Boot OSX from Thunderbolt and Bootcamp from interal SSD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jimihat, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. jimihat, Oct 17, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014

    jimihat macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    Dorset, UK
    Hi Guys

    I need the new iMac in my life, I'm using a PC based system at the moment and want the real's expensive!!!!

    I need a windows partition with at least 256gb (im used to SSD so really want SSD speed again).

    I'm wondering if I could get an external thunderbolt caddy and put an SSD in it to run OSX from, then use the internal iMac SSD for my Windows install. Or vice versa even.

    I only really want to do this if it's relatively hack free however. I want the native MAC experience for once!!! :)

    Look forward to your thoughts.

  2. Andune macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2009

    I've been using a Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter and a 256GB SSD with my iMac since the first half of 2012 without any problems or hacks. I use the external SSD for OS X and the internal 1TB HDD for backups/storage and boot camp. Not sure if boot camp works from a thunderbolt drive but OS X works great and is so much faster then the internal HDD.
  3. jimihat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    Dorset, UK
    Hi, thanks for the reply. That's very interesting, if OSX works from the Thunderbolt then I would have thought that there is some chance of Bootcamp working with it.

    Hopefully somebody else can confirm experiences. I guess the easiest way for me to do it would be to get the Fusion drive, use that for OSX, then install windows on the Thunderbolt SSD - If I can.

    Any thoughts from anyone are most welcome. :)
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I did it the other way round.

    My Boot Camp partition is on an external SSD (Buffalo HD-PATU3 with a Samsung 840 Evo in it), while the internal SSD is for OS X.
  5. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Just remember that you can't install Bootcamp on the SSD portion of the Fusion drive.
  6. hfg, Oct 18, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    You can do it either way with OS X or Windows internal or external. You do have to be careful which Thunderbolt enclosure you choose if you want Windows external.

    I have the old 2012 iMac with internal 768GB SSD and no hard disk. I normally have it partitioned as 512GB for OS X and 256GB for Windows.

    However, I just finished changing that to (again) run Windows on a external SSD Thunderbolt drive using WinClone to move it. I now have Windows 8 external on a LaCie "Rugged" Thunderbolt 500GB SSD. I simply velcro the tiny enclosure (less the "lifeboat" ring) to the iMac stand with a short Thunderbolt cable to the iMac.

    If your iMac has a Fusion drive, you won't be able to simply use it for Windows since "Fusion" is a OS X function. You can either create a BootCamp partition which will install Windows on the hard disk, removing that space from the Fusion management. Or, you could "break" the Fusion drive back to its 2 parts: a 128GB SSD and a hard disk. You could then use the SSD for Windows, and the hard disk however you like (OS X would now be external on a Thunderbolt SSD).

    I would keep the OS X Fusion internal, and put Windows on an external SSD (especially since you indicated you wanted a 256GB minimum Windows SSD installation).

Share This Page