Booting XP from FW/eSATA enclosure based HDD

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by JonnyBowley, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. JonnyBowley macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2007
    Hi guys,

    I am what I would describe as a "semi-educated" beginner to the Mac universe and have googled for hours with no success... I did search the forum but came up with nothing...

    Essentially, I want to be able to do the following:

    1. Install and boot XP via FW/eSATA from an NTFS partition on my 1TB external drive connected to my MBP.

    2. Install and boot OS X via FW/eSATA from an HFS+ partition on the same 1TB external drive connected to my MBP.

    Number 2 seems easy enough, although I'm not sure that it can boot from eSATA, which I'd prefer. Is there a way, using an Express 34 card?

    I have found the guide that helps with booting XP from USB 2.0, but am not impressed with the speed that will offer me.

    Is there a way to boot XP from FW? Or preferably eSATA?

    Sorry for the many questions, any help would be appreciated...

  2. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    You can't boot from an expresscard unless the drivers are loaded before windows, or during the bios/firmware stage, or by a small boot partition on the internal drive. Basically neither OSX or Windows can see what the express card is until it boots.

    Your best bet would be just to go down the normal bootcamp route and partition off 10GB off your main drive for windows. You can use the 1TB drive as extended storage.
  3. JonnyBowley thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I could do that... BUT, and I know it's greedy, I want to be able to carry my external HDD around and simply connect up and load XP on other MB's/MBP's.

    Hence the need for it to boot from the external. Now, I know I could use USB 2.0 booting, but it's slow. I re-searched and several people say booting XP from FW can't be done, although one site reckons it's do-able by altering the time the FW driver loads at boot up.

    Has anyone done this?

    I have also found several links on the forum to threads where people have managed to boot Vista and Linux off of eSATA Express 34 cards...

    Sounds complex... Will be looking into it though!

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