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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 09, 2007
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    Bootcamp on External Hard Drive
    hi there


    i have been considering installing windows on my imac for some time now. however with the amount of data that my media course takes up i do not not have enough room to even begin to consider installing windows on my mac

    then a thought ocured to me. if i were to use an external hard drive with either firewire or usb and install windows onto the external via bootcamp would that actually work.

    i know that it would be a lot slower than an internal, i understand that. but is there any other problems that i would encounter trying to do such a thing? and would it even work?

    please help

  2. #2

    Kash's Avatar
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    External drives are not an option when setting up Boot Camp.

    However, you can have Parallels or VMWare virtual drives on external hard drives.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  3. #3

    smartyMAC's Avatar
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    You can also boot OS from external drives directly. Booting windows from external drive is little tricky but linux and mac can be booted from external drives easily.
    + Tri-BOOT MB +
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  4. #4


    Member Since
    Feb 26, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kash View Post
    However, you can have Parallels or VMWare virtual drives on external hard drives.
    Yep, I have tried to run Parallels from external HDD.. Works!

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Apr 14, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartyMAC View Post
    You can also boot OS from external drives directly. Booting windows from external drive is little tricky but linux and mac can be booted from external drives easily.
    how do you install on external drive?
    can imac run xp home sp2?
    can i install an oem version?

  6. #6

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    1. have not done it on my mac - actually, since this is my first notebook, have never done it on any machine - have 4 internal drives in my current desktop - never saw the need for an external drive before
    2. yes
    3. if it is a MS OEM disk - yes ... as long as you're not using it on another machine. If it is a Dell or other branded OEM restore disk - no.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Apr 14, 2008
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    hey, thanks bobtomay.
    i should be able to install without boot camp, right?
    i wanted to install on the ext. drive because i am concerned about all the viruses associated with windows. i bought kapersky's 7.0 to go with the windows install but i didnt want to sacrifice my mac hd.

  8. #8

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    I do not personally recall anyone having success installing to and booting Windows from an external drive on their Mac. And have no clue if it will work.

    What is the concern? Even if you pick up a hundred viruses in the Win partition on your Mac, they still don't affect the OS X partition. They all require Windows to run. When you're booted in OS X, they will not work.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  9. #9

    Kash's Avatar
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    Boot Camp simply does not offer external drives as an option when choosing which drive to install Windows on. I also don't think Windows itself will install on an external drive as it will demand to be installed on a system drive.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  10. #10

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kash View Post
    Boot Camp simply does not offer external drives as an option when choosing which drive to install Windows on. I also don't think Windows itself will install on an external drive as it will demand to be installed on a system drive.
    Correct, Windows itself is not designed to be installed on an external hard drive, period. The relationship between the MBR and BIOS simply does not allow for this currently. That said, as PCs evolve into using EFI (eventually) as a replacement for BIOS, this may change with time.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Apr 14, 2008
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    i also have fusion here but have not installed anything yet. if i make a vm running win xp inside my mac os without a partition is the mac hd susceptible to viruses? the main reason for wanting external drive was to not insult my mac os with ms! also considered running windows native and through fusion for online and offline work.

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Apr 26, 2008
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    1
    You can, but it takes some extra effort
    A quick google search turned up these step-by-step instructions:
    Booting Windows XP From An External Drive

    Not exactly the most straight forward procedure.

    -------
    Here's some different instructions:
    How to run boot camp on a external hard drive

    (Google is your friend.)

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