Need Windows - external harddrive or SSD an option?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Technodynamic, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Technodynamic macrumors 6502

    Technodynamic

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #1
    I use my 15" MBPr as much as humanly possible for my job. However we've adopted SharePoint as a solution for internal communication (Intranet) and I just need Windows sometimes to be able to do all my job functions.

    the 256GB SSD is fine for OSX, but not even close if I want to dual boot.

    Question 1: can Windows be installed as a bootable drive on an external Hard Drive or SSD that connects via USB? Just plug it in and reboot?

    Question 2: If Q1 is possible, can I run a VM of Windows using this same method?

    Question 3: External Hard Drive or SSD?? Thunderbolt or USB3 for speed?
     
  2. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #2
    1. For bootcamp, i believe you can only run off usb 3 using windows 8, but it is possible. This is a windows limitation, not apple's fault.
    2. Yes, for any OS
    3. USB 3 is most practical, and you will get at max about 250 mb/s, which is more than enough for most anything. Hard drive vs SSD depends entirely on how much space you need and budget concerns.
     
  3. Technodynamic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Technodynamic

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #3
    I just did a live chat with a sales rep at OWC:

    Chat Content:
    OWC Morgan: [10:28:28 AM] Hello Todd, thanks for contacting OWC Sales & Customer Service. This is OWC Morgan. How may I assist you?

    Todd: [10:28:28 AM] I'd like to get an external SSD that is USB 3 to work with my 15" macbook pro retina. The intention is to load windows on as a bootable drive. 256GB size is desired. What do you recommend? I'd like a very small and light weight enclosure if possible for portability.

    OWC Morgan: [10:28:32 AM] Hi Todd
    [10:32:05 AM] We have USB 3.0 enclosures with SSDs installed into them, however, you cannot install Windows onto such a drive. Windows will only install onto internal hard drives and external drives that are connected over eSATA.

    Todd: [10:46:34 AM] sorry, was waiting in the que for a long time. I see you replied. so, eSATA for external? This is not possible with a macbook, correct?

    OWC Morgan: [10:49:22 AM] Correct
    Todd: [10:51:09 AM] okay. good to know. Looks like remote desktop then.

    ----------

    I still find this hard to believe. If I want to install a VM of Windows, can't I chose an external drive (UBS) as a location?
     
  4. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    south
    #4
    install a windows 7 vm... will eat ~40GB of your storage tough

    and yes, you can have your VM anywhere, even a network drive if you have the patience :-D
     
  5. Technodynamic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Technodynamic

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #5
    Good to know. Yeah, I wont waste my SSD wit it. I cheaped out and 'only' got the 256GB size SSD. heh

    I am thinking (since work is buying it) an external SSD (~256GB) via USB3.

    When I want to run windows, pop that in and runt he VM.

    Sounds like the best way to get Windows on my retina mac?
     
  6. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    south
    #6
    *maybe* a 64 gig SD card would do the trick, never tried it tough...

    anyone knows how much MB/s on, say, class 10 SDHC?

    cheers
     
  7. Technodynamic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Technodynamic

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #7
    Patriot EP Series 128GB Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) Flash Card Model PEF128GSXC10233
    Speed Class Rating: Class 10
    Read Speed: up to 50MB/s
    Write Speed: up to 35MB/s

    Compared to the ~200 read/write of an external SSD. It may be possible (and a good idea for cheaper solution), but too slow for my needs.
     
  8. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    south
    #8
    if it reads 50 and writes 35 it is on par with a 5400rpm HD - completely acceptable performance for a sporadic use VM.

    today everybody is all oooohs an aaaaahs about the 300-500 speed of SSDs, but we lived all the way trough here with much lower speeds.

    I for instance have 2 750 gig HDs on my macbook, one 7200 (momentus XT) and one 5400 (toshiba) and they are work just fine. I'd rather have the 1.5 TB than 400MBPS, as I have lots and lots of VMs to run.

    kids today are too impatient and spoiled :)
     
  9. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #9
    It's not possible.

    Your tech was right. Windows can only be installed on media connected via SATA or eSATA interfaces.

    CF, SD, USB, FW, TB are all out of the question.
     
  10. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #10
  11. Technodynamic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Technodynamic

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #11
    bingo...

    I also just called VMFusion and I can install that and have the VM point to an external drive as well. So it looks like It's a go! yipee!
     
  12. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    south
    #12
    oh god.

    windows cannot BOOT from an external/usb/SD/whatever non-ATA/SATA/SCSI device.

    virtual machines are a totally different animal. you can have the VM/virtual disk on whatever storage your host supports (and is fast enough).

    cheers.
     
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #13
    Windows to Go is actually for a native boot version of Windows. Like bootcamp but external. The think that everybody here says doesn't work. It does with the Enterprise Edition.

    For a VM that runs of a virtual disk virtually anything works. The virtual disk is nothing more than a big file.
     
  14. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #14
    I was going to say "note that the built-in SD reader is just a USB device", but in my 2012 MBP at least it appears that this is not so; at least, the system profiler doesn't show it as being a USB device.
     
  15. Snowshiro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #15
    I run OS X and Windows 7 on my 256GB and have had no space problems at all. I also run the partition in Parallels when I don't feel the need to reboot.

    I'd much rather have the OS on the SSD, and keep large files on an external drive. Really I'm not sure what people do that requires them to have a quarter of a terabyte of files available at all times. My largest data hog is my ripped DVD library and TV shows, but I never really need more than 3 or 4 movies or a season of a particular show on my laptop at any one time. Once I've watched them, I swap them for something else from a larger external drive.
     
  16. bigboar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Ohio
    #16
    that is the route I am gonna take when I do it..
     
  17. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #17
    I agree especially if one only needs Windows like the op for Sharepoint and basically office features, it should be easy. A 50GB Windows partition should more than cover it. And anybody that cannot deal with 200GB on OSX with some sensible file management won't be able to deal with 256GB either.
    200GB is plenty for working data.
    Swap out archived stuff regularly and all the media that doesn't need to be offline constantly available and you should be fine.

    A dynamic virtual Disk on the System drive is easier to setup and requires less space than anything else. I would think external to be annoying for the VM source and accidentally unplugging cannot happen if it is internal. Speed is also a worse with a USB 3.0 latency and the virtual IO overhead and using an external hdd would really make it slow.

    my 2cents
     

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