New Mac mini Boot Camp Restrictions

Darth.Titan

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Oct 31, 2007
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Austin, TX
So I've been setting up my new mini and decided to set up Boot Camp even though I use it infrequently.

Not sure if it's a Mojave thing or perhaps because of the T2 coprocessor, but the Boot Camp assistant will not run with external storage attached.
Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.52.11 AM.png
This is a problem because I have a 4 bay thunderbolt enclosure with all my extra storage and my user folder actually resides on an external drive. So now I have to create a new user on the boot drive and reboot with the thunderbolt enclosure disconnected to even try to use Boot Camp Assistant.

I haven't seen anything online about this. Any ideas what this is all about? macOS seems to be getting a bit hostile these days.
 

now i see it

macrumors 601
Jan 2, 2002
4,010
8,013
I would actually be more surprised that it worked properly. New OS with new computer design rarely plays nice with boot camp
 

StellarVixen

macrumors 68000
Mar 1, 2018
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Earth
So I've been setting up my new mini and decided to set up Boot Camp even though I use it infrequently.

Not sure if it's a Mojave thing or perhaps because of the T2 coprocessor, but the Boot Camp assistant will not run with external storage attached.
View attachment 803011
This is a problem because I have a 4 bay thunderbolt enclosure with all my extra storage and my user folder actually resides on an external drive. So now I have to create a new user on the boot drive and reboot with the thunderbolt enclosure disconnected to even try to use Boot Camp Assistant.

I haven't seen anything online about this. Any ideas what this is all about? macOS seems to be getting a bit hostile these days.
have you disabled Secure Boot?
 

Darth.Titan

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Oct 31, 2007
2,707
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Austin, TX
Honestly I usually only use the Assistant to download drivers. In the past I could make the partition myself and option-boot to the Windows installer without hand-holding. But the secure boot functions on the new mini seemed to indicate using the Assistant would make my life easier. Well... not so much.
[doublepost=1541870102][/doublepost]
have you disabled Secure Boot?
Yes I have. It doesn't seem to be related to secure boot.
 

StellarVixen

macrumors 68000
Mar 1, 2018
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Apple has been hostile to BootCamp lately, in general. Since Mojave, they do not allow you to run anything other than Windoze 10. And they do not allow people who have cMP to install BootCamp Windoze at all.

If they do not want us to run Windoze, they shall just say it, and remove BootCamp, not torture us like this.
 

Porkchop Sandwich

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2017
243
133
I don't have a mac mini however I do have a '17 MBP that I recently wiped clean and did a full rebuild. Day before yesterday I went to install w10 from an image stored on a thumb drive.

As you've experienced, the prompt warned that all external devices be removed. Therefore, I transferred the w10 image to my d-loads folder. When I re-started boot camp, the location prompt for the image was automatically filled in. I went to start the process and hit a prompt saying I must be online. (i guess so ms could install an installation file)??

Once I connected via ethernet, the entire process went smooth and everything appears to be in order and functioning proper.

Couple notes: the 2017 mbp does not have the T2 chip, and my drive (macintosh hd) is, and was encrypted when I installed via bc.

good luck!
 
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Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
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First allow external booting: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/any-t2-related-crashes-with-2018-mini.2153202/page-3#post-26808697 Boot into recovery mode, start startup security utility.

As mentioned above the Boot Camp installer doesn't like external drives.

Download Boot Camp drivers for Mac Mini 2018 without Boot Camp (in Windows):

- Download brigadier-0.2.4.zip and extract the exe file: https://github.com/timsutton/brigadier/releases/download/0.2.4/brigadier-0.2.4.zip
- Open CMD as Administrator & navigate to the folder with brigadier.exe (cd 'file path')
- Execute (from command line) brigadier.exe -m Mac Mini8,1
- Wait for download to finish, this will be the Boot Camp 6.1 drivers
- Enjoy

Create a Windows 10 USB Installer (in Windows):
- Download the Media Creation tool: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
- use the tool to create an USB installer

Note: Option boot: before you can select the USB stick in Option boot you have to enter the firmware password (if set).



Update: Seems like Mac Mini 2018 cannot boot from an Windows Installer USB Stick.... I will continue research.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,179
5,533
My opinion (and take it for what you paid for it):

If you only use BootCamp "infrequently", then... don't use it at all.

Instead, use a "virtual solution" such as Parallels, VMWare Fusion, or the free "Virtual Box".

Or... use Crossover, which doesn't require booting into Windows at all (IF the apps you use will run under it).

I've just seen too many reports of problems from using BootCamp....
 

hvfsl

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2001
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London, UK

Synchro3

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Jan 12, 2014
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I found another solution: Just burn the Windows 1809.iso to DVD, connect a DVD drive to the MM, and select the Installer-DVD in Startup disk.

Bootable Windows USB stick installer did not work with my Mac Mini (nor with my other Macs, I tried).
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
I can boot on the external SSD with Windows 10, I can get as far as a HDMI screen only detected and no Wifi.

Sort of a pain to get it to boot on the external, ended up with the 50GB install on the internal drive.

However since I created the SSD external and the first 75GB install on the internal at the same time with no security, the 2018 Mini lost the internal install blessing when security got crank back to high.

Tried the window 1803 on the external SSD, have not tried the 1809 iso, or an update.
 

Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
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Windows doesn't like any Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapters attached when using an USB-C to DisplayPort cable, monitor stays black on boot. Even after reboot and trying to option boot no screen. HDMI saved me. Once macOS rebooted with HDMI cable attached (option boot), I could reboot again with DisplayPort.

Without HDMI I would have had to RMA...

Do not boot Windows with an USB-C to DisplayPort cable and a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter attached!
 
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fastlanephil

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2007
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If I remember correctly, the Bootcamp created Windows boot volume has to either reside on or is a macOS recognized internal drive. Mine was using one of my Mac Pro’s optical bays.
 
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