Vista/XP on an external HDD

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Hi - I have not yet made the switch to Mac (still saving) but I should hopefully get some Apple kit next month.

I need to have a windows machine for work stuff (I have to run visual studio and some graphics intense apps that are windows only). Can I configure Bootcamp to install Vista Ultimate and/or XP Pro on an external HDD (most likely connected by Firewire 800 or USB 2)?

As well as using Bootcamp I want to use Parallels to open up my Bootcamp partition every now and again for quick changes, would this work?
 
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Hi - I have not yet made the switch to Mac (still saving) but I should hopefully get some Apple kit next month.

I need to have a windows machine for work stuff (I have to run visual studio and some graphics intense apps that are windows only). Can I configure Bootcamp to install Vista Ultimate and/or XP Pro on an external HDD (most likely connected by Firewire 800 or USB 2)?

As well as using Bootcamp I want to use Parallels to open up my Bootcamp partition every now and again for quick changes, would this work?

No, unfortunately.

Windows with Bootcamp behaves almost identically to Windows in any other computer. It is limited to booting from the hard disk the same way as it would be on any other PC.

You choose which OS to boot at startup. It won't let you do it with an external drive.

You can use Parallels and bootcamp together. I do. The bootcamp partition is actually available to OSX as well , as read only.
 
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The bootcamp partition is actually available to OSX as well , as read only.

But you can drag and drop files between Windows and OS X through Parallels now.
 

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