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Michael

Booting a Windows 8 external drive on mac

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As some of you might know, i've got rid of all my alienwares (m18x and m11x) and instead ordered the latest MBP 15".

I know i can install windows on it using bootcamp, but that's not what i am looking for.

I pulled the windows 8 SSD i had in my m11x and would really like it if i could just boot from it on the mac so i don't have to reinstall all my work environment (DB, Visual Studio, tons of IBM stuff => abour 3-4 full days of work).

I've got a e-sata enclosure i could use to connect it to my mac.

Hope that's possible guys.

@Tech Inferno Fan - i believe you can help me out here :)

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Wouldn't it be much slower using an OS from an external drive?

Btw, grats on the Mac! :) RIP Alienware.

Silly me, I assumed there's a esata port :-) If I can somehow connect it via e-sata I don't see why. But connecting as esata isn't an easy task too. I see some adapters, but not sure which would be my best option.

Tapatalkin'

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Thunderbolt port is supposed to be fast. Maybe thunderbolt enclosure (if such thing exists) or Thunderbolt -> eSATA.

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Thunderbolt port is supposed to be fast. Maybe thunderbolt enclosure (if such thing exists) or Thunderbolt -> eSATA.

Yeah i see some solutions by owc and sonnet. Problem is I am not sure I'll be able to boot from it.

Tapatalkin'

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@Michael, here's the limits you have with your Haswell 15" MBP:

- MBPs only have USB 2.0/3.0. No e-sata.

- The Samsung SSD in the latest 13" and 15" MBP is a pcie x2 2.0 NGFF M.2 but the SSD itself has a pci-e to SATA controller on it. So you can't put any other SSD into it, even if they are NGFF M.2 format (since the PC world is using sata ones). NGFF M.2 lacks standardisation there.

- It has a Thunderbolt2 controller on it but the Thunderbolt enclosures are pricey. Cheapest is an OWC Helios which is around $320. It's expecting a pcie card in it too, not a SATA SSD.

- Apple doesn't provide recovery media. SO if experimentation goes wrong you need to go to their shop, wait a couple of hours for them to do a factory rebuild.

Was your old SSD using GPT or MBR? Neither is really a problem as Macs can boot either.

I'd proceed with bootcamping the thing to at least get a working BIOS/MBR partition made. Apple uses GPT partition but uses a hybrid method to create MBR style partitions.

Then boot Linux USB with your old SSD attached via USB enclosure and use the 'ntfsclone' command to clone your old partition over to the bootcamp created one. ntfsclone needs the destination partition to be same size or greater than the original so you may need to defrag and shrink the partition on your 'old SSD'.

If you had a recovery partition host the BCD then it will boot OK but might need some registry mountpoints corrected for (mounteddevices key). If you have BCD on same partition then make a copy of the original bootcamp ones that you can copy over after the ntfscloning.

I'm a fan of the 15" MBP and would love one except the thing is way too expensive. I hope you got the Iris Pro only model (not NVidia) one. Apple firmware enables the NVidia dGPU always in Windows with no way of switching the iGPU on. Means battery life takes a big dive under Windows. The Iris Pro one is a good eGPU candidate since need an iGPU to use NVidia Optimus or LucidLogix Virtu to drive the internal LCD using the eGPU. The Iris Pro model and NVidia models cost exactly the same when specced equally.

Good luck!

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Hum.. I did get the nvidia version but wasn't planning on any eGPU implementation. So you're saying it's out of the window with nvidia?

Also, from your response I understand there isn't really a way to boot the ssd I have right now directly.

In that case I'll just install windows alongside macos and reinstall my work environment. Seems like quite a lot of work to make an external storage boot able.

Tapatalkin'

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FYI, you don't need recovery media for a Mac. If you screw up or delete the main Macintosh partition (guess how I know that :P ) it will boot into the recovery mode with WiFi drivers enabled (yeah) and you can just download the latest OSX from their website from there. Unlike some other Win8 laptops where you're pretty much screwed without recovery media (HP Envy crap for example). Also the OS install on their PCI-e SSD is very fast and there is simply just one update to install to have the latest OS.

EDIT:

I think also nando is correct regarding Thunderbolt. You seem to need a hub to use eSATA drivers on the Thunderbolt, like this one here:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/H8875ZM/A/lacie-esata-hub-thunderbolt-series

in the ~$200 range (even if less than $320 its still pricey).

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Hum.. I did get the nvidia version but wasn't planning on any eGPU implementation. So you're saying it's out of the window with nvidia?

You can do a eGPU implementation on your Mac but it's limited to attaching an external LCD to the eGPU. Your drawback is that to drive the internal LCD requires a iGPU, something that isn't active in the Windows environment. With an iGPU present rendering can be done by the eGPU and then displayed to the internal LCD (via iGPU) using NVidia Optimus (NVidia eGPU) or LucidLogix Virtu (AMD). Same issue presents itself if wanting to maximize battery life under Windows.

We are hopeful Silverstone will release their T004 (~$250, 450W, full width/length) Thunderbolt enclosure. Without it, Thunderbolt 2 eGPUs are pretty much priced out of becoming a practical reality.

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FYI, you don't need recovery media for a Mac. If you screw up or delete the main Macintosh partition (guess how I know that :P ) it will boot into the recovery mode with WiFi drivers enabled (yeah) and you can just download the latest OSX from their website from there. Unlike some other Win8 laptops where you're pretty much screwed without recovery media (HP Envy crap for example). Also the OS install on their PCI-e SSD is very fast and there is simply just one update to install to have the latest OS.

EDIT:

I think also nando is correct regarding Thunderbolt. You seem to need a hub to use eSATA drivers on the Thunderbolt, like this one here:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/H8875ZM/A/lacie-esata-hub-thunderbolt-series

in the ~$200 range (even if less than $320 its still pricey).

How did u screw your Mac hahaha?

Regarding booting my current ssd I am giving up, it's seems like too much work tbh :-)

Hopefully I'll get used to the new os fast.

@Tech Inferno Fan thanks for your explanation!

Detailed and to the point as always!

Tapatalkin'

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I wanted to install an older version of the Mac OSX since I thought the new one was doing something to reduce the battery life (I eventually figured it had something to do with new OSX memory management that I disabled). The problem was finding the proper older version that's not cracked/modded/whatever as I ended up downloading it from torrents. Eventually I just made backups of both old and new images so now I can restore this using a little USB hard drive I have connected to my network router. :)

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like windows 7 I'm sure you can't just install it to an external hdd here is some infer tho that may be of use .....but i think you will need a pc as well to do it How to Create a Windows To Go USB Drive

i would just install via bootcamp myself and i wouldn't use 8 but stick with 7

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