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Mac Mini and Boot Camp

IngerMan

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 21, 2011
1,838
722
Michigan
Instead of hijacking another thread I have a few questions about Mini with the Bootcamp. Given the Mini with possible eGPU and external monitor it may be unique to other setups in the mac world.

I want to make sure I am making the best choice going into Bootcamp and coming back to MacOS.

In Mac OS I goto Sys Prefs and choose Startup Disk BootCamp. Then restart. I have had maybe 20% of the time were it comes back to MacOS.

In Windows 10 I choose the icon Restart in Mac OS. But the odd thing is I loose my led light on the Mini when it goes back to MacOS from Widows 10. It will only reappear on a shutdown and restart. It probably means nothing for it seems to function fine, but it does bother me. So I always shut down to get the light back.

Anyone else notice the LED problem and what method do you use to go back and forth for BootCamp?
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,977
11,972
Vilano Beach, FL
Not [currently] on a Mini, but I spend a decent amount of time in Winders™ 10, usually via Bootcamp (all work related). I have MacOS as my startup disk, so any reboot from MacOS or Windows 10 takes me to MacOS, and when I need to boot to W10, I restart MacOS, hold option to open the startup manager screen and select the Bootcamp partition from there.

FYI, if you have Bootcamp set to the startup partition, and you're using APFS on MacOS, the "boot to MacOS" in the Bootcamp utils won't work, you'll have to use the option >> startup manager process anyway.

Like I said, I realize you've got some Mini specific questions, but wanted to at least chime in with a little info - I'm on a '15 MBP 16/512/370X which has been superb, but I've been very seriously considering a Mini i7/32GB as a replacement for some extra horsepower for VMs (might go back to Windows in a VM as my primary solution vs. Bootcamp), so this thread will be of interest to me as well.

My MBP also spends 99% of its time "docked" in a stand so I can use big displays, a __real__ keyboard, mouse, etc., so it's basically a Mini anyway :D
 
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F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
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NYC & Newfoundland
I have not chosen a startup Disk in System Preferences. See photo. This was a deliberate decision.

I start or restart the computer with the Option key held down when I want to go from macOS to Windows. When I do this, I have my keyboard (Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad) wired. This eliminates guesswork about when to press the Option key. At the Startup Manager Window, I choose Windows.

I use the Boot Camp icon in the lower right when I want to go from Windows to macOS. Alternatively, I could use the Windows Power Button icon, choose Restart and then press the Option key to get to the Startup Manager Window.

This is the first time that I've installed Boot Camp. The foregoing works for me every time, but I have no idea whether it is "correct".

Apparently my LED light also goes off. I hadn't noticed it before and I'm not concerned about it.



Screenshot 2019-03-14 at 10.13.14.jpg


 
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N9JIG

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2019
83
43
SW USA
Instead of hijacking another thread I have a few questions about Mini with the Bootcamp. Given the Mini with possible eGPU and external monitor it may be unique to other setups in the mac world.

I want to make sure I am making the best choice going into Bootcamp and coming back to MacOS.

In Mac OS I goto Sys Prefs and choose Startup Disk BootCamp. Then restart. I have had maybe 20% of the time were it comes back to MacOS.

In Windows 10 I choose the icon Restart in Mac OS. But the odd thing is I loose my led light on the Mini when it goes back to MacOS from Widows 10. It will only reappear on a shutdown and restart. It probably means nothing for it seems to function fine, but it does bother me. So I always shut down to get the light back.

Anyone else notice the LED problem and what method do you use to go back and forth for BootCamp?

Have you considered Parallels or VMWare? I have been using Parallels for years and it works great on the 2018 Mini as well as the predecessors I have used (iMacs, my Macbook Air, etc.). My wife prefers Fusion and to tell the truth I really haven't noticed much difference between them. I have been running Windows 10 for a couple years and it works great. I had used Windows 7 in the past until some of my Windows programs were updated and it worked fine there too.

The downside to virtualization is that it requires a good chunk of RAM. I have 32GB on the Mini and the same on the iMac 5K it replaced and never had an issue. On my MacBook Air with 8GB it does slow down a bit occasionally with Windows running. If you have at least 16GB of RAM you should be OK as long as you are not doing heavy video work, otherwise more RAM would help.

If you have plenty of RAM then Parallels might be an ideal solution and it can use your existing Bootcamp installation. This will eliminate having to restart to change OS's and with Concurrence Windows applications work pretty much just like any other app on the Mac.
 
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rgeraght

macrumors newbie
Mar 31, 2011
18
23
Here's my experience....
- I have both bootcamp and macos (APFS) and using eGPU
- In macos: If I setup bootcamp as startup disk, works fine, windows 10 loads no problem
- In Windows 10: I cannot set startup disk back to Mac, does not work (looks like it works but when I reboot goes to black screen). Instead I use "Re-start in MacOS" which works fine, then in MacOS I can now set startup disk back to Mac.
- When restarting in MacOS from Windows, LED does not work until I shutdown and boot to mac cleanly.

Overall it's working fine, once I figured out the quirks. But to get there, a lot of booting in black screens which is beyond frustrating. Now that it's working, enjoying eGPU and gaming again!

I'm just hoping some future MacOS/Windows update doesn't screw it up.

Note, I'm using a bluetooth keyboard, so selecting option during boot to choose startup disk hardly ever works. If it did, I would use that instead of changing startup disk.
 
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Nihilvor

macrumors member
Jan 25, 2010
80
4
In Windows 10 I choose the icon Restart in Mac OS. But the odd thing is I loose my led light on the Mini when it goes back to MacOS from Widows 10. It will only reappear on a shutdown and restart. It probably means nothing for it seems to function fine, but it does bother me. So I always shut down to get the light back.

Anyone else notice the LED problem and what method do you use to go back and forth for BootCamp?

This is a known problem. I just ignore it and reboot when I get the chance. It would be nice to see this dealt with by Apple at some point, but it doesn't interfere with my work.
 
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IngerMan

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 21, 2011
1,838
722
Michigan
Thank you for all the input and advise. Much appreciated. I been struggling for hours going back and forth Windows to Mac and a lot has to do with the eGPU. I reinstalled a few times and finally I said this is not for me. I am so sick of rebooting I could pull what little hair I have left out. I just installed Parallels a few hours ago and it was much simpler.


Windows runs fine but I won't be gaming on Windows using parallels with shared ram and cores. Oh well I can still game on the Mini OS. And when I do need windows its a mouse button away.

Thanks again I appreciate the support.
 
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IngerMan

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 21, 2011
1,838
722
Michigan
After 12 plus hours of usage I will say the new parallels version 14.0 is impressive. A review below.
A few big bonuses besides the benefits reviewed is my current setup is only about 15GB to 20GB additional storage vs 64GB to 100GB bootcamp. Carbon Copy Cloner and TM backup parallels and no need for additional backup software.

https://www.macworld.com/article/3318270/parallels-desktop-14-for-mac-review.html

I wish there was not so many quirks with boot camp and the 2018 mini combined with eGPU. I realize eGPU is new to Mac and maybe, hopefully 2020 will bring a more reliable bootcamp for the Mini and egpu.

I think I would have better luck on my 2017 mbp with the egpu and bootcamp. But I’m not going down that road.
 
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Tesla1856

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2017
111
33
Texas, USA
It will only reappear on a shutdown and restart. So I always shut down to get the light back.

That sounds like the way I have always done and it works fine on my older Mac-Mini. Not sure I understand the need to find another way.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/upgrading-to-high-sierra-with-boot-camp.2072738/#post-26348584

In Windows-10, have you tried disabling Fast-Startup and/or Disabling Hibernation completely?

You seem to know a lot about BootCamp, so can I ask you a question?

When booted into Windows-10 64bit naively :
a. Does the GPU inside the eGPU-box appear inside Device Manager
b. Can you use it for Windows gaming (as if it was installed in a PCIe slot)
c. If so, is the performance acceptable and close to an internally installed GPU?
 
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F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
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NYC & Newfoundland
When booted into Windows-10 64bit naively :

b. Can you use it for Windows gaming (as if it was installed in a PCIe slot)
c. If so, is the performance acceptable and close to an internally installed GPU?

You can use a 2018 Mac mini and an external video card with Boot Camp Windows to play Windows games.*

Using an external video card, whether with macOS or Windows, results in a performance hit that is commonly estimated at 12%-15%. One way to address this is to bump your card one specification higher. Currently, AMD’s cards, but not Nvidia’s, work with Mojave.

You’ll find a lot of information on using a 2018 mini with an external card in this active thread, which currently has over 48,000 views/500 posts: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/external-gpu-egpu-resources.2154653/

* Apple’s support page on eGPUs says expressly that an external GPU is not supported by Boot Camp Windows. Nevertheless, the 2018 mini works. Indeed, the only reason that I have Boot Camp Windows installed on my 2018 mini is to use Windows for games.
 
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IngerMan

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 21, 2011
1,838
722
Michigan
Although my time was brief with Bootcamp I did find using Winclone 7 was a great feature for Bootcamp. It is Mac OS driven and will backup your Bootcamp partition. It takes some time setting Windows on Bootcamp to your liking and being able to restore Bootcamp from Mac with out going through the entire process again is time savings.

I will give them Kudos for they have a 90 day refund, regardless. Since I no longer am using Bootcamp they refunded me my purchase of $39.99. It is a bit pricey but if I was using Bootcamp I found it to be worth it.
 
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