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rivet2016

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 3, 2016
4
0
Hi, I have an 2019 imac 27 that I am thinking of installing windows 10 or 11 via bootcamp on it. The spec. of the mac is 3.0Ghz 6 core i5 8500, 40G ram, Radon pro 570x 4G, 256SSD; my 256 SSD is almost full so I am thinking of installing windows on an external SSD ( I have a sandisk exterme 1TB portable SSD) but have a few questions:
1. Do I need a windows 10/11 license?
2. Is it a good idea to install windows on external SSD? Is it easy to add/replace the internal SSD?
3 How should I partition and format the external SSD as it should install windows and have the rest of the storage shared to be used for both windows and Mac OS?
4. Worth to consider VMware or similar solutions instead of bootcamp

Finally, not sure if it is actually worth to install windows on it? as I really only need it for 1. kids want to play some games , like minecraft and Genshin impact 2. I use microsoft money and it is not available in mac
 

bobcomer

macrumors 601
May 18, 2015
4,949
3,695
Hi, I have an 2019 imac 27 that I am thinking of installing windows 10 or 11 via bootcamp on it. The spec. of the mac is 3.0Ghz 6 core i5 8500, 40G ram, Radon pro 570x 4G, 256SSD; my 256 SSD is almost full so I am thinking of installing windows on an external SSD ( I have a sandisk exterme 1TB portable SSD) but have a few questions:
1. Do I need a windows 10/11 license?
2. Is it a good idea to install windows on external SSD? Is it easy to add/replace the internal SSD?
3 How should I partition and format the external SSD as it should install windows and have the rest of the storage shared to be used for both windows and Mac OS?
4. Worth to consider VMware or similar solutions instead of bootcamp

Finally, not sure if it is actually worth to install windows on it? as I really only need it for 1. kids want to play some games , like minecraft and Genshin impact 2. I use microsoft money and it is not available in mac
1. Yes and no, you can run without a license but there are customization things you wont be able to do, plus your desktop will mention it. I do use a real license.

2. Usually external SSD's are slower than internal, but it should work. Note that it's different setting up bootcamp onto an external drive and not as easy, but doable. You do need some space on the internal drive to do it though. I have no idea how hard it is to swap SSD on your 2019, but it's hard, and maybe even undoable on my 2020.

3. You could partition it that way, but partition it from Windows first.

4. That would be the easiest and the way I run Windows on my 2020 iMac. You could use the free version of VMWare Fusion to do it I believe.

edit: Forgot the last thing, but I really can't say, it's all what you want and need and it will run Windows with no problems.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2020
2,926
966
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hi, I have an 2019 imac 27 that I am thinking of installing windows 10 or 11 via bootcamp on it. The spec. of the mac is 3.0Ghz 6 core i5 8500, 40G ram, Radon pro 570x 4G, 256SSD; my 256 SSD is almost full so I am thinking of installing windows on an external SSD ( I have a sandisk exterme 1TB portable SSD) but have a few questions:
1. Do I need a windows 10/11 license?
2. Is it a good idea to install windows on external SSD? Is it easy to add/replace the internal SSD?
3 How should I partition and format the external SSD as it should install windows and have the rest of the storage shared to be used for both windows and Mac OS?
4. Worth to consider VMware or similar solutions instead of bootcamp

Finally, not sure if it is actually worth to install windows on it? as I really only need it for 1. kids want to play some games , like minecraft and Genshin impact 2. I use microsoft money and it is not available in mac

Unlike Mac OS, installing and running Windows from an external SSD is more troublesome than you may think.
By default, Windows 10 would not let you install to a USB disk.
I don't know about Thunderbolt external disks.
You will need a third party application to trick Windows to think the external disk as internal disk.
Rufus works OK, but it only allows Windows Home (not Pro version) and requires an working Windows PC to run.
 

rivet2016

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 3, 2016
4
0
Thanks, all. I'v checked there are local service can do the SSD upgrade for a charge, but not sure if it is worth it at this point consider the switch to Apple Silicon. So maybe the easiest solution would be I clean up all my files/photo libraries trying to move all of them to external SSD and try to squeeze windows into the 256gb boot drive as well, still gonna be pretty tight that I already feel not enough space for just Mac OS.
 

x5tuu

macrumors regular
Jan 1, 2012
144
118
I use an install of Parallels on my 2019 Mac (which is identical, even with the 40gb ram).

I bought a fully licensed copy of Parallels for $42 from eBay and a Windows 11 license from Gamer-Outlet.net for $4 and it runs great when needed - Id certainly recommend it.

TBH windows is a lot better in 11 than I remember from old versions and even makes me consider what I will do when I retire my Mac!
 
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