Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm interested in buying the new 2011 Mac Mini. I want it because of the hardware. I can't seems to find a comparable PC that is as fast, small and quiet. I don't care for Mac OS X at all.

Is it possible to install Windows 7 Ultimate on the mac on a fresh empty hdd from a usb drive?

Can the mac boot from an external USB HDD that has Windows already installed on it?

share|improve this question
I've been googling and so far I can't find instruction to install windows without boot camp. As far as I know mac doesn't have BIOS like the one on pc. – tjipz8 Aug 5 '11 at 3:34
Doh! Macs use EFI, but don't implement the right bits that Windows 7 requires for booting. – afrazier Aug 5 '11 at 3:59
possible duplicate of Installing Windows 7 (64 bit) on a Mac Pro without Boot Camp? – afrazier Aug 5 '11 at 3:59
yeah but it doesn't really answer my question. The vista instruction require cd/dvd to install windows, how about usb drives? since the mini doesn't have cd/dvd drives and I don't want to buy external drives just to install windows. – tjipz8 Aug 5 '11 at 4:16
Why? I seriously can't think of any reason why you'd rather use windows! – Rich Bradshaw Aug 5 '11 at 7:34

You'll need a new boot loader in that case. And it looks like you'll need to convert the drive to GPT unless you install a custom bootloader like GRUB.

share|improve this answer
the instruction require disc – tjipz8 Aug 5 '11 at 4:45
can anybody confirm this will work on mac, since as far as i know mac efi implementation is a bit different – tjipz8 Aug 5 '11 at 6:14
You only have to boot it past the boot manager. In a sense, your current bootloader won't boot up in EFI. But the Windows 7 efi bootloader won't boot Mac OSX. So you'll need to either A) get a custom bootloader or B) replace the Windows 7 bootloader with the EFI version and then add an entry to the Mac OS X bootloader to point to that bootloader. – surfasb Aug 5 '11 at 6:29
I think there is misunderstanding here, the hdd will be fresh empty. Is the mac bios/efi able to boot my windows 7 installation usb flash drives ? – tjipz8 Aug 5 '11 at 13:23
You posted that the External already has Win 7 installed. Yes, the OSX is capable of booting the Win7 boot loader. – surfasb Aug 5 '11 at 15:43

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.