Windows 8.1 on External Drive for Bootcamp

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Anim, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #1
    My musings....

    I am (while twiddling my fingers) trying to find a good reliable solution to offload everything except the boot part of the windows OS to a permanently attached external drive. e.g. Most big applications, data, steam folders.

    Thunderbolt 1 enclosures don't have much benefit over USB3 at the moment due to the premium price?

    As Thunderbolt 2 is so rare the alternative is USB3 but I have read reports that it uses CPU cycles when being accessed more so than Thunderbolt which can hamper the entire process, is that true?

    What is windows 8.1 support for Thunderbolt going to be like?

    Anyway, looking at USB3, Buffalo have released a fast USB3 3TB with 1GB memory for cache which is meant to be faster than any single external TB1 storage drive available at the moment (Including Pegasus, Lacie etc). It gets award reviews from the magazines but if you read user reports it seems to be a bit of hit and miss with reliability.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Buffalo-Dri...F8&qid=1388741014&sr=1-1&keywords=buffalo+DDR

    So, for decent speeds and a good quality drive, that leaves something like the Pro range of SSD's, these are rated for 5 years instead of 3 as in the Samsung 840 Series Pro 512GB:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1Q4S4N53SL9OW

    And pair that up with a USB 3 enclosure for a huge cost reduction compared to a Thunderbolt enclosure. At random, I found this one:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D1NR9MA/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A5JH7MGCI556L

    That enclosure doubles up as a disk cloner which I thought would be helpful too.

    Is it best to partition the internal SSD for windows and install big apps onto the external or Install everything (including the boot) on the external?


    Any thoughts, suggestions, random observations?

    Thanks
    Anim
     
  2. dermike macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #2
    To my knowledge it's not possible to use bootcamp on external drive...
    I'm gonna make a 128GB partition for bootcamp and then use an external drive for games and apps.
     
  3. Anim thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #3
    This guy seems to think its possible:
    https://discussions.apple.com/message/23465786#23465786
     
  4. dermike macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #4
  5. Anim thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #5
    haha, yeah. there is that. But it seems people can do it rather than it is unsupported.

    I guess having the boot on an external drive helps protect your entire system if you get a virus in windows (had 2 in the last 5 years) and it tries to mess with the boot record at least it won't take out OSX with it.

    Hmmm.
     
  6. dermike macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #6
    Can Windows viruses really damage EFI? Anyone know?
     
  7. Anim thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #7
    I don't know if scrambling the entire boot partition would affect OSX, google is littered with yes, no, don't know and maybes. I guess if you have software installed that allowed windows to access mac volumes then you run a risk there.
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    I've personally tested USB2 CPU overhead at about 10%, only when transferring data of course. The speed of the CPU doesn't seem to matter; it's always about 10%. I don't know about USB3 CPU overhead.

    USB3 is fast enough for single rotational drives not in an array. Unless your Windows workflow is heavy on CPU usage while simultaneously heavily transferring data over USB, I wouldn't worry about the speed.

    As for bootcamp not working over external drives, it is an interesting dilemma. nMP cannot add internal drives and bootcamp does not support external drives. That means nMP boot camp users have no choice but to split up the SSD space.

    Apple should add a drive interface to the left GPU board to support a second drive.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    What you can do (tested and confirmed on my 2010 MBA) is to first install Windows to a partition in the SSD and then create a Windows To Go image to an external drive. It's a feature only supported by Windows 8 Enterprise but it's at least an option.
     

Share This Page