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Techno-babble of a Techno-dabbler

Install Windows to a Macintosh USB drive (without Bootcamp).

The Motivation

OSX can do everything I want from day to day, but occasionally I want to play some San Andreas. Bootcamp and Windows should have had me playing Windows games on the Mac. Sadly, Bootcamp refused to partition my internal disk so I was stuck with no Windows and no San Andreas.

A ray of hope was the idea of installing Windows onto a blank external disk. Windows is not supposed to run from an external disk but it has been done before. The brave souls who made this work in the past still needed to re-partition their disk with Bootcamp though, something that wasn’t an option for me.

It turns out that it is possible to install Windows to a USB disk without using Bootcamp at all. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • An Intel Macintosh – This procedure was tested on a first generation MacBook.
  • A USB2 hard drive – I used a Welland “Sun Bright” chassis with a Samsung IDE disk inside.
  • rEFIt – A boot manager for EFI computers (like Intel Macs).
  • A Windows XP install CD (SP1 or higher).
  • A tool for extracting and editing ISO images. I used MagicISO (a commercial Windows application sadly).
  • The Microsoft CAB SDK.

Procedure

This is the process I used. Step two is a pretty complex sub-procedure. It was produced by some serious Windows Wizards and is the core of what we are doing here. The rest is easy, these guys are good.

  1. Install rEFIt.
  2. Create a modified Windows XP install CD with support for USB installation. This is a long procedure. Follow the link, complete steps 1-9, then come back here.
  3. Power off.
  4. Disconnect your internal hard drive. For a MacBook, use this guide.
  5. Start your Mac, holding “c” to boot from the XP install disc.
  6. Step through the Windows text-mode installer until your system reboots.
  7. Power off.
  8. Replace your internal drive.
  9. Power on.
  10. Tell rEFIt to boot Windows from the USB drive.
  11. Follow the Windows graphical installer. Answer yes to any questions about unsigned drivers. The system will reboot again
  12. Tell rEFIt to boot Windows from the USB drive.

Now you are running Windows from the USB drive.

Macintosh Drivers (and the USB trap)

At this point, I must confess that I cheated. I did install the Bootcamp drivers into my XP install and I believe there is a serious trap here. The Bootcamp driver set contains drivers for the Intel USB controller, which it naturally tries to install. It pops up an uncertified driver warning before installing them. I told it not to install the USB drivers, since the entire operating system was hanging off that device. Replacing the drivers at that point seemed like a very bad idea to me.

154 responses to “Install Windows to a Macintosh USB drive (without Bootcamp).

  1. Adam December 22, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks for the guide. However, what’s the use of disconnecting the internal hdd?

  2. jarpy December 26, 2006 at 9:39 am

    The general wisdom around was that the Windows installer could become confused if the internal disk was also connected. I didn’t attempt the procedure without removing the internal drive, for fear of corrupting my OSX install. If anyone would like to attempt this procedure without removing the internal that would be great. Post your experience here and I’ll update the guide.

  3. Grant Byrne December 26, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    I just finished installing windows on my external hard drive. First off, excellent guide. I would have never thought to look for an alternative bootloader.

    I did try to install windows with the hard drive installed in the Macbook. Unfortunately, the Windows install stopped me at the formating step. I’m guessing, since the laptop drive is the primary drive, installing windows on the laptop drive would have forced the windows installer to try to write to the mbr of the laptop drive. This is more or less an educated guess, so take it with a grain of salt.

    All in all, it wasn’t that hard to modify the Windows install disk. I’m surprised there are a whole bunch of modified versions floating around the torrent trackers.

  4. Pingback: Install Windows to a Macintosh USB drive (without Bootcamp). « Universe_JDJ’s News Blog

  5. flowolf December 27, 2006 at 11:40 am

    Another idea:
    1) install refit
    2) boot a Linux livecd
    3) install vmware or qemu on it
    4) install windows xp on a virtual machine using the entire external drive
    5) close the vm, reboot and start windows using refit

    bye.

  6. Pingback: Instalar Windows en un disco externo : planetamac

  7. Max Rubin December 27, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    About time someone figured this out .

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  10. kwanbis December 28, 2006 at 12:22 am

    you can use WinRAR to open the ISO, and while shareware, you have 30 days trial.

  11. Russell December 28, 2006 at 5:13 am

    I know a lot of people have been having problems doing a partition on their internal drive. My boyfriend had this same problem; it claimed it couldn’t move files. He downloaded a disk defragger (yep, who knew Macs needed one?) and defragmented the disk. I think iDefrag or something along those lines. Apparently it worked, and he was able to install Boot Camp. Something to consider. But otherwise, this looks like a great alternative!

    • sabeto November 15, 2009 at 8:45 pm

      Es Mac eso no se hace así se hace una imagen en un disco del Mac externo con la utilidad de discos, luego se arranca desde ella y se restaura en el HD formateando la unidad con registro

  12. savvas December 28, 2006 at 9:39 am

    Thanks for the guide but i have a problem. When I ‘m trying to boot through cd nothing happens and when i insert the cd when OS X is running I get this message “the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer” , have you any idea of what happens? Thanks!

    P.s when i’m trying to boot through the normal (not changed) win xp sp1 cd it’s boots normally

  13. savvas December 28, 2006 at 10:14 am

    ok i finally manage to boot from the cd, the problem was with nero burnirn rom, when I burned again the cd using burnatonce everything works perfect! thanks! Now the only problem is with my external storage device :P

  14. Jim Ramsay December 28, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    http://forum.onmac.net/showthread.php?t=1381&highlight=howto

    ^^^^^
    this guy had problems with virtual memory using this method. did you fix it?

  15. jarpy December 28, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    No. My install still complains that it has no swap file. Sorry.

  16. Rick December 29, 2006 at 12:56 am

    This looks great, but how about making bootcamp work on a Firewire 800 external drive? I’ve got this beautiful Lacie drive sitting on my desk, housing the virtual disks for Parallels and Fusion. I’d love to see the performance gains of using BootCamp instead. The bandwidth increase of going with FW800 can only be a good thing.

    So I’m wondering if it is even possible to boot from a FW800 device.

  17. Pingback: PigPaper! » Blog Archive » Windows su Mac tramite HardDisk USB

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  20. Chris December 30, 2006 at 5:42 am

    I guess it would not be a good idea to do this with a intel iMac? Since it might be a bit difficult to disconnect the internal HD from a intel iMac.

    Also, just wondering, why isn’t their anything for step 10?

  21. jarpy December 30, 2006 at 8:58 am

    Thanks for the feedback Chris, I had a bad HTML tag in my list of steps.

    This guide shows how to remove the drive from an Intel iMac. I must say it looks fairly nasty, and would void warranty. It’s entirely up to you whether it’s worth it.

  22. Chris December 31, 2006 at 8:12 am

    Ah, I figured that it might be rather nasty to open up a intel iMac and remove it’s HD. I don’t really feel like opening up my precious baby. :p

    Thanks for the link anyways!

  23. Nate January 1, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for this guide! It took me about 8 hours, but I finally have a MacBook booting Windows XP from a USB disk without repartitioning anything on my internal drive!

    A couple notes from my experience:
    a) I was able to use a 14-day trial of a program, “Active ISO File Manager” from download.com to extract and recreate the ISO image of the windows install cd, inside of Parallels WinXP virtual environment. Then I dragged the ISO image to the mac side and used Toast to burn the CD. Worked great, was free, and didn’t require me to find a PC!

    b) The 2nd part of the windows install seemed to get hung up about 2/3rds of the way through “installing devices” or something similar, and I had to power off the computer. I had reinstalled my internal hard drive, as per the directions, but since I was booting rEFIt from a CD, I was able to remove the internal drive again, and the installation/configuration started up where it left off and finished successfully then.

    c) Since my internal drive had two partitions already, Apple’s Boot Camp Assistant wouldn’t run, but you can right-click and show the package contents of the program and then find the disk-image of the driver cd inside the “Contents/Resources” folder. Use toast or disk utility to burn the CD.

    Like the author, I cancelled the install of any of the drivers that mentioned USB, but everytime I start windows now, the new hardware wizard finds a “USB Composite device” and asks if I want to find and install the drivers. Since everything works for my purposes, I decline, but I’d like to know if anyone else has had the same thing happen, or tried to let the install complete.

  24. Ross January 2, 2007 at 6:51 am

    So I tried every step in the guide, even double checked editing the XP cd, but even though the initial set up works, step 6, XP will give me a blue screen saying it encountered an error and can’t continue when I plug the internal drive back in and boot up to the USB. does anyone have any idea what could be wrong? It sounds like it’s something with xp, as refit will boot it fine, but it crashes once the xp logo comes on. Thanks in advance.

  25. Nate January 2, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Ross- I had problems getting the install to finish with my internal drive plugged in. I used a firewire connected DVD burner to hold the rEFIt boot CD, and my internal MacBook DVD drive to have the windows install CD, so I was able to boot into Windows through rEFIt without my internal hard drive connected.

  26. Rick January 2, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Toby, THANK YOU!

    This works AWESOME! I have now regained 20 gigs off my Mac Book and 80 gigs off my MacIntel 20, and I can tote the same bootable XP disk around and not have to worry about getting my XP files out of sync.

    I first tried the entire method at http://www.ngine.de/index.jsp?pageid=4176 but that failed.

    Your combo worked like a charm. Gotta follow it to the letter, folks!

    rEFIt is a slick piece of software, nicer, better than BootCamp. I think Apple should license/buy it and replace the BootCamp bootloader with it.

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  28. greenhornet January 4, 2007 at 2:25 am

    Followed everything to the letter. The install went great but after the Windows installer rebooted I got an error message that told me Windows could not boot to the drive and to make sure my firmware is current (there is not a firmware update for the MBP core 2s). Crap.

  29. Rick January 4, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    greenhornet:

    My guess only, but if Windows is telling you to make sure your firmware is current, it’s not referring to any Mac firmware update. How newish is your USB drive? Was your Windows XP install disk SP1 or 2? Mine was SP2. Might make a difference, as even Apple’s Boot Camp isn’t “supported” to install anything other than a SP2-level CD.

    Nate:

    I let the “USB Composite” install(s) complete with no issues (I declined on the “Intel USB” installs, though). I believe the USB Composite devices are things like mice, trackballs, keyboards, USB hubs (even ones inside the keyboad, for ex., if your keyboard has add’l USB ports on it).

    EVERYBODY:

    This should make your life a LOT simpler. The instructions on the ngine.de site are pretty sparse when it comes to the cab SDK part (“cabarc”) commands.

    I myself am very allergic to command line interfaces, and can’t navigate around them for doo doo.
    However, the SDK contains 3 .exe files that allow you, if you locate them *in the same file folder” that you place the

    USBBOOT.INF, DOSNET.INF, TXTSETUP.SIF, USB.IN_, USBPORT.IN_, USBSTOR.IN_

    files in, to just drag and drop those files on the .exe apps and BADOING!

    You’ve either extracted or archived the cabinet files. No command line wizardry necessary. Duzzat help anyone?

    To reiterate, I now have the *same XP external disk* that runs on my Intel chipped MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac 20″, and iMac 17″. If I’m not following the letter of the law with Microsoft, I’m sure a lot closer to the spirit, since I am only running it (and only CAN run it) on one machine at a time.

    How do I get away with Windows not asking me to re-activate when it recognizes the different hardware? Dunno. Might have something to do with the anti-wpa hack I installed to get it off my back every time I tooled around trying to install it in BootCamp, Parallels, or VMWare Fusion.

  30. Pingback: Instalar Windows en Disco Duro externo USB. « Apple Weblog Perú

  31. Sir Mick January 12, 2007 at 6:20 am

    Working nicely on my MacBook! Now how about Vista Build 6000?

    –Mick

  32. Andrea January 13, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Hi,

    I tried 2 times the procedure for creating the cd but It doesn’t boot. I changed the boot options (CDROM first boot) in the BIOS I saved and restarted the PC, I puted the mod windows xp SP2 in the CDROM but it said that it’s not a system cd and it won’t boot.
    Could you help me to solve this problem?

    Thank you

    Andrea

  33. jarpy January 15, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    I had a couple of failed attempts at making a working CD myself. One thing that helped a lot was testing the bootable ISO image in a virtual machine. You can tell a Parallels or VMWare virtual machine to boot from the ISO without even burning it to physical media. Doing this really shortens your edit/test cycle.

    You can get a beta versions of VMWare Fusion which will let you do this.

  34. Andrea January 17, 2007 at 9:11 am

    Thank you Jarpy.

    is there any body here had the same problem? Is there someone can answer why it happen?

    Andrea

  35. Jonas January 18, 2007 at 6:13 am

    hey, so, i’ve tried this twice now, and each time i get to the point where the text installation reboots my system, following which i follow the steps and power down and put my internal back in. after this, though, when i try using rEFIt to boot windows from the USB, i get a blank screen with just a flashing text cursor and nothing else. any ideas on how to fix this/why it’s happening?

    thanks a lot!

  36. cK January 20, 2007 at 5:48 am

    Making the hacked boot disc of win xp is really cumbersome. Why not someone who has made it successfully upload those files on some filesharing site. Only those few edited files are sufficient. Or even better, one may upload the edited iso.

    cK.

  37. Andrea January 20, 2007 at 8:41 am

    Ok,

    I don’t understand why the guide or who created a successful copy of the MOD windows didn’t say that you must create a bootable cd!!!???

  38. EkDor January 22, 2007 at 1:36 am

    great article, I wonder if something long this line will be created for the iPhone… Hmmm

    Now for the reason I post.

    I followed the procedure. I first used bootcamp to create a PC which I used to modify the Windows installer CD. Then installed as per instruction with one exception. I didn’t disconnect the internal disk. I’m using a MacBook Pro, dual 2 core and couldn’t see an easy way to get to the disk. I didn’t really want to either, it’s still pretty new and under a warranty I want to keep intact.

    Any way the install didn’t damage the OSX installation on the internal. Since no one clearly stated this and the question was asked. For me it didn’t get “Confused”…

    During the installation I got the USB messages which I clicked “Yes” to each of since the other site with the CD modification instructions said to.

    However I’ve just hit the firmware issue. Which is why I’m back here now.

    Hmm hope there is a clear solution to this.

    Thanks yeall…

  39. EkDor January 22, 2007 at 3:50 am

    Hmm I must correct myself here. As it turns out I was mistake. I’ll tell it as it happened.

    First i went searching for Firmware for the drive. Finding what I thought was my best shot I put the firmware onto a USB stick to move it over to the PC side.

    Rebooted, with the intention of starting up off the Windows on the boot camp version and installing the firmware onto the external from there. But was suddenly confronted with many windows options. Confusion set in while trying to work out which one was the one I wanted. Something that could be clarified I think.

    So I found myself looking at firmware message again. Quickly realising I had to remove unnecessary options I removed the USB stick and the external drive and rebooted.

    What happened next stunned me..! I got the firmware message again… But wait I was booting from the boot camp version on the internal partition. So, naturally I reattached the external drive and rebooted. Now realising the small drive icons was a unclear way to identify the two Windows OS’ apart I booted from the external and all was well in the world of nod.

    So it seems the process had effected the internal partition version of Windows but not the OSX partition.

    So going through the final setup phase of the install. E.g. the welcome to, do you want to register now garbage and the immediate need to make the bare essentials work, something OSX doesn’t put you through. I decided to run the boot camp drivers CD and for everyone’s experience I installed all drivers including all the USB ones. Everything seems ok.

    There is one problem though and I do believe this is unrelated to the USB drivers. But the keyboard and track-pad have no effect on windows. I noticed this right back at the start. I’m unsure exactly when this happened because I created the new Windows installer CD with the keyboard and USB mouse, but had noticed that my startup of that OS was a bit wonky and the keyboard didn’t kick in until after startup. But the USB drive windows doesn’t seem to allow use of the keyboard at all. Will try removing the boot camp partition and see if things clear up a bit.

    Otherwise the USB partition has worked fine. Forgive any crooked word craft as the hours are wee…

  40. EkDor January 22, 2007 at 4:55 am

    Well it seems the USB windows was dependant on the internal partition. Which would explain why that version of windows failed after the new os was installed. How ever the removal of that partition rendered the USB windows inoperable. A situation I was assuming this process of modifying the installer CD would get around.

    I have whipped all versions of windows and removed the partition from the internal disk and now the modified installer CD refuses to install on the USB disk. It tells me it requires some files to be placed onto the internal disk.

    Perhaps I failed in my modifications but I doubt it as the effects of getting one of the many modifications wrong would be less specific. Also I was very careful to make each change carefully and to the letter. The only two things I didn’t follow to the letter were the removal of the internal disk and the installation of the USB drivers. The later being mute leaves the first option. But the message is specific which leaves me in doubt to it installing correctly if there was no internal drive. And if that was the case the whole modification of the installer CD would be pointless.?

    Yet I read that others have had it working. I wonder how… I must rest from this torment. Why one should toil so hard for such half hearted OS as windows I don’t know. Might just settle for the internal partition.

  41. EkDor January 22, 2007 at 5:11 am

    Ok I couldn’t leave well enough alone!

    I read the “OnMac” article and see that I had in the end just followed their instructions. So the difference between that one and this one is the removal of the internal HD. Which seems odd to me… But then Windows never made sense to me.

    So I guess I have to consider the dilemma of disconnecting the internal drive. Wish there was a way I could just disable it or have it un-mount prior to the Windows installer getting to it. If, for example, rEFIt could mount and un-mount drives.

    Now there’s a thought…

  42. Andrea January 22, 2007 at 8:27 am

    You can always install it in a PC and then use it with your mac without disconnect your internal drive. If you don’t have a PC you can ask to a friend or neighbor :)

  43. EkDor January 22, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Andrea, do you mean to put the USB’s drive into the PC as an internal drive, install windows on it, with the modified installer CD then transfer the drive back into the USB?

    Well considering that it seems to work ok without the internal in the mac I guess it could work. No PC available. I used to have a PC laptop. But just got rid of it last week. Don’t think I’ll be asking neighbours.

    I’m wondering about using a VM to use the external HD as it’s C: drive. Not sure how that would work though. All the ones I’ve seen only offer the os being installed within an image file. But one post above seems to indicate this as an option.

  44. Pingback: Bugga.NET » Blog Archive » Install Windows to a Macintosh USB drive (without Bootcamp). « Tube Shards

  45. EkDor January 26, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    OK a couple of days experimenting at home and at work (in the ICT) have yielded no results.

    I’m sure that I created the installer CD correctly.

    1. The installer wont install onto the HD while it’s in the external case despite there being no drive in the PC I used. Possibly because that PC didn’t support legacy.

    2. The installer ran through ok with the drive put into the PC. No other HD in the PC.

    3. The PC (different one) would only partially startup off the HD while in the external case and then go into a never ending loop. Yes Legacy was active and the other BIOS settings I’m sure were conducive to the task.

    4. The Mac just comes up with the legacy shell/terminal (or what ever it is) with a list of errors.

    I’ve decided to throw in the towel.

    Cheers

  46. Andrea January 27, 2007 at 9:26 am

    ehh PC, PC!!!

    What can I say, shit is and shiit will be!

  47. Penn January 31, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    ok so i have a weird problem..i know my usb bootable cd works since i used it in bootcamp…but when i got o install it with this method i cant get the partition to format correctly…all i get is [NEW (RAW)] and it gives me a really long error message…any thoughts?

  48. hadron February 2, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    This is great. Portable dual-booting!

    Since I’m not too keen on disconnecting the drive on my MBP, I plan to do the USB install on a Win desktop machine. Can I do this with any PC (I assume so) or does it have to be an EFI PC?

    Also I wonder if anyone here who has had success with this would be up to sharing the cd image? That would be most generous. I guess one could just call it ‘Usb camp’ not to draw attention, lol

  49. massimo February 11, 2007 at 1:52 am

    HI,
    sorry for the OT question,
    but i’m interesting to install a linux distro (fedora6)
    on an external firewire HD.
    i’m on a macbook pro c2d have you any suggestion about ?

  50. Raigo February 12, 2007 at 4:24 am

    I have MBP C2D, chatome OT 21 external USB2 HDD box and no success with installation.

    I installed rEFIt, created modified XP(SP2) installation CD, removed internal HDD.
    I managed to boot from cd, format and copy the installation files to external hdd.

    This is as far as I can get with the installation. Problem is: my Mac isn’t booting from external drive. Refit throws “Legacy Booting: Not Found Error”

    Installation CD is working just fine, because I tried the same thing with a Dell laptop and it had no problem booting from external usb drive (the same one I am using with my MBP).

    I’ve been google’ing for two days now and some sources say that it might be a firmware issue with mac itself. Sadly, there is no firmware update available. I already have the latest version.

    Any help?

  51. Rknight February 18, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    I am having the same problem with my MBP C2D as well. It seems to be a combination of the MBP C2D’s firmware and rEFIt. I have read a few people having the same problem with similar machines, (this doesn’t seem to be an issue for other Macs). From my personal experience with this and what I’ve been researching, a firmware update wont be the fix, but more likely an update to rEFIt (but I could be wrong).

    There was a similar problem with the MacPro with rEFIt 0.7, but the creator released 0.8 and it fixed it. I’m thinking we need to be hoping for rEFIt 0.9 but I see no signs of that is in the works unfortunately (I really hope I’m wrong).

  52. EkDor February 18, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Yea the MBP C2D is my setup and as said (perhaps in gibberish)I have the same outcome.

    Cheers

  53. Rknight February 19, 2007 at 6:55 am

    Interestingly enough, I decided to connect the windows drive though firewire to test an idea I had. And it turns out I was correct, rEFIt had no problem again seeing the Windows drive (now on firewire) and when I chose it, it started to load windows, but then I was at a DOS screen telling me it could not find a bootable drive.

    Now that is because its on firewire, and Windows can not boot to firewire, but what that told me is that the drive started to boot, meaning rEFIt did its job. So this just confirms what we already know, that this issue is related to USB, firmware on the MBP C2D and rEFIt. But at least it lessens the chances its something else.

    Just thought I’d share my findings.

  54. nickbit February 23, 2007 at 2:40 am

    Excellent post!
    I have Windows XP installed in my external USB drive. A small 5Gb partition resides in my internal drive containing the USB drivers (Bootcamp).
    But how can I boot Parallels Desktop with the same configuration?
    Anyone tried it?

    Thanks,
    Nikos

  55. Beppe March 8, 2007 at 4:51 am

    would like to know if someone tested the solution by flowolf.
    Moreover would like to know if this tutorial can be used on a partitioned usb disk.

    Thank everybody

  56. paoloITALIAN March 18, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Excuse me.
    I’ve just seen your guide.
    My question is: for the 2nd point of procedure, I must have an other pc with win xp, no?

  57. paoloITALIAN March 21, 2007 at 6:16 am

    (per evitare fraintendimenti dovuti al mio inglese stentato, ho deciso di scrivere in italiano)

    Ho seguito la guida passo a passo ma ho un problema:
    Ho installato xp in una partizione NTFS sul mio hd esterno: quindi ho 2 partizioni: 1 da 40 gb nominata osx, dove tengo i file di backup; l’altra è la NTFS.

    Mi è andato bene fino al punto 9, ma al punto 10 ho un problema:
    dopo l’installer testuale, ho spento il mac e ho ricollegato l’hd interno, ma se faccio il boot dall’hd esterno, rEFIt mi dice che non riesce ad accedere all’HD, e mi consiglia di aggiornare il firmware.
    Il punto è che non c sono aggiornamenti….

    cosa faccio?

    NB:più tardi posterò i dati del mio Hardware.
    Spero mi possiate aiutare!!!

  58. Mattcar April 3, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Hello.
    1) Can someone please confirm that this process works with USB-bus powered (i.e. portable) HDDs?
    2) If you have it working on such a drive, please tell me the make/model enclosure because I’m willing to buy a new enclosure to get this thing working.

    I have a no-name enclosure for my 2.5″ 100 GB Seagate Momentus 5400.2 HDD. I’ve tried to do this install using no less than 4 PCs (with internal HDD disconnected) and I cannot get past the partitioning stage of the install (yes I’ve read the “Sorting out the “Bootability” of your USB-Drive” section of the ngine.de site;it was no help and I can’t see how the HP utility helps, either).

    I am very reluctant to disconnect my iMac’s HDD to try given what I’ve seen so far – I tend to blame the HDD or its USB enclosure.
    Any help appreciated!
    Matt

  59. Rob April 7, 2007 at 9:46 am

    hey there!

    stupid question maybe.. but how about making some random existing xp installation (boot-camp) usb-bootable and the clone it onto the usb drive… use refit to boot it… should work, right?

    cheers, rob

  60. tez May 3, 2007 at 2:56 am

    hi there,
    the ngine.de site seems to be offline
    and I urgently need to try this xp on ext usb asap
    can anyone help me?
    anyone with an offline version of the ngine procedure?
    I’d be very grateful!

    thanks in advance
    :tez:

  61. jarpy May 18, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    I spilled a big glass of wine down my MacBook the other day and it is now completely dead :(

    The cost of replacement is beyond me, so I’m putting out a call for donations. If you would like to help (and thus become one of my personal heroes) you can use PayPal to make a donation.

    Thanks all.

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  63. AthensBoy July 8, 2007 at 10:57 am

    For those of you who are curious or don’t have access to a Windows Box, I found that CrossOver runs WinISO just fine.

    The only problem is that it doesn’t run CABSDK.

  64. red July 24, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    I’ll buy your non-functioning macbook for 200 dollars.

    I need an LCD for MY broken macbook, and it doesn’t sound like the wine spilled on your screen.

  65. jarpy July 25, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Sorry to here about your Macbook red. I’m happy to sell you mine (or what’s left of it).

    I’ll contact you by email with details.

  66. Leif August 8, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    I need to run WindowsXP from an external drive but I don’t want to mess around with my OSX install. I have access to a PC. Could I use that to create a bootable Windows install on a USB 2.0 disk without making any modifications to my Macintosh? I’ve heard that you need to “Flash the Firmware” or “add BootCamp drivers”. Are these things necessary or will the Windows install treat the Mac just like a PC?

    Thanks,
    -Leif

  67. ill gates August 25, 2007 at 4:03 am

    i’m having a few problems:

    1. the drive key HPP utility won’t give my external drive a letter to allow it to be modded so it’s usb-bootable. is this because i am using a bus powered enclosure for the 5400rpm drive that came with my macbook? should i be using fat32 instead of ntfs?

    2. i can get windows to text-install to the drive, but then it hangs when i try to reboot into the windows and complete the installation. it hangs on this text screen that tells me about booting… i don’t think it’s actually loading windows, just trying to boot with this text screen.

    thanks again.

    dylan

  68. ill gates August 25, 2007 at 5:17 am

    it’s gotta be that hpp drive utility problem…

    are there any other places i can make the hard drive bootable? it’s the 5400 rpm drive that came with my 2nd gen macbook…

  69. Amado August 26, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Pretty Interesting.

  70. Vesko September 9, 2007 at 9:43 am

    jarpy, if you are still interested in selling your Macbook, please contact me. 10x.

  71. Jeffrey Martino September 18, 2007 at 11:57 am

    I keep getting that legacy error in rEFIt. Does anybody have a way to fix it? I have an Intel Macbook and I believe that the FW is up to date. Actually im about 100% sure.

    THANKS!

  72. mortimerdude September 22, 2007 at 9:03 am

    After xp install, the computer will boot into xp with out the internal drive but when i try booting using rEFIT i get these error messages.
    rEFIT – Booting Legacy OS
    Starting legacy loader
    Using load options ‘usb’
    Error: Not Found returned from legacy loader
    Error: Not Found from LocateDevicePath
    Error: Not Found from LocateDevicePath
    Error: Not Found from LocateDevicePath
    Error: Not Found from LocateDevicePath
    Error: Not Found from LocateDevicePath
    Error: Not Found from LocateDevicePath
    Error: Not Found from LocateDevicePath

    This firmware refused to boot from the selected volume. Note that external hard drive are not well-supported by Apple’s firmware for legacy OS booting

    any one want to help trouble shoot this.
    Thanks

  73. Pingback: Install Windows to a Macintosh USB drive

  74. Pingback: Install Windows to a Macintosh USB drive (without Bootcamp). « Apple Top News

  75. Rupesh Talageri October 26, 2007 at 7:50 am

    I am getting the exact same message every time i try to boot trough USB in my Macbook using refit — “This firmware refused to boot from the selected volume. Note that external hard drive are not well-supported by Apple’s firmware for legacy OS booting”.

    At first i thought there was some problem with the firmware update, so i checked on the apple site and found that mine was the latest. Is it possible that it worked on a previous version of the firmware and after update, it no more works.

    rEFIt site suggests some things http://refit.sourceforge.net/doc/c4s1_notfound.html
    but i think that information is not sufficient enough.

    anybody has some suggestions
    Thanks

  76. KS October 27, 2007 at 4:50 am

    I need to know cause I’m desperate to be able to use some windows programs….. is this possible on an iBook G4?

  77. jarpy October 27, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Sorry KS. You can only do this on an Mac with an Intel processor. For laptops, that means a MacBook or MacBook pro.

    If you really need to run Windows programs, you might be able to get an old PC for little or no money (if you live in a rich country).

    A lowend Pentium IV, at around 1.5Ghz should be about as fast as your Mac.

  78. Big Lee November 20, 2007 at 3:52 am

    well, I built the special configuration, and booted up from it, i can see the drive in Windows Setup, but when I try to choose it, it says that it cannot access this drive. The drive shows up, it has a drive letter, it’s formatted, but actually trying to use the drive gives me this error. I’m using a MacBook Pro intel processor, and I did not disconnect the internal hard drive first. The internal hard drive does show up as a choice as well. Why can’t I access the disk?? I’ve formatted as NTFS and as macjournal extended, it sees the drive both times, but “can’t access it” according to the windows setup. Using a Nextar usb drive enclosure with 500gb internal SATA drive..

  79. omniT0T0R3 December 6, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Worked well for me on my Macbook Pro (first version) , however i had to try 2 times the windows graphical installation (the first one ended up with a blue screen). Thanks to this guide now i have xp on an external drive ^^

  80. anonymous 2.0 December 6, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    Continuing on Flowolf’s comment, I’m trying this procedure and will report:

    1) create a Parallels VM. With no hard drives, connect the USB to the guest OS through VM configuration
    2) go through the installation steps without rebooting my host (mac) OS
    3) use rEFIt to try and boot into the system installed on the USB.

  81. anonymous 2.0 December 10, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Quick status update on the Flowolf method:

    I used a hybrid method to the one described here:

    1) made the installation disk as described
    2) installed refit as described
    3) got a BartPE environment
    4) created a Parallels VM
    5) format the USB drive as USB, create an empty windows folder in the root, add boot.ini, ntloader into the root.
    6) copy installation disk into the root as well (e.g. XPINSTALL)
    7) launch VM using BartPE. Initiate installation.
    8) reboot whole system, using refit, boot off USB
    9) first round of installation occurs correctly
    10) reboots: “error loading operating system”

    I repeat, I get the windows setup to boot successfully off the USB disk. It’s only when I restart for the last part of the install that things go bad.

    Any ideas?

    (ps. running MacBook Pro and not in ideal circumstances, so I’m not able to remove hard drive)

  82. anonymous 2.0 December 10, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Correction: 5) format USB as NTFS

  83. jarpy December 10, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Two people have offered to buy my broken MacBook and then simply disappeared after I contacted them by email.

    If anyone would genuinely like to buy the remains of my MacBook (the screen may work) please make an offer.

  84. Jonathan January 4, 2008 at 7:50 am

    <Jonas
    <January 18, 2007 at 6:13 am
    <hey, so, i’ve tried this twice now, and each time i get to the point where the <text installation reboots my system, following which i follow the steps and power <down and put my internal back in. after this, though, when i try using rEFIt to <boot windows from the USB, i get a blank screen with just a flashing text cursor <and nothing else. any ideas on how to fix this/why it’s happening?

    <thanks a lot!

    I am having this same exact problem. Does anyone know how to fix this? If so, could you please help ASAP!

    Thanks!

  85. Bob Denard January 14, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Hi everyone,

    I followed very carefully all these instructions but am stuck.. Formatted by external drive as FAT32 with the MBR option, did the modified WinXP SP2 CDROM very carefully, removed the internal HDD of my mac book, boot on the CD, but then when I want to chose the external HDD for the installation it complains: “your computer’s startup program cannot gain access to the disk containing the partition you chose…”

    Can find out what’s wrong !? any suggestion ?

    Thanks very much in advance !

  86. lotus49 January 16, 2008 at 8:15 am

    I have researched and experimented on this extensively and while it seems to work (for some people at least) on MacBooks and MacBook Pro Core Duos, it does not work on a MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo with the latest firmware.

    I would dearly love to get this to work but I have been trying on and off for three weeks and nothing I have tried works. I also tried installing Ubuntu with precisely the same results.

    It appears that MBP C2Ds with the latest firmware will not boot any OS from a USB drive.

  87. Rhys January 18, 2008 at 7:03 am

    To share my experience,

    this tutorial was brilliant and I’m writing this from my USB windows install. Some points to note though:

    –I prepared two windows ISO’s; one sp1 and one sp2. The sp1 install did not work and failed when i tried to install it – said I was missing a file – so it may be possible that I messed up preparing the ISO. Sp2 disk worked perfectly.

    My problems came because I have a Mac Mini and a brand new aluminium keyboard. At present I cannot perform any boot options with the new keyboard. This is a problem all over the web and hopefully apple will fix it.

    I installed the leopard bootcamp drivers. It didn’t tell me any of the drivers were unsigned and just did what it wanted in the standard install. So I presume it installed the USB drivers and nothing went wrong. So what i’m saying is I don’t think you have to be scared by installing the Bootcamp stuff, it’ll be OK!

    The only other thing to be wary of is that if you have a bluetooth mouse, once you’ve installed the bootcamp drivers you’ll need to pair the mouse with the bluetooth and will need a USB mouse in order to get to the setting via the control panel.

    Apart from that I’m very happy to have my whole Mac hd back and be able to work on windows.

  88. David Ontiveros February 8, 2008 at 7:11 am

    “your computer’s startup program cannot gain access to the disk containing the partition you chose…”

    … is also the error I receive. I did slipstream an SP2 service pack. Could this be the issue?

  89. adam February 12, 2008 at 4:17 am

    Gosh…Apple announces you can interact with windows but you have to go through all this to do it? Do you ever feel like that you are doing Apple’s work for them for nothing?

    adam

  90. tirado311 February 12, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Is there a way to install windows on a sata hardrive using a pc express card sata adapter for my macbook pro?

    This would be perfect. How slow is it to run Windows on a USB drive?

  91. chris February 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    or someting like that is my error. any help?

  92. chris February 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    correction…i don’t know why half of my question didn’t show up but here-goes…
    “startup program cannot access the specified disk”
    “this does not necessarily mean that there is an error situation” or something of the sort is what shows up when i try to install to the usb disk. any help would be appreciated. thanks

  93. Joey March 3, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    could anyone share a modified copy of XP?

  94. whatever March 14, 2008 at 1:44 am

    I too am having the problem described in several recent posts. Receiving a:

    “your computer’s startup program cannot gain access to the disk containing the partition you chose…”

    message when selecting the partition upon which to install windows.

    I was just wondering if anyone has come across a solution?

  95. Sensbachtal March 18, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Just wanted to say Hello to everyone.
    Much to read and learn here, I’m sure I will enjoy !

  96. audiofeen March 18, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    hey it’s great to have something like this out there as i need windows on my macbook pro for running some music apps and i don’t have spare space to keep a windows partition on the internal hdd.

    i have finished the ngine.de guide to making the xp install usb bootable, haven’t used dos in quite a while so i was a bit lost but managed to get through it.

    anyway so far so good

    next is os x usb bootable on windows :D

  97. audiofeen March 19, 2008 at 11:12 am

    hey i finally got the xp cd right but then i got to the windows install part i couldn’t install it
    i selected the partition to format and it would not go into the option
    so i just selected the install to see if it would but it just went to an error screen saying something about x86

    i know this is not much information but maybe someone knows what has happened or what i have done wrong.

    i using a mac book pro 2007 2.16ghz 2gb ram 40gb maxtor usb hdd
    and i tried it with my seagate 500gb

    many thanks m.

  98. Rituraj April 1, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Is there anyone out here who’s even reading these posts complaining about the setup not gaining access to the disk to install windows….C’mon we guys have come so far to finish this install…making those modded install cds and fooling around in DOS….why doesn’t someone come up and atleast try to help us get out of this weird situation….

    Any Help Would Be Appreciated…..

    This msg specially goes to you Jarpy as you are the one who started this thread and are not even replying to us now….Not done….

    Raj

  99. jarpy April 2, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Hi Raj. Hopefully someone in the community will be able to help you. I don’t have a Macintosh anymore so it’s hard for me to participate. I was certainly hoping that this post could take on a “life of its own” as it’s over a year old and I have lots of other things to take care of.

    Good luck to everyone.

  100. Raj April 3, 2008 at 4:46 am

    I’m sorry for that li’l harshness……It was the result of those 2 weeks i was messing around to make that bootable cd and finally….when i did managed to get it on the way …that installer problem faced by many others caught hold of me too……anyways…..i’m sorry i forgot u spilled wine on your mac…..and i’m sorry once more if i was a li’l rude there in the last msg….but i’m happy atleast someone read my msg……and luckily it was the owner of the thread only……..

    Will just let you know my status if you can help me anyways…..I tried booting my mac with the win xp install cd and internal hdd disconnected but when the installer is about to start i faced that can’t gain access to the disk issue…..

    I tried researching about this quite alot on the internet but haven’t come across a single thread on so many websites which would give me a way out….the latest one i found out says that my usb drive’s usb drivers be loaded somehow in dos before the installer starts by pressing F6…can’t do that either as it asks for a floppy drive and macbooks don’t have one….and it specifically wants an A: drive….so i was stuck pretty badly…..anyways…thanks alot for replying……good luck to you….bbye..

  101. usb Dani April 7, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Does this work on a Macbook Air too? I heard you need the external USB Drive for Vista?

  102. Mat April 15, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Hi

    I have now tried this on the first generation of Macbook and the latest Macbook generation and the result is the same i cannot access the external usb drive to install.
    So i have tried this on a dell cpu and that worked perfectly, so i guess it is the FW that is the issue. :(

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  104. Steven May 4, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Hello people I have some questions I would like to ask because I am trying freaking hard but I do not succeed. Thank you in advanse!

    To all the people who did succeed.

    1) Where and how do I install the bootcamp drivers? On the same cd as the modified iso? if so, somewhere specific (folder / location?

    2)Which firmware verison was installed during the install? I think the leatest firmware upgrades prevents you from installing on a usb drive and that means downgrading the firmware.

    3) What where / are the specs of your macine at the time you where working on it? There is a possibility it just wont work due the fact that the new machines (macbooks for sure) have different hardware configurations than the older (1&2nd generations macbooks).

    4) Can anyone possible make a torrent of a functional cd and post the link, or even better, sent it by regular mail i’ll pay you for it :D

    Well thank you very much for answering the questions amd I hope I will succeed in the nearby future (please excuse me for my moderate english, this language is not my native language)

  105. Wisey May 23, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Hi, I also had the same problem as a lot of later posts “your startup program cannot access the partition you have selected…”
    I am trying it on a new (march 2008) macbook. I think the fact that so many later comments have this problem while the earlier ones were fine suggests that it is a problem with the current firmware.

    Does anyone know, if I make install XP on the USB drive using a PC will it still work to boot the macbook afterwards?

    As a sidenote, the new firmware does allow you to boot from a USB disk, I have upgraded my internal HD and I have the factory one (with OSX on) in an external casing and I can boot from that plugged into the UCB with no problems.

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  107. tim June 24, 2008 at 7:51 am

    nice guide,, thanks

  108. 56frk June 30, 2008 at 12:59 am

    I get the “your startup program cannot access the partition you have selected…” message as well.
    I have the latest low end iMac (April 2008).

  109. Foam July 1, 2008 at 2:25 am

    Hey Guy,

    Just wondering:

    Could I just install XP/Vista on a internal hard drive on a PC and then just put it in an external enclosure and plug it into my iMac and try booting into it?

    Has anyone tried this?

    Since I have an iMac, removing the internal hard drive is not an option…

    P.S:
    My Setup-
    XP currently on Boot Camp…and want to put Vista on another drive and connect it externally to my iMac…

  110. Foam July 1, 2008 at 2:27 am

    Sorry about the typo, meant to say Hey Guys…

  111. Pato July 9, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Hi!

    When I boot from my install DVD in step 3, the installer loads, but when I select the USB partition I want to install windows upon, it tells me it cannot gain access to the drive. I have tried it with both the original CD and the modified CD, with and without the internal disk, and also, both ways of connecting the Y cable to my computer. I always get the same message.

    Best,
    Pato

  112. Josh July 10, 2008 at 5:43 am

    A litle late to the party, but I think I have soemthign hjelpful to add. I have found that doing the opposite of these instructions works quite well and is really easy. However, this means having Windows on your internal drive and OS X on the external, which some people might not like.

    1. Clone your OS X install to an external hard drive using SuperDuper or something similar.
    2. Boot off of that external hard drive.
    3. Use Disk Utility to change your internal hard drive to MBR and format it as FAT32.
    4. Insert the Vista install CD and boot off of that.
    5. Install Vista on the internal drive, reformating as NTFS.

    Now you will have Vista on your internal drive and can boot off of the external drive to use OS X (Tiger or Leopard). It was quite painless and works great.

  113. Steven July 13, 2008 at 5:55 am

    Josh,

    What is the use of buying a mac if you are going to use Windows on your primar disk?

  114. Thomas August 12, 2008 at 2:32 am

    @Josh:
    Did you try and swap HDs again so that OS X is on the internal HD and XP on the USB drive? Can you boot from both?

    Another suggestion:
    -install a minimum OS X on the USB drive
    -boot from that
    -use Bootcamp to partition the drive, leaving just enough for OS X (like 10GB or so)
    -try to boot from the external Bootcamp partition via USB (do you see 3 boot volumes when starting up with the option key held down?)

    If this worked you could also install a few utitlities on the external OS X partition and have a handy diagnostic/emergency repair disc.

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  116. Pato August 23, 2008 at 3:58 am

    Well, I received a mac from my school that apparently has an older firmware edition. I was able to use refit to boot from the drive. So that barrier is broken for me, now I just need to get windows on the USB disk.

  117. Manos September 12, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Wow, I’m also having the “Cannot gain access to the drive” issue. Happy it’s others as well. Running a 2.33 MBP C2D, on 10.5.4.

    Nothing new on this issue, eh?

  118. Raj September 30, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Guys I’m using my Macbook’s internal SATA HDD ( as I upgraded my internal HDD with a bigger one) in an external enclosure right now to install the XP on. Though I received the same error too that says Setup cannot gain access to the drive you specified. I still have an idea. Does anyone have a where can one find the matrix storage drivers for the intel motherboards used in the macbooks. Because people have been able to install and boot off the USB by slipstreaming the correct SATA drivers in their XP installation CD so that the setup recognises the SATA HDD because natively XP supports only IDE drives and that too internal if one needs to install XP on. Any ideas someone where can i find the motherboard specific drivers for a macbook and how do i check my motherboard specifications and model number so that i can search for them. I hope this method may give some direction to all of us stuck here to find solution to this problem of ours.

    Raj

  119. Gilimanjaro November 11, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    Hey folks! I’m think I’m experiencing the MacBook Pro C2D problem that a few others are experiencing also; I used WinClone to transfer my working BootCamp partition to an external USB disk. It shows up in rEFIt, but shortly after selecting gives me an “Error loading operating system” black-on-white…

    This error is present in the MBR (first 512 bytes of the disk) on the drive, so I’m guessing somehow the MBR code can’t get access to the the USB disk itself. This to me indicates the MacBook firmware is not enabling them as ‘BIOS’ devices which means the MBR can’t find the XP boot-sector and load it.

    Any ideas on what to do? Is there an EFI application that does proper BIOS emulation perhaps? That could then pass control to the boot-sector or something. I’m new to EFI and recent boot-models, so I’m not quite sure how to handle this…

  120. Beppe November 27, 2008 at 6:32 am

    thank you for the guide… after burnt a lot of CDs I’ve installed win in the external hd!
    after connecting it to my macbook and selected with refit windows boot i reached an error..
    firmware not allow the boot. external hd are not well supported by apple’s firmware

    how can i fix it???

  121. Pingback: Install Windows to a Macintosh USB drive (without Bootcamp). - Serhat’s Notepad

  122. Esolitos January 16, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Hi, same problem of some guys..
    “Cannot gain access to the drive” when installing WinXP_USB…
    Can someone tell me why and what to do?

    Thanks.

    PS: Nice tutorial!! :D

  123. bbizbor February 18, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Поставьте Akismet

  124. Kinthamen February 27, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Well, i got the same error of “your computer’s startup program cannot gain access to the disk containing the partition you chose…” but it wasnt until after i installed legacy options in the rEfit startup menu. Havent been able to figure out how to uninstall it.

    Note: It worked at first and i am using the latest firmare on my MacBook Pro so I don’t think it’s that.

  125. Kinthamen February 27, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Ok, I just did this in the background as I wrote my last post. Here are my results:

    1. Took out the Internal HD and placed the usb HD inside
    2. Rebooted into the Installation disk
    3. Installed only the “text-mode installer” and it worked because it considered it internal
    4. Shutdown and then placed the HD back into the usb case (still without any Mac disk in the internal port)
    5. Restarted into Installation disk and it worked!!

    Hope it helps!

  126. akailala March 9, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    What if you have an old internal hard drive converted into an external hard drive, how can you make it boot the already installed Windows XP from there?

  127. Maximo March 18, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Hi, I’ve been trying to work this out, but still haven’t found anything usefull. I’m using MBP 2.4 C2D, OSX 10.5.6, trying to install onto a 16GB pendrive.

    Please, any ideas or suggestions on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

    Maximo.

    majaxu@gmail.com

  128. Buis March 24, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Did NOT WORK for me on Mac Pro (2006) with either an 8G flash drive or an extarnal USB harddisk. And yes, bootcamp sux; should be possible to make any partition a windows partition, not just an unpartitioned internal mac boot volume.

  129. suvan April 14, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Since Windows does not work, but Linux has earned the first time.

  130. Maximo April 14, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Still trying, I have modified almost every win iso (all SPs), tried installing on a windows pc then migrating the installation to OSX, tryied almost everything. If someone has a clue on what to try next, please enlighten us (i’m even willing to downgrade the firmware on my MBP if its possible).

  131. Axel April 27, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Can someone tell me why I have to plug off my iMac internal hd? and if there’s the chance to skip this passage… so can i install windows xp on my external usb hd without disconnect my imac internal drive? sorry for my english reply me pls… :)

  132. Kinthamen April 27, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I believe the only reason you need to take out the hd is to make sure you do not erase the wrong disk. You can do it with it installed but you need to make sure you choose the right one because when you run the windows installation disk and you go to the “choose a partition” section there is only a jumble of numbers. If you want to do it that way I would suggest running the installation disk and going to “choose the partition” section-make note of the hd’s and then reboot with external connected and choose the hd that was not present before.

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  135. Paulo November 11, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Hello!
    I intend to buy a MacBook Pro, but there are some windows SW that i need to use that macosx doesn´t run, like Adobe Audition. I wouldn´t really want to run Windows, but as there isn´t Audition for Mac yet… And i don´t want to use BootCamp so to not waste any room in the inHD nor have to always plug the exHD (i guess that using BootCamp with windows installed in an exHD there´s always the need to have it plugged when booting any of the systems, likewise Grub/linux).

    So i was wondering: is there a way of installing windows (XP or later) in an exHD through FW800? And would it be easier than through USB (not having to desconnect the inHD)?

    I also guess that via USB you´re unable to use any dongles in windows, am i right?

    Thanks in advance!

  136. Precious January 29, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Can you install it to a Mac with encrypted usb drives?

    • xs April 17, 2010 at 2:15 am

      If anyone’s experiencing problem with “unable to access the partition” error, try this: format the USB drive in a window machine, put ntldr, ntldrdetect.com, boot.ini file in root, set partition to active and primary, and DO NOT FORMAT during install.

      If you’re using a USB flash drive, use HP’s usb formating tool.

      Otherwise, some USB drives just can’t take it. I have tried on two of them, one work, one doesn’t.

      • Maximo April 17, 2010 at 2:30 am

        XS, can you tell us on which USB you were able to install Windows and boot it from a Macbook Pro?

        Thanks a lot!

      • xs April 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm

        Both are 2.5 inch USB enclosures with a western digital drive in it. The one that didn’t work was a no name brand I bought in 2002. The one that worked is from Sabrent which I bought in 2006 or 2007. It looks exactly like the SBT-EKU25, but probably not the same model number. The no name enclosure gave me all kinds of errors, in addition to “unable to access partition”, some time it would recognize the drive and start installation, but couldn’t continue part way through. Or it would say the drive is corrupted.

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  139. Roger May 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I’ve tried to see what’s in “Create a modified Windows XP install CD” but it appears a tab with “Service Temporarily Unavailable”, is it normal and later is going to be back or the link is no longer available?

    Thanks.

    Sorry for my poor english, it’s not the official language in my country.

  140. Roger June 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I’m back. But with a problem =/
    Look i don’t know what went wrong. I’ve followed every step, but when i’d disconnect my internal hard drive and try to start my Mac holding “c” to boot from the XP install disc it just shows a gray screen with a “file” like those in mac but with a question mark on it. And it flashes on the screen not doing anything.

    I’m not sure but i think that my external hard drive is not recognized, even though i formated it in FAT32 and NTFS.

    If someone could help me. Thanks.

  141. La Boite Digitale February 1, 2012 at 1:39 am

    great issue but … for me doesn’t work :(

  142. Aj April 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Could anybody hook me up with the modified Windows XP CD? I would appreciate it. Thank you.

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