Boot windows from external?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by sdsvtdriver, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. sdsvtdriver macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I know I can boot OS X from an external drive.

    Can this be done with Windows XP? W7? Google searches tend to say negative, but most of the data I have found seems dated.

    I want to play Civ V, but virtualizing it will result in poor performance and I really don't want to go the bootcamp route for just playing one game (and using up 40+GB of space)

    Any other suggestions?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    It still seems to be impossible. MRoogle EDIT: Or not, take a look at balamw's post (#4) for further information.

    Btw, does Civ 4 take up so much space? Windows should take about 2GB then add Civ 4 and then add another 15% for having it unoccupied and you should arrive at less than 40GB.
     
  3. sdsvtdriver thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Probably not 40...but still a lot of space just for gaming.

    i saw this. I'll try it. I just have to find my XP disk and sit thru half a day of updates.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=217079
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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  5. Rodus macrumors 6502a

    Rodus

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    #5
    Just give windows a small amount of space and run games etc of an external drive.
     
  6. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #6
  7. sdsvtdriver thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
  8. Maxi86 macrumors regular

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    #8
    does it also work for Windows 7? and what about an external HDD instead of the USB?
    and if possible on an external HDD, can you also install you programs there too? so that when you boot W7, you also get all your desired programs...
     
  9. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502

    PhelpsiPhan

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    #9
    I Have a feeling running games and even the OS from an external drive will be very slow, as USB is nowhere near as fast as Sata
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #10
    No. There is no reliable way of getting W7 to boot exclusively from an external USB or FireWire drive on the Mac so far.

    The problem is Windows. It unloads the USB and FireWire drivers during the boot process so the "C:" drive gets unmounted. The ngine based USB driver modification (in the linked guide) only works for XP and requires the user to remove the internal HDD during the install.

    B
     
  11. jgeor79 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2010
    #11
    Hello,
    This is my first post on this forum and I wasn't sure if I should start a new topic or add on to this one. I asked this question on the apple forum but I felt the community wanted me to do more research. First off I have a Macbook Pro (5,2) running 10.6.4.

    Like the questions above, I too want to keep my internal HD for Mac OS X only. The difference is I've been researching eSATA express cards. I currently have a Caldigit express card that uses the Silicon Image Sil3125 chip. This is not recognized by the MBP EFI (and crashes my computer constantly.) From what I've read, the JMicron chip does get seen by the EFI and thus can boot up disks at (POST) or whatever the EFI equivalent would be. What I'd like to know is if a) what brand and card would be best to run on my Mac and b) will it work with Win (XP - 7, preferably 7). The reason I'm researching this is because of what Sonnet's Tempo express card states being that it cannot boot WinVista-7 due to and overhead limitation in the emulated BIOS that the EFI uses. (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/temposataproexpress34.html)

    Has anyone successfully used a bootable eSATA express card to boot Windows 7? It really should work just fine. Hold down alt, select the Win 7 install disk, if the external eSATA drive is not present, install the drivers, then install the OS to the drive, reboot, hold down alt, choose the external disk...and you're done.

    If anyone can direct me whether this is possible or not...the other (final) solution was what someone posted about just installing the OS to the internal bootcamp partitioned drive and then use the external drive (eSATA/USB/Firewire) to hold and execute applications (games, etc.) Thank you for taking the time to look into this.
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #12
    It's certainly possible, but I have not seen it done.

    It's a pretty narrow field now that the vast majority of recent MBPs don't have ExpressCard slots. I would venture to say that you'd have to keep trying different combinations of ExpressCards and drives until you found one that worked.

    That is assuming that Windows doesn't' pull some of the same hijinks that stop USB from booting. For i.e. unload the ExpressCard driver during boot so your "C:" drive vanishes. Because ExpressCard and eSATA are officially Plug and Pray. I would think that is a high likelihood.

    Windows just doesn't want to you boot off a removable drive by design.

    You might have better luck remoting the ODD's SATA port as eSATA along the lines of an OptiBay.

    B
     
  13. jgeor79 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2010
    #13
    Hi B. Thanks for the reply. Yeah...I'm just so hesitant about jumping in but I'll just go ahead and do it. Some forum suggestions using the Vpower JMicron chip based express card. I guess before it was the fact the EFI didn't see the express card on POST (Silicon Image chips.) Apparently the JMicron based chip doesn't even need a driver because it's native to the EFI. I'll just jump in and try it. Otherwise I'll do what was suggested and Take 32-60 GB for OS only and install apps on an external eSATA drive. That should be just as fast as internal SATA being it uses the same bus speed/frequency.
     
  14. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #14
    Please report back with any results positive or negative. It shouldn't damage anything, but if you are really concerned, you may wish to remove the internal drive and set it aside for a bit.

    Again, just because the EFI sees it and you can boot OS X off of it is necessary but not sufficient. OS X boots just fine off USB and FireWire drives. Windows foils that by swapping drivers during boot.

    EDIT: Note too that only W764 has native EFI/GPT support so stick with that. Don't put in a product key and activate it in case it doesn't work and you have to install it some other way.

    Depending on what drive you currently have you might also just want to upgrade your internal drive to a larger one if space is at such a premium. That's what I did when I was running out of space. Went from 250 to 500GB in my MB and will probably go from 500 to 640 or 750 in my MB later this year.

    B
     
  15. jgeor79 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2010
    #15
    I will report back. I was surprised more people haven't tried this yet. You are correct, the express port is now only available on the 17" MBP. i don't understand it but Apple does throw crazy loops at us that I just shrug my shoulders and try something else.

    I have a 500GB internal WD 7200RPM drive. My external drive is hooked to an Azio USB/eSATA case. The card I will purchase is http://www.yourmacstore.com/shop/shopexd.asp?id=782

    As soon as the card comes in I'll post to this topic. Thanks again for the advice.
     
  16. flyingphish macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2010
    #16
    i have a Voyager Q coming in the mail today from owc. ill pull my windows hhd (bay 1) out of my mac pro and try to boot it from the voyager via my newertech pcie eSata card.

    i have osx on a 120gb ssd in the optical bay.
     
  17. jgeor79 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2010
    #17
    Hi all, just reporting. I received the new eSATA express card. Surprisingly the drive was recognized (as was the card) on the initial boot and (alt) disk select screen. However when I tried to boot off the windows hard drive externally connected via the eSATA cable/card, I received a BIOS message stating that no boot disk was found. My guess is that I either need a different enclosure or my experiment was unsuccessful. However, I am not upset because I think creating a small bootcamp partition sololy for the OS and using the eSATA enclosure for everything else works out in my favor in the end. If I get a new enclosure and am able to get it to boot I will report back. Thanks again for all the suggestions.
     

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