bootable windows xp from an former internal hdd now in a firewire /usb dock

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by bjaz, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. bjaz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    #1
    hello all
    I've been looking for ways to boot windows XP from an external HDD for a while, and saw that some users managed to this, yet since my configuration is slightly different, i wanted to ask for opinions / ideas on how to get around this limitation.

    i'm on a 2007 macbook pro, and have often used the firewire 800 booting functions, booting onto "specialised" (ie music creation dedicated for instance) lighter systems on firewire drives, or Ubuntu karmic, which i also use quite often.

    my former system also had mac os X 10.4 and windows xp on the macbook pro's internal drive (changed the date to re-install bootcamp after a crash, and finding out the beta support option was disabled in tiger), dual boot handled by bootcamp, and I recently installed Refit for more booting flexibility.
    Yet having XP on has often proved problematic (crashes messing up the boot options, fear of disk corruption, was saved by disk warrior followed by disk utilities program a few times...), and i no longer want to have windows on the mbp's internal drive-- yet i still use windows frequently for some programs for which i don't have a mac version (trados for instance) or for which mac versions don't exist. I need to have access to a windows xp for professional reasons as well.

    Recently, my internal drive (the mbp's orginal 120Gig% 5400rpm apple drive) was showing signs of use after over 3 years of very intensive use, and i had it replaced yesterday for a 250gig samsung drive, on which i installed mac os 10.6.

    i also bought a 2.5 / 3.5 dock, with firewire (800 and 400), usb and esata outputs. all is well, i can still boot into the old 10.4 system, access the disk including the windows xp partition. yet as expected, the windows xp is now recognized as a firewire drive, and non bootable--

    when i try to boot into it I get a windows error telling me the drive is non bootable; wether I try to boot from it from the alt/options menu ( where it appears as a firewire drive) or, by choosing the former mac hd, via the Refit menu which is opened. the mac os 10.4 is bootable, and the windows partition, which used to be, isn't.

    is there anyway to get around this ?
    i thought it might be easier since the drive is the original 10.4 + bootcamp windows xp partition system i had in my mbp until yesterday, which worked rather well- i have the original xp install disk and the others, as well as the Refit bootloader soft, GParted and other tools, but was thinking of keeping the partitions / data on the formerly internal mac os X / windows xp drive.

    do you think this is feasible, if people have managed to boot onto a usb drive, it should be possible to boot onto a firewire 800 drive ? ie getting windows to recognize the drive as internal ? or does would this only work for USB drives ? i can always plug the dock via usb, since it has USB, firewire or sata connections, but I'm a slightly afraid of the response speed i'll be having.

    thanks for your time and help

    ben
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    There is no reliable method that I am aware of of taking an existing install and making it bootable via FireWire and Boot Camp. You're facing two issues.

    1) Windows just doesn't like to boot from external/removable storage. It goes against the licensing and activation methods.

    2) Like the USB stack the FW stack probably unloads itself during boot. This is what the ngine hack does, keep the USB stack from restarting during boot.

    My recommendation would be one of two options.

    1) make room for it on the internal clone it over using Winclone and continue to use Boot Camp.

    2) Switch to using VMWare Fusion/Parallels/VirtualBox and host the image on the external FW drive. (Fusion and Parallels at least have options of importing current BC partitions as VMs. You may need to do the conversion with the old drive in your Mac, but can remove it once you have converted it to a VM.

    B
     
  3. bjaz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    #3
    thanks. I understand. I do have parallel, which I bought when I got the mbp but stopped using after a while for stability issues. Guess this migt be the way around it.

    Since i can boot into the 10.4 system, i could install parallels, then point to the existing bootcamp partition as a vm-- ths worked internally, and it is originally an internal. rereading what you wrote, i'm guessing the boot issue might still be there though, but i'll give it a try.
    too bad there seems to be no similar hack for for the fw stack...

    I'm not comfortable with opening the laptop, so this might get in the way if the only way to have an external windows implies connecting another hdd internally at some point...
    the dock i'm using has an esata out, i'm wondering if this could change the way the windows partition is recognized if the dock was to be connected by an esata express card-- but i haven't looked into esasata to connect hddrives, but maybe something like this would work ? http://eshop.macsales.com/search/esata+expresscard is there a chance that such a card would change the way the hhd is recognized or would windows still consider it external ?

    that said I don't mind losing the existing windows install, and do have the windows original cd meaning i can re-install it and the software, I just want to preserve the mac os 10.4 partition which i haven't been able to clone like i had before, using superduper from what I remember, but i haven't tried again from the internal 10.6 yet. I'll try to do this first, have a bootable copy on a regular firewire drive rather than the docked formerly internal drive.

    i'll look into it anyway, thanks for the advice.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    eSATA could definitely be a better option, though I have not heard of anyone using that approach. Successfully, or not.

    If you are "going VM" I would still recommend that you convert your existing install to the native format of your software and not try to boot the physical partition. There is a performance hit to booting a physical drive that you might wish to avoid.

    Personally I would have recommended spending the extra $20-$35 and gone with a 500 GB or 640 GB drive instead of the 250 (especially since you were going to pay someone to do it), but you've got what you've got...

    B
     
  5. bjaz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    #5
    thanks. the eSATA idea didn't work, the computer needs to be booted for express card adapter to work, meaning it's apparently not possible to boot into mac os nor windows using an esata express card adapter.

    i'm going to go back to parallels for my windows needs, installing a new windows on a seperate partition. just got a 3.5 7200rpm 500gig drive to do this, i plan on using it via the eSATA dock. i don't really remember how parallel VM work, haven't used it since 2008, but my plan is to either format the whole drive to FAT32 or to create a 250gig FAT32 partition for windows. from what i remember parallels uses a fat32 partition.

    i got someone to install the laptop drive as i couldn't take risks with the macbookpro, and getting my retailer to do it meant a renewed 1year warranty, which seemed like a good idea. the 250gig drive was part of an install;drive;warranty offer, so i couldn't really ask for a bigger drive, which in these parts would have cost much more than US$35, unfortunately.
    i had planned on getting a 7200 rpm drive but gave up on the idea after reading about heat issues.

    the mbp is from july 2007, no warranty or care plan had the motherboard replaced (free of charge) due to the video card bug, and it's now running a new hard drive. there seems to be an issue with the lower RAM slot (kernel panic crashes when using either the original 1gig ddr2 or the 2gig danelec ram i have there ) but otherwise things are working pretty well. keeping my fingers crossed as i couldn't afford paying 2000 euros for a new machine, which is what they cost here, unfortunately
     
  6. bjaz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    Bummer. Though now we know.

    Probably would be different if the "eSATA" was actually the SATA port that is supposed to be used for the optical, as some folks have done to their Mac Minis.

    B
     

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