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Released on October 23, 2012. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Apple Fusion Drive.

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How to move Bootcamp windows to additional SSD

I am currently using the original 500GB HDD(in the lower bay) to install Windows 7 with Bootcamp

I want to add a SSD to the Mac Mini and make the Windows run on SSD and leave the OSX on HDD.

--Existing Schema--

HDD: 400GB --> OSX (HFS); 100GB --> Win7 (NTFS)

--Wanted new Schema--

HDD: 300GB --> OSX (HFS); 200GB --> Shared (exFAT)

SSD: 128GB --> Win7 (NTFS)


So, I want to know the following before I actually buy the upper bay connection kit and the SSD...

1. Can Bootcamp support using a dedicated disk to install Win7?

2. The HDD and SSD should be installed in Upper or Lower bay?

3. Is existing OSX/Win7 still alive if I move the HDD from Lower Bay to Upper Bay?

4. How to transfer the exist Win7 from HDD to SSD?

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The easiest way here is setup a Fusion Drive (best). Which will allow al of the OS's and Apps run faster.

The other method is to do a fresh install of both OS-X and Windows under BootCamp onto the SSD. That way you can jump between the OS's cleanly. If you setup each drive discretely you will need to reboot your system and then using the Boot Manager services select which drive to boot up from. You won't be able to pass information live between the different OS apps.

Update (12/10/2015)

BootCamp allows Windows to run within Mac OS-X which allows you to toggle between the OS's. You could also use a VM application like VMware, with it you can also run other OS's concurrently.

Getting back here with discrete loads: If we put aside Windows OS for a moment. Think how you could setup your drive with multiple partitions (say four). You could then have four different versions of OS-X running. To select which one you use the Option key when booting up/rebooting. Then using the menu offered you would select one of the four OS's to boot up with.

Now let's change this lets say you had two versions of Linux as well as two versions of OS-X again the boot menu would be used to select between these different OS's.

So far each OS running is all alone. So if you wanted to jump between you need to restart the system and select the other OS. Because we are reloading the OS you'll need to wait and you won't be able to cut & paste between them.

OK, so far we've talked about partitions, well different drives is no different, it's just a different partition on a different drive.

Bottom line here is I would make this as simple as possible which it setting up a Fusion Drive and let the system deal with what needs to be held on the SSD vs trying to micro manage this.

FYI: You can't run BootCamp across two discrete drives only within A Fusion Drive set. And lastly, Windows needs to run within a FAT32 or NTFS volume or emulated in the case of BootCamp which makes this more confusing if you haven't worked with these different drive formats within Mac's.

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I just don't want the OSX run on my SSD because I only use OSX for some essential software when needed. The Mac Mini mostly leave with Windows as a media player.

What's the different between Bootcamp and "setup each drive discretely"?


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