Drop bootable WinXP drive into a Mac without reformat?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by scottness, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #1
    Anybody know if it's possible to drop my office (WindowsXP) hard drive into my Mac without reformatting it with BootCamp? I'd like to be able to do this without my IT guy knowing about it and freaking out. (He'll never physically see it, he's in another state). I just don't want to take two computers with me when I leave for an extended trip out of country. Help?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    It might work. The only thing I can think of as a problem would be the lack of drivers. You'll have to run the BootCamp driver package from your Mac re/installation disc to get everything working right.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

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    #3
    What Mac exactly?
    And it may not be that easy, as Windows does use a BIOS and Mac do use an EFI bootloader.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    Not all Windows needs BIOS now days and the EFI in Macs can emulate BIOS to make older operating systems and Windows happy.
     
  5. simsaladimbamba

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    #5
    Ah, thanks.
    Anyway, it would be nice to know, what Mac the OP has, as the PC might have a different HDD size than the Mac accepts.
     
  6. scottness thread starter macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #6
    Thanks! This should be fairly easy?

    I'm going to Japan where space is very tight.
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
    Macs accept any drive size that's currently on the market, in both capacity and physical size.

    OP: After re-reading your post, I don't think you'll get to far with Admin privileges. (I'm assuming you don't have them.) Also, you'll have to reactivate Windows, this could be a hassle depending on which version on Windows it is.
     
  8. simsaladimbamba

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    #8
    I get that, but what the OP has a MBP and the office PC has 3.5" HDD? One can't easily boot Windows of an external HDD unless one does some hacking.
    http://guides.macrumors.com/Boot_Camp_Windows_XP_On_External_Drive

    Or am I too daft right now to fully comprehend?
    Becherovka has its downsides.
     
  9. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    You'll be able to read the files off of the Windows drive, but I don't believe you'll be able to boot off the drive without reinstalling Windows onto it after you swap it into your Mac.

    Windows installations are generally specific to the hardware that they were installed on originally. It's not like OSX where you can basically boot any Mac from any OSX installation.
     
  10. scottness thread starter macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #10
    I'm pulling a 2.5" Sata drive from the PC and dropping it into a Mac Mini. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. This doesn't bother me as much as taking two machines and living in ~100 sq ft of space.

    Alternatively, I could if I could boot the Windows drive externally, that would be a lot easier--though I read somewhere that Windows doesn't boot externally.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #11
    The largest problem with this is that you will deactivate Windows and Office by doing this, especially if it was pre-activated as installed by the OEM or your IT department. As Intell suggests, this may particularly be an issue if you don't have admin privileges on the box.

    Read up on SYSPREP if you want to avoid BSODing when you move to different hardware.

    NOTE: While you can't boot from the HDD externally in Boot Camp, you might well be able to do so in VMWare/Parallels/VirtualBox. Is a VM enough for your needs? If so can you just have your IT department work you up a dedicated VM for this?

    Finally, let me suggest that (particularly in today's environment) pulling a fast one on your employer's IT department is a sure way to find yourself on a list you might not want to be on. If you want to mess with your employer's IT resources, do so only with the support of IT (ask them to do it) or at least the express written consent of your supervisor if you can't get IT support.

    B
     
  12. scottness thread starter macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #12
    Thanks for this... there's a lot of wisdom here. No, I don't want to lose my job over an IT preference. I talked to my IT guy and sounds like he might be ok if he could install PGP whole disk encryption, but unsure whether or not it would work with bootcamp or vm, and he's not excited about trying.

    I acquiesced and just decided to take the darn tower he wants me to take with me. At least they're paying for shipping, and I'll just set my little mini on top of his tower so I can kvm-switch my way to the Mac when I want to do my personal stuff.

    Thanks again, very helpful.
     

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