Kate is learning AutoDesk Inventor in an online class at school. The other day, she had to stay late because there’s only one computer at school that can run AutoDesk. Earlier in the month, I had installed Windows 10 on my MacBook Pro using Virtualbox. Given that AutoDesk is a processor intensive program, I didn’t feel this would be the best approach.
Goal – High performance AutoDesk Inventor experience on Mac without consuming Mac hard drive space
I don’t want Windows on my Mac. Instead, I wanted to install Windows on an SD Drive. At Best Buy, I bought a 250GB Sandisk SSD drive with a USB 3.1 connection.
A caveat about the process used in this video is that free utility, WintoUSB, to install the windows on the USB drive actually does cost about $30 if you are using it with Windows 10.
Problem 1 – USB drive wouldn’t connect to the VMware Fusion or Virtualbox. I solved the issue by installing Window on Parallels, which didn’t have the same issues. Other people had the same problem. And plenty of people had recommendations that didn’t work. I googled solutions for this problem and worked at it for hours before buying Parallels for $50. I knew Parallels would work because it opened the USB drive on another computer with no problems.
Problem 2 – Once Windows was installed in Bootcamp, you have to have a usb keyboard and mouse to operate anything. I did have a keyboard and mouse, so it wasn’t a big issue.
Problem 3 – I needed to load the Bootcamp software into Windows via a USB thumb drive. That wasn’t a big issue, but it wasn’t exactly how the video demonstration went.
Approximate costs – $300
- Hard drive $80
- Parallels $50
- WintoUSB $30
- Windows $140
Does AutoDesk Run well?
As far as I know, it seems very fast. I haven’t used it with a large file. Kate can now run AutoDesk Inventor natively on a quad core Mac with ample RAM and an extra dedicated 200GB of hard drive space. Since the system is contained on a hard drive, she can use it with another Mac if I’m using my laptop.
I think the USB issue was with Mohave security preferences. I could have saved $50 on a virtual machine either way, and all of the VM’s did work well. Now Kate can do her homework at home. She may not care about this, but I had fun.