I stopped by an Apple store last weekend while I was in the area and the rep I spoke with said that yes, what I want to do is possible, and yes, there are guys at the store who know how to do it, but no, they're not allowed to tell me because Apple doesn't support it. So frustruating!
So I'm still stuck with this problem until someone can help me (or until Apple sorts their issues out or a competitor catches up).
It looks like half my problem may be moot now, as according to this site, OS X 10.8.3 adds BootCamp support for 3TB hard drives. Although that's not certain since the iMac configuration page still says the 3TB are not supported, I'm assuming that note was just forgotten about and is no longer true.
However, with the Fusion Drive there's no installing Windows on the solid state drive, which makes having a solid state drive pretty pointless. There was no mention as to whether Disk Utility was updated to allow the disabling of Fusion Drive, so I suspect that will still be my biggest obstacle.
I'm definitely still looking for help on this if anyone figures it out and can convey it to me in a simple fasion. Thanks!
I am currently working through this similar issue albeit not with the 3TB Fusion Drive. It is possible to rip apart the "Fusion Drive" that Apple configures the iMac with. If you look into Core Storage, which is parameter of the diskutil command in Terminal, it allows you to delete the Logical Group, which is what the Fusion Drive is configured as (SSD & HD joined into one Volume). After the Logical Group is seperated, from Terminal you can partition each drive on its own, and perform an Internet Recovery Reinstall on the SSD. Once 10.8 is reinstalled on the SSD, you can perform the Bootcamp partition and segment the SSD into two partitions, one for 10.8 and one for Windows. While this wouldn't give you all 3TB for the Windows OS, it would allow you to have Windows boot of the SSD and keep your data on the HD.
As this is not documented very well, or in alot of places, I hope this helps you with your decision. While it isn't the cleanest, or maybe even the best solution, it does provide that capability.
Thanks for the reply, Kagato101.
I've seen posts that describe what you're talking about, but it was all quite technical. Perhaps it would make sense to me if I actually had the iMac in front of me to tinker with. But, assuming I get that figured out, what you're saying is that once I disable the Fusion Drive and install both operating systems on the SSD, Windows won't see beyond 2.2TB? If that's true, then the Boot Camp update to support 3TB drives doesn't overcome the previous Boot Camp limitation of not recognizing portions of the drive beyond 2.2TB? If that's true, then it would still make sense to partition the 3TB into 2TB and 1TB sections. When I'm doing all this disk management stuff, is OS X going to try to recombine the Fusion Drive, as I've read a few accounts of that happening.
As much as I hate to reward Apple for their poor decision to give users no control over whether they want Fusion Drive or not for the optimum configuration, I'm now considering paying extra to downgrade to the 768GB SSD option and buying two 2TB external USB 3.0 hard drives to bypass all these issues. I could then use this guide to split the formatted SSD up with an 80GB Windows partition, a 30GB OS X partition, and a 600GB storage drive for my files, excluding my videos, which would be on the external drives. The guide must be using an older version of Boot Camp because it says it still supports Windows Vista, so I hope it still works with the newer version and the new iMacs.
If no one is able to help me within the next two weeks regarding my original post, I'll just go ahead and order the 768GB option because I'm tired of not having a good computer setup at home and having to stay late at the office all the time.
I am interested in the very same thing ... running Windows (7) off of the SSD from a decoupled 3TB fusion drive and using the platter drive for general storage. I am currently running Windows 7 Pro through bootcamp with Mac OS X 10.8.3. Interestingly, when I went through the bootcamp windows install it listed both the SSD and the platter drive with each of its partitions to install Windows on. They also show up in the partitioning wizard inside of Windows 7 once it's installed. I was tempted to click on the SSD partitions during Win set-up and install there, but I was afraid everything would go to **** in a handbasket if if I didn't use the partition I defined in Bootcamp while in OS X (Max 2135 GB - The balance left to Mac OS X).
Anyhow, I'm also interested if anybody does have a reliable method to get Windows on the SSD. As of today, Apple phone support didn't have any real answers for me.
Yesterday I took the plunge.
I couldn't find a tutorial how to do it, but gathered enough pieces to risk it.
I wanted to get rid of OSX i tried it i gave it a few months and i don't like it at all. (but thats another discussion).
I wanted to install windows on the SSD for the extra performance.
And I got it working. Its was quite easy:
- Create bootcamp stuff and USB bootdevice and split the HDD into 2 pieces:
one piece for windows harddrive
one piece to install osx on (small if you dont want to use it)
- GO into terminal with recovery mode and delete the fusion volume
- Reinstall osx on the "small" partition you created from internet recovery
- Run bootcamp wizard in osx after it installed (you dont have to recreate the usb drive just tel osx you want to install windows on bootcamp so he boots from the usb into windows setup)
- In windows setup format the SSD and install windows onto it
- Finish windows
And there you go iMac with booting windows from the SSD.
I did it with late 2012 27" iMac and windows 8 pro
Hope this helps a few people out.
Hi Loxodon I'm glad it worked out for you!
I was in the same dilemma until I saw your latest comment now I found hope. However I do have a few questions to the process:
1. You said you started out by splitting the HDD, which one is that? The "Fusion Drive"? Or the Bootcamp drive the OSX Bootcamp assistant creates? How did you split it up?
2. When in recovery mode you ran terminal and deleted the Fusion of the drives, why didn't that delete the partitions you made in step 1? Where I'm going is would any SSD partitioning not be impossible?
3. Do you see a solution where you could have OSX running til a ~32GB SSD partition, and rest of the 128GB = 96GB SSD is for Windows. And then the 3GB HDD space would be NTFS formatted (but with NTFS drivers OSX would also be able to talk with these).
1. I splitted the fusion drive into 1 fusion drive with OSX on (which i will remove) and another harddrive. (maybe this step is not necessary. But i created it just to be sure
2. It's been a while I think it does delete the drives I made before. But when reinstalling Oxs with internet recovery you can split them again however you want.
3. Only thing i wouldn't do it is because it would become too small for me in windows.
Hope i helped you out.