Dual boot Windows off USB

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by LordVic, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. LordVic macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2011
    Is it possible to dual boot OSx on the SSD, and Windows on an external USB attached drive?

    I don't really want to install Windows on the SSD cause of space, But work applications require windows on occasion.

    My old netbook has an 120gb 2.5" drive that i'm going to make into an external, and I'd like to boot windows off that. Is this possible with bootcamp? or other hacks / tricks?

    or am I basically out of luck
  2. GekkePrutser, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011

    GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2005
    Edit: I just remembered that Macs can't boot from an MBR partition over USB, so how I got Windows XP to boot on a PC over USB is not relevant.

    If it's just for work applications I think VMWare or Parallels might be the best option, and you can run VMs from USB with no issue.
  3. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
  4. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    Windows doesn't boot from USB without modifications in the registry and drivers since the USB drivers are loaded later in the boot sequence than the SATA ones, not sure if it has changed with 7 tho.
  5. LordVic thread starter macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2011

    How about Linux? suse or ubuntu? There are a couple work programs we don't have available for Mac, so i was thinking of using WINE to get them working, since windows is probably out of the question
    (can't get it to boot from USB stick at all)
  6. emailsfh macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Why don't you use VMware Fusion or Parallels?
  7. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    Wine works for Mac osx. For free use virtualbox install windows to external drive.
  8. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2010
    I understand that you want to try to save space, but I also think VMware Fusion is worth a look. Its an amazing product, and I have been able to be very strict on what's in my 2 VMs to keep their total size down to about 20-25 gigs.

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