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BootCamp + External Drive

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by derajfast, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Can I put the bootcamp xp pro partition on an external drive? i only have 8 or so gb left on my internal, but have about 80gb on my external

    would that work? or do they have to be on the same drive
  2. macrumors newbie

    Good Question

    Good question, this needs to be answered. I have heard people say 'no', but they did not cite a source for their claim. I too want to boot on an external hard drive with my Macbook Pro.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    yeah me too

    if i can put it on my external, i will do it....if not, ill figure it out later rather then sooner

    but id really like this to be answered
  4. macrumors 68040


    Page 7 of the instructions (my emphasis below):
  5. macrumors 6502a

    oh man thats annoying
  6. macrumors G5


  7. macrumors 65816


    I am planing on giving my Mac OS X 70GM and Bootcamp windows 30GB, that will give me enough space for everything i need plus i have a 80GB external HD for storing movies.
  8. macrumors 68040

    Phil A.

    When I installed on my mini, the XP Installer recognised the USB drive I had plugged in, so it may be possible to actually do the install onto an external drive, but you will still need to allocate the partition in Bootcamp with a minimum of 5GB. I must emphasise that I haven't tried to install to an external drive, so I don't know if it works or not
  9. macrumors newbie

    ccc or superduper

    I plan on installing xp with my macbook, for valves steam games. But i wonder if you can install it on your primary drive then use carbon copy clone or superduper! it to an external firewire. FUD aside I'd like to have Windows 'over there'

    well find out soon, I still need to pick up windows, the local computer shop (infotechnow) has it for 86 (86 bucks for a 5 year old os?) but it says I need to make an internal hardware purchase, humm, I hope a case fan counts.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    well if anyone hears anything or figures out a workaround, please let me know

    i wont put windows on this hard drive....only the external....i hate windows hierarchal scheming

    will spotlight pick up windows files too?
  11. macrumors 68020


    The FIRMWARE upgrade is what allows Windows to run the Mac, not Boot Camp. Bootcamp is just a simple interface that guides you.

    Once you install the firmware upgrade which allows for BIOS, then boot from the Windows CD (hold C during startup) and follow the regular Windows setup procedure while selecting your external drive partition to install Windows on to.

    After installation, according to http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75459 "Press Option-Command-Shift-Delete during startup to Bypass primary startup volume and seek a different startup volume (such as a CD or external disk)". At this point, you'll be able to select your external drive to boot from. Since Windows will be installed there, you'll boot Windows.

    Note: I would use Boot Camp to create the driver CD which will allow Windows to support your Mac's hardware properly.
  12. macrumors 6502

    So you're saying that if I get the firmware installed, I could wipe one of my three current partitions, hold down "C" on startup, and just directly install to the wiped drive? No need to have Boot Camp do setup or anything (besides creating a drivers disc)?
  13. Moderator


    Staff Member

    The fact remains that Windows XP itself is not designed to boot from an external USB or FireWire drive, it has the bad habit of stopping and restarting the USB/FW drivers during the boot process. So in order to boot Windows from a removable device you either have to:

    • hack it so it won't stop the drivers on boot
    • have the BIOS make the drive look like an internal drive to Windows
    • run Windows PE or XP Embedded from the device instead
    • Wait for third party custom solutions.

    Unless the firmware update is up to fooling XP that it's running on a internal drive, I doubt it'll work strictly on an external drive.

  14. macrumors 68020


    Exactly my friend. I can confirm that this works. I ran into a minor issue when I tried to install Windows using my above described method, none of the partitions were recognized properly (including size) so I couldn't distinguish which one was my internal drive and which ones were my external partitions.

    So I simply went into the Terminal under OSX and formatted my external drive as FAT32

    newfs_msdos -F32 /dev/rdisk#s1

    (rdisk#s1 being my partition's ID ... you need to check that before you run this command)

    I then went booted my MacBook Pro from the Windows CD by holding C on startup, installed WindowsXP flawlessly (mind you, I could have installed VISTA, WinME, Linux, whatever) and then booted into Windows after installation by holding CMD+OPTION+SHIFT+DEL at startup.

    The final step was to install the drivers that Boot Camp created previously.

    Voilá. You read it here first! (Do I get $13,000? ;) )

    This is the perfect solution for me. I don't put crappy old windows living with OSX on the same drive but I get to keep an external drive on my desk at work. When I arrive at work I simply plug in the external drive, boot into Windows and work on that all day. When I get home, I run OSX.

    Lovin' It.
  15. macrumors newbie

    I'm posting from my Mini in XP right now. I couldn't run apple's utility because I don't have OS X installed on the internal drive. (Its on a 500GB drive in a MiniStack) The internal drive was blank. It was still very easy to get XP installed to the internal drive.

    1. Flash the firmware with the new update.
    2. Burn a XP install CD.
    3. View package contents on the bootcamp thing in /Applications/Utilities
    4. inside the Contents/Resources folder you will find a disk image.
    5. Burn this image (this is the drivers and apps necessary once Windows is installed)
    6. For safety's sake, I then shut down the Mini and disconnected the external Firewire drive with the Mac OS on it. I then put in the XP CD and installed XP normally, it was exactly as it would be installing on a "real" PC. After installation some drivers were missing. I then used the other CD to run the Apple installer under Windows and everything is working properly.

    There are two devices listed as "Unknown" or "Unknown PCI" in the Device Manager, however both Airport and Bluetooth work so I don't really know what those devices are. Another strange thing is that after reconnecting the the firewire drive with OS X on it it shows up in Disk Management under Windows as a Healthy GPT Protecitve Partition. I can now dual boot using the option key on startup perfectly. I believe that If I had more firewire drives I could boot more OS's in the same way. The firmware is the ONLY thing that makes this work. The drivers are a nice extra, but they are not even really necessary to get Windows up and running.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Does this work with external FW disks or is it only USB2?
  17. macrumors 68020


    ^Mine was using a Firewire drive with a single partition.
  18. macrumors 68020


    ... Next challenge. To run Windows from my old 4G iPod!
  19. macrumors 6502


    hahaa thats a awesome idea
  20. macrumors newbie

    How did you get XP to boot off a firewire drive. It is not supposed to support firewire booting.

  21. macrumors member


    I actually have a boot-able version of OS X on my 1G 20g iPod!

    (Careful, it gets really hot in that little drive!)
  22. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Assuming this actually does work, the only explanation is that the firmware provides its own firewire drivers so that (as far as the boot process is concerned at least) the drive can be accessed through standard BIOS calls, as if it was an internal drive. This is essentially what most modern PC BIOSes do to provide support for USB keyboards and mice and USB devices during boot.

  23. macrumors 6502


    Has anyone managed the "install on external" with a USB 2.0 drive?
  24. macrumors newbie

    I can report that I can see my external USB drive in the Mac Startup menu and it was visible to XP when installing, so I could have selected it to install to. Just don't have a external drive ready to test just yet.

    I'd like to have just OS X on the Mac internal drive and XP external or maybe even the other way around.

    So once the firmware is installed can you use the option key (or alt) to select a boot drive, like when you use BootCamp to partition.

    Is BootCamp Assistant installing a partition manager or is the firmware?

    Can OS X or XP then be installed to either drive?
  25. macrumors 6502


    I'm going to be giving this a go with a firewire drive first, then with a usb 2.0 drive... I can barely wait! Creating slip-stream now, firmware upgrade in a second.....

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