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doctorcloudbase

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 18, 2011
10
0
Hi,

I recently replaced my CPU, RAM and Fusion-Drive in my 19,1 iMac - awesome upgrade. I hated the Fusion drive so replaced the m'board blade SSD with one large enough to replace the whole virtual drive array of the Fusion Drive. I've a separate SATA SSD now on that channel for storage, and I have hacked my way using VMFusionWare to a Windows 10 bootcamp install on a TB3-connected NMVe SSD in an external enclosure.

This works perfectly - it's detected from power-on, I get the macOS or Windows10 drive-choices to boot into. I can also 'restart into' from both OSes. ie the macOS/Bootcamp environment has no issue with detecting and running either OS. TB3 is a faster interface than SATA so this is the better arrangement for a separate OS.

However, I'd like to be able to 'run-Windows within Parallels' through Bootcamp, without Windows being on my primary drive. But, Parallels does not support Bootcamp Windows installs that are not on the primary SSD - and I've just had an amusingly circular conversation with their tech support to confirm this.

I am not sure 'why'? I guess because Parallels works through Apple's Bootcamp Assistant when in macOS, to find and connect to a Windows Partition, and since Bootcamp Assistance does not support non-primary SSD installs, so Parallels does not 'see' these. I do not think it's an issue with the TB3 interface for example, although that was an issue with the inital install of Windows 10, as no-one has a virtualisation solution for the TB interface, usually only USB interface for externally-connected drives (So, I did the inital VMFusionWare install of Win 10 to the internal SATA-attacked storage SSD, and then cloned it to the external SSD).

Alternatively, is it that the hardware resource reallocations required to run Win 10 AND macOS simultaneously, may only be possible when they are being 'addressed' from the same physical location - ie the m'board NVMe. There is no 'neutral third-party' in the system's hardware that could control such things?

My broad question remains however, IS there any way to hack either Bootcamp or Parallels to spoof them into 'seeing' the externally-connected, bootable Windows 10 partition as bootable, such that I can connect to it within macOS, through Parallels? - or, any other software that can do this?

Many thanks!

Damian

Any hack to get a Win 10 Bootcamp install on an External SSD to be 'seen and run' within macOS using e.g. Parallels?
 

joevt

Contributor
Jun 21, 2012
6,654
4,076
Doesn't Parallels have an option to create a virtual hard drive where one or more of the partitions is a real partition? Do this manually.

Show what the Parallels virtual hard drive UI looks like when you try to select the hard drive. It should have a "Select Partitions..." popup menu in the "Advanced..." settings.

Maybe describe your hard drive setup in more detail using the dumpvols.sh script:
https://gist.github.com/joevt/a99e3af71343d8242e0078ab4af39b6c

Indicate which partition is the boot camp one that you want to use.

Mount all the EFI partitions to see if any contain a Windows EFI boot loader. The output of dumpvols.sh will show if it is using legacy boot loader.
Note: you can give each EFI partition a unique name - rename in the Finder from EFI to something descriptive like EFISATA / EFINVME.

The source of a virtual hard drive can be just about anything - a real partition or disk or a disk image. The virtual machine connects a virtual hard drive to a virtual hard drive controller (IDE, SATA, NVMe - whatever you choose). The virtual controller has nothing to do with the virtual hard drive source.
 

doctorcloudbase

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 18, 2011
10
0
Hi Joe,

So I've run those scripts, and attach the output. The NVMe SDD that's bootable from startup of the iMac via the EUFI loader, but not 'visible' to Parallels is showing up here and there in the output, for example:

Device Identifier: disk1s2
Device Node: /dev/disk1s2
Whole: No
Part of Whole: disk1

Volume Name: WINTOUSB
Mounted: No

Partition Type: EFI
File System Personality: MS-DOS FAT32
Type (Bundle): msdos
Name (User Visible): MS-DOS (FAT32)


The volume name is WINTOUSB.

I am unsure looking at these Threads whether they help me at all, as they are adding a 'real' disc to a virtual disk inside a Parallels VM, but I do not have a functional Parallels VM natively on the internal iMac's drive, to be able to 'add' this external disk to - I could create a 'blank' but I don't want to boot from any such 'internal' VM, or it occupy space on my m'board NMVe, but to 'boot from' the SSD, over the TB3 port. Does this make sense?

I can go 'create new' from Parallels Installation Assistant, which gives me a choice of Get Win 10, Install Windows from an Image File, or Transfer Windows from a PC. I would not know 'which' of those options to 'start from', so it's not going well!

:/
 

Attachments

  • dumpvols_1.txt
    59.8 KB · Views: 245

joevt

Contributor
Jun 21, 2012
6,654
4,076
You need to create new VM. It will include a virtual hard drive that takes space on your hard drive. You want to delete that default virtual hard drive and replace it with a virtual hard disk that points to a real hard disk.

The steps may be slightly different depending on what version of Parallels you have.

  1. Create the VM
    1. Select menu: "File" -> "New..."
    2. Click "Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file". Click "Continue".
    3. Click "Continue without a source". Click "Continue".
    4. Select "macOS". Click "OK". We'll change this later to "Windows 10". This step is to get around any complaints Parallels may have about selecting a physical disk.
    5. Enter a name for the VM and a destination where it will be stored. Select "Customize settings before installation". Click "Create".
    6. Click "Hardware". Click "Hard Disk". Press [-] to delete the default hard disk. Click "Move to Trash".
    7. Click "[+]". Select "Hard Disk". Select Type: "Physical disk". Select Location: "Sabrent Rocket Q4 Media (disk1)". Click "OK". If the "Sabrent Rocket Q4 Media" is not listed in the "Physical disk" menu, then we'll have to create the virtual hard disk file manually.
    8. Click "General". Change "macOS" to "Windows 10". Leave Configure for: as "Productivity" or select another option.
    9. Click "Graphics". Change Memory: to at least 256 MB.
    10. Close the Configuration window.
    11. Click "Continue". If the VM cannot connect to the physical disk then select menu "Actions" -> "Stop". In the Finder, eject all the partitions of disk1. Then try to start the VM again.
 
Last edited:

joevt

Contributor
Jun 21, 2012
6,654
4,076
I've updated the steps. Let me know what you see when you try to follow those steps.
 
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