I have a Macbook air with a 128gb SSD. Not a ton of space. I also have a Mac Mini that I use as a web/media server with a 500gb HDD. Much better.

Both are networked together locally over an Airport Extreme and I have pretty good speeds on file transfers.

I want to run Windows 8.1 in a dual boot setup on my Macbook Air, but it takes a bunch of space (like 20gb). This is obviously a good portion of a 128gb SSD. Is it possible for me to install Windows 8.1 to the Mini, and then boot into it from the Macbook Air? I don't want to VNC the Mini from the Air, I want to actually load Windows 8.1 on my Macbook Air using the Mac Mini's hard drive. I guess my ultimate question is can I boot my Macbook Air from a partition on a network drive?

  • I'm not sure you can, very much doubt it's possible - but even if you did it would be crushingly slow. It would be far better to install it directly to the Mini & use Remote Desktop to access it.
    – Tetsujin
    May 15, 2015 at 6:54
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    Could it really be that bad over an Airport Extreme? I've got pretty fast file transfer times and if I'm using local CPU and RAM to run and only using the network drive to store the OS and programs, I would think open and save times would be slower but everything should run accordingly, right? May 15, 2015 at 14:42
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    I know you do not want VNC, but if you did install Windows 8.1 on the Mini, you would not want to use VNC anyway. You probably would use Microsoft Remote Desktop, which works much better than VNC. May 15, 2015 at 18:12
  • Neat app, but Id still really love to see a way to boot Windows from a network drive. I've seen ways of doing it for some linux distress but I can't find any information for Windows 8. May 17, 2015 at 20:07


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