Boot Windows on External Firewire 800

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dadioh, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Dadioh macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Canada Eh?
    #1
    I have an iMac 24 2008 model that I have installed an Agility 3 120GB SSD as my boot drive running Lion. I have a Mac Pro in the basement as my server so I don't need a lot of space locally for media or larger files so the 120GB is fine for me. However, there are some older PC first person shooter games that I enjoy playing and the iMac is fast enough to play those if I bootcamp into Windows. But I don't want to partition my 120GB for Windows.

    My question is... could I just throw a drive into an external Firewire 800 enclosure and boot Windows from that? Would it be too slow as a boot drive? I think FW800 is about 1/2 the speed of SATA?

    Any help or pointers appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. parapup macrumors 65816

    parapup

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #2
    No you can't run Windows from Firewire disk due to limitations in Windows. If the games are older - you may be able to use VMWare Fusion or Parallels to install Windows in a VM on external disk and play them that way.
     
  3. Dadioh thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

    Joined:
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    Canada Eh?
    #3
    Rats. Oh well. Was worth a shot. Thanks
     
  4. parapup macrumors 65816

    parapup

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #4
    Try the VMWare/Parallels method as I suggested in my updated reply above :)
     
  5. Dadioh thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

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    #5
    I do run Parallels 6 on my Mac Pro with no issues and I do have a version of Parallels 5 that I am no longer using (bought a full version of 6 to replace my 5 so now I have full versions of both). But I didn't think that the graphics emulation was fast enough for any serious 3D performance.

    But if I wanted to try this I guess I would install Parallels 5 on my SSD and then, when I install Windows tell it to put it on the external drive? And that gets around Windows not being allowed to boot external?
     
  6. parapup macrumors 65816

    parapup

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #6
    Right - you can try with Parallels 6 where the 3D performance of the emulation has gotten better from what I have heard. (I use Fusion and its 3D works passably for old games.)

    When you create a new Windows VM - just have the VM disk file reside on a folder located on external drive and you should be good to go.
     
  7. Dadioh thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

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    #7
    OK. Thanks. The main games I wanted to play were Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142. Will do a little research and see if Parallels would be fast enough.
     
  8. 88 King macrumors 6502

    88 King

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Another idea is to give about 15GB (or the minimum amount) to Bootcamp, and run games stored on an external hard drive.

    There are also ways to create smaller Windows 7 installation disk by remove the stuff you don't need which will reduce the space Windows takes up once installed.

    P.S. you can download Parallels and VM fusion as trials to sees if your games will run with acceptable fps.
     
  9. markamcfarlane macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    #9
    My Parallels 5 installation doesn't support firewire devices. I don't think this restriction has been changed in Parallels 6. A USB device should work OK.

    You can always try the Parallels trial.
     
  10. Dadioh thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

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    Canada Eh?
    #10
    OK. So here's another thought. My 120GB SSD is currently using 26GB for Lion + Apps and a few documents (I keep most stuff on the server hard drives). So I have 93GB free. What if I were to give 20GB to Windows XP and then use an external firewire drive as the installation drive for any games I want to play. That way the OS would have the fast SSD and I would keep the large game files off on the external drive. Sound like an option?
     
  11. Dadioh thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Canada Eh?
    #11
    Well after some research and considering all the options I decided I really don't need my DVD drive. I have multiple Macs in the house that I could share DVD over the network as well as an external Bluray drive that I use with my Mac Pro so lots of options if I absolutely "had" to install something from DVD. So I am going to purchase the item below, buy a 500gb 7200rpm laptop drive (WD Black). I will create 2 partitions on this drive. One for OS X to use for the user folder to keep user files off the SSD and the other for an NTFS boot partition for Windows.

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...74454&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_5392wt_1156
     

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