On this hard drive, is it possible to make a dual partitions? For example, 500 GB for MacOS Snow Leopard & another 500 GB for Windows7 Ultimate 64bit?

As a licensed architect, I recently bought a MacBook Pro 17", equipped with Intel Quad-Core 2.3 GHz i7, 8GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD. The machine runs excellent. However, I realised that I made a mistake not to buy a 512 GB SSD (and spend 600$ more).

Because some Autodesk software (Revit Architecture among them) don't support Mac OS, I was forced to install Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit through the Boot Camp. I didn't install any virtualization software, for two reasons: first, a computer without mechanical hard disk is very fast in transition from Mac to Win and vice versa, and second, I didn't want to waste approximately 2GB RAM on a host operative system. Access and Revit work fine, however there is a processor-fan (I guess) noise whenever I'm working something in 3D in AutoCAD, or when I'm trying to process ten or more ordinary-sized photos in Photoshop CS5 (when the computer runs under Windows). AutoCAD for Mac runs slightly quieter.

So now you can imagine how is to work under serious space pressure: recently I have only 55 GB free of 128 GB Mac partition and measly 50 GB free of 128 GB Win partition. Advice: if you can, buy all 512 GB SSD.

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series Hard Drive

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series Hard Drive

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4 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    Yes, this is possible.
    1. But believe me, it would be very unwise to put bootable partitions on ANY RAID stripe 0 Drive. If one drive fails, YOU WILL LOSE EVERYTHING. With absolutely no chance for recovery... or very small and expensive.
    I'm a professional 3D designer (furniture.) with 16 years computing / building ... Do not do this. Please.

    Options 1: Instead, Buy this (or some big drives) and keep all your EXPENDABLE Materials, Programs, Textures, Music, Movies etc on the big external. Make a Time Machine backup to another drive, and reformat your internal 256Gb SSD with 2 Partitions. With all your media Off, 256 should be o.k.. I'm getting by with 128!

    However, what is BETTER >

    Option 2: Do buy and install Parallels 7. YOU WILL NOT notice giant performance penalties. SSD + 8 GB RAM = Killer machine. Lion and Par7 are crazy fast. I have the same machine as you and run XPx64 with Rhino/ AutoCAD / 3ds Max in Parallels, and SIMULTANEOUSLY on the Mac side Photoshop / InDesign / Illustrator, Mail, etc, etc. You couldn't do this 2 years ago... happily.
    Then, keep all Older Projects & Media (Textures etc.) on the Thunderbolt, it'll seem like your internal drive in speed !
    Keep the most important / current files on the internal, Time machine Backed Up, and ARRsynced too. (Thats 3 locations! ok?)

    I'm sure you can reconfigure this as RAID 1 (redundant) great, you'll have 500GB (not 1T) all these warnings are nearly moot, but still, it's not a great idea to install the OS on it... even if it can be done. Use this for STORAGE, very fast STORAGE.

    Again.. Please! Do not use a RAID 0 stripe Drive for anything mission critical.
    Every drive fails. Every. Maybe 5 years, maybe 5 weeks.
    As for fan noise. Sorry! That's what using a High-end Mac Laptop like a Desktop workstation costs! No way round it for us power users.

  • You don't need to.

    You'll want to keep you OS partitions on your laptop, then use this as 2 TB of external storage which you can access from either OS.

  • I have data on mine so I can't tell you for sure but I can tell you that while it's in a RAID set, no you can't partition it. Within Disk Utility it does show the RAID set as being RAID 0 so there is no reason why you couldn't break that and use each drive individually but it would be pointless. Even with the 1Tb 7200rpm drive your performance would max out at the speed of the drive which is WAY under the Thunderbolt interfaces ability. You only get any advantage from using Thunderbolt and paying all that extra money if you RAID 0 (or RAID 5 on a 4+ disk array) the drives.

  • 1. Yes, any hard drive can be partitioned.
    2. Boot Camp Assistant does not support installing Windows on an external disk.
    3. If you create a Windows partition on your external drive, you can access it from Windows via Boot Camp. Note that for this to work, the Thunderbolt device must be plugged into your MacBook Pro when Windows starts up. It will not work to plug a Thunderbolt device into your MacBook Pro when Windows is already running.
    4. Either VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop would allow you to run Windows from a virtual disk on the external drive. Given that your system has 8GB of RAM, you are correct that you would want to allocate no more than 6GB to your WIndows VM.