XP booted from external USB--but not any more

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Siberhusky, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Siberhusky macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #1
    Sequence of Events:

    1. Had dual boot cabability working using Bootcamp, but wanted to separate out XP to an external USB drive.

    2. Modifed XP to allow external USB boot per the Mac Guide instructions; installed, etc. and it was working fine!

    3. But I still had the old XP/Bootcamp install on the internal HD, where I only wanted MAC stuff. So I reformatted the internal drive, reinstalled OSX on the internal drive, and reloaded software updates.

    4. Now I can no longer boot from XP on external drive. Drive shows up correctly (on desktop and in startup disk selection), but I can't seem to get it to boot windows anymore.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    thx...
     
  2. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #2
    Which guide did you follow?

    Also, what probably happened is that there were still some residual files left over on the Mac HD that were essential to making your dual-boot configuration work. The reformat probably wiped out these files (the EFI boot record most likely) and now it doesn't know where to look for the files.

    Not to mention, bootcamp was wiped out, so Tiger doesn't even know to look for an XP partition that could be booted.

    It was definitely step 3 that lost you your bootcamp. You'll probably have to get the computer back to step 2 and then resize the bootcamp partition (maybe to a gig or something really small). Then leave it alone. ;)
     
  3. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #3
    As far as I know, you still need to have a 5GB Bootcamp partition on your internal hard drive for it to be able to boot from the USB drive.
     
  4. Siberhusky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #4
    Thx for the reply...

    Which guide did you follow?
    The one that came from the forum post by mrichmon; "Booting Windows XP from an External Drive.".

    ... what probably happened is that there were still some residual files left over on the Mac HD that were essential to making your dual-boot configuration work. The reformat probably wiped out these files (the EFI boot record most likely) and now it doesn't know where to look for the files.
    What I essentially had was a triple boot configuration: I could boot: 1)internally off the OSX partition, 2) internally off the XP partition, or 3) externally using XP on the USB drive. I think I hear what you're saying, but I'm confused because I thought the new firmware took care of those issues and that the whole point was to externally boot without co-mingling the internal drive? Also, I think this previously worked with the internal drive removed.
     
  5. Siberhusky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #5
    As far as I know, you still need to have a 5GB Bootcamp partition on your internal hard drive for it to be able to boot from the USB drive.

    Thx, but I don't think that's it. I went back to double-check mrichmon'spost in the forum:
    There is no need to have bootcamp installed and there is nothing Windows related installed on the internal drive. The process I explained above (and was later converted into a how to guide) requires you to physically remove the internal drive during the Windows installation. I have and you can boot Windows from the external drive without having an internal drive so there is absolutely nothing Windows related stored on the internal drive.
     
  6. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #6
    Hmm... I was under the impression that the ability to boot into XP was a firmware feature, not related to what is on the HD.

    While still in experimentation/learning mode on my iMac, I actually booted up off an XP cd, deleted ALL partitions, created two NTFS partitions and did a full install of XP. No Mac OS on the drive at all, and it worked like a champ. Well it worked with the suck of then being only a windows box...heheh.

    I've since then had the opportunity to play with Fusion and I have to say that is going to be my solution. There is only 1 function that I have not been able to at least match (if not better) on my iMac that I was doing on my PC... and that's ripping DVD's to ISO's with selective compression (IOW: DVD Shrink). So I run XP in Fusion to run shrink/any dvd and everything else is in OS X. :apple:

    The only thing I could see running bootcamp for is games at this point. My gaming 'needs' have declined in the last year or so with having a child so no worries there.
     
  7. Siberhusky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #8
    Thx for the comeback!

    Ok, but that guide was posted in April 2006; the Mac Guide by mrichmon was updated in Sept 2006. Again, I was under the impression that firmware updates, etc. took care of a lot of this.

    I realize this is all experimental, but this is frustrating because there's a lot of conflicting info out there. (Initially I wasted several days trying to get the method posted by ipedro to work.) There are several posts that categorically state that booting off the USB is independent of the internal drive. It would at least help if there were some follow-up regarding methods that don't work.

    My conclusion at this point is that either booting off the external USB drive does not work without some fiddling with the stuff on the internal drive, or, there's something different about the USB drive I am using...
     
  8. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #9
    This is a windows issue, not a firmware issue.

    Basically windows can't boot directly from a USB drive so it keeps the initial boot settings on a drive it can boot, I.E. the boot camp partition. Without this partition and its initial bootstrapping XP can't boot from USB.
     
  9. Siberhusky thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 10, 2007
    #10
    Ok; thank you all for taking the time to help.
     
  10. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    Jul 1, 2004
    #11
    But step 2 of the HOWTO link should provide a work around for this in general - basically modifying when and how the USB drivers are loaded, allowing the USB mass-storage driver to be loaded very early on, in time to be used for booting.

    I'll agree with the rest of what you said, though, and most likely, there was some setting that got wiped out with the reformat.

    Anyway, Siberhusky, what I'd recommend that you do is follow the complete directions given on the onmac site, but once you do so, see if you can resize the Win partition to about 1GB or something.
     
  11. Siberhusky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #12
    Thx...

    I will either try that or just punt and use XP internally... As an aside follow-up (I discovered this accidentally):

    I can successfully boot, run and use XP off the external USB, if:

    1) I remove the MAC's internal drive.
    2) I keep the Windows install CD in the CD drive.
    3) I use the USB port closest to me.

    This is what happens: I'm asked to press a key if I want to boot off the CD (I don't), and then Windows is booted off of the external drive. I verified that this seems to be repeatable. I don't pretend to understand it.

    (if I use the USB port near the back, things just continually toggle between asking me if I want to boo off the CD and restarting). I need to re-read things and think about all this.

    thx again.
     
  12. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #13
    This is because, similar to the bootcamp partition as mentioned in my earlier post, the windows cd loads up all the necessary files to allow the external hard drive to boot.
     
  13. Siberhusky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #14
    followup--XP on external USB drive

    Can anyone offer any guidance? I have reviewed every relevant post I could find, and I have tried everything I can imagine. Here's a summary of my recent efforts:

    1. I have tried for at least 2 weeks to load the (ngine-modified) XP on an external USB drive. I have tried both the Mac guide method where you remove the internal drive and put everything on the external drive [mrichmon], and the other method where you leave the internal hard drive in and load a few files on it [Gradenko].
    2. [I can successfully use BootCamp to load XP entirely on my internal drive, but that's not what I'm trying to do.]
    3. When I try the method with the internal drive removed--if I get past the 1st half (text-based) of the install--I get a black screen with an error that says:
    "Error loading operating system."

    4. When I try the method with the internal drive left in... I get a black screen telling me about that missing system32\hal.dll thing. There are 3 files that appear on the internal drive: Boot.ini, NTDETECT.com, and ntldr.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with the hal.dll file, because I tried copying in the copy that worked when I successfully ran XP loaded on the internal drive.

    I reviewed Web posts which referenced the boot.ini file; from what I can tell mine shows rdisk(1)partition(2)?


    I have tried every permutation:
    a. front usb slot, back usb slot.
    b.usb-powered external drive, self-powered usb drive.
    c. NTFS, Fat-32 formatting.
    d. GUID partition, non-GUID partition.
    e. 1 partition, multiple partitions.
    f. Full-format, quick format.
    g. I have reviewed the nGine-modified changes numerous times and I think they are correct.
    h. Any partition I make is less than 30 GB.

    I often get that "Your computers startup program cannot gain access..." message when I try to load the first-half of the install, but if I go back and reformat the drive and fiddle enough I can usually get past it.

    thx...
     

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