Installing windows 7 on external hdd

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by WarrenI, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. WarrenI


    Hi everybody,
    Thanks for any answers in advance.

    I am trying to install Win 7 Ultimate on an external drive. I keep on getting the message that win 7 can't install to a USB 2 drive.

    I hav formatted the hdd as HTFS and still no luck.

    I would appreciate some help as it would allow me to free up my Mac hhd.

    Regards Warren
  2. Stefan P

    Stefan P Bit Poster

    I was moving my Win7 VM (which was installed initially on my internal drive) successfully to a USB 2 HDD. No need to format the USB HDD to other than a OS X filesystem since Parallels is emulating a windows filesystem on its own.

    I assume that it should possible to install WIn7 initially on a external USB HDD, too. Parallels should hide this from Win7.

  3. abdellahb


    try to format your HDD first with NTFS maybe its formated with Fat32.
  4. Specimen

    Specimen Product Expert

    Note to everyone: Disregard this comment, the poster has no idea what he's talking about.
  5. WarrenI


    I did format the HDD as htfs but still would not work.

    Thanks for your input.
  6. Specimen

    Specimen Product Expert

    You should clarify if you want to if you want this to be a native bootcamp windows installation (that you can boot your computer off) or to be used as a VM only (a .pvm file with a virtual HD).

    The first case is probably not possible, Windows 7 won't boot off USB without some hacking, besides, it's not worth it, the speed improvements you get natively are overshadowed by the slow USB connection (much slower than an internal HD). Also the partition table would have to be GPT and the Windows partition created via Bootcamp Assistant.

    The second case is easy, the disk is formatted with HFS+ like any other OS X disk, and you can put your Windows .pvm file there, since the virtual machine and virtual disk are just a file in OS X it can be moved to an external disk, or created directly there.
  7. WarrenI


    Reply to Specimen

    Hi Specimen,
    I have dropped my .pvm file onto the external HDD all my windows files are still on my internal drive.

    Can I drag them onto the external HDD or do they need to stay on the HDD?

    Any downloads I make are being saved to the internal drive can these be sent to the external HDD.

    If I format the external drive with Bootcamp will that be an advantage or not?

    Thank you all your help, it's a steep learning curve.

  8. Specimen

    Specimen Product Expert

    From your latest description, I can only assume you have Windows installed on a bootcamp partition in your mac, this is a different premise than the initial.

    However, if this is the case (you really don't give much detail), you can 'Import Bootcamp' to a completely virtual hd that is easier to transfer between disks.

    I don't recommend you format the external drive with bootcamp, as I said before it's not easy to make it work, and I also don't intend on doing any 'hand-holding' with you on this, so you would be on your own (or someone else will help you, but don't count on it).

    Either import Bootcamp (see user guide), or create a new VM and install Windows (not as bootcamp) giving the path for the .pvm your external drive. If what I said makes sense, good, if not, I'm afraid but I don't do step-by-step instructions.
  9. WilliamPaul


    I would like to suggest that to create a new VM and install Windows as path .pvm your external drive. It is the very easy process.

    Macbook Pro 17 2.8Ghz; Host OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.2, 32-bit;Guest OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64... Proud [​IMG]

Share This Page