nMP / TB2 enclosure w. Accelsior / Bootcamp

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Killerbob, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #1
    Is there any reason why I cannot install my 1TB Accelsior PCIe SSD into a TB2 enclosure (like the Echo Express SE II), and run bootcamped Windows from it?

    If I read the many many posts concerning Windows in bootcamp on the nMP, I cannot install it like this, but have to install using Boot Camp Assistant on the internal PCIe SSD, and then clone that installation to the external storage.

    But, then it will work, right?
     
  2. usman.rz, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2014

    usman.rz macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #2
    I installed Windows 8 on a 840 Evo yesterday connected via Thunderbolt. There are few hoops to jump through to get it to work (including having a small (<500MB) FAT partition on your internal SDD) but I got it working. It should work for you too.
     
  3. hfg, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #3
    I don't know if this will help you ... but this is what I did just yesterday with great success:

    I have a 2012 iMac with a 256GB partition on the internal 768GB SSD which has been running Windows 8.1 for some time both as a boot Windows and as a virtual Windows using VMware under OS X.

    1) I added a LaCie Thunderbolt Rugged SSD 256GB and formatted it for MS DOS(FAT).
    2) I booted to Windows with the attached blank formatted Thunderbolt SSD and confirmed that it would read and write under Windows over Thunderbolt. Windows may have loaded a Thunderbolt driver at boot.

    3) Rebooted to OS X and used WinClone to create a fresh image of the internal Windows install I just booted to.

    4) Used WinClone to create the just saved Windows image to the external Thunderbolt SSD.

    5) Deleted the Windows partition on the internal SSD in the iMac to return the space to OS X. I used BootCamp Assistant to remove the partition, and I didn't leave a small DOS partition on the internal SSD as some posters suggest. I found that Windows will not boot with 2 instances of Windows, so I had to delete the internal one before I could boot to the external one.

    6) Used "StartupDisk" to reboot to Windows ... it worked just fine. Windows was still authorized and everything worked great.
    7) Using the "Return to OS X" BootCamp icon, I rebooted back to OS X without any problems.
    8) I confirmed that the virtual Windows under VMware "Fusion" was working and still authorized. I had to respond that "I moved it" when prompted by VMWare when first loading.

    So far, everything seems to be working great on both OS X and Windows 8.1 with Windows on the external Thunderbolt SSD and I have my full 768GB of SSD back for OS X internal to the iMac.

    I don't know if this will translate 100% to the nMP with attached Accelsior, but it worked on an iMac.

    Good luck...

    -howard
     
  4. Luba macrumors 6502a

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #4
    Hmmm, did you create the small partition or did Bootcamp Assistant do it automatically? I am guessing the partition was for the drivers?

    You then deleted the partition after installing the drivers?

     
  5. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #5
    I just threw up in my mouth a little

    That's disgusting - why do we still have that 1977 file system on today's computers?
     
  6. Killerbob thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #6
    I think the issues some people have had has been specifically on the nMP... I think there are restrictions/limitations on where you can install Boot Camp, i.e. not to a USB3 connected drive, but it should be OK to e TB2 one.
     
  7. usman.rz macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #7
    There are multiple methods in various guides online that let you install W8 on an external drive in various ways. I spent two days trying the various methods and here's what I learnt:

    Cloning an internal Bootcamp install to an external disk works until you delete the internal partition. OS X will no longer see the external W8 install.

    The method described here works on an external USB 3 drive but didn't work on my Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter.

    Finally, I ended up creating a small FAT32 partition on my internal drive, formatting my external as a GPT drive, and then using Bootcamp Assistant to do the install. I was able to pick the external as the destination drive during the W8 install and so far this has all worked.

    Mind you, from what I've read online every system works differently. There are iMacs for which the first method works flawlessly and there are rMBP that need a more involved process. So your mileage will definitely vary. When I find myself with some spare time, I'm going attempt creating two partitions on the GPT external, one FAT32 and one NTFS, and try again without using any of my internal SDD space. My goal is to be able to plug the external into my nMP or my MBA and boot into Windows. Right now with the internal FAT32 partition I can't do that.
     
  8. Luba macrumors 6502a

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #8
    That's an excellent goal, do let's us know if it works out for you!
     
  9. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #9
    That probably isn't going to work due to Microsoft "activation" issues, and driver differences. You can't have a single copy of Windows activated on more than one machine, and I believe the activation is embedded on the drive itself.
     
  10. analog guy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #10
    it's a good point, but i think it can work (albeit a bit inconvenient).

    i deal in VMs and was recently doing a bunch of testing where i changed the configuration (RAM, CPU cores) many times in succession to perform some benchmarking.

    every so often the windows activation process would appear due to a detected HW change. i'd have to call in, enter about 30 digits and then type in another 30 numbers to validate.

    not sure when it gets triggered, and i certainly would not want to do this daily, but it may be OK for intermittent use.

    it's not illegal: in theory the OP could uninstall and reinstall on a different machine every day. this just saves the install/reinstall steps.

    creative thinking.
     
  11. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #11
    That 500 MB partition is not necessary...

    1. Use boot camp assistant to install win 8.x to nMP's internal PCIe SSD
    2. Use Winclone 4.x to create an image of the Windows partition
    3. Use Winclone to transfer and expand image to external TB storage
    4. Use boot camp assistant to remove windows partition from PCIe SSD
     
  12. Killerbob thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #12
    I think all I need now is a good TB2 enclosure which can hold my Accelsior card, and which also can hold one or two SSDs!

    Of course I could buy two enclosures, but why should I have to? I am sure eventually there will be a single solution for this...
     
  13. analog guy macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2009
    #13
    it exists. sonnet echo express III-D can do it. (i have a tempo pro SSD card in mine with 2 SSDs and have a tempo SSD on the way....one could even put a 2.5" HDD on it.)

    could add the accelsior.

    if your accelsior is a half-length card (can't recall but don't think so) you can get an express II SE, but then you have fewer options for adding SSDs.

    the echo III-D is the fastest solution i've tested for SSSDs in a RAID configuration. it has tested faster than the pegasus2 R4 and OWC elite pro dual (far, far faster than the latter).
     
  14. Killerbob thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #14
    I agree it would work with the Tempo SSD card, but what I really would like is an enclosure without the need for yet another card.
     
  15. analog guy macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2009
    #15
    the enclosures i've seen, so far, have much slower performance. not sure how much throughput is valuable to you, though.
     
  16. Killerbob thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #16
    OK, my nMP (6-core, 64GB RAM, 2xD700s, 1TB Flash storage) is finally on its way, so I really have to figure out what to do with enclosures, bootcamp etc.

    I am thinking of getting the Sonnet Technologies Echo Express III-D. It is TB2, will fit my Accelsior, and a Sonnet Tempo card for my SSDs.

    Question is; will I be able to install Windows 8.1 in Bootcamp off the Accelsior and have it bootable? Has anyone tried this combination?

    Also, as I'll get the Tempo SSD Pro card, I'll be able to Raid0 two Samsung 840 Pro SSDs. Will I be able to use that Raid0 array for Bootcamped Windows as well?
     
  17. Killerbob thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #17
    Someone must be able to confirm if I can boot into bootcamp on either;

    1) Accelsior card
    2) Sonnet Tempo Pro card (w. 2 SSDs)

    ...installed in the Sonnet Echo Express III-D?

    Sonnet says the Echo Express III-D enclosure is not PC compatible, but does that mean it will not work either for bootcamped Windows when connected to a nMP via TB2?

    Please help me before I lay down another USD1K on the enclosure...
     
  18. hfg, Mar 23, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #18
    Sorry, I don't know the full answer to your questions above and I don't have a new MacPro either. However ...

    I can give you some of my experiences with my old MacPro 5,1 and the Sonnet Tempo Pro Dual SSD PCIe card. I currently have a pair of 512GB SSDs in RAID-0 as my boot OS X drive on the Tempo Pro card and it works great. I have tried without success to boot Windows from this card, either alone on a single SSD, or along with OS X with separate SSDs. I think in another thread someone posted that Sonnet Technical Support confirmed that the Tempo Pro wouldn't boot Windows in a Mac Pro. Thus, I would be very surprised if this card booted Windows any better over a Thunderbolt interface, especially in an enclosure that is advertised as being non-Windows compatible. I have my Windows boot SSD on a separate Velocity Solo x2 PCIe card.

    I have also tried a variety of external Thunderbolt drive enclosures to find a bootable Windows solution for my iMac and MacMini. Most of the Thunderbolt enclosures I have tried were unable to boot Windows ... but several did not claim any Windows compatibility anyway. The Thunderbolt enclosures I did have success with and am currently using to boot Windows are the LaCie "Rugged" and the Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter normally used with their "Backup Plus and GoFlex" disk drives. I use the bus powered Seagate adapters, but others have posted that the powered adapters work as well (which might be a better choice if you are using large/fast SSDs >256GB due to bus power issues). You can find the drive shells for these on eBay to make a finished look to the installation.

    I don't know if any of this experience is applicable to the new Mac Pro in your system, but I hope it is useful information for you.

    Good luck and please post what you try and the results you experience.


    -howard
     
  19. Killerbob thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #19
    Thanks for the detailed reply. I too finally found the posts stating the Tempo could not get working as a Bootcamp drive, so I guess that's a no-go.

    So, I contacted OWC, and they pointed me to the Mercury Elite Pro Dual (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/External-Drive/OWC/Elite-Dual-RAID), in which I could put my two Samsung 840 Pro SSDs, and that would work as a bootable Thunderbolt external housing, albeit TB1.

    Does anyone have any experience with this combination; nMP and Mercury Elite Pro Dual for Bootcamp?
     

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