Booting windows 7 from external hard drive on mac

Well, unless you're reading this. Also, the actual work is a lot shorter and less intimidating than the look of this article. On the Windows 7 computer, plug the thumbdrive into a USB port, then start the command prompt with administrator rights. This is how:.


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Now that the command prompt has opened, you'll want to use a tool called Diskpart to prepare the thumbdrive by typing in diskpart and then pressing Enter. As Diskpart doesn't see storage devices on your computer as drive letters, but rather as a list of disks, you'll need to identify the thumbdrive. You can do this by typing command list disk then pressing Enter. Now the screen will show a list of storage drives currently connected to the computer, starting with Disk 0. You can easily figure out which one the thumbdrive is by looking at the amount of storage.

A 4GB thumbdrive will show as around MB. For this guide, as seen in the screenshot below, the thumbdrive is Disk 3. Now you want Diskpart to select this drive by typing command select disk 3 then pressing Enter. In case you mistype a command and then will be greeted with an error message , you can always redo it.

Tech Tip: How to Use Boot Camp on an External Drive | Other World Computing Blog

These commands are not case-sensitive. If you have done everything correctly, the command prompt window should be displaying something like this:. Now we'll need to further prepare the thumbdrive by executing another handful of commands, one after the next. Remember to press Enter after each of them. During this time you will see an indicator of the formatting process.

Again, if you have done the steps correctly, the command prompt window will look like the screenshot below. This is because the thumbdrive has just been assigned a drive letter. Without closing the command prompt window, you can open the "Computer" to see what the drive letter of the thumbdrive is. For this guide, the drive letter is H: However, this letter is likely different in other cases, depending on how many storage devices the computer currently has.

We need to make the thumbdrive bootable by transferring boot information over from the Windows 7 installation DVD. Again, for this guide, this is the E: Go Back to the command prompt window if you have closed it by accident, you can redo step 1 to open it again , execute the following commands:. Again e: Copy the entire contents of the Windows 7 installation DVD onto the thumbdrive by selecting all items in the E: This will take another 5 or 10 minutes depending on how fast your DVD and the thumbdrive are.

After that, the thumbdrive can now be used to install the OS onto any PCs. Make sure you change the boot priority to boot from an USB device first. With some systems, you can temporarily force the computer to display the boot menu by pressing one of the F keys, such as F12, during the BIOS message. Recommended for gamers.

Your Mac comes with Boot Camp, which makes it easy to dual boot Windows. Windows drivers for your Mac will be downloaded, a partition will be created on your hard drive and a good chunk of the Windows installation will finish before you even restart your Mac.

If Windows 8 has captured your interest, why not take it for a test Slightly more difficult method that requires access to a PC running Windows to set up. Worse performance than Boot Camp, but better than most virtual machines. You can use this disk on any Mac, and all of your installed Windows programs will come with you. The catch? I used an old external hard drive, but if you have access to a flash drive bigger than 32 GB it should work.

USB 3.

Before you begin

This will format the drive, but is necessary in order to create a drive that will boot on your Mac or any UEFI-compatible device. Next, create an NTFS partition for the remaining space — this is where Windows itself will be installed. Assign the Boot and System partitions you created earlier. You should see your USB drive as an bootable option — click it to continue, and Windows will start though it may restart once or twice to complete the installation process. Reboot into Windows, then run the installer. A huge advantage of this set up is you can run the same instance of Windows on any Mac, and all your programs will come with you.

Built specifically with Macs in mind. Recommended for anyone who needs to run a few specific Windows programs from time to time. Setting up virtual machines can be a complicated process, but Parallels makes it simple. Just point the program to your Windows install disk, configure a few settings and the rest is taken care of. Parallels also offers a lot of great Mac-specific tricks, like support in Windows for your favourite Mac keyboard shortcuts, and letting you create a virtual machine of your Boot Camp partition in just a few clicks meaning you can run the same instance of Windows as a virtual machines or on its own.

This cross-platform program is short on Mac-specific features. User's Guide With VirtualBox you can easily install and test multiple operating systems. We'll show you how to set up Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux as a virtual machine. Read More , so check that out if you want to learn how to use this powerful software. As for Mac-specific features? But some things, like copy-pasting between programs, work great. These four methods are, to me, the best ways to get Windows running on your Mac.

Which to use probably depends on your situation, but they should cover most common usage scenarios. There is also a step-by-step guide on how to install Windows 10 on your Mac that you can follow. Of course, I could be wrong — which is why I love our readers. They point out things I miss. If you can think of something, let me know in the comments below. Looking forward to it! Explore more about: Your email address will not be published.

I want to do something a little bit different. I need the machine - not the OS. However, now that the OS is trying to install the Fall Creators Update, it's telling me that since I'm using a virtual drive I can't install any updates.

Macbook Tip: How to Install and Run Windows on an external USB Drive - Windows To Go

Is that true? Any workaround? Obviously, I'd love to be able to keep the system up to date. I'm going through 2 option and I've Windows installation screen where you have to choose your location. But the keyboard does not work. So I cannot proceed. I have bootcamp drivers on separate USB, but there's no use of them. Thank you for the instructions. I have a question but I could not find answer of this. My question is I want on mac to view and use mac partitions same windows partitian. Is that possible if yes then how? Through gparted software or need to create parations in DOS mode before installation.

2. Boot Windows On Your Mac From An External Hard Drive

I have done this in Linux. I am sure there must be also a solution for mac.


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  • I really appreciate if you please help me with the instructions and screens hots. Please let me know by email there are too many comments it is hard to track your reply Hi, completed method No. Mac pro accepted all windows hardware which I tested. Then I swapped HP m to macbook pro and it was booting working fine as windows 10 pc.

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    This might be best solution to make gaming mac. So it seems like I've found a way to run Windows I think I've also found a way to run Windows 7, which is what I prefer. XP runs just as fast as it does in native mode on my Lenovo ThinkPad and certainly looks a lot better. External devices like my USB-Serial converter work perfectly. My only concern is why Oracle are still giving away such a superb application free of charge.

    How long can this last? I did however, have to open the windows ISO and find the install.

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    Install Win 7 on MacBook Air from a USB drive

    You just open it with WinRAR and go to sources and find the install. Then install on your USB and wait. Btw I'm using Windows 10, not 8. I am trying 2, on a gb external USB 3. Following the instructions above, all the initial setup steps worked. When I boot into Windows for the first time to finish the set up, I get the initial couple setup screens timezones, privacy settings , then after a minute or two of the Just a Moment To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation.

    Once, I got past the above error but got this instead "The User Profile Service service failed the sign-in.