Bootcamp Windows 7 on Thunderbolt drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sundragon, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. sundragon, Jun 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    sundragon macrumors regular

    sundragon

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    #1
    13" 2011 MBA with 256GB of SSD. I've got a Windows 7 partition 55GB. I'd like to give all of that back to the OS X partition and Bootcamp from a Thunderbolt drive.

    Has anyone done this successfully?
     
  2. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #2
    By the time you get this working, you will be better off returning that MBA for the 512GB model....
     
  3. sundragon thread starter macrumors regular

    sundragon

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    #3
    Haha, I figured as much.

    The prices for external drives (Seagate's Go-Flex is <$200) are dropping so I was hoping someone had done that. It would save me having to sell her.
     
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #4
    I tried the Seagate Goflex Thunderbolt drive and its going back to the Apple store tonight. Check this post out for pics. It turned out to be a bit too big and run too hot for my taste.

    The performance of the MBA comes from its SSD drive. Running VMs or anything else off a regular HD is not going to run as well, even if connected to a Thunderbolt port. Regular HDs can only spin so fast.

    You can shrink the Windows partition using Winclone. I gave mine 50GB and could probably get away with 35-40. Either that or move your music/media to an external USB drive (I have a 2TB Western Digital Passport that is indeed very portable, I carry it with my MBA in a Booq Viper case).
     
  5. falterego macrumors 6502

    falterego

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    #5
    I'm not sure if you can change the drive in the GoFlex system, but Newegg has a deal right now on the 120GB OCZ Vertex 3. Running that in an external enclosure is insanely fast. I have a USB 3.0 enclosure with my Vertex 2 120GB connected to my Windows box at work and it is certainly fast enough to run a VM off of. I can only imagine a faster drive with a faster connection would be just fine.

    Again, that idea hinges on the ability to put your own external drive into a GoFlex case. If that's possible then a (currently) $70 upgrade is worth it to me, far less than the cost of selling and buying the upgraded model.
     
  6. hashholly macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I thought you couldn't run bootcamp from an external vice?
     
  7. sundragon thread starter macrumors regular

    sundragon

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    #7
    I looked at Newegg and Tiger Direct for external Thunderbolt enclosures. No luck.

    I've seen an image of someone attaching the bare SSD drive to the Seagate GoFlex and it works just needs less clearance.

    [​IMG]

    You can read the article here

    Honestly, I don't want to tear open a GoFlex case to use the Vertex.

    I guess we aren't at a place where we can just purchase an empty Thunderbolt enclosure and put our drive of choice.

    Edit: I will not be using a bare SSD with GoFlex - That's just inviting disaster, lol
     
  8. falterego macrumors 6502

    falterego

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    #8
    Agreed. The stress on that connector is just awful. I've been wanting something to go between my Windows 7 box at work (USB 3.0), my 2010 MBP (FW800) and my 2011 MBA (TB), but the only option I've seen is this Goflex setup. I could live with just USB 3.0 for the work box and TB for the MBA and just run USB 2.0 on the MBP, but even that has a total of $274.69 for a 1.5TB option. For that price I could get two of these and a bottle of gin.

    <sarcasm> Seems like my ONLY option is to get a new MBA with USB 3.0 and go with the $120 drive and 5 bottles of gin. </sarcasm>
     
  9. sundragon thread starter macrumors regular

    sundragon

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    #9
    Love your sarcasm :p I may end up doing the same, getting USB 3.0, 512GB of SSD and 8GB RAM, plus moderately better graphics may be worth the hit to the wallet...

    I mean Most Thunderbolt enclosures cost as much as the difference as selling the 2011 and buying the 2012.

    ugh :(
     
  10. sundragon thread starter macrumors regular

    sundragon

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    #10
  11. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #11
    That's what I do. There's no "tearing" involved. The adapter is just the base, into which a bare SSD can plug into. That said, I just picked up a USB 3.0 enclosure, and will give that a try later today with the SSD to compare read and write speeds.
     
  12. sundragon thread starter macrumors regular

    sundragon

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    #12
    Thank you! The USB 2.0 on the 2011 is really killing me. I can get a Thunderbolt hub which has USB 3.0, Gig ethernet, etc. as well.

    Can you boot from the USB 3.0 external - I'd like to drop Windows 7 on that and take back the 55GB it's sitting on currently. That will last me at least another year.
     
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #13
    I believe you can, but I haven't tried it yet. In order to boot Windows from the external drive, you'd need to run Boot Camp on it.
     
  14. sundragon thread starter macrumors regular

    sundragon

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    #14
    I just connected a bare windows 7 drive (with a SATA to USB adapter) from my brother's Dell - I upgraded him to a SSD. When I held down the Option Key on boot, my MBA listed the drive as an external Windows boot drive. It's customized for the Dell but I'm going to try to do a bootcamp partition on it to test.

    If it works on USB 2.0, hopefully it will work with a Thunderbolt drive...
     

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