OS X on external Drive and Boot Camp

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Nunyabinez, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000

    Nunyabinez

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Provo, UT
    #1
    I was hoping someone would help me with a question. I have been trying to figure out a way to get Windows onto an external drive and have not succeeded.

    Apparently, it is possible with a thunderbolt drive because it is seen a an extension of the internal bus, but I have UBS 3.0 drives and don't want to spend what it costs for a thunderbolt drive.

    Here is my question: Does anyone know if I could install OS X on an external USB 3.0 drive and then use the boot camp assistant to install windows on that drive? That way I could use all of my internal SSD for my Mac and then boot into OS X on the external drive and use the startup drive tool to boot into Windows. I know that's a cludgy way to do it, but I wanted to know if anyone has successfully done this successfully before I move data around and reformat drives, etc. Any ideas? Thanks guys.
     
  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #2
    I'm not sure you'd even need to install OS X onto that external, you should be able to install windows directly onto that drive. I've never actually done it directly from a Mac, but I have done it on windows.

    Worst case scenario, use boot camp to put windows on your ssd, then though windows, try installing windows on the external. Make sure the external is formatted for windows tho. In the past I haven't had issues with this. When windows install prompts for the drive, simply select the external and it should go through the motions.
     
  3. Nunyabinez thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nunyabinez

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Provo, UT
    #3
    Unfortunately, Windows does not support installing to external disks. Even if you create a USB thumb drive installer, it can tell what is internal and what is external. I tried using Macrium Reflect which creates bootable clones of Windows disks, but the Mac won't recognize the disk when I use the option key at boot up.
     
  4. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #4
    Well that's a shame. Actually now that you mention it, I do recall putting the external hxD inside my tower computer, installing windows onto it, and then putting it back into its external case. Any friends of yours have a tower of you can use to attempt that?
     
  5. Nunyabinez thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nunyabinez

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Provo, UT
    #5
    Unfortunately not. I do have a toshiba external drive formatted with NTFS that is recognized in the option boot. I may try cloning my boot camp to that and seeing if it will launch. If not, I'll try my original idea of putting OS X on an external drive and seeing if the boot camp assistant will recognize it as internal.
     
  6. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #6
    Search around here and you will find several methods for putting Windows on an external disk ... including "Windows To Go" methods.

    However, I find the easiest for me is to use BootCamp to install a local internal Windows and get it stable. Then, use "WinClone" to take that image and put it on a external drive (I usually use either LaCie "Rugged" Thunderbolt or Seagate Thunderbolt adapters) ...then use BootCamp to remove the internal install and return the space to OS X. You can then use WinClone to maintain periodic backups of your Windows installation.

    I have done it many times and "WinClone" by TwoCanoes Software has never let me down.
     
  7. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #7
    This method works for both USB and Thunderbolt, booting in UEFI:

    Connect external drive to Windows VM. You must have a Windows VM in VMware/Parallels.

    What you need:
    install.wim file (obtain this from your Windows ISO)

    Open elevated cmd.exe

    Note: All commands aren't case sensitive, including pathway to files.

    Type diskpart
    Type list disk
    Take note of the disk you want to select
    Type select disk 1 (if your disk is Disk 1)
    Type clean
    Type convert gpt
    Type create partition EFI size=100
    Type format quick fs=fat32 label=EFI
    Type assign letter=S
    Type create partition primary
    Type format fs=ntfs quick label=W2G (or any other name you wish for label)
    Type assign letter=E
    Type exit

    Open up File Explorer. In your C drive, create a new folder named WIN2GO.
    Put the install.wim file in this folder

    Back in cmd.exe:
    Type dism /apply-image /imagefile:C:\WIN2GO\install.wim /index:1 /applydir:E:\ (this process will take quite a while)
    Type E:\Windows\System32\bcdboot E:\Windows /s S: /f UEFI

    Restart your entire Mac. After the chime, hold down Option and when prompted to select your boot drive, select EFI Boot.

    Proceed installation normally.

    After installation, install Boot Camp drivers.

    No need to pay for WinClone or create an internal Boot Camp partition. A VM will do (can be VirtualBox or a trial of Parallels or VMware).

    This method basically takes advantage of the dism.exe utility to create an unofficial Windows to Go drive.

    Please PM me if you run into any difficulties, I'll be happy to help.
     
  8. Nunyabinez thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nunyabinez

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Provo, UT
    #8
    Thanks for the guide. I will give it a shot and let you know how it goes. I already have windows 10 TP in parallels.
     
  9. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #9
    Absolutely excellent advice. WinClone is the easiest, most intuitive and fastest method of moving, backing up and/or replicating BootCamp.

    No kludges, no convoluted hacks and no nonsense. It's well worth its price.
     
  10. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #10
    Except it doesn't always work.

    OP, also see my post here http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1818859
     
  11. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #11
    And, as pointed out to you in that thread, this was most likely not due to any limitation whatsoever on the part of WinClone but rather an issue with the enclosure you were using.
     
  12. espnfanco macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #12
    A couple nights ago, I was able to install Windows 8 on a Lacie TB external SSD drive just using bootcamp. I have read there might be compatibility issues with USB 3.0.
     
  13. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #13
    And just like the makers of Winclone you neglect to mention that it doesn't always work. Are you employed by them?
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    I have no connection to TwoCanoes Software other than being a very satisfied customer.

    Yes, Windows does not work on all external devices. Sorry to hear about your issues, really, but the developers of WinClone can not be held responsible for hardware incompatibilities, no matter how much want to blame them for it.
     
  15. Nunyabinez thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nunyabinez

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Provo, UT
    #15
    So, using yjchua95's method I was able to get everything working. One issue I had was that several of my drives would just not appear in the option menu no matter what I tried. I have a fairly new toshiba canvio drive and since it would consistently show in the option menu I put windows on that.

    I will likely experiment more as I have an SSD that I would rather use, but I may need a different case for it to work, or I may just be stuck with the toshiba, which is OK.

    So, thanks yjchua95.
     
  16. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #16
    Glad it helped.

    For the record, you need to purchase enclosures that support UASP.
     

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