Saladin said:Good question, this needs to be answered. I have heard people say 'no', but they did not cite a source for their claim. I too want to boot on an external hard drive with my Macbook Pro.
ipedro said:The FIRMWARE upgrade is what allows Windows to run the Mac, not Boot Camp. Bootcamp is just a simple interface that guides you.
Once you install the firmware upgrade which allows for BIOS, then boot from the Windows CD (hold C during startup) and follow the regular Windows setup procedure while selecting your external drive partition to install Windows on to.
After installation, according to http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75459 "Press Option-Command-Shift-Delete during startup to Bypass primary startup volume and seek a different startup volume (such as a CD or external disk)". At this point, you'll be able to select your external drive to boot from. Since Windows will be installed there, you'll boot Windows.
Note: I would use Boot Camp to create the driver CD which will allow Windows to support your Mac's hardware properly.
esaleris said:So you're saying that if I get the firmware installed, I could wipe one of my three current partitions, hold down "C" on startup, and just directly install to the wiped drive? No need to have Boot Camp do setup or anything (besides creating a drivers disc)?
ipedro said:Exactly my friend. I can confirm that this works. I ran into a minor issue when I tried to install Windows using my above described method, none of the partitions were recognized properly (including size) so I couldn't distinguish which one was my internal drive and which ones were my external partitions.
So I simply went into the Terminal under OSX and formatted my external drive as FAT32
newfs_msdos -F32 /dev/rdisk#s1
(rdisk#s1 being my partition's ID ... you need to check that before you run this command)
I then went booted my MacBook Pro from the Windows CD by holding C on startup, installed WindowsXP flawlessly (mind you, I could have installed VISTA, WinME, Linux, whatever) and then booted into Windows after installation by holding CMD+OPTION+SHIFT+DEL at startup.
The final step was to install the drivers that Boot Camp created previously.
Voilá. You read it here first! (Do I get $13,000? )
This is the perfect solution for me. I don't put crappy old windows living with OSX on the same drive but I get to keep an external drive on my desk at work. When I arrive at work I simply plug in the external drive, boot into Windows and work on that all day. When I get home, I run OSX.
Assuming this actually does work, the only explanation is that the firmware provides its own firewire drivers so that (as far as the boot process is concerned at least) the drive can be accessed through standard BIOS calls, as if it was an internal drive. This is essentially what most modern PC BIOSes do to provide support for USB keyboards and mice and USB devices during boot.glorfindeal said:How did you get XP to boot off a firewire drive. It is not supposed to support firewire booting.
JayMak said:I can report that I can see my external USB drive in the Mac Startup menu and it was visible to XP when installing, so I could have selected it to install to. Just don't have a external drive ready to test just yet.
I'd like to have just OS X on the Mac internal drive and XP external or maybe even the other way around.
So once the firmware is installed can you use the option key (or alt) to select a boot drive, like when you use BootCamp to partition.
Is BootCamp Assistant installing a partition manager or is the firmware?
Can OS X or XP then be installed to either drive?