Move bootcamp to non-system drive

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Lastmboy, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Lastmboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    #1
    Hi. I searched this forum, but couldn't find quite what I was after. I just bought a used mid-2011 27" iMac. It currently has Snow Leopard on it, which I will upgrade to Mountain Lion. It has a 256 GB SSD system drive and 2 TB hard drive for data. However, the previous owner setup the bootcamp partition on the SSD. I don't anticipate booting into Windows very often, but there will be a few occasions. However, the primary reason would likely be to run large (8 GB+) games.

    With this in mind, and with the amount of drive space that Windows 7 can suck up, I'm not sure I want Windows using up a bunch of space on my SSD. Is it possible to move or remove and re-create the bootcamp partition on the other internal hard drive? Can Windows boot up from a different drive than OSX is installed on?

    Thanks.
     
  2. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #2
    Either. The easiest version is to remove it from the SSD with Boot Camp Assistant. Then use Disk Utility to repartition/reformat the other disk, choosing the Option button and making it MBR partition scheme instead of GPT. You will want one partition for Windows, so you can format that as MS-DOS (FAT) and the other partition as Mac OS Extended, Journaled. Then boot off a Windows 7 install CD (c key on startup) and point the installer to the FAT partition making sure you reformat it NTFS in the Windows installer.

    Yeah, you'll install Boot Camp utilities from direct download in Windows, instead of using Boot Camp Assistant to download them for you onto a USB stick. Boot Camp Assistant is fussy about what disk it will let you use for Windows and I find it easier to just make the 2nd non Mac OS disk MBR only and installing Windows directly.
     
  3. Lastmboy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for all the info. My iMac arrives tomorrow morning. I'll get to give it a try.
     

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