Standalone Windows 7/8 SSD in optical bay

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tedeis, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. tedeis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    #1
    Hi. I have a late 2011 Macbook Pro 15-inch, Quad-core i7 Processor 2.2 Ghz, 8 Gb RAM, and 500 Gb HDD in the main bay. I would like to remove the optical drive and replace it with a windows-exclusive SSD. The end result will be Mac Os X on the stock hard drive, and Windows 7/8 on the SSD in the optical bay.

    I thought I can first temporarily remove the original hard drive and replace it with the SSD so I can install windows through a CD without the help of bootcamp (with the optical drive still installed). After I do all that, I can switch back the original hard drive, remove the optical bay (superdrive), and install the SSD in its place. Theoretically, this should work, but how would I boot from the SSD if I installed windows without bootcamp? (the bootup+OPTION won't work right?)

    I'm not sure if this would work, but if this worked for you, or if you have any expertise on this particular matter I could really use your help.
     
  2. ShaneBunting Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    Plenty of people on this forum could answer this easily and better than me.. but they're a bit ignorant on real questions..

    I did this (thinking it would work) and the Mac will let you install and boot when the drive is in the MAIN bay, but when you move it back into the optical bay somehow the Mac does no longer recognise that you have moved it to the second bay. When manually holding the command key, I had an option 'EFI BOOT' (which was the Windows drive in the optical bay), upon choosing it and booting all I got was a 'corrupt' looking screen and then a black screen with the blinking '-' infinitely.

    So in simple terms, no.

    But there has been some mention of how you can flash your BIOS/EFI firmware to make the Mac understand this. But I wouldn't recommend screwing around with that kind of stuff.

    Hopefully others can build on this and this has helped you!
     
  3. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #3
    Dont know much about bootcamp, but 2011 MBP's have known issues with SATA III drives in optibay. Per OWC SATA III drives unreliable in optibay.
     
  4. tedeis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    #4
    Thanks for your replies, I really appreciate it.

    So now my only option is to install windows (without bootcamp) on the SSD while in the main bay, and manually switch to the hard drive if I ever need my Mac Os X Hard drive.
     
  5. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #5
    Your stock OSX HDD will run fine and boot from the optibay or as an external drive in a USB enclosure.
     
  6. tedeis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    #6
    Oh ok. That's good news then.
    If i run the OsX HDD from optibay, I can still boot the windows SSD from the main bay right?
     
  7. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #7
    ShaneBunting claimed to have booted a Windows only drive from main bay. I have no experience with that setup, running Windows bare.

    Is there any particular reason you don't want to use boot camp or a VM? I'm running Windows in a Parallels VM with no issues.
     
  8. tedeis thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2013
    #8
    I'm not objecting bootcamp, but I need to install windows on a separate drive (not partition) so I can get the best performance possible for using Solidworks, CAD software, and possibly some PC games.

    If I can get bootcamp to do that (install windows on a separate drive), it would be great. But, I'm not sure bootcamp can do that.
     
  9. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #9
    "Boot Camp" is the general term for booting from Windows on a Mac.
    What you need to do is as follows:
    put the Windows disk in the main bay, and the Mac OS X disk in the optical bay. The Boot Camp utility can put Windows on a separate disk just fine, but in Macbook Pros, Windows just won't boot from the optical bay at all. Also, as mentioned, the use of SSDs in the optical bays of 2011 Macbook Pros is problematic.
     
  10. tedeis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    #10
    But I can't use the bootcamp utility when the Mac OsX disk is in the optical bay (and windows disk is in main bay) because the superdrive would be removed. As far as I know, late 2011 macbook pro's cannot boot from a bootable USB.

    This leaves me with one choice (I don't even know if it works on macbook pro's): put the windows disk in the main bay, keep the superdrive (just for installing windows), install windows like I would on any other laptop (without the help of the "bootcamp utility"), then remove the superdrive and put the Mac OsX disk in the optical bay.

    Can someone please verify is this works?

    Again, thanks for all the replies.
     
  11. tedeis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    #11
    Ok, so I was misinformed. I can boot and install windows from a bootable USB (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z1gqw0ougo).

    I will use this method and post my findings when I'm done (hopefully it works).
     

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