Computers & Electronics

install win10 on external SSD to use with mac mini, possible?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 26th, 2022 7:37 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 5, 2009
1035 posts
234 upvotes
Montreal

install win10 on external SSD to use with mac mini, possible?

My NUC just died. In addition to the small original NVME installed, I added a 1 TB Crucial SSD which is half full.My wife has an intel mac mini that she rarely uses. I would like to install Win 10 on the SSD and boot into win10 externally. I'm waiting for the enclosure.Does the SSD have to be completely wiped or can I use the empty half and keep the data that is on it?

Any help, suggestions, links and info is appreciated.
5 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 29, 2018
1902 posts
1373 upvotes
Vancouver
I think Windows should be fine as long as the drive has the partitions it needs. Apart from that yeah it should work. Tho iirc the Mac Mini does have space internally for another SSD. The ones with an optical drive have an extra SATA port if not needed

It is a pretty simple procedure, boot while holding "ALT", plug in USB Win installer and it should popup as a boot option. That is it, then follow the normal setup process. Once complete, get the BootCamp drivers and done
Can't Stop. Won't Stop. Game Stop
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
20692 posts
6895 upvotes
Toronto
My understanding is that BootCamp and Windows do not support Windows installations on external Mac drives. It can be done via unsupported means though.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 24, 2003
18678 posts
5694 upvotes
Toronto
EugW wrote: My understanding is that BootCamp and Windows do not support Windows installations on external Mac drives. It can be done via unsupported means though.
This was the case for me with my mid-2014 13" Pro. I wound up installing a 256 GB SSD to install Windows 10 to the internal SSD with Bootcamp.
Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2020
901 posts
999 upvotes
Windows doesn't support USB booting but it can be persuaded using unofficial tools.

Some years ago, MS did offer USB booting as a feature of non-consumer versions of Windows, but ultimately abandoned the concept for suspiciously nebulous reasons.
Sr. Member
Feb 23, 2004
852 posts
138 upvotes
Richmond
I've accidentally booted into Windows 10 on an externally attached drive with my 2014 Mini before. I don't recall if it was USB or Thunderbolt interfaced though. Seemed to work fine, though slow.

Install was done internally on a completely different (2011) Mini, then attached externally to copy data over. The external drive booted by default because I forgot to plug in the internal drive.

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