Windows 8.1 on External Hard drive with Bootcamp/Virtual Machine

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by ChelseaiAM, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. ChelseaiAM macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2014
    The first questions is can I put Windows 8.1 on an external hard drive? I've called apple a couple of times. The first guy said I could and the second guy said they "don't support it."
    Is there an easy way to do this through bootcamp?

    If it is not possible or not easy, can I put Windows 8.1 on an external hard drive using a Virtual Machine (Parallels or VMFusion).

    Thank you,
  2. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    You can install windows on an external usb3 / thunderbolt drive by following this guide.
  3. memomo, Aug 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014

    memomo macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2014
    it's works in my macbook pro retina (late 2013) - windows 8 with USB 2.0 hard drive
    i think it's time to buy a new USB 3.0 hard drive , because windows runs a little bit slow

  4. ross1999 macrumors newbie


    Nov 3, 2016
    NOT REALY, Its doesnot work at ALLLL
  5. Toutou macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2015
    Prague, Czech Republic
    No, Apple doesn't officially support this, so BootCamp won't help you with that.

    But don't worry, there IS another EASY way to do this.
    If you have a Windows machine around, download Rufus. It's a lightweight (under a megabyte!) tool that can do all sorts of magic with disk images. In the 2.0 version a new feature called "Windows To Go" was introduced, that allows you to create a bootable installation of Windows 8/8.1/10, which is exactly what you're looking for.

    And it's a pretty straightforward process, you will need your Windows ISO, Rufus, a flash drive and that's about it.
    I tried it out of curiosity a month ago and everything worked flawlessly and I got Win 10 up and running the same evening.

    Yes, you can put the whole virtual machine on your external disk and run it from inside macOS with the disk connected.
  6. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    How's that ? I've had my Mac Pro running windows 8.1 that I installed following this guide.
  7. gnohgniy macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2016
    Hi, can i know how did u go through step 2 of the process? I am using solely my mac to do this, and I'm not too sure how to do step 2. It requires either a windows machine, or a VM. But how can i open cmd when its a windows program on my mac?
  8. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    It's just a step where you need to connect your external disk on a windows system (either it is a virtual machine running on your mac or a real windows pc). The rest of the commands should be completed on the windows side (all these commands are available in a cmd session).

    No matter if windows run in a vm on your mac; when you try to connect an external disk on a mac running vmware or parallels you get the option to connect it directly to the virtual machine (so it will be available on the guest OS).

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