Booting Windows from an External USB 3.0/TB drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FluJunkie, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    So I've got a Retina mBP and I love it, but a few times now I've been wishing for a full on Windows drive to boot to using Bootcamp, rather than the smallish, "Only absolutely necessary things" Windows VM I currently have via Parallels.

    Is it possible to boot into Windows 7/8 from a USB 3 or Thunderbolt-powered external drive?
  2. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009
    yes you can, or you could just use bootcamp to partition your existing drive and use that instead.
  3. TheBearman macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2008
    Cary, NC
    Although you can, I'm not sure how fast it will be. I'm using Carbon Copy Cloner to keep a bootable/recoverable OSX image on an external USB3 drive. As fast as that interface is it's not even close to the speed of an internal SATA hard drive. Boot times remind me of the good old days of Windows NT.
  4. FluJunkie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    I like my existing drive the way it is :)

    Mainly, I'd like to have an "extra" drive for Windows and games, but preserve the built-in SSD for OS X and the business end of things.
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    When I run windose I boot from an external USB3 enclosure with an SSD inside (left over from an MBA upgrade). The ~200MBps you get from an SSD hanging off USB3 may be slower than the internal ~400MBps SSD, but its faster than booting from an internal rotational drive.... everything is relative. Its certainly usable.

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