Boot Camp on SSD portion of 3TB Fusion on 5K iMac = impossible?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by WilliamG, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #1
    So... I've been working on this for about a half a day now, with zero success.

    The goals:

    1.) Have OS X on my 500GB Samsung SSD over Thunderbolt (goal met, with zero trouble).
    2.) Turn the 120GB internal SSD into a Windows 8 partition exclusively.
    3.) Partition the 3TB internal HDD into a Games for Windows/Photo-work for OS X drive.

    This all revolves around Windows 8.

    Here's the situation. If I leave the 3.1TB Fusion Drive intact, I can install Boot Camp with NO issues at all via the Boot Camp assistant - which of course means Windows does not go on the SSD... If I split the 3TB Fusion Drive from Terminal and end up with a 3TB Disk and a 120GB SSD as intended, there's no way for me to install Windows on the SSD. I get an easily repeatable error, as seen below:

    "We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one. For more information see, the Setup log files."

    OK, so then I had an idea... What if I re-fuse the 3.1TB disk, use Boot Camp to partition the disk - which I knew workes, get Windows 8 successfully installed on the BOOT CAMP partition, use WinClone to make an image of Windows 8 immediately, THEN un-fuse the 3.1TB disk, and use WinClone to put the Windows 8 image back on the 120GB SSD! Genius!

    So, I did that and it works to boot to Windows! But.... then I end up with the 3TB Disk not visible in Windows at all, showing an AHCI/SATA driver error which is NOT resolvable through re-installation. You can see the driver error in the picture below, too.

    So then I had another idea. What if I RE-FUSE the 3.1TB disk, run Boot Camp assistant to partition the disk as I need it, then UNFUSE the volume. This left me with the 120GB SSD, and then the 3TB disk partitioned as BOOTCAMP and Macintosh HD 2. Perfect. Now, use WinClone to restore the Windows 8 image to the 120GB, and boot to Windows 8. Yes, it works! NO driver error, and the 3TB disk (both OS X and Windows partitions visible!).

    So everything looks great, finally.

    HOWEVER, I then rebooted to OS X. And then, without touching anything, rebooted back to Windows. The 3TB disk is now missing, and the "driver" issue is back in Device Manager. I can repeat this procedure over and over, but the 3TB disk always goes missing after a reboot to OS X and then back to Windows.

    So I'm at a complete loss. :(

    Does anyone have any suggestions about what to do here? I had this very setup running PERFECTLY for 2 years on my 2012 iMac, without having to use WinClone or anything... All help appreciated.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Kjos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #2
    One time I called Apple support, and asked a question about bootcamp, and they transferred me to Windows tech support, someone in India they said.

    Best of luck, hopefully someone here knows what to do!
     
  3. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    Have you tried the following:

    1. Split the Fusion Drive

    2. Format the SSD to just have Free Space in Disk Utility (try using the MBR partition scheme and not GUID). Install Windows, let it do its stuff.

    3. Format the Hard Drive (GUID partition table; one HFS+ [Mac OS Extended Journaled] partition) Install OS X on the hard drive.

    4. Install Windows on the hard drive (alongside OS X a la a traditional Boot Camp setup).

    ?
     
  4. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    I haven't tried the Free Space thing in Disk Utility.

    FYI, I just tried the following:

    1.) Split the Fusion Drive.

    2.) Install Yosemite fresh on the 120GB SSD.

    3.) Ran Boot Camp Assistant to create a Boot Camp partition on the 120GB SSD with Yosemite on it.

    4.) Windows still failed to install on the 120GB SSD with the same error as my first post....

    Question:

    Why would I install OS X and Windows twice, as per your 3 and 4?
     
  5. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    I was under the impression that you wanted Windows to solely occupy the SSD and that you wanted the hard drive to have both Windows and OS X (I'm presuming that this would be to do different tasks in the different Windows partitions). Though, I now see that you just want a Windows data partition on the hard drive running OS X and that makes way more sense.

    Honestly, after you split the fusion drive, if you completely blow away all partitions on the SSD, and then just run the Windows installer (without messing with the boot camp assistant [as that's only really needed if you want OS X and Windows installed on the same physical drive]), the installation process should be 100% identical to how it is on a PC.

    As for partitioning your hard drive to accommodate the install data for your games, I'm not sure where this is best done from within your games/Windows once you've already made the partition, but if you simply split your hard drive in Disk Utility, make a FAT partition (which you can then convert to NTFS from within Windows), you should be good (and the fact that you have that drive formatted with a GPT shouldn't matter as Windows isn't using that drive to boot).
     
  6. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
    Thanks for the reply. I think maybe you misunderstand. I have OS X on an external Thunderbolt disk (see my first goal!).

    As to your second paragraph, that's the issue. It's not...
     
  7. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #7
    Update:

    I formatted the 120GB SSD (after un-fusing, of course) as MBR rather than GPT, and did the FREE SPACE option. I was then able to install Windows 8.1 with no trouble, and my 3TB disk shows up after many reboots between OS X and Windows.

    HOWEVER, I now have a "System Reserved" partition on my OS X desktop, which is about 350MB big - part of the 120GB SSD. If I can figure out a way to not have that separate partition, I'll be set! Any ideas?
     
  8. WilliamG, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    And final update:

    This is the way to install Windows 8 just on the SSD on a 3TB fusion 5K iMac:

    1.) Un-fuse the 3.1TB partition, following the simple instructions here:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/2015664/how-to-split-up-a-fusion-drive.html

    2.) Format the 120GB as an MS-DOS partition - making SURE to pick MBR as your partition type.

    3.) Reboot to the Windows installer and be SURE to pick the "Windows" install - NOT the EFI install.

    4.) Install Windows. Be happy.

    Again, this is only for those of us who have our OS X installation on an external disk already.

    FYI, Yebubbleman, if you do the Erase Free Space you end up with that extra System Reserved partition. Just doing MBR without erasing free space solves that. :)
     
  9. WilliamG, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    #9
    Only thing I'm struggling with now is getting Parallels to recognize the internal 3TB disk as an NTFS partition. It sees it, but won't write to it for some reason (but will write to my HFS drives, go figure..).
     
  10. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #10
    I don't think OS X can write to a NTFS partition without 3rd party software drivers. Parallels (and VMware Fusion) would be using OS X drivers for the disk I/O and thus need the add-on driver to write. If it is desired to have a common data directory for both operating systems, you could probably choose a FAT32 format rather than using the add-on drivers.
     
  11. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    Seattle
    #11
    I'm not sure that's true. After all, I can write to the NTFS boot SSD now just fine from within Parallels.
     
  12. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Cittagazze
    #12
    I thought that was one of the features of Parallels and VMWare Fusion: allowing the ability to write to an NTFS partition. Without them or other 3rd party software, OS X can natively read from NTFS but not write to it. I haven't needed /used either in a while, but that was my understanding when I used it.
     
  13. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Seattle
    #13
    Right. And it will write to the drive fine if it's the SAME disk as what Windows is installed on.

    I just installed Paragon NTFS for OS X, and now it will write to the other disk fine, but this is all very confusing and not user-friendly at ALL.

    Still testing...
     
  14. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #14
    I gave up. Yes, Boot Camp worked fine. But Parallels was just havoc with the setup. So going back to a simple Fusion that's split for Boot Camp. Will continue to use OS X from my Thunderbolt SSD. Not worth the hassle anymore.
     
  15. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #15
    I also boot from a 500GB Thunderbolt SSD. I partitioned it half and half between Yosemite and BootCamp. I then used Winclone to move Windows onto the SSD and it works flawlessly. This is with a Delock 42490 Thunderbolt enclosure. I've heard that there are some TB enclosures don't play well with Windows.

    I just use USB3 external drives for additional storage and the iMac Fusion Drive is still fused and used for extra storage in OS X.

    This works for me so that I have SSD performance from both OSes. I have no problems with Parallels either.
     
  16. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #16
    Good to know. Thank you. The issue I had was Parallels kept seeing the wrong drive listed (e.g. disk0), and would fail to boot Windows 8. So I'd have to go to the configuration and pick the correct disk (disk1), and then Parallels would want to install the tools again next reboot. Very annoying. Then, after using Boot Camp, the disk numbers would change again and the issue repeated. Not sure how that would work with using my Thunderbolt 500GB instead of splitting the fusion disk.

    I also had some hassle with drive letters since I want the Fusion disk partitioned for OS X and Windows. I think I'll just leave it. Really not worth the hassle anymore.
     

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