boot via external drive

focout

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
7
0
I want to replace the hard drive with an SSD in my macbook pro. There are both OS and Win7 in the original hard drive.

I was wondering, if I use a holder to turn the HDD into a external hard drive, is it possible to still boot via Win7 which is originally installed in the HDD?

Thanks very much!
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,962
142
NH
If you want to put windows on a removable media and boot from it, you need to use a VM (parallels for example) instead of bootcamp.
 

Siggen

macrumors 6502
Apr 1, 2011
488
0
Oslo, Norway
Microsoft doesn't allow Windows to boot from external devices.
Please, stop believing this... Who the duck told you this? Please beat that guy with an ugly stick.... I have bought loads of Apple products and enjoy them, so please believe me when I say this: It was Apple who decided you are not allowed to boot Windows from USB.

I am sorry for being so aggressive, but please common, don't spread such "vicious lies" or "Ignorant advice" (take your pick)
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,962
142
NH
I can't boot my windows laptop from an external USB drive... ;) The Microsoft software won't let me.
 

VTECaddict

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2008
373
23
Please, stop believing this... Who the duck told you this? Please beat that guy with an ugly stick.... I have bought loads of Apple products and enjoy them, so please believe me when I say this: It was Apple who decided you are not allowed to boot Windows from USB.

I am sorry for being so aggressive, but please common, don't spread such "vicious lies" or "Ignorant advice" (take your pick)
Then show me a PC that can boot off of a USB drive. Not through a VM or with any hackery. Just straight up install to a USB drive and boot from it like you can with Mac OS.

You can't. Because Microsoft doesn't allow Windows to be installed on a USB drive. Who the duck told me that? Windows setup did. Try it and see what happens.

Who the duck told me Microsoft doesn't support Windows booting from a USB drive? Microsoft did. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/gg463427.aspx
Current versions of Windows should not be installed to USB hard disk drives because Windows does not support USB hard disk drives as the primary boot device.
So who's spreading "vicious lies" or "Ignorant advice"?
 

Siggen

macrumors 6502
Apr 1, 2011
488
0
Oslo, Norway
Then show me a PC that can boot off of a USB drive. Not through a VM or with any hackery. Just straight up install to a USB drive and boot from it like you can with Mac OS.

You can't. Because Microsoft doesn't allow Windows to be installed on a USB drive. Who the duck told me that? Windows setup did. Try it and see what happens.

Who the duck told me Microsoft doesn't support Windows booting from a USB drive? Microsoft did. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/gg463427.aspx


So who's spreading "vicious lies" or "Ignorant advice"?
First of all, Mac's have a spesific block in the EFI that prevents you from booting anything but OS X based operating systems off of USB.

Second, it might not be straight forward to or meant for regular users but Microsofts supports windows off of USB, its called WinPE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Preinstallation_Environment
You can make full windows installs and boot them, even though the methods to do this are cumbersome.
Third, linux, same counts for linux, you can boot it off of USB on a computer, but not on a Mac.

Sorry that you are wrong, now you know more :)
 

alex0002

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2013
483
103
New Zealand
First of all, Mac's have a spesific block in the EFI that prevents you from booting anything but OS X based operating systems off of USB.
How to boot a non OS X based operating system from USB.

1. Download latest gparted-live from http://gparted.sourceforge.net/download.php
2. Format USB flash drive to FAT32 using disk utility.
3. Make USB flash drive FAT32 partition bootable -- can use fdisk from a terminal session for example.
3. Copy contents of downloaded gparted-live to USB -- just the /EFI/boot and /live directories and contents should be enough.
4. Reboot/press option key and select the EFI bootable USB.
5. See the linux based gparted-live boot from USB.

Depending on your Mac, you might need to edit /EFI/boot/grub.cfg on the USB. For example, on a 13-inch cMBP with Intel HD Graphics you might need to remove the kernel parameter "i915.blacklist=yes" in order for X-windows to start up.
 
Last edited:

VTECaddict

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2008
373
23
First of all, Mac's have a spesific block in the EFI that prevents you from booting anything but OS X based operating systems off of USB.

Second, it might not be straight forward to or meant for regular users but Microsofts supports windows off of USB, its called WinPE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Preinstallation_Environment
You can make full windows installs and boot them, even though the methods to do this are cumbersome.
Third, linux, same counts for linux, you can boot it off of USB on a computer, but not on a Mac.

Sorry that you are wrong, now you know more :)
Obviously there are hacks and ways around it. Just like Mac OS isn't meant to be installed on non-Apple hardware, but we all know there are ways around that.

I have used WinPE myself. My point was for the average consumer, and more importantly in the context of what the original poster wanted to do, Microsoft doesn't support booting windows from USB.