can i run windows via external drive?

aviv18901

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2015
15
0
i have rMPB 2015 with 128GB SSD.
i want to run windows 10 too, but my SSD is too small for macintosh and windows together with apps.
can i buy an external hard drive with 500GB and put windows on it and run with boot camp?
(i will run it via USB 3.0)
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but unless thing have changed in the last few years, no, you can't. Windows will refuse install, let alone boot, on an external drive.
 

robE89

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2011
166
58
If you are a bit more adventurous, you can try to follow this guide or buy this ssd usb3 stick which supposedly let's you boot windows from mac.
 

aviv18901

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2015
15
0
If you are a bit more adventurous, you can try to follow this guide or buy this ssd usb3 stick which supposedly let's you boot windows from mac.
so i can't do it with an external hard drive at all?
did you try the usb3 ssd for windows?
 

robE89

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2011
166
58
I didn't try, i was just giving you suggestions but you clearly don't really like to read those links i gave you. I guess that the best option for you is to stick with VM on external drive, i don't see why it would not work.
 

sjinsjca

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
2,198
516
I have a Win8 boot camp partition on an external Thunderbolt SSD. Works fine. The installation process was arduous and unintuitive but hey, it's Windows. I didn't have to do anything special to get it set up, except exercise my vocabulary at it a few zillion times, and endure about 450 reboots.

Having said that, I use that boot camp instance rarely. Most of the time, Windows in VMWare Fusion works great for me. The boot camp instance is relegated to technical situations where VMWare's USB implementation is a bit fluky.
 

aviv18901

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2015
15
0
I have a Win8 boot camp partition on an external Thunderbolt SSD. Works fine. The installation process was arduous and unintuitive but hey, it's Windows. I didn't have to do anything special to get it set up, except exercise my vocabulary at it a few zillion times, and endure about 450 reboots.

Having said that, I use that boot camp instance rarely. Most of the time, Windows in VMWare Fusion works great for me. The boot camp instance is relegated to technical situations where VMWare's USB implementation is a bit fluky.
I'm going to program a lot in the windows for school, will i be fine with VM or ill need boot camp?
btw I'm going to use the external drive with usb3, is it going to be a problem?
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
I'm going to program a lot in the windows for school, will i be fine with VM or ill need boot camp?
btw I'm going to use the external drive with usb3, is it going to be a problem?
Doubt you'd benefit much from going with bootcamp if it's just programming for school. If you were doing it professionally that's another matter.
 

aviv18901

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2015
15
0
Doubt you'd benefit much from going with bootcamp if it's just programming for school. If you were doing it professionally that's another matter.
I'm going to program a lot on windows, mostly in C with visual studio.
so im gonna be fine with 4GB RAM in VM?
so lets make it clear again - i can't install windows and run it from external drive with usb3 and its going to be easier to set it up with VM?
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
I'm going to program a lot on windows, mostly in C with visual studio.
so im gonna be fine with 4GB RAM in VM?
so lets make it clear again - i can't install windows and run it from external drive with usb3 and its going to be easier to set it up with VM?
I took a programming course during my mechanical engineering studies. I ran visual studio in a Windows 7 VM that has 2GB allocated to it and it ran flawlessly.

Unless you are compiling, programming involves typing text, lots of text. That's not very resource hungry.
 

aviv18901

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2015
15
0
I took a programming course during my mechanical engineering studies. I ran visual studio in a Windows 7 VM that has 2GB allocated to it and it ran flawlessly.

Unless you are compiling, programming involves typing text, lots of text. That's not very resource hungry.
ok, thx!
 

sjinsjca

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
2,198
516
Are you sure about that?
As far as I know, Bootcamp does not allow you to install on an external drive.
Absolutely positive that I can boot from the disk. Whether it's kosher "boot camp" or not, it works.
 

Fancuku

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2015
1,013
2,596
PA, USA
Of course you can boot from it if it has been installed from a different method. Bootcamp does not allow you to install on external drives. It has to be the main internal drive. That was my argument.
 

austinpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
313
44
MN
The Bootcamp assistant won't officially support installing on external drives, but you can do it "manually." Windows will see Thunderbolt as a SATA drive and install no problem.

USB is another matter though as afaik Windows doesn't support USB booting. It sounds like people have gotten it to work - but that sounds overly convoluted. Says it applies to USB and TB, but I installed Win8 on a TB external for a new Mac Pro and don't recall going through anything that complex.

There are bunch of threads on external booting in the windows/other OS section of this forum if you go searching.
 

aviv18901

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2015
15
0
The Bootcamp assistant won't officially support installing on external drives, but you can do it "manually." Windows will see Thunderbolt as a SATA drive and install no problem.

USB is another matter though as afaik Windows doesn't support USB booting. It sounds like people have gotten it to work - but that sounds overly convoluted. Says it applies to USB and TB, but I installed Win8 on a TB external for a new Mac Pro and don't recall going through anything that complex.

There are bunch of threads on external booting in the windows/other OS section of this forum if you go searching.
so if ill buy usb3 to thunderbolt adapter, it will be easier to install windows on the external drive and boot from it?
 

austinpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
313
44
MN
so if ill buy usb3 to thunderbolt adapter, it will be easier to install windows on the external drive and boot from it?
I don't think that would work; you would need an actual thunderbolt interface on the external enclosure.

I use the seagate 2.5" goflex sled, you can just plug the bare drive into it, but they must be discontinued as they have gotten ridiculously expensive.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
so if ill buy usb3 to thunderbolt adapter, it will be easier to install windows on the external drive and boot from it?
That's not how things work. And I don't think such an adapter even works.

I still stand by my statement that you don't need a full blown windows install for student-level programming. You'll never need the full power of the computer. Remember, visual studio boils down to being a souped up text editor. You can write text juste fine on an iPhone.
 

aviv18901

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2015
15
0
That's not how things work. And I don't think such an adapter even works.

I still stand by my statement that you don't need a full blown windows install for student-level programming. You'll never need the full power of the computer. Remember, visual studio boils down to being a souped up text editor. You can write text juste fine on an iPhone.
i know, but I'm going to program a lot and memory leaks will be frequently.
so 4GB RAM will be fine for windows?
thanks for the answers.
 
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