Run Windows from a different hard drive / external enclosure?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by peanutismint, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. peanutismint macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #1
    I'm just about to upgrade my Macbook's hard drive to a nice big 250GB drive, and wondering what to do with my old 100GBish drive. I figured I could just use it for storage or buy an external enclosure for it or something, but then another idea hit me....

    There's only one thing that I always have go back to Windows for, and that's recording music with lots of Windows only apps I've bought and continue to use. So I was wondering, if I were to install ONLY Windows XP on my 100GB hard drive, is there a way that I could have my Macbook boot into XP every time the hard disk was present? i.e. could I select my operating system based on which hard drive was present in the laptop?

    And, if I could do this, is there any way I could boot my system from the Windows drive externally? i.e. can you 'hold a button' or something on system boot to make it load its OS from an external source?

    That way, I could have an entire disk reserved for Windows and music apps....any ideas?
     
  2. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #2
    You can. But Windows likes to reset the USB drivers during boot. There is a method to re-slipstream the XP or Vista CD to make it work, its available if you search on google. I'm personally thinking about the same route, I have a 120GB 2.5" hard drive that I pulled from my macbook when I upgraded to 250GB... but thinking about it, I have a lot of extra space now (I mean, I survived fine with 120GB.. lol) and its actually easier (at least for me) to have 2 partitions, osx and windows, rather then to carry around another hdd and a USB cord.. but thats just me.
     
  3. peanutismint thread starter macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #3
    Ah yes, I've just been reading up about the slipstreaming etc... I already have a slipstreamed version of XP to which I added SP2 and a load of hotfixes etc.... is there much chance that will have had USB boot support enabled when I added that stuff? Or is it something you have to specifically set?

    It probably would be easier to have them on separate partitions to be honest, you're right.... I just like a challenge! :-D
     

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