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Old Jan 3, 2014, 06:12 PM   #1
awarlock
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Installing Windows 8.1 and Bootcamp on 2013 nMP 6,1

OK, having just completed getting Windows 8.1 via Bootcamp up and running on my nMP, that was a little bit of a chore, all things considered.

Things to consider that I ran into:

Windows on a SATA internal hard drive will not boot from a USB Enclosure (Did not know that). I hear a Thunderbolt Enclosure might work differently?

(1) The new Mac Pro will only allow Bootcamp installation w/Windows 8.0 or later. (I had Windows 7)
(2) The new Mac Pro/Bootcamp will only allow Window installation from a USB Flash Drive. (It would not let me install from the USB DVD player and the physical Windows 8.1 DVD)
(3) Do not partition your SSD prior to Bootcamp installation. Bootcamp made me undo my partition, put it back to the original and then during installation asked me to partition the SSD again, the options I saw was 20 GB or Split in Half. (I chose split it in half)
(4) Buy Full Version of Windows 8.1 from Walmart $120 or wherever. I made the mistake of getting mine directly from Microsoft thinking I could simply download it. When I did download it, then it tried to update my Windows 7 on my SATA drive to Windows 8.1 which I didn't want because I would not be able to run Windows from the USB hard drive. I called Microsoft back, explained the situation and Microsoft told me I would have to wait for the DVD which was another $15 although I did receive both a 32 bit and 64 bit version. If I would have bought the FULL version of 8.1 from my local Walmart store it would have saved me a 5 day shipping wait and the extra $15.

So: (1) I had to partition part of my nMP SSD to allow installation of Windows 8.1 (since the USB hard drive does not work for Windows) WAIT for BOOTCAMP to Partition the SSD!!
(2) I had to purchase a FULL version of Windows 8.1 $120 (I had Windows 7)
(3) You will need a USB DVD player to play the DVD to create an .iso image of the Windows 8.1 (I already had a USB DVD player)
(4) Then I used Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility (The Disk Utility program) and my Windows 8.1 DVD showing up in the Disk Utility program. In Disk Utility, I selected the Windows 8.1 DVD and then I selected New Image+. In the drop down window under Image Format, I selected DVD/CD Master w/Encryption set to None and saved that to my Desktop. This takes a little while to create the file but when I was completed I had a .cdr file. Simply click on the name and change the .cdr to .iso. Now you have an .iso file of the FULL version of Windows 8.1.
(5) Insert a BLANK USB Flash Drive (or save all data on it to your SSD) in a USB port on your nMP. Otherwise the installation process will erase anything that is on that USB drive.
(6) Launch the Boot Camp Assistant program found in Applications/Utilitites/Boot Camp Assistant. Hit Continue and CHECK Create a Windows 8 or later install disk and CHECK Download the latest Windows support software from Apple. Hit Continue again. Select the .iso file and Bootcamp will now create a WININSTALL on the USB Flash Drive. The Windows 8.1 ISO file is 4.43 GB in size so you will need a flash drive larger than that.
(7) As I recall, it was here where Boot Camp wanted to partition the SSD and I proceeded as noted above selecting Split in Half. After that I ended up with a screen showing my OSX partition and the Windows partition that was named BOOTCAMP. I selected the BOOTCAMP partition but could not proceed until I formatted the BOOTCAMP partition as MS-DOT (FAT). After that, everything was pretty straight forward and the installation of Windows 8.1 proceeded normally (took 30 to 45 mins. as I recall). Remember to have your Windows 8.1 Product Key available because Windows 8.1 asks for that immediately. At the end, the Bootcamp program completed installation on Windows 8.1 to allow for booting back to OSX.

There may be some shortcuts to this that I missed. Hopefully, this helps someone. Please add any additional info that I missed or any shortcuts. This is how I did it. If there are better ways, sorry, this is how I muddled my way through it.

Last edited by awarlock; Jan 3, 2014 at 06:58 PM.
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 09:01 PM   #2
Anim
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Thanks for posting this.

1. Shame you have to split the SSD in half with no other option.

2. What is the actual Windows 8.1 64bit Pro OEM dvd you suggest. I had difficulty finding it, found 8.0 and upgrades etc. Amazon link?

3. I want to install and run from an External, not touch the SSD if I can.

4. Was FAT your only choice? no NTFS?

If you already have a Windows 8.1 system on a PC I have heard you can use WinClone ( http://twocanoes.com/winclone ) to turn it into an image and resetting the hardware drivers for moving to Bootcamp on the mac. This could be a solution for those that don't want to fresh install or already have a windows 8.1 license?

Thanks
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 11:00 PM   #3
wheelhot
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Just to clarify, are sure your USB DVD player has enough power supply? As from my experience, to boot from your USB DVD player sometime requires more then 1 USB port, a Y connector could work or if your USB DVD allows plugging in an external power adapter, the better.

Anim, I believe you can only install Win 8 on a NTFS partition, the same goes for Win 7.
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 11:45 PM   #4
Mgmx
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Here's my Windows 8.1 experience with the new mac pro.

2. , 7. IF you're installing from an actual external dvd drive, you have to unplug EVERYTHING..including any other usb drives or the install will not allow you to press next after the initial drive format.

That includes the USB support drive.

But I've installed multiple times now with Dvd install media.

I actually brought this to the attention of the apple store here and it was quite funny as I was the first "in the wild" mac pro they'd seen.

I have, however, been able to split the ssd in any way that i'd like...so i've a 60gb partition for windows 8 running great.

----------

Also.. I've used winclone to clone an entire BOOTABLE windows 8 partition to a lacie external thunderbolt series ssd and have been using that for a very long time with no issues.
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 01:13 AM   #5
wheelhot
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Quote:
Also.. I've used winclone to clone an entire BOOTABLE windows 8 partition to a lacie external thunderbolt series ssd and have been using that for a very long time with no issues.
Interesting, so it's possible to install Bootcamp on an external drive! I guess you restored back your nMP partition to full OSX?
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 02:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgmx View Post
Also.. I've used winclone to clone an entire BOOTABLE windows 8 partition to a lacie external thunderbolt series ssd and have been using that for a very long time with no issues.
So the following steps are possible ?

1. Create a bootcamp partition on the internal disk

2. Use winclone to create a bootable partition to an external storage (of any type?)

3. Reallocate the internal disk fully back to OS X

4. Use windows from the external storage (booting with alt pressed)

If the above is correct:
As far as I knew, Windows were unable to boot from external drives - Windows 8 specifically changed that ?
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 03:10 AM   #7
Mgmx
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Originally Posted by antonis View Post
So the following steps are possible ?

1. Create a bootcamp partition on the internal disk

2. Use winclone to create a bootable partition to an external storage (of any type?)

3. Reallocate the internal disk fully back to OS X

4. Use windows from the external storage (booting with alt pressed)

If the above is correct:
As far as I knew, Windows were unable to boot from external drives - Windows 8 specifically changed that ?
1. Make bootcamp partition. Install Windows. Winclone that Install to External. Delete bootcamp partition.

2. Winclone should work to any external storage, however windows won't boot unless it is a thunderbolt drive. (so no USB 3) You also cannot boot from a RAID drive either.
I recommend getting this Lacie SSD Thunderbolt. http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-Portable/Removable-Drives/product~DPNo~9400819~pdp.iabheei?source=mwbgoogleshop&adtype=pla&kw={keyword}&gclid=COSmvd6V5LsCFcKD QgodlxwAMA

It gets about 400-500Mbps and boots similar to a decent ssd. The platter drives are a bit slow to boot and run the os from.

3. Yep

4. Correct again.

You can then walk that bootable Windows to any Mac computer that boots thunderbolt..I would, however, be sure that you hook it up to a similar computer (ie another Mac Pro, etc etc) or you may get some errors from Windows with regards to the hardware (and it may deauthorize itself because of that as well).

Works great, I've only tried it with Windows 8, but I've not had any issues. That's how I'm running my windows install off of my Mid 2013 iMac at the moment.
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 03:55 AM   #8
antonis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgmx View Post
1. Make bootcamp partition. Install Windows. Winclone that Install to External. Delete bootcamp partition.

2. Winclone should work to any external storage, however windows won't boot unless it is a thunderbolt drive. (so no USB 3) You also cannot boot from a RAID drive either.
I recommend getting this Lacie SSD Thunderbolt. http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-Portable/Removable-Drives/product~DPNo~9400819~pdp.iabheei?source=mwbgoogleshop&adtype=pla&kw={keyword}&gclid=COSmvd6V5LsCFcKD QgodlxwAMA

It gets about 400-500Mbps and boots similar to a decent ssd. The platter drives are a bit slow to boot and run the os from.

3. Yep

4. Correct again.

You can then walk that bootable Windows to any Mac computer that boots thunderbolt..I would, however, be sure that you hook it up to a similar computer (ie another Mac Pro, etc etc) or you may get some errors from Windows with regards to the hardware (and it may deauthorize itself because of that as well).

Works great, I've only tried it with Windows 8, but I've not had any issues. That's how I'm running my windows install off of my Mid 2013 iMac at the moment.
Thank you for this very useful info.
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 05:23 AM   #9
motegi
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Originally Posted by Mgmx View Post
I recommend getting this Lacie SSD Thunderbolt. http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-Portable/Removable-Drives/product~DPNo~9400819~pdp.iabheei?source=mwbgoogleshop&adtype=pla&kw={keyword}&gclid=COSmvd6V5LsCFcKD QgodlxwAMA

It gets about 400-500Mbps and boots similar to a decent ssd.
The link is broken. Is it this drive? http://store.apple.com/au/product/HA...id-state-drive
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 06:20 AM   #10
Anim
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Some of us need more space than 256GB for windows.

So after digging around found a few possible solutions. Below is a powered external thunderbolt SATA port that takes any SSD's (based on reviews). I then wanted to check SSD reliability and it seems that MLC NAND is the way to go?

The MLC NAND drive I found was a 480GB Crucial M500 drive.

So....

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Deskto...ef=pd_sim_pc_3
and
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Options:

1. 480GB External Thunderbolt SSD for $408 using the above
2. 512GB Lacie Little Big SSD 635MB/s for $700

http://store.apple.com/us/product/HA...drive?fnode=5f
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 06:58 AM   #11
motegi
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Can I ask what you need more space for?
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 07:17 AM   #12
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Windows 8.1 in EFI mode?

It'll also be helpful to know if it is possible to install Win 8.1 using EFI (without bootcamp).

Thanks!
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 07:28 AM   #13
Lumpydog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anim View Post
Thanks for posting this.

1. Shame you have to split the SSD in half with no other option.
You don't have to split the SSD in half . The OPs post is not accurate in many areas and I would NOT follow his instructions.

1) You CAN install from a Win 8 or 8.1 DVD (you don't need to jump through all those hoops to create an iso image). I used an external USB Apple superdrive. Was very very easy. I purchased my Win 8.1 DVD here. Just leave the "Create a Windows 8 or later install disk" box unchecked when you first start Boot Camp Assistant and leave the second and third options checked.

2) You will need MS-DOS FAT formatted external storage attached (Either a USB stick or external Drive) so you can download the Apple Windows Support Software/drivers to that FAT-formatted destination. Bootcamp requires this if you check the second box "Download the latest Windows support software from Apple" - I recommend you select this option.

3) Bootcamp lets you choose what size partition you want. It shows a divider that you can slide with your mouse if you want a partition that is larger than the default 20GB. Makes me cringe to thing the OP gave half his SSD to Windows (youch).

4) As others have posted, once you create the Win 8 installation on your internal SSD, you can use WinClone to copy it over to an external Thunderbolt drive and wipe the copy from your internal SSD. Mgmx has posted the right instructions on how to do this here. I used an SSD drive that I pulled from my old mac pro and used this awesome thunderbolt adapter - it included a TB cable.
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Last edited by Lumpydog; Jan 4, 2014 at 01:20 PM.
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 07:40 AM   #14
Anim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motegi View Post
Can I ask what you need more space for?
Steam folder is about 300GB (e.g. Call of duty Ghosts takes up 45GB) on my windows PC, also work related like 3dsmax and all my textures take up a large amount + windows apps. Working projects can be anything up to 50GB in size but these get archived after completion. I have 1TB full at the moment on my working drive so will need to strip that back to 512GB ish. Also have a 2TB Synology NAS for archives and low used data, music, pics etc. Also got a 2TB time capsule and 3TB in externals for really old secondary backups.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpydog View Post
You don't have to split the SSD in half . The OPs post is not accurate in many areas and I would NOT follow his instructions.

1) You CAN install from a Win 8 or 8.1 DVD (you don't need to jump through all those hoops to create an iso image). I used an external USB Apple superdrive. Was very very easy. I purchased my Win 8.1 DVD here. Just leave the "Create a Windows 8 or later install disk" box unchecked.

2) You will need MS-DOS FAT formatted external storage attached (Either a USB stick or external Drive) so you can download the Apple Windows Support Software/drivers to that FAT-formatted destination. Bootcamp requires this if you check the second box "Download the latest Windows support software from Apple" - I recommend you select this option.

3) Bootcamp lets you choose what size partition you want. It shows a divider that you can slide with your mouse if you want a partition that is larger than the default 20GB. Makes me cringe to thing the OP gave half his SSD to Windows (youch).

4) As others have posted, once you create the Win 8 installation on your internal SSD, you can use WinClone to copy it over to an external Thunderbolt drive and wipe the copy from your internal SSD. Mgmx has posted the right instructions on how to do this here. I used an SSD drive that I pulled from my old mac pro and used this awesome thunderbolt adapter - it included a TB cable.
Cool, good to have a discussion on this as I am sure many will be going through the same process (myself included) soon.

I have also read on Apple support to disable windows updates while installing Win8 as it screws up the bootcamp drivers, then enable it after everything is running normally.

Edited.

Cheers
Anim
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 07:43 AM   #15
mac.rumors
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anim View Post

One thing that I find confusing is which Windows 8.1 dvd is the correct one for a new machine, OEM. Anybody got a link to shop bought Pro version so I can compare to the UK stores?

Cheers
Anim
I was planning on getting this from amazon.com
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 08:02 AM   #16
Anim
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For the UK windows 8.1, I assume this one (link) is OK. Doesn't say OEM but then the price is OEM priced. Also not Pro but I don't need Media Centre.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-Wi...ds=Windows+8.1

One other question. I keep reading reports that If bootcamping this to the external and also want to access it via OSX Fusion/Parallels it screws up the bootcamp win8 license and needs reactivating. Anybody experienced that?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac.rumors View Post
I was planning on getting this from amazon.com
For some reason the Amazon.co.uk Pro version in the UK is £180 ($295)
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 08:14 AM   #17
kid2010
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Originally Posted by mac.rumors View Post
It'll also be helpful to know if it is possible to install Win 8.1 using EFI (without bootcamp).

Thanks!
Yes, you can install Windows 8/8.1 using EFI Boot
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 08:23 AM   #18
Anim
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Yes, you can install Windows 8/8.1 using EFI Boot
Is that like booting to the win8 dvd and installing without loading OSX? If so, why do we need bootcamp?
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 08:36 AM   #19
mac.rumors
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kid2010 View Post
Yes, you can install Windows 8/8.1 using EFI Boot
That's good news! You have tried this on the new MacPro, correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anim View Post
Is that like booting to the win8 dvd and installing without loading OSX? If so, why do we need bootcamp?
I may be wrong, but I think bootcamp is a way Apple allowed older OSes that used MBR to be installed on EFI Macs. Since the newer Windows versions support EFI, theoretically, bootcamp is not needed.

Someone more technical in this matter can shed some light.
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 09:18 AM   #20
Anim
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Just found these that may help using the EFI install methods...

If you want to create a bootable UEFI USB disk from a windows 8/8.1 dvd then this tutorial may help:
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...e-windows.html

If your nMP has a dvd drive then you can follow this one:
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...ndows-8-a.html
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 11:26 AM   #21
Mgmx
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Originally Posted by motegi View Post
The link is broken. Is it this drive? http://store.apple.com/au/product/HA...id-state-drive
Yep, that is it.
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 12:16 PM   #22
Lumpydog
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Installing Windows 8/8.1 from a DVD

Here are a set of (hopefully) fool-proof instructions for those nMP owners interested in installing Windows 8, using Boot Camp and a Windows 8 DVD:

What you will need:
1) A Windows 8/8.1 DVD - full version. Not upgrade. I bought mine here. ***Note - there is at least one report that an upgrade version of Win 8 may suffice. See Ytoyoda's post further down this thread. If anyone else has a similar experience, please post.
2) An external storage device (USB thumb drive or portable Hard Drive) that is at least 500MB. It should be formatted to MS-DOS FAT. Disk Utility can format the drive to MS-DOS FAT if you need to do so.
3) Access to an external DVD Drive

To install Win 8/8.1 via Boot Camp:

1) Open Boot Camp Assistant. It's found in Applications/Utilities

2) There are three check boxes. Uncheck the first and check the second two boxes. You won't need to create installation disk. You already have a Win 8/8.1 DVD

3) Make sure your FAT-formated storage is plugged into your nMP

4) Click Continue - select the FAT-formatted drive as the destination for your Apple Windows Support software download (basically the boot camp installer and drivers for Windows 8/8.1 - about 431MB in total).

5) Once downloaded, you will need to enter your admin password to continue. This is a good time to pull the ethernet cable out of the back of your nMP. Doing this prevents Windows Update from starting until after you have installed bootcamp and the needed drivers for Windows 8/8.1. This is a good idea. Don't skip this step. If you're using wireless, don't log into your network from Windows until step 12

6) You will see a visual representation of your Windows and OSX partitions with dividing bar between them. Select your partition size by sliding/dragging the dividing bar to change from the default 20GB Windows partition. I selected 60GB (which translated to 56GB in Windows). My default Windows 8.1 install took up a little over 40GB after installing boot camp and windows updates. You may want to use a bigger partition if you plan to keep Windows 8 on your internal SSD - I did not, I used WinClone to move it to an external thunderbolt drive and then reclaimed the space on my internal SSD (note, this only works on external Thunderbolt drives - not USB).

7) Once the partition has been created by Boot Camp Assistant, your nMP will reboot. Pay attention during reboot - a "Press any key to boot from your DVD" message will appear. When it does, press a key on your keyboard to make sure you boot from the Installation DVD. If you miss this, no problem, just reboot from OSX and hold down your "option" key during reboot and select the DVD Icon that represents your Windows Install DVD when prompted.

8) Windows installation will now begin - enter your license key - when you get to the screen that asks if you want to Upgrade or Custom install Windows, select the bottom option - you are not upgrading.

9) On the screen that follows, you will have to format the partition that you created in bootcamp. The partition will be labeled "BootCamp". Select it - make sure the boot camp partition is highlighted. Then select "Format" from the list of options below. This will NTFS-format the bootcamp partition and will allow you to click "Next" and continue.

10) Windows will install and then reboot. You will then be given a series of setup options to respond to and then Windows 8 will start.

11) After Windows 8 starts for the first time, if your like me, you will be lost (I've never used Win 8). You need to navigate to the external FAT-Formatted drive with the bootcamp software you downloaded earlier. To do this, click the "Down Arrow" icon in the lower left corner of the Windows 8 Screen. Then select - in the right column of Apps - "File Explorer". Navigate to the external drive, open the "BootCamp" folder and double click/run the "setup" file. This will install Apple's bootcamp utility and all of the Windows 8 drivers. You will be asked to reboot. Before doing so, plug back in the ethernet cable into the back of your nMP or log into your wireless network. It's ok to let Windows Update do its thing now.

12) Once rebooted, using the down arrow to get to your apps, select "control panel" then "System and Security" - from there, run Windows Update to update your Windows 8 install to current software, etc.

Other notes:
- To boot back to OSX from Windows, from the "Metro"/default Windows 8 screen, select "Desktop" or, click the "Down Arrow" to get to apps and select "Desktop" from there. From the Desktop, in the system tray (lower right corner) there is a small triangle icon. Click it and then click the grey diamond icon (Boot Camp). You will be given the option to restart in OSX. Or - just reboot and hold down the option key during reboot. This gives you the option to select from any "bootable" drives.

That should do it.
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Last edited by Lumpydog; Jan 4, 2014 at 06:32 PM.
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 12:34 PM   #23
Nugget
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Is this viable for wireless keyboard users, or is the wired keyboard still required?
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 12:44 PM   #24
Lumpydog
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Is this viable for wireless keyboard users, or is the wired keyboard still required?
I used all Apple wireless equipment - keyboard and mouse during this process.

Once in Windows, to get the mouse to register, you just need to click and hold for a few seconds - then unclick. That's enough to get Windows to see the mouse. Otherwise, nothing unordinary at all. Very easy
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Old Jan 4, 2014, 02:03 PM   #25
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This needs to be a sticky for a while....
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