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I have broken my issue into several parts hoping to make it easier to understand what I am trying to accomplish as well as what I have tried. Any suggestions / advice would be greatly appreciated !!

The Goal

Install and boot Windows 7 Professional on a new Wintec 48G SSD via Expresscard 34 slot. Can this be done, if so has it been done before?


The rational behind installing Windows on the SSD is that I do not plan on using it often (need to run Windows only software at times). With this being said, I have heartburn slicing off a 32 gig partition of my main HDD to install Windows on and not be used but once every 2-3 weeks. If I can get it installed on the Wintec, in theory, I could remove it when not in use to save battery life and leave the port open for other devices. It is worth noting that I plan on storing all important data on the internal HDD based on several reviews of the Wintec.

In the past I have run virtual machines, but handful of the USB devices I use for work have not worked well (if at all). Also when running a VM, the speed of both the VM and OSX is greatly reduced including a crippled battery life. Because of these experiences, I am trying to stay clear of virtual machines for this particular build. On a side note on the virtual machines, I have seen a few examples of running a bootcamp partition using open source VM software. This would be the approach I would take if I went back to a VM.

While scouring the web, I have found lots of examples that the Wintec 48Gig is bootable with OSX (with much success from the looks of it). Over all, the most common way that I have seen to accomplish this is to use disk cloning software. This method works great for OSX, but I do not believe that it can be applied to the Windows 7 install.

I have managed to boot from / run the Windows 7 installer for both 64bit and 32bit versions. On both installers I have made it to the point of selecting the HDD to install to and receive an error message stating that the system cannot boot from this device (Wintec) and to check the BIOS settings. This makes perfect sense on a normal PC, but with the MAC not having a BIOS I have run out of ideas.

While trying to fix this problem, I have tried formatting the SSD in NTFS 3G, NTFS Compressed, NTFS, FAT-32 and unused space. The hope was to format the drive using Disk Utility and have the Windows Installer format it to what Windows 7 required. After approximately 6 hours of testing, I have concluded that it was a losing battle and begun reaching out to the communities for help.

System Information

Hardware: MacBookPro4,1 (2008 non-unibody), 4G RAM, Expresscard 34 Wintec 48G SSD Software: Running OSX 10.6.6. Wish to install Windows 7 Pro (64 bit preferred)

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Have been working on this for weeks. It appears the computer will not recognize the SSD at all when booted into Windows. I have installed Win 7 on another partition on the internal drive, booted, gotten it to recognize and use the SSD as an external drive. If I install it in the 34 slot, it never shows up. Plugged into USB, it shows and can be used, but cannot be installed to. I tried downloading drivers from Wintec, but the "drivers" that I downloaded are not the right thing at all (even though that is where the site takes me), but instead are for some kind of RAID setup having nothing to do with the SSD.

Next step is to try finding a firmware update from Apple. Apparently there is a problem common to ALL 34 slot devices on the MPB not being recognized in Win 7 at least. Even if I can get it to recognize it, though, there is no guarantee that I can install Win 7. If I clone it, I can get it to appear bootable, but that ends up taking me to an OS missing error.

I'll try to update if I make a breakthrough.

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Well it's good to know that there is someone else in the same boat as me :). I have placed a ticket in Wintec's support system and their engineers have already sent one round of attempts my way. They were not successful, but I hope to hear back from them again. My current direction to get this working is to use Parallels 6 to install Win 7 and cross my fingers that I can boot from it. Their forums show small victories on installing Win 7 on external drives. – Adam Lewis Mar 29 '11 at 5:18
I will up update all my posts if / when I find a resolution. – Adam Lewis Mar 29 '11 at 5:19
I think you are going to have an issue Installing Win7 to this device, here's why: Express slots work two ways. One makes them show up as a USB device. The other makes Express devices show up as a PCI-Express device. MOST Express Slot cards show up as USB devices (I know of ONE SSD that used the PCI-E connection). Win7 will not install on an "external" (USB) device (at least it wouldn't when I tried to do this 2 years ago). I wasted exorbitant amounts of money on a 128GB ExpressCard for my 15" MBP (C2Duo). The fact is, it never worked to install Win7 (after a year of trying). – Everett Sep 18 '12 at 22:11

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