Can I take an already existing Windows HDD and run it through bootcamp?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by greenbreadmmm, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. greenbreadmmm macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2007
    Basically I am getting the new imac and have a PC gaming tower (about 3 years old). I've decided that instead of putting money into a new tower I should just get an iMac. Yes i know PC's are better for gaming but I am a mac user and a graphic designer so all i use is mac professionally.

    I was wondering if instead of partioning the mac and starting over in windows. Is there a way I could somehow install bootcamp and run windows off my old HDD just like it was in my tower? As an external drive

    Does this make sense? Is it possible?

    Much thanks!
  2. Shadow%20Mac macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2007
    It is possible, but its a painful process. Here is a rough outline of what I would do and I think should work.

    1) Use the Boot Camp assistant to create a partition of the appropriate size

    2) De-activate your copy of Windows on your PC.

    3) Download/Create an Install Disc or USB drive of the appropriate version of windows

    4) Install Windows on the newly created partition

    5) Download + Install Apple's latest windows drivers (Boot Camp 4.x)

    6) Activate Windows using the key from your old PC tower

    7) Acquire a SATA dock that will allow you to connect an internal storage device via USB to your mac.

    8) Dock the drive and copy over all your PC files form old PC to BootCamp'd Mac

    Anyone else have an easier way of doing it?
  3. greenbreadmmm thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2007
    Thank you for your help, but I was hoping to keep windows as an external drive so as to not use up my internal HDD, because for whatever stupid reason I can't get a 3TB drive and use bootcamp.

  4. jediDev macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2012
    I can't say whether this will work, but you can try Refit. It might let you boot to that drive, though if it does it will probably only work in safe mode. You'd then need to reauthenticate the windows drive and install the new drivers.

    It might work, but I'd only experiment with it on a backup.

    Depending what your goal is, I once copied a friend's windows box entirely into a VM within the mac.

Share This Page