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Jay can make it, just need to know where. I think at that point guzzo would be best. time?
 

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Installing Windows using a USB key or External DVD drive on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Posted by AlexAlex at 22:31 - 13th, May 2013
After two days of partitioning, formatting, editing, repartitioning, reformatting, installing and reformatting again, I've finally been able to install Windows 7 on my macbook pro. I've read nearly every single thing there is to read on the internet about being able to install Windows 7 without an internal DVD drive on a Macbook Pro 15" running 10.8 Mountain Lion. Through all my reading I've found determined two things:

  1. Windows 7 does not like (cannot?) be installed from an external (USB) DVD drive

  2. Apple simply flags certain macs model numbers in an XML (plist) file to allow installation of Windows from a USB key



These two discoveries are important because it allowed me to understand why my Macbook Pro would either tell me that my USB key with a windows installer on it was not a bootable drive. It also explains why trying to install from a external dvd drive would sit at a black screen with a flashing cursor without actually booting.

My setup


I have a Macbook Pro 2011 (model number MBP 8,1) with 2 hard drives. The first was a 1TB HDD 5400 or 7200 rpm drive. This was my primary drive for the longest while, I had my system, apps, games and all my personal files on here. My DVD drive stopped working and I thought the best thing to do was to purchase a hard drive caddy and get myself on the SSD bandwagon. Once the SSD and caddy were installed I then installed a fresh copy of 10.8 onto the SSD but kept my home directory on the HDD. I figured my personal files like work and music plus windows partition would be on the HDD while everything else on the SSD.

Keeping your home directory on a second drive


This wasn't all that complicated to do. Before you start installing a system on the SSD, boot up your OS on your HDD and create a "bootadmin" account with admin privileges on your HDD, this way you have two admin accounts in your OS.
Mark down the usernames and passwords of all the accounts that you'd like to leave on your HDD.
Now, install your OS on the SSD and make the primary account a generic admin account, not your personal account. Once installation is finished, do all your updates and make sure the system is running as is supposed to, when that is finished go to System preferences and Create a new user, give the user the same name as your personal account from the HDD. Make sure the name and password are the same as the original system you had and you choose administrator from the New Account drop down menu at the top. Now in the list on the left, right click (control click) the name as shown below and choose advanced options.

Advanced options


In the window that comes up change the path of the home directory to the same path from the HDD as show below.

path to old home directory


Great, log out of the general admin account and now log back in with your account. You can now clean up the SSD by going to SSD/Users and deleting the folder of the new account since it's not being used by anything. Repeat these steps until all the accounts are created.

Force Bootcamp to acknowledge USB Keys


Certain mac do not have the capability to make USB windows installers. There's a simple fix for this that really just takes two seconds to do.

  1. Make sure Boot Camp Assistant is closed before proceeding.

  2. Open Applications / Utitlities / System Information.

  3. Click Hardware in the left pane to make sure it's the active portion. Copy the value for boot ROM Version. In my case it's as shown below
    System Information

  4. Go to your Applications / Utilities folder and right click bootcamp assistant and choose Show Package Contents.

  5. In the new window, go to Contents and make a back up of info.plist by selecting it and then option dragging it into the same window. It will ask you for your password, once confirmed rename the file to something like info-bkup.plist.

  6. Open info.plist in your favourite text editor like Text Edit, mine is BBEdit. Changing anything might ask you to unlock the file and will definitely ask you to authenticate when saving. Locate a section <key>DARequiredROMVersions</key> and insert <string>BOOT ROM VERSION</string> as a new as a first line. It should look like this:
    DARequiredROMVersions

  7. One last thing, the same thing needs to be done a little further in the PreUSBBootSupportedModels section. Once again insert a new line as the first line, this time just the model number
    USB Boot

  8. Save and close the program.

  9. Open boot camp assistant and you should have a new option as shown below
    boot camp assistant create windows 7 usb installer

    If you don't see the section highlighted in blue you need to redo the above section.



Installing Windows 7 on a Macbook Pro 2011 with no DVD drive


Now for the gritty part. This is what you'll need:


rEFInd is a bootloader for mac, linux and windows, it's based off the code for rEFIt, which is no longer supported and doesn't have support for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.


  1. Download all the above mentioned software

  2. Install rEFInd. Because I have 2 hard drives and ultimately have 3 partitions I made sure I had it on the SSD and not in my home directory before I installed it. To install rEFInd open terminal and drag the install.sh into the terminal window. It will ask you for a password, that is the same password you would us to log in. Note the message at the end, it should say something on the lines of Successfully installed. A good way to check is to open Macintosh HD (Macintosh SSD for me) and if there's a directory called efi then you're set. (to uninstall just trash that folder).

  3. Open Boot Camp Assistant and make sure the three boxes are checked and hit next. Make sure to have the Windows DVD (image or actual DVD) and a usb key plugged in. It will create a wininstaller and download all the necessary drivers. After that it will ask how much space you want to give bootcamp. Since I have 2 hard drives it gave me another option of which hard drive do I want to use and if I'd like to reformat my secondary and use the whole thing as a bootcamp drive. Once it's finished it's going to reboot the mac. To avoid any issues hold the option key before the apple logo comes up and reboot back into OS X.

  4. Now that you're back in OS X, open disk utility (Applications / Utilities / Disk Utility) and in the left pane select the Boot Camp partition and hit command i to get info on the partition. Take not of the Disk Identifier. This is very important so make sure you have the correct disk and then mark it down and keep it somewhere safe. Quit Disk Utility.

  5. Open Vmware Fusion and create a new Virtual Machine (command n). It will ask you to please insert disc, click continue without disc.

  6. Choose Create Custom Virtual Machine.
    Vmware Fusion Virtual Machine with no disc

    Choose the appropriate version of Windows, and then customize settings. Choose a safe place to keep the virtual machine, I like /Users/username/Documents/Virtual Machines. Do not save your Virtual Machine on the Boot Camp partition!

  7. Close Vmware Fusion.

  8. Open Terminal (Applications / Utilities / Terminal), and go to the Virtual Machine. In other words, type "cd " (without the quotes) and then drag the Windows 7 x64 file from your Documents / Virtual Machines into the Terminal window and hit enter. Now, check to make sure that Disk Utility is correct by copying the following and pasting it into your terminal window
    /Applications/VMware Fusion.app/Contents/Library/vmware-rawdiskCreator print /dev/disk1

    You should see something like this:
    Vmware check disc Identity

    The highlighted portion is the bootcamp partition. The identifier was right, #4, so we're good to proceed.

  9. Now we're going to link the virtual machine we created in VMware Fusion to the Bootcamp partition. You'll need to edit the disk numbers accordingly, this is what it was for me.
    /Applications/VMware Fusion.app/Contents/Library/vmware-rawdiskCreator create /dev/disk1 4 win7_raw lsilogic

    There's no feedback for this command, but it does create a file called win7_raw.vmdk inside Windows 7 x64. To finish the process we need to edit one last file so type
    sudo pico Windows 7 x64.vmx

    It's going to ask you for your password, it's the same password as your login.

  10. In the editor you're going to change 2 lines. I've highlighted them below.
    Edit Vmware raw Virtual Machine

    Once you're finished hit control x. Save changes by hitting y.

  11. Open VMware Fusion, you'll know it worked when you try to boot the Virtual machine and it asks for a password. It needs your permission to access the bootcamp partition. Pause the Virtual machine.

    • If you have an external DVD drive put your dvd in the drive and restart the virtual machine.

    • If you have an image of Windows in an iso, go to settings (command e) and go to the cd / dvd section. Click Autodetect and select choose image, find your image and finally click the enable button at the top.


  12. Install windows through VMware. At one point the installer is going to complain about the bootcamp partition being a Fat32 disk, just use the tools in the installer to format the disk.

  13. When the installer is finished, it's going to try and reboot the Virtual machine. Stop the machine and quit the program.

  14. Open the bootcamp partition and delete all the files you can from that drive.

  15. Copy all the files from your USB key, windows DVD or ISO onto the partition.

  16. Reboot the mac and hold option. While the mac is rebooting unplug all usb and external dvd drives you may have plugged in. If rEFInd is working, the main drive should be called EFI Boot, select that and then choose the Windows part ion (mine was windows partition 4).

  17. Install windows on the same partition that you've booted from, there's no need to reformat that partition.

  18. Once the installer is finished, find your Apple drivers and install all of that.

  19. You can now delete the files from the windows ISO / DVD / USB key you put on the drive. If you don't, every time you boot you'll be asked which Windows to boot to, the installer or a working version of windows.




Congratulations, you've installed Windows on your mac!

I'd like to thank several people for help with this. First the USB key trick was found at insanelymac.com - Thanks JamietheMorris.
Second, the main portion of the tutorial here was thanks to the folks over at 8na.de
Finally, none of this would be possible without one small tidbit from Severin over at macrumors forums. It was Severin's idea of erasing all the info from the hard drive and replacing it with the installation info that really brought all this together.

 

Subscribe to this news posts comments

andrew andrew
News comment 1 | User comment 1263 | 22:54 - 13th, May 2013


this is so odd.. we (our department) have installed this at work a million times over every single intel mac - very rare to have issues

js js
News comment 2 | User comment 1030 | 0:46 - 14th, May 2013


Didn't have any issues when i installed it on a dell. My parent's laptop had vista and the DVD drive was fubar. So i connected a USB hard drive enclosure that had serial ata and IDE connections. Took out the dvd drive from an old computer. Took a while to install, but other than that had no issues. Not the best setup since the dvd drive was a bit loose sitting on the enclosure and i had to keep my hand on it to keep the disk from vibrating when it was spinning up.

andrew andrew
News comment 3 | User comment 1263 | 12:05 - 14th, May 2013


well yeah.. installing Windows, on well, a Windows machine is always straight forward!

Seany_B Seany_B
News comment 4 | User comment 3 | 9:49 - 7th, Jun 2013


Thanks for posting these!! But, I have a couple questions:

> When the installer is finished, it's going to try and reboot the Virtual machine. Stop the machine and quit the program.

Why is it particularly important to do this before letting the virtual machine reboot?

> Copy all the files from your USB key, windows DVD or ISO onto the partition.

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by this. Copy my single Windows .ISO file into the Bootcamp partition?

I don't really understand how the VMWare installation and the Bootcamp partition are interacting. If I'd indeed linked the Windows virtual machine to the Bootcamp partition, wouldn't installing Windows on it via VMWare simply do everything I need? If not, what is it doing?

Thanks.

Seany_B Seany_B
News comment 5 | User comment 3 | 10:12 - 7th, Jun 2013


Thanks for posting these!! But, I have a couple questions:

> When the installer is finished, it's going to try and reboot the Virtual machine. Stop the machine and quit the program.

Why is it particularly important to do this before letting the virtual machine reboot?

> Copy all the files from your USB key, windows DVD or ISO onto the partition.

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by this. Copy my single Windows .ISO file into the Bootcamp partition?

I don't really understand how the VMWare installation and the Bootcamp partition are interacting. If I'd indeed linked the Windows virtual machine to the Bootcamp partition, wouldn't installing Windows on it via VMWare simply do everything I need? If not, what is it doing?

Thanks.

Alex Alex
News comment 6 | User comment 4834 | 14:15 - 7th, Jun 2013


I'm at work now seny_b, but I'll get to you as soon as I have a moment!

Alex Alex
News comment 7 | User comment 4834 | 16:42 - 7th, Jun 2013


>Why is it particularly important to do this before letting the virtual machine reboot?

I think it has something to do with the way the windows installer copies files. Really all we want is for the installer to prepare the hard drive so that the mac can read it.


>I'm not sure what you mean exactly by this. Copy my single Windows .ISO file into the
>Bootcamp partition?

I mean, mount the .ISO (double click the .ISO to open it) then in the window that opens select everything and drag it into the Bootcamp partition. Make sure to erase the files that are already on the partition (DO NOT FORMAT THE BOOTCAMP PARTITION!)

Alex Alex
News comment 8 | User comment 4834 | 16:44 - 7th, Jun 2013


>I don't really understand how the VMWare installation and the Bootcamp partition are
>interacting. If I'd indeed linked the Windows virtual machine to the Bootcamp partition,
>wouldn't installing Windows on it via VMWare simply do everything I need? If not, what is it
>doing?

No, I'm no expert in this but I think it has something to do with how vmware and the mac boot. This is where rEFInd comes in, it interrupts the boot process and asks which partition/OS do you want to boot from.

From what I can tell, linking the virtual machine to a partition simply allowing vmware to interact with it. It was a while ago, but I don't think I had access to the partition at all in vmware. After that it's just a matter of what's on the hard drive at the time rEFInd tries to boot it.

I hope this answers your questions.

Seany_B Seany_B
News comment 9 | User comment 3 | 10:45 - 10th, Jun 2013


Thanks Alex. I got it working. Unfortunately, I had to do it twice because when I deleted all of the folders from the ISO on my Bootcamp drive (after installing Windows), Windows no longer booted. I think it edits one of the old ISO folders and puts important boot data in it. So, this time I just left most of the ISO folders in place.

Alex Alex
News comment 10 | User comment 4834 | 16:01 - 11th, Jun 2013


Were you able to delete the boot option? Doesn't seem to want to work for me. I even went into msconfig and removed it to no avail.

bobsquish bobsquish
News comment 11 | User comment 2 | 5:20 - 29th, Jun 2013


Thanks so much for this tutorial, however when i try to replace the files in the bootcamp partition with the files from the ISO i get the error 'The item ?bootmgr? can?t be replaced because it?s invisible.'.

When i try to start up windows it says 'Windows failed to start...' Please reply, i feel like i am so close.

Thanks, Ben.

Alex Alex
News comment 12 | User comment 4834 | 7:41 - 29th, Jun 2013


Is there any way for you to force delete the file?
Do you have NTFS installed and enabled on your computer?

bobsquish bobsquish
News comment 13 | User comment 2 | 8:41 - 29th, Jun 2013


I managed to get it working. I had to unhide all hidden files and delete everything before putting the ISO files in. Thank you so much, I wouldn't have got it working without this tutorial!

Just one few thing I had to do differently in case anyone is having problems:

When you are entering the commands into terminal if you have file names with spaces you might need to put a '\'before any spaces. For example 'Windows\ 7\ x64'

Alex Alex
News comment 14 | User comment 4834 | 10:35 - 29th, Jun 2013


Excellent point!
Glad you got it working. :)

Statheon Statheon
News comment 15 | User comment 1 | 11:26 - 5th, Oct 2013


Hi, thank you for this tutorial, but i am stuck at step 8 of part 2. I am using the latest version of VMware, so i don't if the file architecture is different or what but i can't get to the same results. :/ Here's a screen of what i get : http://imgur.com/u65mq76

Can you help me ?

Alex Alex
News comment 16 | User comment 4834 | 12:27 - 5th, Oct 2013


Hi Statheon, I'll look into it today and get back to you.

Alex Alex
News comment 17 | User comment 4834 | 17:14 - 7th, Oct 2013


Can you upload a picture of your disk utility window?

 thaladred thaladred
News comment 18 | User comment 2 | 1:58 - 29th, Oct 2013


confirmed to not work on latest version of VMWare

 thaladred thaladred
News comment 19 | User comment 2 | 2:02 - 29th, Oct 2013


latest version of vmware fusion does not ever create those paths used here
unless it's fixed it's a waste of time

Alex Alex
News comment 20 | User comment 4834 | 7:52 - 29th, Oct 2013


Damn. Thanks for letting me know thaladred

mbailey810 mbailey810
News comment 21 | User comment 6 | 13:45 - 8th, Dec 2013


I was working on a friend's laptop, and I am pretty sure I did all the steps properly, however when I rebooted (holding option) I still only got the mac os and recovery.

Any ideas on why this is???

Alex Alex
News comment 22 | User comment 4834 | 6:09 - 9th, Dec 2013


Did you install refind?

mbailey810 mbailey810
News comment 23 | User comment 6 | 17:37 - 9th, Dec 2013


I was working on a friend's laptop, and I am pretty sure I did all the steps properly, however when I rebooted (holding option) I still only got the mac os and recovery.

Any ideas on why this is???

mbailey810 mbailey810
News comment 24 | User comment 6 | 17:38 - 9th, Dec 2013


Yea, I did, and the folder popped in to the mac os drive.

Alex Alex
News comment 25 | User comment 4834 | 7:02 - 11th, Dec 2013


It sounds like an issue with ReFInd, try reinstalling it and let me know if that works.

mbailey810 mbailey810
News comment 26 | User comment 6 | 20:39 - 15th, Dec 2013


That seemed to fix it. Thanks!


Alex Alex
News comment 27 | User comment 4834 | 23:27 - 15th, Dec 2013


Yea, it did the same thing to me the first time I tried it. Glad I could help! :)

mbailey810 mbailey810
News comment 28 | User comment 6 | 18:24 - 17th, Dec 2013


This guide also works for 10.7.5(also macbook pro 8.1)

Also, I had 2 things different than the guide when working with 2 different computers...

When changing the bootcamp program's allowed usb thing, mine was not spelled out(so instead of MacBookPro8,1 I just said MBP81 to follow the format of the other devices) and that seemed to work fine.

Also, when running the line "sudo pico Windows 7 x64.vmx" It just opened a blank editor in terminal, so I just went and found the file in finder, and used bbedit to change it, and that seemed to work just fine.(maybe I was just messing something up, but figured I would mention it if someone had a similar problem)

Alex Alex
News comment 29 | User comment 4834 | 21:36 - 17th, Dec 2013


Nice, didn't know mbp81 would work, good to know.
I specifically mention pico because every mac will have it, I have bbedit, but do some coding myself. Really, you could use any program that can open most files (not sure if textedit would work though).

Did it ask you for a password?

mbailey810 mbailey810
News comment 30 | User comment 6 | 0:29 - 18th, Dec 2013


When I went to save it, it did.

khaledome khaledome
News comment 31 | User comment 2 | 6:21 - 11th, May 2014


hi guys, ,
first of all thanks all of you for all these handwork.
i followed tutorial successfully just until the part 14, i couldn't delete the files,
i have tuxera ntfs loaded on system,
couldn't delete the files and when i tried to copy my windows.iso files to that partition i got the error , The item ?bootmgr? can?t be replaced because it?s invisible.'.
i made all the files visible through a terminal command and still couldn't overwrite those files.
i can send them to trash but could't empty the trash.
anyway i tried to copy all the files i have on iso and when i tried to reboot with refit though that partition i got a blank screen with a cursor blinking on top left , nothing more...
:(


Alex Alex
News comment 32 | User comment 4834 | 18:21 - 11th, May 2014


If you cannot delete anything it sounds like your NTFS preferences in System Preferences are turned off.
See the circled red box in the screen shot and make sure it's set to active.

System Prefs

khaledome khaledome
News comment 33 | User comment 2 | 13:58 - 12th, May 2014


thank you but it's enabled, i mean i can delete some of the files but can't delete invisible files and can't overwrite them. i copied everything that i can overwrite and eventually when i tried to boot from boot camp partition i got black screen with a cursor blinking on the top left corner.
today i bought a external dvd drive, tried windows xp , windows 7 , windows 8 cd's but none of them boots. i got the same black screen.
i tried my ubuntu boot disk to be sure, it booted just fine without problem :(

Alex Alex
News comment 34 | User comment 4834 | 15:27 - 14th, May 2014


Is there anyway you can post a screenshot?

leedaelo leedaelo
News comment 35 | User comment 1 | 22:41 - 26th, May 2014


Hi Alex.
Please Help me.

I using Mackbook pro late 2011 (SSD+ HDD(with out odd)

Installing Windows 7 on a Macbook Pro 2011 with no DVD drive
i follow No 8. but i can't this step

Markui-MacBook-Pro:Windows 7 x64.vmwarevm mac$ /Applications/VMware Fusion.app/Contents/Library/vmware-rawdiskCreator print /dev/disk1
-bash: /Applications/VMware: No such file or directory




Alex Alex
News comment 36 | User comment 4834 | 8:06 - 27th, May 2014


I think you're missing a '\' from VMware\ Fusion

the \ tells the terminal that the next character is a character and part of the name of the app.

It should be
Windows 7 x64.vmwarevm mac$ /Applications/VMware\ Fusion.app/Contents/Library/vmware-rawdiskCreator print /dev/disk1

bobbiez bobbiez
News comment 37 | User comment 5 | 12:45 - 21st, Jun 2014


Hi Alex
I have some problem

I use iMac late 2009 with only one HDD (osx 10.9.1 and VMware Fusion6)
when I pasted this command
/Applications/VMware\ Fusion.app/Contents/Library/vmware-rawdiskCreator print /dev/disk0
my BOOTCAMP partition didn't show in list but when I check Disk Utility it's say my partition is disk0s4 (my list look like this http://img.ihere.org/uploads/9861cbc75b.png)
so I'm not sure I can do next step or not.

Alex Alex
News comment 38 | User comment 4834 | 12:54 - 21st, Jun 2014


The link you posted doesn't work. Try uploading it in the comments by clicking on the <a> link under the comment box.

bobbiez bobbiez
News comment 39 | User comment 5 | 12:57 - 21st, Jun 2014


oh sorry
Image
like this?

Alex Alex
News comment 40 | User comment 4834 | 13:06 - 21st, Jun 2014


Wow, haha, I meant to write the <img> link. my bad :)

bobbiez bobbiez
News comment 41 | User comment 5 | 13:09 - 21st, Jun 2014


oh..


Alex Alex
News comment 42 | User comment 4834 | 13:29 - 21st, Jun 2014


It looks like you "Basic Data" is your bootcamp partition. How much space did you give it?

bobbiez bobbiez
News comment 43 | User comment 5 | 13:31 - 21st, Jun 2014


I gave it around 200gb

Alex Alex
News comment 44 | User comment 4834 | 13:39 - 21st, Jun 2014


Have you partitioned your disk in more than just the mac and bootcamp partitions?
If not, looks like you're doing everything right.

bobbiez bobbiez
News comment 45 | User comment 5 | 1:22 - 22nd, Jun 2014


I can running Windows now thank you so much Alex!
After I tried so many way and, this way work like a charm :)

Alex Alex
News comment 46 | User comment 4834 | 9:16 - 22nd, Jun 2014


My pleasure! Glad we got everything working :D

Cam Cam
News comment 47 | User comment 1 | 19:28 - 6th, Jul 2014


Alex, what version of VMware Fusion are you using. As i seem to be getting the 'no directory found' issue when i paste the terminal command as found in question 8. I am using VMware Fusion 5.0.3 .

Alex Alex
News comment 48 | User comment 4834 | 10:01 - 7th, Jul 2014


I think you have the same issue as leedaelo. The space in the command in VM Ware causes issues. Try using '\' before the space.

Windows 7 x64.vmwarevm mac$ /Applications/VMware\ Fusion.app/Contents/Library/vmware-rawdiskCreator print /dev/disk1

saadulde45 saadulde45
News comment 49 | User comment 5 | 9:03 - 30th, Sep 2014


I did follow the steps you've mentioned but when I come to the windows installation part, I cannot see the drive partition and it says "We couldn't find any drives. To get a storage driver, click Load Driver". I tried to locate the driver from the bootcamp drivers but no luck.

The bootcamp partition is visible from Disk Utility. How do I get my partition to show up during windows installation?

Alex Alex
News comment 50 | User comment 4834 | 14:41 - 30th, Sep 2014


Can you upload a screenshot of your disk utility with info on the bootcamp partition?

saadulde45 saadulde45
News comment 51 | User comment 5 | 17:49 - 2nd, Oct 2014


Hi Alex, sorry for the late reply. Here is the info you asked for.


Alex Alex
News comment 52 | User comment 4834 | 21:01 - 2nd, Oct 2014


Are you installing windows 8 or windows 7? your VMware window is saying windows 8. Not sure it'll work with windows 8 :

saadulde45 saadulde45
News comment 53 | User comment 5 | 5:56 - 3rd, Oct 2014


Yes I'm trying with Windows 8. If this method doesn't work for Windows 8 can you update the steps for dual booting Mac and Win 8? or atleast point me in the right direction that will help me out a lot!

Thanks!

Alex Alex
News comment 54 | User comment 4834 | 6:52 - 3rd, Oct 2014


So just want to confirm your setup, you're using a usb stick to install windows 8 on your main hard drive or a secondary hard drive?

saadulde45 saadulde45
News comment 55 | User comment 5 | 4:37 - 4th, Oct 2014


My setup is mid-2010 MBP, with bootcamp created USB stick for Windows 8.1, with just a single SATA HD.

My original aim was to triple boot it but here I'm having to issues with just dual booting it, earlier I had triple booted it quite easily when I had 10.6.8, Win 7 and Ubuntu 12.04. I thought its about time to do a clean install with the latest OS'es.

saadulde45 saadulde45
News comment 56 | User comment 5 | 8:44 - 4th, Oct 2014


So I finally managed to install Windows 8.

The things that I did differently from your setup were as follows -

1. Manually create Bootcamp parition and then delete it (so that its free space)
2. Made sure my MBR was protective and not hybrid (using GDisk)
3. I did not boot into the installer from rEFInd, instead chose to boot from the EFI boot option after pressing the "alt" key

Towards the end of the setup I was prompted by the very 'friendly' message, "Windows couldnt update the boot configuration. The installation cannot proceed". I resolved this by resetting the PVRAM mentioned in the last comment on this thread Resetting PVRAM.

I don't know if anyone faced this issue or if it'll be useful to anyone, either way just listing the steps.

Alex Alex
News comment 57 | User comment 4834 | 12:24 - 6th, Oct 2014


Very good! thanks for the tips and glad it all worked out for you :)

ljmckeown ljmckeown
News comment 58 | User comment 1 | 15:20 - 17th, Feb 2015


Hey Alex,

I'm having an issue with deleting the file from the Bootcamp Partition.
Im able to delete them but not empty the trash in OSX 10.7.5
I have Parallels Installed.
If I don't empty the trash and boot into windows, the installer will stop at Expanding Files stating that the drive C: is Corrupt.

If I empty the trash, OSX will crash, every time.
I tried making a second virtual machine with Win 7 Ultimate and giving it access to Bootcamp, with no avail. OSX Crashed again.

Is there a way to set the permissions for OSX to Permanently Delete the Files immediately? In windows its a simple Shift-Del.. but Mac always seems to send it to the trash.

Thanks

Alex Alex
News comment 59 | User comment 4834 | 9:33 - 22nd, Feb 2015


Hmm, I do believe Apple introduced a force delete but not sure if it was in 10.7. Try holding option when emptying the trash.
You can also hold command to securely empty the trash as well.

silon silon
News comment 60 | User comment 5 | 20:21 - 19th, Mar 2015


Hi Alex,

Thanks for all of this. Proved very helpful. I originally found this method guide on another site, but there were some things that weren't so clear for me (specifically errors sometimes that I didn't see solutions for until I got to the comments section on your article).

I managed to get everything working. Do you know what specific files I can delete now from my Bootcamp drive to get rid of the original installer files (so I don't keep getting asked if I want to boot into Windows 7 or the installer)? I installed everything okay, started deleting files, but accidentally removed too much and had to go through the whole installation all over again.

Also, any idea if I can back up this partition with Winclone as you would any other Bootcamp partition (so in the event that the hard drive fails, I can restore the partition with Winclone)? Winclone sees the Bootcamp partition when I launch it and I see the partition in the finder, but for example, OS X doesn't see the Bootcamp partition as a bootable drive.

Do I have to keep Refit installed now that It can boot into Windows? I think the Refit menu disappeared anyways because now I can only boot into it by holding option.

Alex Alex
News comment 61 | User comment 4834 | 7:53 - 20th, Mar 2015


I've deleted the files that the first tutorial you mentioned told me to delete, and for some reason I still get asked which system I want to boot into. I looked online for a possible solution, there's something in the msconfig you can change but this also did not work for me.

As for refit, I have the same issue. I haven't removed anything though. I don't think it will change anything if you do, so let me know how it turns out :)

And backing up the windows partition... Well it's a windows partition, so it should act like a separate computer right? I'm not familiar with winclone but if it's anything like other backup software, once you get your system working again you should be able to restore whatever backup you have. If it's a ghosting software, that could be a little different.

silon silon
News comment 62 | User comment 5 | 9:21 - 20th, Mar 2015


Hi Alex,

Thanks for all of this. Proved very helpful. I originally found this method guide on another site, but there were some things that weren't so clear for me (specifically errors sometimes that I didn't see solutions for until I got to the comments section on your article).

I managed to get everything working. Do you know what specific files I can delete now from my Bootcamp drive to get rid of the original installer files (so I don't keep getting asked if I want to boot into Windows 7 or the installer)? I installed everything okay, started deleting files, but accidentally removed too much and had to go through the whole installation all over again.

Also, any idea if I can back up this partition with Winclone as you would any other Bootcamp partition (so in the event that the hard drive fails, I can restore the partition with Winclone)? Winclone sees the Bootcamp partition when I launch it and I see the partition in the finder, but for example, OS X doesn't see the Bootcamp partition as a bootable drive.

Do I have to keep Refit installed now that It can boot into Windows? I think the Refit menu disappeared anyways because now I can only boot into it by holding option.

silon silon
News comment 63 | User comment 5 | 9:29 - 20th, Mar 2015


Thanks for replying (and sorry for the double post, not sure what happened there).

Which files would those be? Anyways, before I had to wipe and reinstall a second time, I did manage to delete some files and have things be alright. It was only when I revealed the hidden files and started going after those that I screwed myself. Basically, anything with the word boot in it should be left alone :P

Refit... well, whatever honestly. It doesn't bother me. Though it likes to kind of ghost though. As in I install it, edit the file in the EFI volume, restart, Refit works. Then I boot back into OS X and the EFI volume disappears. In the end though, it's working.

Winclone is cloning software designed specifically for the bootcamp partition on a Mac (it's an OS X app that runs from your OS X partition to clone your bootcamp partition). It sounds like everything should be fine, but the reason I ask is because after all of that VM trickery to get the partition formatted correctly (which we still can't fully explain), I'm not sure if Winclone would pick up on it. I intend on running some experiments to see what happens.

Hate that all of this was necessary! Oh well :)

kamran kamran
News comment 64 | User comment 1 | 2:43 - 7th, May 2015


Hi, thanks for the tutorial but I am facing a problem in setup 8. I am trying to install windows 7. Here you said to copy and paste this "/Applications/VMware Fusion.app/Contents/Library/vmware-rawdiskCreator print /dev/disk1". I had to change it to disk0 to make it work but when I do that it does not show "Win 95 Fat32". I am attaching an image to show what I am getting - http://imgur.com/o5v8gph. I would really appreciate your help. Thank you.

Alex Alex
News comment 65 | User comment 4834 | 21:35 - 21st, May 2015


Hey Kamran, are you still having trouble? how many hard drives do you have in your computer? does it show up in the list at all? Meaning does it show up without the Win95 Fat32?

diedushka diedushka
News comment 66 | User comment 6 | 15:12 - 19th, Aug 2015


Hey there, Alex,

Im here with an interesting problem:

I am trying to set up Windows 10 on my early 2011 MBP, OSX 10.7.5 Lion. I already had a Windows 7 BootCamp partition that i deleted, then tried to set up another one, but.. With no luck whatsoever. I have tried setting up WIN 7, WIN 8.1, now WIN 10, but always ended up facing the error for the aprtition being formatted as MBP.

I recently found this thread and tried setting up the OS your way, but once i get to set up the VMware Fusion Virtual Machine, start setting up WIN, and get to the partition selection window:
OS_Window
no partition is being displayed. This happens every time i run VMware Fusion.

diedushka diedushka
News comment 67 | User comment 6 | 15:14 - 19th, Aug 2015


However, when i pause or quit VMware Fusion - the BOOTCAMP drive appears:
BOOTCAMP+

Would you have any thoughts as to why would this happen and how could i fix it?

I cannot really reinstall my whole system to set up OSX and WIN once again, and none of the solutions seem to work so far..

This is really frustrating..

Thanks for you help in advance!
Cheers.
D

Alex Alex
News comment 68 | User comment 4834 | 12:47 - 20th, Aug 2015


A couple of things you may need to take into consideration:
- Apple has updated bootcamp on 10.10 to allow win10 to be installed
- What format is your bootcamp partition? What did you use to format it?

diedushka diedushka
News comment 69 | User comment 6 | 12:38 - 24th, Aug 2015



diedushka diedushka
News comment 70 | User comment 6 | 12:49 - 24th, Aug 2015


Hey Alex,

Yes, i know apple has updated Bootcamp, but id rather stay on on Lion.. I moved from Snow Leopard before to next version and i hated it. Same with some other software from apple that got updated to have bugs and annoying glitches.

I have tried everything with formatting:
NTFS
FAT32
ExFAT

I have went for the GUI partition file system, but i still get the error that the partition is formatter as MBP. I use DiskUtility to format everything. Should i use Terminal maybe? I have tried tweaks and other suff, but nothing seems to work. I also tried installing WIN10, WIN8.1 and WIN7. And every one of them come back as 'The file format is MBP, EFI systems can be only installed on GUI file system'.

THis is really frustrating..

diedushka diedushka
News comment 71 | User comment 6 | 15:01 - 24th, Aug 2015


Hey Alex,

I have resolved the issue. Windows 10 is up and running fine on my superdrive swapped HDD. I have reformatted the drive and went for the setup. When the windows setup screen came to the part where you choose the partition i simply deleted the one i formatted with DiskUtility and reformatted it with the setup tool. After that the NEXT button was available and my OS is set up.

Thanks for your time anyway, this is a cool website!

Alex Alex
News comment 72 | User comment 4834 | 19:36 - 25th, Aug 2015


Glad it all worked out and thanks for the explanation. Every little bit helps :)

And the site needs a revamp but thanks! :D

diedushka diedushka
News comment 73 | User comment 6 | 12:59 - 26th, Aug 2015


Well,

If you have the time - revamp it! :D

hehe, and they say WIN10 is not supported by Lion. Works fine, just cant get the sound card to work..

Alex Alex
News comment 74 | User comment 4834 | 20:30 - 26th, Aug 2015


did downloading drivers help?

silon silon
News comment 75 | User comment 5 | 13:04 - 24th, Oct 2015


Hi, Alex.

Probably don't remember me, but I posted on here about 6 months ago when I was going through the install nightmare that is getting Windows onto my late 2009 iMac. Just wondering if now that Windows 10 is out, you've tried upgrading to it? Windows offers me the option to upgrade and even downloads all the files and begins the install process, but I cancelled in the middle because I realized I really cannot afford to lose Windows and have to reinstall at the moment.

But, if by any chance you've tried it (or are willing to) and it's worked just fine, that'd be great to know, as now that Windows 7 is 3 generations behind, something tells me that the programs that I need it to run are going to become outdated.

Thanks in advance.

silon silon
News comment 76 | User comment 5 | 9:11 - 25th, Oct 2015


Thought I'd just reply to my own comment and report my findings in case anyone else has the same question. Upgraded from inside Windows 7. No problems at all. Every time it restarted, I held the option key and had it boot into Windows.

Only problem I found was that my trackpad would move the cursor and click, but wouldn't right click, scroll, etc. (this is the magic trackpad because I am using a 2009 27" iMac). After a couple of hours of searching for drivers, I couldn't find a solution (Windows kept telling me the drivers were up to date). Finally, I decided to download the latest bootcamp from Apple. I downloaded to my computer and tried to run it from within Windows. It wouldn't run because it said that my system wasn't supported, but then I noticed that I could go into the drivers folder and find the trackpad driver manually. Installed that by double clicking on it, and everything started to work.

Hope this helps anyone who has the same question as me/trackpad problem.

Alex Alex
News comment 77 | User comment 4834 | 10:03 - 26th, Oct 2015


Hi Silon, I don't think windows 10 would have any issues with installing if it's an upgrade. Personally, I haven't done it yet on my macbook, though I don't think I will either. I've become a bit of a luddite and don't necessarily go for the newest thing, be it a new mac or new os. I can give you horror stories about El Capitan and my dad's imac.

I also have a dedicated pc for gaming now so that's kind of taken me away from my mac a bit too. I will tell you, though, that I upgraded from windows 7 to windows 10 and it worked great for half a day and then avg screwed everything up. Luckily windows was smart enough to save a working version of 7 on its own and reverted me back to that after some digging on my part.

Thanks for the update though, pretty daring of you to do a major upgrade like that to a system that is pretty untested.

simonandmac simonandmac
News comment 78 | User comment 4 | 17:00 - 29th, Oct 2015


Hi Alex,

I recently purchased a late 2011 Macbook Pro 17" - since i got a very good deal on it.
The main drive is an SSD with El Capitan.

I have swapped the optical drive with another SSD to install Windows on (whichever version would be ok), because programs i need to run don't exist for OS X.
Since I go to school in Germany I have licenses to 7, 8.1 and 10.
since 2 weeks im trying to just install windows. i cannot believe how frustrating this became. then I found this site. I did every Step on here, but the EFI Boot won't show up when rebooting the Mac (Step 16).
tried to reinstall.

Do you have any new information on this topic (since you mentioned you have some horror stories concerning El Capitan and so on...)?

What does this sentence mean? you mentioned it before step 1:
"rEFInd is a bootloader for mac, linux and windows, it's based off the code for rEFIt, which is no longer supported and doesn't have support for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion."

Would you have a solution?

Thanks ahead of time?!

Simon.

Alex Alex
News comment 79 | User comment 4834 | 20:09 - 29th, Oct 2015


@Simon: Looks like El Capitan is the problem again. Seems it's changed things (for security reasons maybe?)

Try what is described here: http://www.dallinhitchcock.com/installing-refind-on-os-x-el-capitan/

Looks like that should fix your problem. I still haven't upgraded to El Captian though. I'm getting kind of scared that it would completely break my laptop's current set up.

RegGrundys RegGrundys
News comment 80 | User comment 6 | 6:46 - 30th, Oct 2015


Hi Alex, thanks for this crazy detailed tutorial.

I'm trying to get Windows 7 (or 8.1) set up on my MacBookPro8,1 (late 2011) as well. Unfortunately I made the mistake of installing El Capitan.

I'm stuck on the BootCamp Info.plist step. I've changed the details exactly as described. But no changes show up in BootCamp. I am using the latest Bootcamp, though (6.0.0).

Any ideas?

Info.plist scrsht

Info.plist2

Alex Alex
News comment 81 | User comment 4834 | 7:14 - 30th, Oct 2015


I've had similar problems with my work iMac for some reason. Still haven't found a work around unfortunately, but I haven't really spent too much time looking into it yet.

Sorry :(

simonandmac simonandmac
News comment 82 | User comment 4 | 9:51 - 31st, Oct 2015


@Alex

Thank you very much for this step-by-step procedure. Much appreciated. And thanks for the wuck response. I have tried it again and again, and its just not recognizing the windows drive, after copying the iso-contents and such, when i tried to reboot at step 16 😔

Also tried the procedure mentioned here, in case you are interested:
http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/199843/how-do-i-install-windows-10-on-macbookpro5-1-with-no-optical-drive-ssdhdd/201980#201980
but it won't even start the virtual machine.
perhaps i am doing something wrong. not sure.
tried with windows 10 and 7

My last hope is an external superdrive, since that should actually work - i think apple officially allows that on my Macbook without editing the Info.plist file, for windows 7.


simonandmac simonandmac
News comment 83 | User comment 4 | 10:04 - 31st, Oct 2015


@RegGrundys

I had the same issue, but im not sure if the same solution would work:
I have MacBookPro8,3 (17" Macbook)

within PreUSBBootSupportModels:
i inserted that model identifier (MacBookPro8,3), and it did not work.
Then i inserted for fun this identifier: MacBookPro8,1 (the 13"-Macbook)
then it work and i had all three "options".

maybe that helps?

ALSO: somewhere else i read that on should change the header:
from: PreUSBBootSupportModels
to: USBBootSupportModels
Not sure exactly what that does....

Im pretty disappointed in apple for making this so complicated.

RegGrundys RegGrundys
News comment 84 | User comment 6 | 21:12 - 31st, Oct 2015


@simonandmac

ALSO: somewhere else i read that on should change the header:
from: PreUSBBootSupportModels
to: USBBootSupportModels


Thanks! This worked. The third option shows up now.

Now let's see if I can get through the rest of it.

Alex Alex
News comment 85 | User comment 4834 | 23:48 - 31st, Oct 2015


Awesome, thanks for the updates and tips everyone

RegGrundys RegGrundys
News comment 86 | User comment 6 | 0:56 - 1st, Nov 2015


Ok, so now I'm stuck at Steps 11 and 12. I am trying to install from my Windows 7 iso. I have completed Step 11, but VMware keeps saying "No operating system found".
Any ideas?

simonandmac simonandmac
News comment 87 | User comment 4 | 11:51 - 2nd, Nov 2015


@RegGrundys

If you have an image of Windows in an iso, go to settings (command e) and go to the cd / dvd section. Click Autodetect and select choose image, find your image and finally click the enable button at the top.


"...click the enable button at the top"!

this is what i kept missing and i got the same error message.
Sometimes you cannot click the radio button, probably when the machine is running. if thats the case play around with pausing and resuming and restarting the virtual machine.
this can be done from the top menu:
Virtual Machine > Pause/Resume/Restart....

not sure if this helps but like i said i somehow never read that part of the sentence until later!
please let me know if you made it! or if it helped!

RegGrundys RegGrundys
News comment 88 | User comment 6 | 20:08 - 2nd, Nov 2015


@simonandmac

Thanks for the help. I had indeed clicked the "enable" button and selected my iso, but it was still saying "Operating system missing".

HOWEVER! I finally got it to install with some mucking around. While the vm was launching I had to quickly click (left click) on the vm window to activate keyboard control, and then I immediately hit ESC to bring up the BIOS boot menu. I then simply selected the correct boot option (I think it was cd/dvd but it could've been usb), and then it successfully installed from my iso.

This is really weird, though. Because I was actually successful yesterday installing from the iso the normal way, but unfortunately I got a corruption of files error later on in the process. But I have not been able to repeat this the normal way. Until I just figured out the BIOS boot menu method.

Alex Alex
News comment 89 | User comment 4834 | 12:10 - 3rd, Nov 2015


Well done guys.

Doesn't VMware have an option to boot into bios menu though?

RegGrundys RegGrundys
News comment 90 | User comment 6 | 19:59 - 3rd, Nov 2015


@Alex
I'm not heaps familiar with VMware so I couldn't say for sure. But you're probably right, there's probably an easy way to boot into bios.

Just for clarification, I was able to follow this procedure on OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) using VMware Fusion 8 to install Windows 7. I'll put together a list of notable changes I had to make to the above procedure and update soon.

Thanks guys!

Alex Alex
News comment 91 | User comment 4834 | 8:00 - 4th, Nov 2015


Looking forward to seeing it.

patco2000 patco2000
News comment 92 | User comment 2 | 5:23 - 21st, Nov 2015


Hi everyone....i have a MacBook Pro 2011 17" with the super drive out of service...i recently updated my OS to El capitan...i tried to follow the steps to install Windows but it seems a lil bit different to me (steps 8, 9, 10)...I'm using VMware 8 so i think i'm in the same case as @RegGrundys...i just need to know where and how the procedure must change

thank you!

Alex Alex
News comment 93 | User comment 4834 | 6:55 - 25th, Nov 2015


Hi Patco, sounds like you've got the same issues as the most recent posters. Have you tried following their steps?

patco2000 patco2000
News comment 94 | User comment 2 | 5:26 - 26th, Nov 2015


Yes Alex, first i've tried to follow your steps and at 8 i wasn't able to continue because i have installed VMware 8 on El Capitan....In the comments i found that @RegGrundys had to make some changes in the procedure and that's what i would like to know

RegGrundys RegGrundys
News comment 95 | User comment 6 | 2:30 - 5th, Dec 2015


@patco2000
Sorry only just saw your post. If you're still trying this method just let me know exactly where you need help. When you say Steps 8, 9, 10, do you mean the bootcamp steps or the terminal steps?

Caleb1243 Caleb1243
News comment 96 | User comment 1 | 22:01 - 9th, Dec 2015


Hey, I am running el capitan and using vm ware 8, trying to run windows 7 x 64. I can get to the point where it starts to install but the boot camp driver is not listed. It did ask me before I started it my password for boot camp so I know that it is using boot camp. No idea what to do to have it recognized. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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