getting a win7 install on a 2nd HDD on a MBP...

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by seanmorr, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. seanmorr macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2011
    Hi all,
    so I am in a bit of a pickle

    I recently bought a new 15" MPB with an apple installed 128gb SSD drive.

    My plan was to install a 2nd hard drive in the DVD spot, a 500gb with a 70ish GB win7 partition. I would like to use Win 7 for screencasting for windows tutorials and for Gaming...mostly for gaming

    I thought, naively, that this would be a simple boot agent setup...boy was I wrong.

    I have already installed the 500gb drive in the optibay, it is working fine

    I did not realize that a macbook pro cannot boot to an external drive or dvd. I could be wrong here but all my research seems to indicate that it can't...using something like refit does not fix this problem

    I tried going through the boot camp setup with my external dvd drive attached through USB...did not work
    also tried a USB thumb dice

    any ideas on how to get a win7 install on my 2nd drive?

    I'd like to avoid having win7 on my 128gb ssd as there is limited space

    my current plan is this...if it doesn't make sense or seems wrong please let me know

    put the dvd drive back in
    make a bootcamp partition on the sad...maybe 35gbs
    install win7
    if thats working ok put the hard drive back in
    use win clone to clone the bootcamp win7 to the hard drive
    hopefully that will work...

    I'm just not sure how I'm going to partition the drive
    I would like a 100gb ntfs partition for windows
    and the rest partitioned mac
    looks like win clone can expand the image to the larger partition

    any ideas on how I can make a ntfs partition on the internal?

    can I partition the drive with a windows machine? maybe do the 400gb as exfat?

  2. DougDingle macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2011
    A few hypothetical things to consider:

    A Windows installation will not boot from any sort of external drive. It's a system limitation. Macs can boot a Mac system image from an external source, but Windows cannot. Even if you manage to get Win7 onto the second drive, it might be seen as external and may not boot.

    When you run the Bootcamp utility with both drives installed, does it see the second drive? My limited experience seems to indicate that Bootcamp can only deal with the internal drive. The drive's partition table needs to be configured in a very specific way to make the Bootcamp magic work, and I don't think that works with a second drive. So even if you do manage to get a working Windows installation onto the second drive, it's likely you'll have no way to select it at boot time.
  3. seanmorr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2011
    I guess I'll try it and see

    so far I re-installed my dvd drive and created a 35gb bootcamp win7 partition on my ssd drive. Win 7 is working just fine

    I then used winclone to create an image of it and it confirmed that it completed successfully

    my next step is to partition the 500gb drive externally with an 80gb ntfs partition and the rest either exFat or Mac

    I will try and use iPartition to do this since it can create NTFS patitions

    since winclone can successfully clone bootcamp partitions I'm hopeful that it will work in the 2nd drive since it should be considered an internal drive.

    ...we'll see...
  4. seanmorr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2011
    last night I got my 500gb drive ready in an external enclosure using a windows machine
    partitioned 100gb ntfs and 400gb exfat
    installed the drive and then used win clone to clone the image to the ntfs partition
    win clone reported the operation was completed successfully
    when I restarted the machine the 2nd windows partition(since my original bootcamp partition was still on my osx boot drive) showed up as a bootable partition
    I chose the partition and it started to load windows...but...
    the loading screen appeared to be different(more on that later)
    it got a ways into a windows boot and then did a lightning fast blue screen which I couldn't see the message on and then restarted into osx

    the next time I tried the recovery console came up and gave me the 'safe mode' option but also mentioned a windows Vista installation...huh?

    tried again in safe mode...same blue screen and osx restart


    I then wiped the partitions and recloned my bootcamp partition using winclone thinking maybe something went wrong with the image and reclone
    partitioned my 500gb drive using osx disk utility
    100gb fat and 400gb exfat
    re-imaged the 100gb partition winclone reported the operation successful
    tried to boot and same problem, windows starts to load and then lightning fast blue screen with osx restart

    I then tried installing refit to see if that would solve anything
    same results

    it appears as though the 2nd hard drive is not going to work as a windows install

    anyone have any ideas?????
  5. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    Pretty sure I have seen some people document how to get this setup and working in your desired configuration. I would spend a little time searching around for doc that people have already done on how to accomplish this.

    If I remember correctly might be a terminal command to change a mac os x setup that would allow the external booting.

    Is it so simple that you just continue holding down the option key on a restart for an extra long time so that external drives do show up eventually?

    Of course another option is to just use your win 7 ssd as is and format your 2nd drive in a format that both mac os x and win 7 can read and write to. I would still go though with a bit bigger than 35 gb for a win 7 primary partition.

Share This Page