I have a Macbook Pro Retina 13" mid 2014 model. I have 256 GB Disk Space and want to install Windows mainly for gaming but other programs as well but I do not have enough space for my needs. My current bootcamp partition is 64GB and i have already filled that up. I would prefer to install windows on a LaCie Porsche Design USB 3.0 or any other cheap and very fast USB 3.0 or thunderbolt drive. (Under £60 ($100)) (Drive space from 500GB-1TB). Anyways I have seen other guides but they confuse me as I am not a tech genius but am capable enough on the laptop. I want to install Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 10 Technical Preview and update to full Windows 10. Is upgrading possible on a External Hard Drive? Anyway I would like to see some help and thank you.

Guides I've looked at: Install Windows 7 on external drive and boot it from a Mac http://bleeptobleep.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/mac-install-windows-7-or-8-on-external.html https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5431182 https://www.reddit.com/r/macgaming/comments/2eqap2/has_anyone_installed_windows_boot_camp_onto_an/

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    Since you've already looked as some guides, it would probably be helpful if you'd edit your question and provide links to what you've looked at and explain what you don't understand. Otherwise we might be wasting our time trying to help pointing you to what you've already looked at and don't understand. – user3439894 Jun 30 '15 at 11:18
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    possible duplicate of Install Windows 7 on external drive and boot it from a Mac – Jaime Santa Cruz Jun 30 '15 at 11:32
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    Okay, so you added some links but did not explain what you don't understand in them. – user3439894 Jun 30 '15 at 12:09

Using boot camp or virtualization software (e.g., Parallels) works fine with the MacBook Pro systems, though it is important to avoid skimping on the hard drive space, which is the case here. These days, one would want 512 GB as a minimum, though preferably 1 TB.

Instead of installing Windows on the external hard drive, continue with the existing 64 GB boot camp partition, but then install all of your Windows games to the external hard drive.

Of note, it would be worthwhile to use a hard drive that has a Thunderbolt connector, since this would allow the highest throughput for data to your 2014 model of MacBook Pro.

The nice thing with this arrangement is that when traveling with the system, if you leave the hard drive at home, then you are still able to use the Windows system for other tasks.

The other easy way to crack this nut for someone that's "not a tech genius" is to just use virtualization software. You trade some money to save yourself some time and have the company that makes the software available to support you in installation and use of that software. Look at VMWare Fusion and Parallels to start down that road. Most have limited trials for free to make sure you're happy with the product before you pay for it.

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  • Thanks for your reply. I have Parallels but to run modern games, it seems that I need my full 8GB of Ram and all of my memory in my iris graphics. For example I cannot play planetside 2 or dirty bomb in parallels but is playable within bootcamp. How do I install games on an external hard drive/usb stick? – skyrider2025 Jun 30 '15 at 17:21
  • With Parallels (and probably VMWare Fusion), you need to configure how much of the computer's resources will be available to each operating system. General rule-of-thumb is a 50-50 split, so that both Mac and Windows have enough resources. So if you haven't already assigned that RAM in a 4GB:4GB ration, then that is something to try. – Vzzdak Jun 30 '15 at 18:13
  • With respect to installing games on the external drive, you choose the install directory during installation. For Windows, one does not typically move an installed program because the Windows Registry would have myriad references that were no longer correct after the move. Instead, uninstall the Windows program, then reinstall to the external hard drive. – Vzzdak Jun 30 '15 at 18:16
  • Thanks for your help. I'll try and see if i can set download location on the steam store. Even with 4gb set to parallels 10 (on gaming mode) i dont think it uses all of the 1536mb on the Iris graphics which it desperately needs as the graphics system itself is poor and yeh. – skyrider2025 Jun 30 '15 at 20:04

My current bootcamp partition is 64GB and i have already filled that up.

It seems like your problem is you simply need more storage, not rearranging your windows partition.

64Gb is lots of space for an operating system and software, even bloated windows doesn't need that much. I would guess you have movies, music and other media - plug in a windows-format external and copy all the media there. Delete from the Mac's internal drive -> lots of free space.

Also do the usual windows maintenance processes of delete temp, downloads, installers etc.

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  • My Mac partition is nearly full e.g. Logic Pro X installed, 30Gbs of games, Lots of developer tools. etc. I recently reinstalled Yosemite and only downloaded the apps I needed (therefore no waste junk) and I have a bit less than 100 GB left. My 64 GB windows has no other apps apart from the built in apps, steam, and my steam games. – skyrider2025 Jun 30 '15 at 17:24

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