Booting Windows XP from external hard drive

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by modyouup, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. modyouup macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2002
    No one over at insanelymac wanted to help, thought I'd try and ask here:

    I have an external hard drive which I have successfully installed Windows XP SP3 onto. It was a long and painful process but I finally was able to get a modified XP install disc ready and from a Dell PC running Windows was able to install onto the external hard drive and I'm able to boot from it and everything. I did this on a PC because I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to boot correctly from an external drive in Mac.

    Anyway, the hardest part is in the past and now my only problem is how to boot this external hard drive from my macbook, which is primarily what I want to use it on.

    I currently have a Macbook with three operating systems on it: Mac OS 10.5.8, Ubuntu Linux, and Windows XP SP3. I use rEFIt to boot into these operating systems. I tried using rEFIt to boot into XP on the external hard drive but it just gives me the legacy error messages saying that it couldn't load and noting the booting legacy os is not well supported by mac.

    There's got to be a way to get this damn external drive to boot on mac, any ideas?

  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Did you check out the MR guide, here?

    Even once you get it installed, XP isn't very portable since you need to have all the right drivers installed for the hardware you are using, so you probably would have been better off starting out on the Mac that is your ultimate target.

  3. modyouup thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2002
    I hadn't thought to try to change the "startup disk" in Mac OS to the windows usb drive but I just tried that and it doesn't show up. Actually, the only drive that shows up is my Mac OS disk and it doesn't show the XP installation on my internal drive or the Ubuntu installation. I'm able to boot these through rEFit though.

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