Help on Booting Late 2007 Macbook Pro From External Firewire 800 Drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Psi42, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Psi42 macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2009
    I know that there are lots of threads on this topic or something similar to this topic, but lots of them are old and circumstances have changed. As stated in the title, I have a late 2007 Macbook Pro 15" with Intel Dual-core 2.2GHz processor, 3GB RAM, 120GB [internal] HDD (5400 rpm), and an 800 (along with 400) firewire port. I am running 10.5.6 (currently the most up-to-date version of leopard).
    So in order for me to play lots of games that exist (mainly Steam/Valve games) I need to run windows programs, and to be able to run at nearest native speeds it made most sense to use bootcamp and install XP on my internal. The problem is that I need a good amount of space for windows and the games. Right now the windows partition is about 40 or 41GB, which is currently JUST enough for everything (I have like 2.5GB left). I would like to make it a little bigger, but a change that would make a difference would reduce my mac partition to having only like 5 or 10GB left, something I would rather not have.
    Now comes my real question. I am currently in the process of getting the WD My Passport Studio 500GB ( This is mac-ready and has USB 2.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800 capability. I know that my mac cannot boot from an external USB drive, but the drive I am getting has Firewire. I have been doing some research and it seems that the drive I am getting comes formatted as HFS+. If I am correct, this is the same way that the boot partition for mac is formatter (right?), so my mac should be able to boot off of the drive I'm getting.
    But will XP even install on the drive? I have tried installing it on an external USB (not formatted as HFS+) and it came up with an error about not being able to. So will it install on a drive that is formatted as HFS+?
    It would be great to get insight quickly into the matter.
  2. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    Mac OS X can boot from an external drive, USB, FW400 or FW800.

    XP will only boot on a drive formatted as FAT32 or NTFS. It won't work on an HFS+ partition.

    XP also doesn't like booting from external, much less FW800. Vista doesn't either.

    Good luck.
  3. Psi42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2009
    Thanks for the info. I found this guide somewhere (actually in a few places) that shows how to extract the files on an XP install disc, change some around, repackage the files, burn them to a new disc and be able to use that disc to install on an external. I tried this and I don't think it works, but I am not sure if I did it all right, so I might as well try again.

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