Mac Mini 2018 Bootcamp Setup confusion
- The main hardware I am working with are:
2018 Mac Mini, 3.2GHz, i7 and 16GB RAM.
Sapphire NITRO+ RX VEGA64 8G HBM2
ROG Strix XG248Q (connected via HDMI for Mac Mini and DisplayPort via the eGPU)
I will be running Windows 10 Pro an a Bootcamp partition for gaming directly and also use it for streaming from console to Twitch using an Elgato USB capture device.
I have had this setup running before using both Win 10 Pro 1909 (I might have just been lucky) and 1903 but I had some hardware fail so I have to setup my Bootcamp partition again and I wanted to make sure I set it up properly so I wanted to check a few steps.
I have seen some slightly conflicting information so I just want to double check.
- As the Mac Mini does not have an internal screen it is not necessary to use the AMD drivers form bootcampdrivers.com as the latests Radeon drivers can be used straight from AMD?
- I think I have seen posts saying the Insider version of Windows 10 just works and does not give you error 12.
But if not, is the most stable version of Windows 10 Pro is still Windows 10 1903 18362.295?
Is it enough to download Windows 10 1903 19H1(build 18362.30)and install using Bootcamp assistant from https://tb.rg-adguard.net/public.php and then run KB4512508 from https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4512508? for the base install?
- The next step is usually to disable Windows updates in some way so you can remain on 1903 18362.295 but there are updates under Software Update required for Bootcamp and peripherals but there doesn’t appear to be a way to separate out updates it’s all or nothing? https://egpu.io/forums/pc-setup/egpu-fail-after-update-to-windows-19-03
- Assuming there isn’t a way to pick and choose updates, do you just uninstall all updates apart from the 1903 18362.295 updates and the updates for internal components, Bootcamp and peripherals? Are cumulative updates the issue and are security updates okay to install?
I guess the next step is installing the AMD drivers which involves connecting the eGPU, with the Mac Mini I have seen both the advice that (if we’re looking at the back of the Mac Mini, reading left to right the first Thunderbolt3 port is #1 and the last #4) that the eGPU should be connected to 4 (next to the Ethernet port) and I’ve also seen that it should be connected to 1 (next to the HDMI port).
- Are the two outside ports (1 and 4) equally as good to connect the eGPU?
- Ports 2 or 3 shouldn’t be used to connect the eGPU?
- If an external SSD is being used for (game files) storage and the eGPU is connected to 4, the SSD should be connected to 1, rather than 2/3 or vice versa?
What is considered hot plugging?
- eGPU switched off is connected to a Thunderbolt3 port on the Mac Mini and then powered on and then powered off and powered on again.
- eGPU already powered on is connected to a Thunderbolt3 port on the Mac Mini and then the connecting USB-C cable is unplugged and plugged back in.
- eGPU switched off is already connected to a Thunderbolt3 port on the Mac Mini and then powered on and then powered on and then powered off and powered on again.
Once the AMD Control Center recognises the graphics card and is up an running and all the software has been activated it would be nice to back this build up so if anything goes wrong in the future you can rollback to it, does anybody have any advice on doing this (after Windows delete your restore point, or a way to save the restore files somewhere else)?
You used to be able to create an ISO of the Bootcamp partition in MacOSX, blow the partition away, use Bootcamp Assistant to create a partition, begin the Windows XP install after the point where the partition is formatted and stop the install and copy the contents of the ISO into the partition and everything is back but this does not appear to work anymore.
This leads me onto the EFI boot partition. Once my eGPU was working (as long as a monitor was not connected to the on board Mac Mini HDMI port), I had chosen the Bootcamp partition as the default boot partition and could boot into Mac OSX using the Bootcamp Assistant Helper in the Windows 10 taskbar and I didn’t have to keep unplugging the eGPU, it just worked.
Though there were a couple of issues that would arise, I’m unclear what causes them, but the Windows 10 install continued to work and I could always choose the OS to boot into using the system boot selection screen.
The Bootcamp partition still appeared on my desktop (show all drives selected) in MacOSX but does appear as a choice in the Startup Disk System Setting, I would use Paragon’s NTFS for Mac Startup option to make the Bootcamp partition appear in the Startup Disk System Setting but this is not a change that would stick; I could chose to restart using the Bootcamp disk in the Startup Disk System Settings but the next time I boot into MacOSX, Bootcamp once again but does appear as a choice in the Startup Disk System Setting.
The Bootcamp Helper shortcut in the Windows 10 taskbar disappeared and I could not get it back again without doing a clean install.
The EFI drive which appears on the boot-up selection screen does not seem to work, I’ve tried copying edited files into it and I have tried using Clover Configurator but I don’t really understand what I am doing here. I’d rather not EFI booth from a thumb drive, I’d like the partition to exist on an internal partition. Is editing the EFI partition on a Mac Mini using an AMD card necessary?
Mac Fans Control - Are there any pointers on recommended settings for the 2018 Mac Mini, in Windows 10 (which seems to run hotter than Mac OSX) maybe which sensor is the best to monitor the temperature and what the best temperature to keep it is?
MSI Afterburner - Any pointers on overclocking; is it best to do it here or in the Radeon Adrenalin software?
Does anyone have any advice or app suggestions for Windows 10 or MacOSX to help setup or maintain the build?
Would it be possible to have two or more monitors connected to the Mac Mini, would both of them be connected to the eGPU or will one of them have to connected to the internal HDMI connector?
Many thanks in advance; if you need me to clarify anything, please ask.
First, COD Warzone doesn't run properly on any PC, Bootcamp or no Bootcamp, eGPU or no eGPU. (This should be first line in any post on any web site. LOL)
With that PSA out of the way, recently I installed Windows 10 Pro version 2004, and then ran all updates, so my new Bootcamp Windows installation was up to date.
I have (2) 4K displays attached to my eGPU. I don't use an EFI boot loader. I installed the AMD Adrenalin driver.
I did need to replace Windows 2004's psi.sys file to get past 2004's default resource allocation scheme. (Other members report this wasn't needed with their Nvidia card).
Yes, just like before, there are several steps involved in Bootcamping with an AMD card.
Here's what worked for me:
After you install 2004 and all available updates:
In Windows, navigate to the Windows\System32\Drivers folder, right-click and select "Properties", and then the "Security" tab.
From there, change the name of the "Owner" of the Drivers folder to your user name.
Then assign your user name "Full Control" in Basic Permissions.
And that's really it for Permissions - make those changes to the properties setting of the Windows 2004 Drivers folder.
Next, pause updates in Windows. Then run Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc), and Configure Automatic Updates to Enable Option 2 - to Notify you before downloading and installing Windows updates.
Download and run the DDU utility and install AMD Adrenalin software Driver 20.4.2 in Windows.
Download and install the 7-Zip utility freeware, and use "Open Inside" and "Extract" on a Windows 1903v1 ISO (downloaded from https://tb.rg-adguard.net/public.php )
Locate and create an accessible copy of the pci.sys file found in \1\Windows\System32\Drivers.
Take that pci.sys file copy with you back to Mac OS.
Download and install NTFS for Mac ( https://www.paragon-software.com/us/home/ntfs-mac/ ) and in Catalina Security & Privacy give it Disk Access, and also un-block the NTFS system extension. (As typical when installing new software in Catalina).
Run NTFS, and make sure the Bootcamp disk is successfully mounted.
Open a Mac OS Finder window and navigate to Bootcamp/Windows/System32/Drivers.
Move your copy of the pci.sys file (dated March 2019) from Windows 1903 into this folder, and hit "Replace" when Catalina prompts you that a newer file (dated Dec 2019) already exists in that location.
Make sure your eGPU is connected, powered on, and attached to your display.
Set Bootcamp as the Startup Disk in NTFS, and set System Preferences to Re-Start in Bootcamp.
Voila! The Windows 2004 desktop picture should appear on your screen 🙌🏻