Help with Bootcamp install on Samsung X5?

darkslide29

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 5, 2011
1,465
186
San Francisco, California
Hello, longtime posting to the front page, but maybe my first time in the support forums. I have a Mac Mini 2018 running MacOS Catalina and I am trying to install Windows 10 with Bootcamp onto an external Samsung X5 thunderbolt 3 drive. I bought this drive specifically because I learned it is seen as an internal drive when installing bootcamp. From searching the forums here and elsewhere, it is a costlier, but more straightforward solution when an external drive is necessary for this installation. After my research, I went through the steps of going into Security settings so that my Mac Mini allows me to boot from an external drive. I also disabled filevault to avoid potential issues.

Try #1, I partitioned the Samsung X5 in half. Partition 1 would be my Windows 10 boot drive, and Partition 2 would be an external drive for MacOS usage. Bootcamp process started fine, and it re-booted to the Windows 10 installation screen. After selecting that I would enter my Windows 10 key later, as soon as it tried to begin to install I received the error:
"Windows cannot locate the disk and partition specified in the unattend answer file's <ImageInstall> setting. Make sure the setting references a valid partition and restart the installation."

I researched and saw that it may be confused of where to install Windows due to other drives being present. I needed to make sure to disconnect any other drives - any usb connected drive, and I shut down my NAS that has my Time Machine backup. The only drive connected was now the Samsung X5, since this is where the install is going. I ran Bootcamp again and received the same error. My thought is that it does not like that I partitioned the X5, perhaps the other partition is creating a conflict. So I decided to dedicate the X5 to Windows 10 only.

Try #2, I reformatted the drive and with a fresh reformat I went back into bootcamp. Now this gave me less progress than before. After selecting the Samsung X5, Bootcamp gets stuck a few seconds after that on "Downloading Windows Support Software". In my try #1, this part only took a couple minutes at most. However this time, I tried it several times, always getting stuck. I left this on overnight once, and still no luck.

I have seen some Windows To Go methods of installing, requiring virtual machines and other paid software. But it would never have the latest windows, and just seems like more of a hack job than using bootcamp. It seems fine, but those workarounds seem more for those that are not using thunderbolt 3 drives, since they don't have another choice.

Yes, I made the mistake of buying a 128gb SSD Mac Mini, so as much as I would like to just install Windows on the internal drive, it's quite the tight fit. I have thoughts about moving my MacOS apps to an external drive so that I can dedicate as much of the internal I can to windows, but it would be nice to dedicate this Samsung drive for it. I may try to split the internal drive, and split the x5 among the two systems for extra storage. My main goal is to have a Windows 10 partition for occasional gaming using an eGpu. Any advice or help would be appreciated please. Thank you.
 

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
1,079
240
Basel, Switzerland
Hello, longtime posting to the front page, but maybe my first time in the support forums. I have a Mac Mini 2018 running MacOS Catalina and I am trying to install Windows 10 with Bootcamp onto an external Samsung X5 thunderbolt 3 drive. I bought this drive specifically because I learned it is seen as an internal drive when installing bootcamp. From searching the forums here and elsewhere, it is a costlier, but more straightforward solution when an external drive is necessary for this installation. After my research, I went through the steps of going into Security settings so that my Mac Mini allows me to boot from an external drive. I also disabled filevault to avoid potential issues.

Try #1, I partitioned the Samsung X5 in half. Partition 1 would be my Windows 10 boot drive, and Partition 2 would be an external drive for MacOS usage. Bootcamp process started fine, and it re-booted to the Windows 10 installation screen. After selecting that I would enter my Windows 10 key later, as soon as it tried to begin to install I received the error:
"Windows cannot locate the disk and partition specified in the unattend answer file's <ImageInstall> setting. Make sure the setting references a valid partition and restart the installation."

I researched and saw that it may be confused of where to install Windows due to other drives being present. I needed to make sure to disconnect any other drives - any usb connected drive, and I shut down my NAS that has my Time Machine backup. The only drive connected was now the Samsung X5, since this is where the install is going. I ran Bootcamp again and received the same error. My thought is that it does not like that I partitioned the X5, perhaps the other partition is creating a conflict. So I decided to dedicate the X5 to Windows 10 only.

Try #2, I reformatted the drive and with a fresh reformat I went back into bootcamp. Now this gave me less progress than before. After selecting the Samsung X5, Bootcamp gets stuck a few seconds after that on "Downloading Windows Support Software". In my try #1, this part only took a couple minutes at most. However this time, I tried it several times, always getting stuck. I left this on overnight once, and still no luck.

I have seen some Windows To Go methods of installing, requiring virtual machines and other paid software. But it would never have the latest windows, and just seems like more of a hack job than using bootcamp. It seems fine, but those workarounds seem more for those that are not using thunderbolt 3 drives, since they don't have another choice.

Yes, I made the mistake of buying a 128gb SSD Mac Mini, so as much as I would like to just install Windows on the internal drive, it's quite the tight fit. I have thoughts about moving my MacOS apps to an external drive so that I can dedicate as much of the internal I can to windows, but it would be nice to dedicate this Samsung drive for it. I may try to split the internal drive, and split the x5 among the two systems for extra storage. My main goal is to have a Windows 10 partition for occasional gaming using an eGpu. Any advice or help would be appreciated please. Thank you.
It is not quite an answer to your problems.
Just to say that if you create a NTFS partition it is possible to install Windows on it even without the Bootcamp Assistant.
You must afterwards look for suitable drivers although Windows 10 recognizes many parts of the hardware by itself.
I used a DVD with Windows inside booting from an external Apple Superdrive since my Mac has no built in optical drive.
 
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JosepPont

macrumors member
Any updates on this, I would like to do the same on a 2019 iMac.
Hi, I was trying lot of methods without success. Finally I returned the X5 drive and got a Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB and also a external USB 3.1 enclosure. With that I installed Windows at the first attempt (rufus, Windows To Go) , I have until 1GB/s what is really fast, not like X5 but more than enough for run after effects and play games like RDR2, all in the external. Now I have the 1 TB of the MBP and another (external) TB for when I want Windows.

It is what I wanted.

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