not, does this "switching feature" require the small Windows boot partition on the OS X boot disk that is created in the original method described at the beginning of this thread?


Thanks,
-howard
hfg is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 05:38 AM   #49
BleepToBleep
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Hi hfg,
This method does not enable the system preference / Startup disk. You have to choose the startup disk by pressing ALT on startup. It does not impact your internal hard drive in any way.
If you would like to use the switching feature from inside OS X, I am not sure if you need the small boot partition on your internal hard drive, but I think you'll need it. I have not tried this because booting by pressing ALT is easy enough
BleepToBleep is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 2013, 10:58 AM   #50
hfg
macrumors 68020
 
hfg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BleepToBleep View Post
Hi hfg,
This method does not enable the system preference / Startup disk. You have to choose the startup disk by pressing ALT on startup. It does not impact your internal hard drive in any way.
If you would like to use the switching feature from inside OS X, I am not sure if you need the small boot partition on your internal hard drive, but I think you'll need it. I have not tried this because booting by pressing ALT is easy enough
Yeah ... I'm not sure how much value the switching feature adds for me either, the "option key" is easy to do.

There is one slight advantage to the "switching" feature however ... you can use it to change the default boot device. This allows Windows "restarts" to be unattended so they don't keep going back to OS X if you aren't paying attention.

I think I will try your method today with an external Thunderbolt SSD.

-howard
hfg is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Systems and Services > Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Installing mavericks on external ssd Danmickread OS X Mavericks (10.9) 1 Nov 14, 2013 01:07 AM
Installing Windows 7 on MBP w/ optibay SSD/HD danyuhlj Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac 12 Feb 14, 2013 07:27 AM
Trouble installing bootcamp windows on second SSD masaguchi46 Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac 3 Dec 14, 2012 07:42 PM
Installing Windows on MBA? external Purely Elf MacBook Air 8 Dec 10, 2012 11:11 PM
Installing SSD and using HD from Macbook Pro as external drive nick.smith117 MacBook Pro 5 Sep 14, 2012 11:19 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:25 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC