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Old Oct 24, 2012, 11:23 PM   #1
MatthewAMEL
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3TB iMac and Boot Camp

Just FYI. You cannot use Boot Camp on the new iMac with a 3TB drive. In fact, you can't use it on ANY Mac with a HDD >2TB.

I'm not sure who to point the finger at, (Apple or Microsoft) but if the 1st sector of your Windows partition is outside the 1st 2TB of the disk, the Windows installer will fail. I had this happen when I replaced my failed 1TB Seagate with a 3TB WD. I had to swap the 3TB for a 2TB.

A new article from Apple has this in the notes and also describes how the Fusion Drive works.

The Boot Camp partition will be on the HDD and not part of the SSD/HDD system.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5446?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 12:51 AM   #2
81Steven
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If I can't Bootcamp with 3TB HD it's a problem
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 01:03 AM   #3
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What is the difference between Bootcamp and Paralells? Will it not work with Paralells either??
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 01:07 AM   #4
81Steven
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virtualization will works...
with hardware intensive applications the difference is enormous

no way


bootcamp it's a feature on the new iMac page and so have to work with the new product... otherwise I'll be very disappointed
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 01:32 AM   #5
EPiCDiNGO
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How will bootcamp work with the Fusion drives? Am i correct in thinking the SSD/HDD are combined with software run in OS X? therefore im guessing windows will either run without the SSD drive or there will be some kind of update for the bootcamp and add the new software as windows drivers to make it function


I would hate to run windows without the SSD speeds
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 03:04 AM   #6
81Steven
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If I create a hard disk partition is it part of Fusion Drive?
The additional partition is not part of Fusion Drive. The new partition is a separate volume that is physically located on the hard disk drive.

Windows partition = no ssd
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 05:10 AM   #7
The Phazer
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Err... wow, that's a stunning fail.

I hope that gets fixed quickly.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 05:13 AM   #8
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Err... wow, that's a stunning fail.

I hope that gets fixed quickly.
I am not impressed with this Fusion business myself. I predict it will bring a world of pain and "where is all of my data gone to. Cannot read fusion disk. etc" threads.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 05:17 AM   #9
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I'm sure Apple will fix this on release of the iMac or within a couple of months (it took them a few months after the 2009 iMac to get an official Bootcamp solution for Windows). If not then it would be a massive fail on Apples part, but as I said, cannot imagine that Bootcamp will be an issue on this release.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 05:20 AM   #10
81Steven
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I can wait a couple of months for the fix.... just I need to be sure that will be fixed
otherwise I should choose the 1TB solution plus an exteranl storage unit
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 06:20 AM   #11
tyche
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Would something like refit solve this?
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 06:35 AM   #12
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Would something like refit solve this?
Yes, you could, in theory, create a partition on the HDD by yourself using Disk Utility and then use refit to install windows.

Having said that, it really depends on what you're planning to use Windows for. If it's office productivity type stuff, then you would be best off with using Parallels or VMWare fusion and running Windows as a virtual machine. You should get better performance, because the virtual machine file should be on the flash "cache" drive. Again, this is a theory without having the details of how "Fusion drive" will prioritise which files go where. If it's based on how often they are accessed, then you're in luck. But you may be out of luck because there will probably be a switch about how big the files can be and it will probably try to move large files, like vms, to the mechanical HDD anyway.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 07:23 AM   #13
81Steven
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btw the 3tb bootcamp limitation is it not fusion drive related.
the issue is the same with a standard hard disk with a size more than 2tb

If you change hd with a 3tb one in the actual iMac you cant bootcamp
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 10:01 AM   #14
Heinous
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btw the 3tb bootcamp limitation is it not fusion drive related.
the issue is the same with a standard hard disk with a size more than 2tb

If you change hd with a 3tb one in the actual iMac you cant bootcamp
That's the part that troubles me. I hope someone somewhere can come up with a workaround in the near future.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 10:52 AM   #15
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Would something like refit solve this?
That would remain to be seen, but what I'm wondering about is how to install Bootcamp without an internal DVD drive.

I just went through this hell with my Macbook Pro. The internal DVD is removed and replaced with the stock 500gb hard drive. I have an SSD in the main disk bay.

The issue is that you cannot boot Windows (or anything) from an external CD or USB drive of any kind on the Macbook Pro, even using rEFIt. I had to put the internal DVD superdrive back into the Macbook to install Windows. I'm just wondering if the iMac works the same way.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 01:36 PM   #16
MatthewAMEL
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That would remain to be seen, but what I'm wondering about is how to install Bootcamp without an internal DVD drive.

I just went through this hell with my Macbook Pro. The internal DVD is removed and replaced with the stock 500gb hard drive. I have an SSD in the main disk bay.

The issue is that you cannot boot Windows (or anything) from an external CD or USB drive of any kind on the Macbook Pro, even using rEFIt. I had to put the internal DVD superdrive back into the Macbook to install Windows. I'm just wondering if the iMac works the same way.
This has been my exact experience with my Late2009 iMac and my 2011 13" MBP.

rEFIt does not work on any platform where there is a 'missing' optical drive. AppleCare has confirmed with me it's an EFI limitation.

I got Windows installed on my HDD by using Winclone.

As for the 3TB limit, it's a MBR limitation.

My guess is Boot Camp assistant provides a emulated MBR for the Windows environment (emulated MBR is part of the GPT spec).

Here is a excerpt from a Microsoft article about >2TB drives
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2581408
The 2TB barrier is the very manifestation of this 32-bit limitation. Since the maximum number which is able to be represented using 32-bits is 4,294,967,295, this translates to 2.199TB of capacity using 512-byte sectors, or approximately 2.2TB. As a result, capacity beyond 2.2TB is not addressable using the MBR partitioning scheme.

In order for more bits to be available for addressing, the device will instead need to be initialized with the GPT (GUID Partition Table) partition scheme which allows for up to 64-bits of logical sectors, which translates to a theoretical limitation of 9.4ZB (9.4 zetta bytes, or 9.4 billion terabytes). However, the issue with GPT is that most currently available systems are based on the aging BIOS platform which only supports booting from MBR initialized disks. In order to boot from a device initialized with the GPT partitioning scheme, your system will need to be UEFI capable. There are many systems today which ship with the capability of supporting UEFI, and Microsoft expects that most future systems will be shipping with this support. Customers should consult with their system vendor to determine support for UEFI and disks with capacities greater than 2TB.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 02:03 PM   #17
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Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see a problem. The OP's post says, "if the 1st sector of your Windows partition is outside the 1st 2TB of the disk, the Windows installer will fail." So, what if you set the Bootcamp partition at a size larger than 1TB? This will put the Windows start before the 2TB limit. Or, is Bootcamp partition size limited to something less than 1TB? Anything I've read indicates no maximum size limit for a Bootcamp partition. I've seen mention of a an entire 2TB disk used as a bootcamp partition for a Windows only, Mac.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 02:21 PM   #18
MatthewAMEL
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Yes, and it seems like it would work that way.

One of the many work-arounds I tried was creating a 1TB Mac partition, then the Boot Camp partition (inside the 2TB limit).

The Boot Camp assistant would work, the Windows installer would run, but it would quit with an error when it attempted to install.

Apple has finally acknowledged this as a limit because they now ship a factory Mac with a 3TB drive available.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 04:03 PM   #19
drambuie
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Yes, and it seems like it would work that way.

One of the many work-arounds I tried was creating a 1TB Mac partition, then the Boot Camp partition (inside the 2TB limit).

The Boot Camp assistant would work, the Windows installer would run, but it would quit with an error when it attempted to install.

Apple has finally acknowledged this as a limit because they now ship a factory Mac with a 3TB drive available.
This is interesting. What happens if you give OS X the full 3TB, then create a 1.2TB bootcamp partition, as per the normal procedure?

Anyway, in the present situation, are you able to format the bootcamp partition as NTFS? Also, at what point in the install do you get the error, and what is the error message? Win 7 doesn't care what partition size you are using. it could be 10TB, and it would still install.

Another thought, if you have nothing important on the disk, what happens if you erase it, and give Windows the entire 3TB?
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 04:26 PM   #20
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This is interesting. What happens if you give OS X the full 3TB, then create a 1.2TB bootcamp partition, as per the normal procedure?

Anyway, in the present situation, are you able to format the bootcamp partition as NTFS? Also, at what point in the install do you get the error, and what is the error message? Win 7 doesn't care what partition size you are using. it could be 10TB, and it would still install.

Another thought, if you have nothing important on the disk, what happens if you erase it, and give Windows the entire 3TB?
Same result. Windows refuses to install.

If you have a MacPro, for example, and use a 2nd installed HDD for Boot Camp, that presents no problems.

Since I believe Boot Camp Assistant works by emulating an MBR (required since when Boot Camp was new the current version of Windows was XP), Windows must see LBA0 or the MBR inside the 1st 2TB of the disk.

Reading the MS article I referenced above, it requires 33+ bits to address a volume larger than 2.2TB, I think the Windows installer (specifically, Disk Manager), horks up a hairball when it's presented with a physical disk larger than 32-bits (2.2TB) with an MBR.

The Boot Camp 'fix' will exclude all 32-bit versions of Windows and drop the MBR emulation.

IMHO.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 09:34 PM   #21
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I see what's going on now. Bootcamp sets the Windows partition as MBR, but the windows installer is prevented by bootcamp from repartioning the partition to GUID. So, here we have a situation where Windows would be happy with GUID, but bootcamp insists on MBR. I suppose you could give OS X 1TB, and Windows 1TB, but then you would lose use of the 3rd TB.

Aside from providing the applicable Mac drivers, is bootcamp even needed? Could OS X create a second unformatted GUID partition, so that the 64 bit Windows installer would recognize it as a bootable partition and be able to format it as NTFS?
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 11:29 PM   #22
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I see what's going on now. Bootcamp sets the Windows partition as MBR, but the windows installer is prevented by bootcamp from repartioning the partition to GUID. So, here we have a situation where Windows would be happy with GUID, but bootcamp insists on MBR. I suppose you could give OS X 1TB, and Windows 1TB, but then you would lose use of the 3rd TB.

Aside from providing the applicable Mac drivers, is bootcamp even needed? Could OS X create a second unformatted GUID partition, so that the 64 bit Windows installer would recognize it as a bootable partition and be able to format it as NTFS?
During the Windows 8 beta that is how I was running Win 8 on my iMac. I used OSX disk util and made a unformatted GUID partition. I booted up from the Win 8 DVD and used it to format the partition NTFS and install Win 8. After the install I made a folder on the windows drive where I copied the Bootcamp drivers and installed them. Worked fully.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 02:03 PM   #23
reflekshun
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Does anyone have any idea when a bootcamp 'fix' might be coming out to address this issue and allow installation 3TB hard drives?
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 02:10 PM   #24
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Does anyone have any idea when a bootcamp 'fix' might be coming out to address this issue and allow installation 3TB hard drives?
No one knows when they're coming out, or even if they're coming out. But, if I had to guess I'd say that Apple will 'fix' it when they release Windows 8 drivers - that's if they decide to fix the >2TB problem.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 03:41 PM   #25
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No one knows when they're coming out, or even if they're coming out. But, if I had to guess I'd say that Apple will 'fix' it when they release Windows 8 drivers - that's if they decide to fix the >2TB problem.
Hmm good point Nishi, I think its best to assume that it's not coming for the time being and configure a 2TB HDD somehow. Heres hoping that it's possible to safely replace the HDD in the new 27" imac!!!
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