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I'm running into a strange problem. I have a Mac Pro with a Kingston Predator PCIe SSD card, and a GeForce GT 120 card. I can install Windows 8.1 on the SSD after creating a dedicated partition without Boot Camp, but when I try to install the Boot Camp software and when it gets to the NVIDIA display driver step, the machine reboots. I tried:

  1. Removing the old driver and installing the NVIDIA driver from the Boot Camp NVIDIA folder.
  2. Downloading the official NVIDIA driver from the GeForce.com website.

In both cases, the same problem occurs.

So I removed the SSD and put a regular SATA driver in Bay 1 and reinstalled macOS and ran through the Boot Camp process. After Windows 8.1 installed successfully, it started the Boot Camp setup where it completed with no issues and Windows 8.1 is working flawlessly.

I tried both the SSD and HDD setups at least twice each and each time I got identical results:

  1. If you install Windows 8.1 on the PCIe SSD and Boot Camp drivers, machine reboots on NVIDIA driver setup.
  2. If you install Windows 8.1 on the standard HDD and Boot Camp drivers, NVIDIA driver setup works fine and Boot Camp finishes completely.

It seems that either the presence of the PCIe Flash SSD card only in Windows (works great in macOS) or the NVIDIA drivers (I tried several) has an issue installing on Windows 8.1 installed on a PCIe Flash SSD.

Any one why I might be running into this problem and how I can get around it?

Since posting this question, I tried using WinClone to migrate the working Windows 8.1 with Boot Camp drivers from the same machine into an empty FAT formatted partition on the SSD. The migration looked like it work perfectly, however when I boot into Boot Camp (Windows) I get a message from Windows that installation needs to be repaired. Obviously doing this would wipe out the NVIDIA driver and the machine will probably boot fine, and then when I try to install the NVIDIA driver again, I'll be back right back at the beginning.

Since the last update, I called Kingston support and the rep claims there should be no conflicts between the video card (and/or driver) and the PCIe flash card. They are PnP devices, and the PCIe flash driver requires no drivers. He is baffled as to why this happening.

  • Did you ever get to the desktop at all in Windows? It might be that Win simply doesn't like running from an external drive & wasn't straightforward until WinToGo. I've no comparable experience to work on, I have the same machine, but I put Win7 on a separate HD many years ago & have had no issue with it, including moving the boot SSD & Win HD drives from a 3,1 to a 4/5,1. I'm on ATI graphics though. – Tetsujin Jan 16 '17 at 16:21
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As it turns out, once I replaced the GT 120 video card with the GTX 980, I was able to install Boot Camp software with no problems whatsoever. For some reason, there was a compatibility issue with the Predator and GT 120 in Windows.

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