Installing Windows in a Mac-Pro using external ssd or hdd

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Christiekun, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Christiekun macrumors newbie


    Oct 13, 2015
    Hello, i just signed up here and i m new to this forum questions thing but i have a confliction i need to solve. I am a graphic designer/3d animator and i own a Mac-pro for Cinema4d and Maya but i am really most into 3ds Max which is only available in Windows. so my question is that i somehow need to install windows on my mac-pro. My model is this one 6core 256gb ssd with 16gb ram

    And i need some tips about how to do that. I am thinking of buying an external drive ssd or hdd (still don 't know which one cause my budget is a bit low but if it does a big difference i really need the speed in windows and i ll give the money), and installing it externally to run windows from that disk. On the other hand my mac is 256gb ssd so i don t think it can hold windows cause i m using a lot of programs that require huge amount of space, for example i have only 60gb left now on my mac ssd. And the thing is i need some tips on how to install externally (if it is possible) so that i get the best speed with not so much money wasted. I have been looking on some external 128gb ssds and i think it would do the trick but if i can get almost with the same speed and the same price a 2Tb external hdd, partition it and run windows from it, that would be preferable. Thank you in advance for your replies!
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    You can't run or even install Windows onto an external drive, but you can run OS X from one.

    If you just need to use 3DS Max and no other applications, I'd suggest running it either in a VM like Parallels/VMware or possibly through an application like Crossover - though I'm not sure how much performance you'd lose with either of those. At any rate, Crossover is a free trial so I'd suggest installing it through that and seeing how it works out for you.

    I'm hoping others will have a few more suggestions. :)
  3. smgfreak macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008

    You can Install WIN 8 or 10 onto a external SSD in a Thunderbolt 1 / 2 Case, you

    1. Connect your TB SSD to Mp
    2. Run Boocamp in Mac OSX = make a 40GB Partition on the Apple SSD
    run all steps as you would do to install on the Internal SSD
    3. The MP restarts and boots in WIN Setup
    4. in win Setup look for the External SSD shows up 100% and just Format it and Install

    Note with each Restart you must hold ALT KEY to boot the WIN Install !

    after it is done , just reformat the 40GB Partition to MAC , but don't Erase it !
  4. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    Yes, you can boot the new Mac Pro in Windows from an external drive.
    Supposedly it can be done with USB but it is a very convoluted process.
    There are a number of threads in the Windows/other OS section of these forums.

    Thunderbolt is pretty easy, Windows sees the TB port as a SATA drive and installs no problem.
  5. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I have Win 8 64 bit running on 6,1 via external TB drive.

    It can be done as posted above
  6. vhp3 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    It doesn't work for me. I can successfully install onto the external drive, but the bless tool fails.
  7. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    bless tool?

    I didn't use anything like that.

    The external Win doesn't always show up in Startup Disk but it does from boot picker.
  8. vhp3 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Bless tool is the error i receive when picking the startup disk. I don't have a screenshot, but here is what is says:

    YOU CAN"T CHANGE THE STARTUP DISK TO THE SELECTED DISK: The bless tool was unable to set the current boot disk.

    This isn't anything external that I used, and i have seen this error before. I did follow your directions exactly as stated.
  9. edanuff macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2008
    Hmm, that sounds like you're using the Startup Disk in preferences. You have to use the option-boot in the Startup Manager. The second technique shown on How to choose a startup disk on your Mac.
  10. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Yes, I called it boot picker

    you hold "option" and pick the disk you want
  11. vhp3 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    So i think i get it. The mac partition holds the boot record for the windows external drive? Please correct me
    if I am wrong. Previous to El Capitan, i had everything on my external drive not needing the bootcamp partition to
    live on my main mac drive.

    My goal would be to install windows 10 on the external and delete the bootcamp partition like I previously had. I think this would mean doing something with the command line to prep the external drive with the appropriate boot records. I don't remember what i did last time.

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