windows 8.1 on external ssd?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Motoxmann, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Motoxmann macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #1
    On my old iMac I had a 3tb fusion drive, and I used Bootcamp to install windows on the HDD. I'm replacing that mac with a riMAC, and this time I went with an internal ssd instead of the fusion. Since the ssd is much smaller, I'd like to get an external ssd to run windows off of. Is this possible? Can I get a bootable copy of windows on an external drive with Bootcamp?
     
  2. aziatiklover macrumors 68030

    aziatiklover

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
  3. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Not sure where i am
    #3
    I heard it was possible to make windows your primary starting system but i never knew how
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #4
    Yes you can. But Boot Camp isn't needed.

    Instructions:
    Connect external drive to Windows VM. You must have a Windows VM in VMware/Parallels/VBox, or a Windows PC. Any existing Windows environment will do.

    What you need:
    install.wim file (obtain this from your Windows ISO)

    Open elevated cmd.exe (run as admin)

    Note: All commands aren't case sensitive, including pathway to files.

    Type diskpart
    Type list disk
    Take note of the disk you want to select
    Type select disk 1 (if your disk is Disk 1)
    Type clean
    Type convert gpt
    Type create partition EFI size=100
    Type format quick fs=fat32 label=EFI
    Type assign letter=S
    Type create partition primary
    Type format fs=ntfs quick label=W2G (or any other name you wish for label)
    Type assign letter=E
    Type exit

    Open up File Explorer. In your C drive, create a new folder named WIN2GO.
    Put the install.wim file in this folder

    Back in cmd.exe:
    Type dism /apply-image /imagefile:C:\WIN2GO\install.wim /index:1 /applydir:E:\ (this process will take quite a while)
    Type E:\Windows\System32\bcdboot E:\Windows /s S: /f UEFI

    Restart your entire Mac. After the chime, hold down Option and when prompted to select your boot drive, select EFI Boot.

    Proceed installation normally.

    After installation, install Boot Camp drivers. Feel free to trash the VM once you're done too.

    For best results, use USB 3/Thunderbolt. If you don't have USB 3, use Thunderbolt. If you have neither, stick back to the internal drive :)

    I've been doing this on my Transcend JetDrive 960GB USB 3 SSD for several months already, and it's blazing fast.
     
  5. Motoxmann thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #5
    can this be done from a bootcamp partition with windows installed on the internal drive (then later deleted), so as to not have to pay the 70-80 bucks for VMware or Parallels? Also would something like WinClone be able to do this?
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #6
    WinClone can, but why pay when you can use this?

    Any existing Windows environment will do, be it Boot Camp, VMware, Parallels or Virtualbox.

    Vbox is free.

    You can also do this from a trial of VMware or Parallels. When you're done, just remove the trial and you're done.

    The plus side is that with my method, you can even plug the external drive into another PC like HP or Dell and boot from it.
     
  7. Motoxmann thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #7
    Ok. I'll check out vbox or just it from boot camp then erase it afterwards. Thanks for the info
     
  8. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #8
    Because it's a lot easier and is also an excellent way of backing up Windows, not to mention resizing/migrating existing installations.

    WinClone is worth it.
     
  9. Motoxmann thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #9
    are you able to to delete the initial bootcamp partition after migrating it to the external so that it doesn't take up space?
     
  10. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #10
    Yes.
     
  11. Motoxmann thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #11
    awesome. Thanks for all the info. Cant wait to get this thing in and all set up
     

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