[GUIDE] How to install windows 10 bootcamp on an external hdd or ssd  

  RSS

Mgear1981
(@mgear1981)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 36
April 11, 2017 10:06 am  

A lot Can be said about installing windows 10 bootcamp on an external hdd or ssd to save some precious space on the macbook ssd. After trying a lot of not so well discriped (failing) guides i came across this excellent guide made by Simphax from here. It works excellent on all efi supported macbooks.

What you will need is either a working windows 10 installation or create one in a virtual machine like in VMWare fusion (free edition will work) or parallels. Windows 10 ADK as decribed below and ofcourse a windows 10 iso.

 

Process for 2015- MacBooks (EFI installation)

 

In Mac OS:

  1. Run Boot Camp Assistant to put the Windows drivers onto a separate USB stick
  2. Download a Windows 10 x64 ISO
  3. Transfer the ISO to your Windows installation.

 

In Windows:

  1. Install Windows ADK, uncheck all alternatives except "Deployment Tools"
  2. Double click the Windows ISO to mount it as a drive
  3. Plug in the external USB drive.
  4. Open command prompt and run the following:

 

Formatting the drive:

diskpart
list disk
select disk 1  (the id of your external drive)
clean  (warning: this will erase everything on the drive)
convert gpt
create partition efi size=200
format quick fs=fat32
assign letter=s
create partition msr size=16
create partition primary
format quick fs=ntfs
assign letter=w
exit

 

Installing Windows:

dism /apply-image /imagefile:D:\sources\install.wim /index:1 /ApplyDir:W:\ /CheckIntegrity 

where D is the letter of the windows installation drive, W is the external drive's NTFS partition, Index "1" is for Windows 10 Pro, use "2" for Windows 10 Home)

 

Installing boot files:

bcdboot W:\Windows /s S: /f UEFI (S is the external drive EFI boot partition)

 

Done! Plug the drive into your Mac and restart holding down the Option key and you should see EFI Boot as an alternative, this is your Windows 10 installation.

Final step is to install the Boot Camp Windows drivers. Run setup.exe from the USB drive.

setup

I hope this is of use and service to all of you.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


VNGXR, J Walker and Rapunzel liked
ReplyQuote
Rapunzel
(@rapunzel)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 35
April 11, 2017 10:32 am  

Thank you!

An alternative method, especially useful if you want to migrate an existing Windows installation:

  1. Install or migrate your existing Windows installation into a VMWare Fusion virtual machine.
  2. Boot the Acronis Backup and Recovery bootable ISO in Fusion.
  3. Create backup of the whole virtual Windows volume.
  4. Restore backup to the USB disk, attached to the virtual machine.

 

Don't forget to activate USB 3.0 support in the Fusion USB settings of the virtual machine to speed up things.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


Mgear1981 liked
ReplyQuote
Macaret
(@macaret)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 2
June 22, 2017 5:46 pm  

Hi, I've tried your first suggested method. Everything works fine until I get to the booting part. The mac just wont see the SSD drive so I could start the Windows installation. I've also tried other methods leading to the same problem.

Do you have any idea what is wrong ?

Thank you.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
huangyuhen
(@huangyuhen)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 11
June 23, 2017 1:27 am  

Do you already have BootCamp installed on your internal drive? In that case, the drive won't show. I had same issue, deleting bootcamp partition on your internal drive solve the problem.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
rushvora
(@rushvora)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 72
June 23, 2017 1:31 am  

I followed this guide 3-4 months back. 

 

Works very well!

late-2016 15" MacBook Pro RP455 + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // external SSD


ReplyQuote
Macaret
(@macaret)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 2
June 23, 2017 6:03 am  

Hi, thanks a lot for the video. I already tried 3 other complicated methods of installing Win on my external SSD with the same issue, of not seeing the EFI at boot time. But with your solution it worked.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
yjchua
(@yjchua)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 40
June 28, 2017 3:36 pm  

I was the original creator of the steps for creating an external Boot Camp partition. 

Original post:   https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/bootcamp-windows-10-from-external-drive.1815672/page-3#post-20758398  (posted in February 2015) - way before Simphax's and Orkoden's answers (which were most likely ripped off my original post on MacRumors.)

I can safely say that to this day, my method still works well as it has separate steps for UEFI and BIOS-MBR systems (see the later pages of the MR thread).

Original thread regarding external Boot Camp on egpu.io:  https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/probably-off-topic-booting-boot-camp-externally-for-those-who-dont-have-enough-internal-space-or-for-those-who-dont-want-to-turn-off-filevault-and-repartition/

Late-2016 15" rMBP (2.9/16/1TB/460)
Akitio Node + Asus Expedition RX 570 OC, 4GB


rushvora and theitsage liked
ReplyQuote
mklegend
(@mklegend)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 22
June 28, 2017 9:03 pm  

Hi

My Win 10 (Creators) VM on parallels can't detect my external SSD and connecting it as a USB device directly, instead, it connects it as a network drive from Mac, therefore, diskpart won't detect it, although I modified parallels settings for connected USB devices in general and this external SSD in particular.

my external SSD is Raid SSD (NTFS) connected via TB3 interface.

is there anything I'm missing in this guide?

Best Regards,

Mohammad Katayen (mklegend)


ReplyQuote
DanKnight
(@danknight)
AKiTiO Tech
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 80
June 29, 2017 3:43 am  

I also highly recommend installing rEFInd!  http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/

It's an EFI Boot Manager. Let's you install Windows, MacOS, Linux and etc.

Alias: KnightZero
AKiTiO Employee - Technical Specialist


ReplyQuote
yjchua
(@yjchua)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 40
June 30, 2017 2:04 am  

If it's connected via TB3, you don't need any of these steps. You can just boot from a Windows USB installer and install directly to the TB3 drive, because Windows will see it as an internal drive.

Late-2016 15" rMBP (2.9/16/1TB/460)
Akitio Node + Asus Expedition RX 570 OC, 4GB


ReplyQuote
shvetsky
(@shvetsky)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
July 26, 2017 9:58 am  

The latest win 10 ISO does not contain file \sources\install.wim

I suppose they replaced it by boot.wim

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
chocomonsters
(@chocomonsters)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 39
July 26, 2017 5:29 pm  
@mklegend

That is common with VM not detecting external SSD drive.  I use self booting Windows 10 USB flash key to install Windows on external SSD in Akitio Neutrino u3.1.  This set up gives you 10 Gbps connection vs standard 5 Gbps USB 3 drive.  There are plenty instruction for this.  I used Rufus and WinToUSB to make Win 10 USB key.

This is similar to Mgear1981 but allows for Recovery tools partition and MSR partition.  Note that disk # maybe be different for your set up.


rem == CreatePartitions-UEFI.txt == 
rem == These commands are used with DiskPart to 
rem    create four partitions 
rem    for a UEFI/GPT-based PC. 
rem    Adjust the partition sizes to fill the drive 
rem    as necessary. == 
select disk 3 
clean 
convert gpt 
rem == 1. System partition ========================= 
create partition efi size=260 
rem    ** NOTE: For Advanced Format 4Kn drives, 
rem               change this value to size = 260 ** 
format quick fs=fat32 label="System" 
assign letter="S" 
rem == 2. Microsoft Reserved (MSR) partition ======= 
create partition msr size=16 
rem == 3. Windows partition ======================== 
rem ==    a. Create the Windows partition ========== 
create partition primary 
rem ==    b. Create space for the recovery tools === 
shrink minimum=1000 
rem       ** NOTE: Update this size to match the 
rem                size of the recovery tools 
rem                (winre.wim) plus free space                   **
rem ==    c. Prepare the Windows partition ========= 
format quick fs=ntfs label="Windows" 
assign letter="W" 
rem === 4. Recovery tools partition ================ 
create partition primary 
format quick fs=ntfs label="Recovery tools" 
assign letter="R" 
set id="de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac"
gpt attributes=0x8000000000000001 
list volume 
exit


I use following as .bat to automate Windows installation using high performance power scheme option and instal Windows RE image to recovery partition.  Note that I have install.wim under C:\WIN2GO folder.  /index:1 is usually WIN10 pro (but you can check with /get-wiminfo)


rem == ApplyImage.bat == 
 
rem == These commands deploy a specified Windows 
rem image file to the Windows partition, and configure 
rem the system partition. 
 
rem Usage: ApplyImage WimFileName  
rem Example: ApplyImage E:\Images\ThinImage.wim == 
 
rem == Set high-performance power scheme to speed deployment == 
call powercfg /s 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c 
 
rem == Apply the image to the Windows partition == 
Dism /apply-image /imagefile:C:\WIN2GO\install.wim /index:1 /ApplyDir:W:\ 
 
rem == Copy boot files to the System partition == 
W:\Windows\System32\bcdboot W:\Windows /s S: /f UEFI 
 
:rem == Copy the Windows RE image to the 
:rem Windows RE Tools partition == 
md R:\Recovery\WindowsRE 
xcopy /h W:\Windows\System32\Recovery\Winre.wim R:\Recovery\WindowsRE\ 
 
:rem == Register the location of the recovery tools == 
W:\Windows\System32\Reagentc /Setreimage /Path R:\Recovery\WindowsRE /Target 
W:\Windows 
 
:rem == Verify the configuration status of the images. == 
W:\Windows\System32\Reagentc /Info /Target W:\Windows	


Hope this helps if you want to install Recovery partition and MSR partition.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
blackforge
(@blackforge)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
July 27, 2017 3:04 am  
Posted by: mklegend

Hi

My Win 10 (Creators) VM on parallels can't detect my external SSD and connecting it as a USB device directly, instead, it connects it as a network drive from Mac, therefore, diskpart won't detect it, although I modified parallels settings for connected USB devices in general and this external SSD in particular.

my external SSD is Raid SSD (NTFS) connected via TB3 interface.

is there anything I'm missing in this guide?

VMWare Fusion wouldn't mount my USB 3.1 external raid enclosure (in JBOD), but I was able to workaround it.  If your Mac can see/mount the drive, you can create a .vmdk that points to the raw disk and mount that in the VM instead and perform the steps above.

http://www.happymac.info/cms/knowledge-base/106-vmware-fusion-adding-a-raw-physical-disc.html

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
vesper8
(@vesper8)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 12
August 16, 2017 10:29 pm  

boy this is proving much more difficult than anticipated!!!

first I tried to use Winclone which failed horribly.. just as it has failed me repeatedly every time I tried to use it in the past

then I did the above instructions from the internal bootcamp and it all seemed to work, but then when I finally tried to boot from my external SSD I got an error

then I thought the error might be due to me having an internal bootcamp install active.. so I removed that and tried to boot again.. but still getting the error

then I tried to repeat the process again in a VirtualBox Win10 VM (I did enable USB 3.0). The DISM process would always be very slow and would always crash.

Then I loaded up an old Windows desktop I had lying around and redid the above instructions and finally that did work!

I was now able to boot Win10 Anniversary on my external SSD.. yay

But then I tried for hours to update to Creators.. getting errors that the Microsoft Troubleshooter were able to fix.

Finally I got an error saying "Can't install Windows to a USB Flash Storage device using Setup" ... ??? WTF

So now I am starting all over again with the Windows Desktop but this time I will try to install the 1703 Creator's ISO directly even though Microsoft advises against it.

Has anyone had luck either upgrading from Anniversary to Creators on an External SSD? Or has had luck using the above instructions with the Creator's ISO ?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
hzusmani
(@hzusmani)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
October 11, 2017 5:37 am  

Hi i followed all the steps and i can see the efi partition on my mac when i hold the option button 

when i select the efi partition i get the blank screen and wont go further 

please advice

Thanks 

Hassan

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
Parnaudfr
(@parnaudfr)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 7
October 21, 2017 8:41 am  

Hi all,

For me I have Win 10 running on an external SSD with USB 3.1 on a late 2016 macbookPro TB with 4 TB3 ports.

Everything working very well!! Only one major issue, windows update keep refuse to install new version on an external USB disk. All security updates are installed, but no way to install os updates!!

I tried to download on the microsoft site the last version on another use disk an update my ssd, but same result, I am getting an error message saying that windows will not update an external usb disk!!

Any idea on how to keep win os updating?

Philippe.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
HZCTony
(@hzctony)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
October 27, 2017 8:09 am  

Is there anyone can share a test video of integrating external ssd with win10 + MacBook pro with tb3 + egpu  if possible? 
I would like to see the above-mentioned video of  "MacBook tip: how to Install and Run Windows on an external USB drive- windows to go" add egpu setting & test

 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
VNGXR
(@vngxr)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 3
December 22, 2017 2:06 pm  

Win 10 Pro is now index 5 in the ISOs created with Media Creation Tool.
You can get indexes with this command:

dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:D:\sources\install.esd

2017 MBP 13" Fn keys


theitsage liked
ReplyQuote
Eankssder
(@eankssder)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 1
December 27, 2017 10:02 am  
Posted by: HACTony

Is there anyone can share a test video of integrating external ssd with win10 + MacBook pro with tb3 + egpu  if possible? 
I would like to see the above-mentioned video of  "MacBook tip: how to Install and Run Windows on an external USB drive- windows to go" add egpu setting & test

 

For those without any experience, this is an adventure , The last thing you want to see is a computer crash or data loss or even access to a computer , 

Before doing so that , you can browse through some tutorials on Google

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
(@luke2510-2)
New Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 2
January 15, 2018 11:02 pm  

Can anyone help me? Following this guide but the windows 10 iso (Which says its for windows 10 pro and home) keeps installing windows 10 S and the only way to change version needs an internet connection but I can't access the internet because I can't run the bootcamp drivers setup.exe because its not from the windows app store.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
(@luke2510-2)
New Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 2
January 16, 2018 7:11 pm  

Solved my own problem, If you are using the newest windows iso, index:1 is not windows pro, its windows 10 S. Windows 10 home is index:3

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


theitsage liked
ReplyQuote
(@amadeus_hack)
New Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 1
January 26, 2018 12:04 am  

Ok this forum helped me out so much in getting this done with LITTLE effort it would only be right to pay it forward.  If you are using the latest version of Windows 10 a few things have changed with using the original setup guide.....  Here they are:

If you are using this version of Windows 10:

Version : 10.0.16299
ServicePack Build : 15

Here is an update to the original post:

Installing Windows:

dism /apply-image /imagefile:D:\sources\install.esd /index:8 /ApplyDir:W:\ /CheckIntegrity 

"where D is the letter of the windows installation drive, W is the external drive’s NTFS partition"

The newer version of Windows 10 ISO no longer has the install.wim file, you need to use install.esd.  Also the /index:8 is Windows 10 Pro, 
if you use /index:1 it will install Windows 10 N.

Other than those small changes everything follow everything else to the LETTER and you will have a PAINLESS experience!!!

THANK YOU Mgear1981 for your original post!!!




 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
J Walker
(@j_walker)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
March 12, 2018 5:58 pm  

Hi,

This method has worked for me (amazingly easy compared to all the other methods online!!), and I've been using it for a while now, But does anyone know how to update windows? Every time I log in it tells me it can't install the update on the external drive.

Thanks

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
Excubitoro
(@excubitoro)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 60
March 20, 2018 10:23 am  

Hi,

I currently have an 2016 macbook pro 15" with an Gaming box 1070 eGPU, works under mac and windows. But I'm beginning to run out of space, since macos and windows share harddrive. 

I have earlier had windows bootcamp on an external SSD, is it possible to run windows of an external SSD and run eGPU? Anybody knows?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
VNGXR
(@vngxr)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 3
November 13, 2018 9:25 pm  

Any updates to this guide? It worked last time, but after installing from latest .iso that I downloaded with Media Creation Tool it BSODs.

Stop code: DRIVER_UNLOADED_WITHOUT_CANCELLING_PENDING_OPERATIONS
What failed: dump_WppRecorder.sys

2017 MBP 13" Fn keys


ReplyQuote
VNGXR
(@vngxr)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 3
November 15, 2018 8:47 pm  

After booting it in VirtualBox and finishing the installation I ran this script with slightly modified default preset (with uncommented DisableFastStartup and DisableHibernation), and then I was able to boot into Windows without BSODs and install bootcamp drivers. It works just fine, but BSODs on shutdown/reboot/etc...

2017 MBP 13" Fn keys


ReplyQuote