Installing Windows 7 TO external HD

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by kurono, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. kurono macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #1
    This is not about installing FROM, but TO an external HD.
    My internal space is too precious (MBP), so I'd like to install Win7 on an external FW800 drive and boot it from there.

    Do you have any guides at hand how to accomplish this?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #2
    Windows 7 cannot be installed to an external drive. There may be some hardcore hacks to allow this but a quick Googling didn't show any.
     
  3. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    California
    #3
    Unfortunately, it can't be done. I don't think it's specifically documented by Apple that it can't be done, but no one has ever been able to do it before, regardless of their level of tech-knowhow.

    But why would you want to run Windows off of a slow external drive in the first place? Hard drives are very cheap, even laptop drives.
     
  4. drayon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #4
    Try reading. "My internal space is too precious (MBP), so I'd like to install Win7 on an external FW800 drive and boot it from there."

    Maybe he has a fast expensive SSD with little space in the MBP.

    The OP is using a FW800 case which is good for 60MB/s so this would be perfectly adequate. I've never seen my 7200RPM internal drives reading or writing any faster than 60MB/sec anyway.

    Besides that, it's Windows and probably won't be getting used as heavily as Mac OS. Personally i'd want to keep that toxic stinky garbage as far away from Mac OS as possible and on an external would be just the right idea I'd have in mind. Either that or I'd buy a Mac specifically for Windows and only Windows. In fact when the new Mac Pro's come out later in the year with Thunderbolt, I'll do exactly that, use my current Mac Pro dedicated to Windows (that will actually sit in the corner looking good only to be used 3 or so times a year on those rare occasions).
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
  6. NZed macrumors 65816

    NZed

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    Canada, Eh?
    #6
    You'd be able to boot Win 7 from an external HD but not install...
     
  7. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #7

    I did read it, what's your point? "Precious space" still isn't a good reason to run Windows 7 off of USB external drive as it's slow and considered a removable drive, and I've yet to see somebody do it with an external Firewire drive (either 400 or 800). And as I said earlier, hard drives are cheap. WD Scorpio Black 500GB 7200RPM for $69.99. Or same drive but in a 750GB version for $109.99. Two of the fastest non-SSD laptop drives on the market today. Or, if space is really your only concern, WD Scorpio Blue 5400RPM at 500GB for $54.99 and 750GB for $89.99, and the 1TB version for $119.99. And those are just one brand off of one website. You could probably find the same capacities at an even cheaper price from other brands/sites if you so desired.

    I know the OP was just asking, but honestly it shouldn't be done. What happens if the drive accidentally gets removed? That's very bad news for an OS. Removable drives (not including flash) are primarily meant for storage. And if he got an SSD for his internal drive then he knew what he was getting into, capacity-wise, when he bought it in the first place (unless of course he dropped over $500 for something with a 256GB capacity).
     
  8. drayon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #8
    The point is he told you in his first post what he intends to do yet you couldn't help yourself in having to question him. The first sentence you typed was sufficient, you should have left it at that.

    Stop being a drama queen. If the drive gets disconnected, (highly unlikely), the system will freeze, boo hoo, reboot and run fsck -fy or equiv. The system isn't going to blow up or the house next door going to burst into flames. Technicians boot up OS's from external drives everyday to perform maintenance, repair and recovery of systems. Disconnecting drives is the last thing that is on any techs mind. I've done it millions of times and never had anything stupid like that happen. Calm down on the FUD you sound like an amateur. The guy probably knows what he's doing he doesn't need ppl like you telling him what he should and shouldn't do.

    A question has been asked, is it possible or not yes or no?
     
  9. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #9

    A drama queen huh? :rolleyes:. I answer the guys question in my first post with a follow up and that makes me a drama queen? I said, "But why would you want to run Windows off of a slow external drive in the first place?" Just a question. In no way does that sound like I'm attacking him. Not to mention I already answered the question with plenty of follow up. Perhaps you could do the same (which you've yet to do) instead of attacking me.

    I too have disconnected external drives all the time. Let us rejoice. My point was that for a basic storage drive that's not a big deal. But OS's have temp files and random read/writes going at all times. No it's not a "the world is going to end" problem, but it's definitely not good to randomly disconnect (regardless of how unlikely the chances are). I also never claimed the system was going to "burst into flames" as you put it. And what "FUD" are you talking about? Do you have some magical way to run Windows off an external drive from a Mac?

    Yes, because I decided whether or not people were technically allowed to run Windows off of external drives. :rolleyes: I told him it most likely can't be done, and then gave him plenty of links to cheap laptop drives with plenty of storage. I'm not point a gun at his head telling him to buy them, it's just a simple suggestion. In your words, "stop being such a drama queen."
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    kurono,

    There's a guy around here that claims to have a method that has worked for him, but remains unverified (others have tried and failed in doing what he claims, but it is worth a shot).

    It's very simple.

    1) Install OS X on your external HDD.
    2) Boot OS X from the external HDD.
    3) Run Boot Camp Assistant and proceed as usual.

    I doubt this will work, but it is so simple it's worth a shot.

    I already linked to another thread where a user claims to have succeeded in booting Windows from an external FW drive after moving it over there with Winclone. (So you'd have to install on an internal drive first before moving it to the external FW800 drive.)

    B
     
  11. kurono thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #11
    thanks for your replies.

    balamw, if this worked, it would be really nice.
    I'll try it out and let you know if it works. Might take some time till I'm free for it though.
     

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