Mac Pro Hard Drive and windows Question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DanLD45, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. DanLD45 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    So i will be flying around South America in a few weeks for work in which i need to have my mac pro with me for work.

    My question is i will be running only windows and my set up at the moment is:
    Drive 1- Mac OS
    Drive 2- Time Machine
    Drive 3- Windows XP

    So what i would like to do is remove all the drives but the windows drive encase something happens to the machine. (As insurance will cover it)

    Will windows still run properly or does it need to see the Mac OS drive?

    And if it needs to see the OS drive can i install another drive with OS on it?

    Thanks for the help in advance
     
  2. iphonefan67 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    #2
    Just FYI......

    I had an Apple 320GB WD in bay 3 with windows 7 ultimate running on it...... it was SLOW... SLOW... SLOW.... Honestly, I was VERY upset that my new Mac Pro was running windows at such a snails pace..... it was almost unusable. Then I read somewhere something about how SATA drives in bay 3 and 4 are indeed slower..... I moved that drive to Bay 2 and now I get the speeds I was looking for.

    Any ideas as to why this is? I really wanted to run a RAID 0 in Bays 1 and 2 for OS X with Windows in Bay 3 and a Time Machine drive in Bay 4.

    Anyway to get better performance with this configuration?
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #3
    ^ I'd like to see these reports that a SATA drive runs slow in Bay 3. I have a SATA drive in bay 3 and it's fine. I also thought the MP needed the SATA drives so it's odd that one bay would be an issue. Perhaps I'm lost on this but as I said, my real world experience with a SATA drive in bay 3 has been good. It's even a WD green drive (slower).
     
  4. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #4
    Well, you prolly won't get to see those reports now if indeed they ever existed. He just got himself banned for something. If I understand the substructure correctly though, that information is 100% false. So, no need to worry. :D



    To the OP's question I think you need OSX or at least some small parts of it. Just make a small 25 GB partition and install OS X and then put windows on the rest of the drive.
     
  5. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #5
    It is perfectly ok to run a Mac Pro or any Mac with Windows only. The only thing that you can potentially miss is a firmware update. But EFI updates are so seldom that you should not really care. And once your machine runs with Windows it will not really make a difference anyway. You can still catch up with an update when you come back and re-install OS X.

    With Windows only you have a wide choice of drive setup. You can use the Apple method with the OS X install DVD and use the GUID partition table. The other option is to install Windows directly from the Windows install disk which will give you an MBR partition table. Both methods are possible and will not have an impact as long as you use Windows only. The GUID table is better if you later want to make changes to the drive like adding an OS X partition. In any case I would take my OS X install disk along with my Windows install disk on a trip.

    Regarding SATA performance I have never seen a difference between ports. Some people swear they have but it shouldn't be a problem for a Windows only machine. By any means use #1 slot for the system and apps and it should be ok.

    If you partition one drive with dedicated partitions for the system and for data that can push your system down on the slow part of a drive. This may have caused the rumors of slow Windows drives in the first place. In such a case it is best to use different drives for Windows booting and for data. It is actually very sensible to have different system and data drives. You have a pretty big chance your system gets corrupted and needs to be rebuild due to viruses or user mistakes. The copy protection in Windows makes the system fail very quickly if you make changes that may seem entirely logical to an OS X user. So different drives will protect your valuable data and make system rebuild faster.

    The realistic issue for SATA performance in Windows is the use of the driver. For full performance the Intel AHCI driver is required which will only run with a patch to the MBR of the Windows boot drive. Reference to the Howto:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=760482

    Something to think about in that situation is backup. If you fit an additional drive you can use Windows internal backup mechanism to make internal backups and you would not loose too much work by a disk failure. The system can be set up for automatic backup of additional data every day. If you are concerned with the physical safety of the location of the machine you can also use an external drive for backup and store it in another place. My personal preference in your shoes would be a system and apps drive in bay #1, a data drive in bay #2 and a backup drive in bay #3. All of them set to NTFS.

    Another option would be fitting a new OS X drive or a clone of the OS X drive which you want to leave at home. You can then use Winclone to make copies of your Windows drive on the OS X drive. By this method you will not be able to make differential backups and it would take much longer to secure your work.
     
  6. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #6

    So the boot-loader on the mac is firmware? Or is it written to the windows drive as well? I was under the impression it was only located in a OS X system drives' boot partitions. No?
     
  7. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #7
    That is right. The ODD bootloader for both versions (2006, 2007, 2008 = IDE) and (2009 = SATA) is in the EFI. This is why you have no means to get the 2007 and 2006 machines with EFI32 to boot most Windows 64-bit version DVDs. Nobody messes with the firmware. Otherwise we probably had an extension from the hackintosh community as a work around. You also have no means to make the pre 2009 machines boot ODD from SATA because the bloody EFI was never written for this.
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #8
    Thank you. I've been on google for a while now trying to find something that would have supported that theory. Not that it would matter because my performance is fine, but I was very curious.
     
  9. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    North Shore, MA
    #9
    There is no need to have OSX installed at all. The Mac Pros will happily boot from a Windows drive without anything else being in the system; I know because this was the only way Vista would install on my machine without complaining that it couldn't find a valid boot drive. The only gotcha with the older models is that, like gugucom said, you can't boot off of the ODD SATA ports. You can use them (after patching the MBR/secondary bootloader) but you can't boot off of them.
     
  10. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #10
    Just to make that a bit clearer. You can boot HDDs off the ODD ports but the firmware of the pre 2009 machines will not boot optical disks from SATA ports.
     

Share This Page