Bootcamp/Install & Boot Windows 7 from/Onto USB Drive/External SSD

Satnam1989

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 16, 2011
1,200
0
Illinois
hey guys I just got a Macbook Air i5/4GB/256GB and so far loving it, replaced my macbook pro 15 as it was too heavy for my day to day use. 256GB is good amount of space but I am thinking of buying couple of the usb drives in the link below to fill up my USB pots as I rarely plug anythingin....the usb drives are actually pretty reliable and have read plenty of positive reviews also they are 32GB each.....so would be amazing to have my iTunes Library on one and another for just random stuff.....I do have about 18GB in iTunes Library.....Also I need Windows 7....but don't need it daily so I was thinking if I can possibly install windows 7 onto one of these 32GB USB Drives....I do have license for Windows 7 Ultimate what do you guys think? anyone ever done it? if so please provide some highlights/insight in every detail possible.



http://www.ebay.com/itm/22101546976...DX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1952.l2649#ht_2135wt_922

Also plan to do something like this in the long run because I need all the storage I can get....but not at the fastest speeds...like I love having tons of movies with me, music and pdf books that I have on the go available to me without having to plug in a external drive: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1206894/
 
Last edited:

Satnam1989

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 16, 2011
1,200
0
Illinois
no one? Also anyone running Windows 7 via Bootcamp or VMWare/Parallels from a USB 2.0 Enclosed SSD? I know USB 2.0 is limited to 60MB/s(480mbps) which isn't so bad considering that the internal hard drives usually only run from 60-100MB/s anyway.......other option would be the seagate Thunderbolt go flex drive with its adapter but the problem is the 2M Thunderbolt cable that you have to carry around since apple doesn't sell any smaller ones and nor did Seagate think hard enough to include their own with it.

The Seagate option is almost affordable but costs too much what you can do is however buy a Seagate Goflex for <$90(500GB) u can find then get the thunderbolt adapter which is about $90-$100 that I found and buy a cable(unless its included with it) which costs $30-$50 but again I have yet to find a smaller cable than 2M(6feet) so the cost of that would be approx $180-240 or if you go with purchase from apple store then its $279+$50(if Tbolt cable not included)+tax =~$330-$350 for 1TB

I'm sure some of you MBA users out there have tried at least one of the possible options so please share your experience.
 
Last edited:
Comment

shelob8888

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2009
54
0
no one? Also anyone running Windows 7 via Bootcamp or VMWare/Parallels from a USB 2.0 Enclosed SSD?
Well, you can only boot from an external drive with VMWare... Parallels, bootcamp, etc. will not allow this, they require you to use an internal partition.

I have been running Windows 7 on a partitioned USB 2 passport drive for a while and haven't had any problems in VMWare Fusion. No noticeable lag during navigation or anything (I mainly did this in anticipation of MechWarrior Online because it will be PC exclusive). I am even using Rainmeter to customize the desktop with animations and skins and it runs better than any pc i have ever used.

Let me know if you have any specific questions regarding install. It was pretty straight ahead.
 
Comment

Satnam1989

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 16, 2011
1,200
0
Illinois
Well, you can only boot from an external drive with VMWare... Parallels, bootcamp, etc. will not allow this, they require you to use an internal partition.

I have been running Windows 7 on a partitioned USB 2 passport drive for a while and haven't had any problems in VMWare Fusion. No noticeable lag during navigation or anything (I mainly did this in anticipation of MechWarrior Online because it will be PC exclusive). I am even using Rainmeter to customize the desktop with animations and skins and it runs better than any pc i have ever used.

Let me know if you have any specific questions regarding install. It was pretty straight ahead.
thank you so much for your response first all, been waiting to hear from someone for days. few questions below for you:
1) Is your USB 2 Passport a standard HDD or SSD and is it a 2.5" or 3.5"?

2) When you connect a USB Device to your macbook air say on the other side does it get recognized by windows 7 as well?

3) How big is your USB 2 Passport and is it 5400RPM or 7200RPM?

4) What are the Speeds like if you did check(Read/Write) and Boot-Time in Windows?

5) How much space do you need to install Windows 7 Ultimate if thats what you have installed.....do you think this http://www.ebay.com/itm/22101546976...DX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1952.l2649#ht_2135wt_922 will be enough? its 32GB and is a better choice than having a external to hook up because I rarely plug anything in so would be a perfect permanent attachment.
 
Comment

shelob8888

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2009
54
0
1) Is your USB 2 Passport a standard HDD or SSD and is it a 2.5" or 3.5"?
I am using a WD, 250GB Passport HDD and i believe it is a 2.5"

2) When you connect a USB Device to your macbook air say on the other side does it get recognized by windows 7 as well?
This drive functions as the only HDD in the Windows 7 Virtual Machine.

3) How big is your USB 2 Passport and is it 5400RPM or 7200RPM?
250GB, 5400RPM, but currently have it partitioned for 200GB for Windows 7. Although VMware caps me at 60GB for the vm.

4) What are the Speeds like if you did check(Read/Write) and Boot-Time in Windows?
Here are my read/write speeds at multiple test levels (see the screen shot). And i don't know about boot time, because i "suspend" the vm when i am not using it (resume time is about 25-40 seconds, no more than a minute, best guess).

5) How much space do you need to install Windows 7 Ultimate if thats what you have installed?
I am using Windows 7 Ultimate. You only technically need enough space to install the os and have room to use it. I would say no less than 30GB. Like I mentioned earlier, VMware caps the image at 60 gigs. It really depends on what you are going to use the image for.
 

Attachments

Comment

Satnam1989

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 16, 2011
1,200
0
Illinois
I am using a WD, 250GB Passport HDD and i believe it is a 2.5"



This drive functions as the only HDD in the Windows 7 Virtual Machine.



250GB, 5400RPM, but currently have it partitioned for 200GB for Windows 7. Although VMware caps me at 60GB for the vm.



Here are my read/write speeds at multiple test levels (see the screen shot). And i don't know about boot time, because i "suspend" the vm when i am not using it (resume time is about 25-40 seconds, no more than a minute, best guess).



I am using Windows 7 Ultimate. You only technically need enough space to install the os and have room to use it. I would say no less than 30GB. Like I mentioned earlier, VMware caps the image at 60 gigs. It really depends on what you are going to use the image for.
Thanks for all the answers, appreciate it. I will get the 32GB USB 2.0 from SanDisk and move my iTunes Library onto it or first install Windows 7 via VMware Fusion and see how that works out if it doesn't work out too well then I will move my iTunes Library to it which is approx 21GB currently and install Windows 7 via VMWare Fusion onto my internal drive with Approx 30GB dedicated to it.
 
Comment

Satnam1989

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 16, 2011
1,200
0
Illinois
So i got the 32GB Cruzer Fit in the mail today, Looks great so far...I bought it from eBay for $25 (came from Hong Kong). So far seems legit but only thing I see is that it has no activity light on it as mentioned on Sandisk's website.

Instead of originally Storing iTunes Library or even putting VMware machine or installing Windows on it, I have decided to just move some files onto it for school such as video lectures which I don't need taking up space on my MBAir SSD. I'm in the process of moving approx 22GB onto it and it said 1 hour 30mins, once completed I will test out all video to make sure the drive isn't corrupted in anyway to verify its Authenticity.

Pro's:
- 32GB
- Micro in Size (does not stick out anymore than the MagSafe Charger)
- Read Speeds are pretty good @ 17-20MB/s

Cons:
- Slow Write speeds @ 4.5-6MB/s but you have to expect it due to its tiny size and its not built for performance
 
Comment

Satnam1989

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 16, 2011
1,200
0
Illinois
Awesome! Thanks for the update!!! I am sure that will work out well for you!
Yup, so far loaded 25GB worth of Videos+PDF's+Images onto it, some .flv videos lag every now and then but everything else works 100%. I don't mind it tho its great for the size and barely noticeable as it blends in perfectly when the MagSafe charger is plugged in. Overall I would highly recommend for anyone looking to add 32GB to their MBAir:)
 
Comment

Satnam1989

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 16, 2011
1,200
0
Illinois
Interested to see how you get on running windows from a USB drive. Let us know!
hey sorry i scrapped the plans to do that because a usb drive is too slow to run it, Read speeds are only ~20MB/s at most and write are even lower ~6MB/s.....windows would run perfectly fine from a USB External tho because on that you can get higher speeds for read and write.

It would also work from a thunderbolt external without issues. Currently I clone my SSD via Carbon Copy Cloner to a external has a backup bootable drive and it works perfectly fine from USB2.0(its a 500GB Partition on a 2TB Western Digital Mybook essential. I know it will run even better if i were to get one of those belkin docs with usb 3.0 via Thunderbolt connection.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.