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Problem booting Windows 8 from external SSD via USB 3

879 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Mar 27, 2013 9:21 AM by doktorbenn RSS
doktorbenn Calculating status...
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Mar 26, 2013 9:10 AM

Hi folks!


I just purchased Windows 8 and Winclone 3.7 trying to do the following, but finally failed and now kindly ask for your advice:


I'm running a brand-new iMac 21,5 (late 2012) with a simple internal HDD (no fusion drive!) and successfully installed Windows 8 on a partition on the internal HDD using boot camp (works perfectly fine). This partition I wanted to clone to an external SSD (Samsung 840 Pro) connected via USB 3 and make it bootable(!) from the external SSD (no hardware changes at all!). I found a tutorial on the web how to do so when connecting the SSD via thunderbolt saying there shouldn't be any problems when connecting via USB 3 neither. I googled for an applicable case for the SSD to be recognized under Windows 8 and found myself the "Thermaltake Silver River 5G" which a user described it would definitely(!) work using it for a bootable external Windows-8-SSD. I installed all current updates - both in OSX and Windows 8 - and also followed the steps to manually download and install the latest boot camp drivers for Windows 8 (whilst running Windows 8) though I had already installed them using whilst the boot camp process.


I then followed the steps of the tutorial I found creating an image of the (internal) boot camp partition ("Remove Memory Cache Files") and restoring it to the external SSD ("Replace BCD") and everything worked fine: I now got the internal boot camp partition cloned 1:1 to the external SSD (as there is no change in hardware, I believe I do not need to follow the steps regarding Sysprep?). But in the end, I cannot boot from the external SSD no matter how:


1. When I go to the system preferences -> start up volume menu in OSX, select the new boot camp Windows 8 partition on the external SSD (of course, there's two boot camp partitions now - but I tried both!) and click restart, it ignores the choice and always ends up booting from the internal boot camp Windows 8 partition.


2. When I restart the iMac holding the option key while restarting I can only select the internal boot camp Windows 8 partition (and the OSX partition respectively the recovery option, of course) as the external boot camp partition does not show up!


Any idea what went wrong? I personally believe there might be a driver issue so Windows 8 does not recognize the SSD whilst booting - but the strange thing about that is, that Windows 8 is supposed to be able to NATIVELY boot from an external USB-3-device (isn't it?). Or did I do wrong on any of the steps to clone the partition to the external SSD? Finally, do you think I might need to remove the internal boot camp partition? Here ( it says no, and I actually do not want to risk loosing my internal partition without necessity.


Any support is highly appreciated!!

iMac, Windows 8
  • Ralph Landry1 Level 7 Level 7 (28,750 points)

    Two knowledge base articles that may help:


    Starting from USB




    FAQ on USB


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