Will Win7 Bootcamp drive work in external enclosure

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Piplodocus, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Piplodocus macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008

    Gonna swap out my current HDD (with OSX and Win7 on) to put a bigger one in. Can I boot up the Win7 bootcamp partition still if I put it in an external USB enclosure?

    Also, if I can (or even if I can't) what's the easiest way of backing up/copying/restoring/transferring all my Win7 setup/apps over to the new drive's bootcamp partition? Can I boot the new Win7 install and do some kind of transfer from another windows partition thing (on the USB drive), kinda like you can in OSX? I could do a windows backup first, then do a restore but I'd have to find and partition another external drive, which seems silly if I have the original full version in an external USB enclosure.
  2. DaGr8Gatzby macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2011
    I do not believe this will work due to the way USB reinitializes itself numerous times during install.
  3. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    It should work in a Thunderbolt enclosure. Installing Windows 7 to a Thunderbolt drive is another problem, but booting an existing installation doesn't appear to be an issue.
  4. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Don't have thunderbolt. It's a mid-2010.

    The plan was to boot an already installed version of Windows 7 that was previously on a bootcamp internal drive, and has now been put in an external enclosure. Appears the answer is no. It starts trying to boot then complains about a lack of boot device in a Windowsy looking font.
  5. cagen, Mar 27, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012

    cagen macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2012
    you can use winclone to backup the drive and create a immage. Swap the drives and then use bootcamp to make a new partition on the new drive (with the same size as before preferably) and then extract the immage to the new drive. Thats the easiest way that i know of....

    Also i would not trust that you can boot from external enclosures as i have experienced manny issues whn booting from USB devices on the mid 2010 MBP
  6. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Is that any better or easier than just using the Windows 7 backup/restore image function?
  7. cagen macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2012
    in my opinion it is better and faster.... i dont trust on that much windows software :p
  8. Piplodocus thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Done it. Not too painful compared with last time. No 3rd party apps...
    • Used windows 7 backup from in control panel with it creating an image.
    • Restarted with new drive and used OSX Lion disk to partition the drive with a fat32, and HFS+ partition, and most importantly GUID partition map.
    • Boot with Win7 install disk.
    • Do "Repair Windows" from first menus and restore the Windows 7 Partition from the windows backup image. "Formats" the Drive but doesn't mess with the partition map. Dunno if windows 7 defaults to GUID these days but I didn't want to end up with a MBR partition map.
    • Boot into it and do the required Windows restarts. (Kinda like a Clumsy Time Machine! :) )
    • Start off OSX lion DVD.
    • Check partitions with disk utility and install Lion on the rest.
    • Restore Time Machine for OS Lion drive.
    • Win. Pop open the bubbly and tins of caviar.

    ∞ Fini ∞​


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