How to create a bootable USB Windows 7 or 8 install from within OSX for use on a PC

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by burningrave101, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #1
    I'm currently putting together a new PC that is without a DVD drive at the moment and I need to create a bootable USB Windows 7 or 8 install using my new retina MBP with Mountain Lion.

    Is it possible to download the Windows 7 or 8 ISO and use the "Create a Windows 7 install disk" option inside Boot Camp Assistant? Will the bootable USB it creates work just the same on a PC? And does this tool in Boot Camp Assistant work with the Windows 8 Release Preview as well or only Windows 7?

    If that won't work is there a different way to create a Windows 7 or 8 install USB from within OSX that will work to install on a PC? At the moment I'm trying to avoid having to install Windows on my retina MBP just to accomplish this task.
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    #2

    You can use boot camp to create used a boot camp USB to reinstall my x230. Works with 7. Should work with 8 .. Apple will also update to support 8 just like when 7 was launched
     
  3. macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #3
    usually with and ISO you can burn it so its bootable with disk utility
     
  4. macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2012
    #4
  5. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

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    #5
    Not an easy task if you are trying to create the drive from OS X. You will need Windows Vista or greater to create the USB drive so it will boot Windows. diskpart in Windows does this, and there is no equivalent in OS X. There is an open source linux utility that will do this, but I am unsure of the name right off. Not sure if it will work with MacPorts or not.

    With that said, the 2011 MacBook Air and the 2012 MacBook Pros and 2011 Mac minis will create a bootable USB for Boot Camp use but I am not sure if it will boot a PC - I don’t think I have tried that.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

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    #6
    Update - if you have a machine that supports making the USB drive in Boot Camp Assistant, it will work fine on a PC. I just tested it on a 2012 MacBook Pro and an HP notebook.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    #7
    Thanks for the replies, monkey! I have a 2012 Macbook Pro, I'm just still getting used to using a Mac over my PC. So as I previously mentioned, my PC currently sits OS-less and I'm wanting to create a bootable USB w/ Win7 iso attached using my (only) Macbook Pro.

    Would you be able to go into a little more detail about how I'd go about this operation? Boot Camp Assistant is new to me and though I am fairly savvy when it comes to working on a PC, I'm not sure what steps to take for mounting this .iso using my Mac.

    PS: I appreciate you taking the time to test it out on your own machines! :cool:
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

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    Jul 24, 2011
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    #8
    Run the Boot Camp Assistant and you will be presented with three options. Just select the top option to "Create a Windows 7 install disk" and deselect the other two, and put your USB flash drive in the machine. When you hit Continue, it will ask you for the location of your ISO file and ask you to confirm the destination USB flash drive, and that's all there is to it. It will take several minutes to create it.

    You have one of the few machines that will do this - AFAIK the 2012 MacBook Pro will do it, as well as the 2011+ MacBook Air and Mac mini. Other models do not give you the option to create a bootable USB drive as the support method of installation is from DVD media.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    #9
    Monkey, I gave it a quick go ahead run as you recommended and once I tried to boot up my PC all that came up was a blinking cursor.

    Do you happen to know if I need to format the USB drive in a certain format before using Boot Camp Assistant and copying the .iso? I did a clean erase of my USB through Disk Utility and Format MS-DOS (FAT) before I used BCA if that has anything to do with it.

    I also have made sure to set the BIOS on my PC to boot from USB as the first sequence and disabled all of the rest.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

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    #10
    When I tried, the Book Camp Assistant formatted it for me. When booting the HP laptop, I got a message as seen here, immediately followed by Windows is loading files.... It created a FAT32 volume (shown as FAT in Disk Utility) and the volume label WININSTALL.

    Have you verified that the ISO is good by installing in a VM or anything? Worst case scenario, download VMware Fusion and get a 30-day trial serial number, install Windows 7 in that, and make the USB drive from the VM in Windows 7.
     

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  11. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    #11
    This. Since W7 will run for 30-120 days without a product key, you don't need to sweat it if you don't have a "PC" handy.

    B
     
  12. dkenn75, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012

    macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2012
    #12
    Well I heard nothing but good reviews on the torrent I downloaded, very high number of comments.
    I'll go ahead and try the VMware Fusion approach...will update soon!

    EDIT: I'm confused...do I NEED a Windows 7 disc to create Windows 7 in VM? I tried adding Windows 7 to VM by "Creating a New Virtual Machine" and doing a "Custom Virtual Machine" and selecting Windows 7.

    Sorry, this is all new to me and I'm getting quite lost as you can see :-/
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

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    #13
    I would not touch an ISO that either you didn't 1) make yourself from pressed media or 2) downloaded from the manufacturers website through authorized channels.

    You do not need a disc to create a VM - select Continue Without Disc and Choose a Disc or Disc Image on the next screen. Reference the ISO and follow the prompts. It will auto install.

    What version of Windows 7 do you have a product key for? Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate?
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    #14
    OK so I managed to figure out how to use VM and successfully put Windows 7 Ultimate on my Mac.

    Should I follow a certain procedure as to how I should put the .iso on my VM Win 7 to my USB?
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

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    #15
  16. macrumors newbie

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    #16
  17. monkeybagel, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
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    #17
    Get this ISO and don't bother with the torrent. This is directly from Microsoft.

    http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-24394.iso

    I think all of your trouble has come down to the shady ISO file. I thought you already had a legitimate ISO to work with when you started.
     
  18. dkenn75, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    #18
    Well after about an hour of dl'ing that ISO you recommended we are back in business! I was able to boot my PC no problem and I'm installing Windows 7 on my PC as I type!

    Some further questions may arise after this gets posted, but I can't figure out why the ISO I was using worked fine for installing Windows 7 on VM, but wasn't cooperating w/ Boot Camp Assistant or the Windows USB/DVD Downloader Tool...

    Also, how is it possible for Microsoft to "give away" an ISO for Windows 7? If I'd known I could retrieve an ISO [for free] via Microsoft, I wouldn't have gone through all the trouble [at saving $] dealing with a torrent.

    EDIT: Up and running! Installed just fine and now have a fresh hard drive thanks to a DBAN (www.dban.org) and a new Windows 7 Ultimate. The OS was what was stopping me from selling my desktop now that I'm a MAC-user so this ordeal helps a lot!

    Thanks again for all your help, monkey!:)
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
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    #19
    That's good to hear and glad I could help.

    You obviously take security very seriously if you are using dban to wipe a disk. I do as well and I would highly recommend not getting software - especially operating systems from unauthorized channels in the future. The ISO you had did not work because it had been altered by someone at some point. Who knows what was done to it, but malware would not be unlikely.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    #20
    Question

    Is this link is Window ultimate 64 bit?
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    #21
    no to bring up a dead thread but im in this same situation and want to try using this iso link above to see if this solves my problem before i crack open my mbp to re install the superdrive & try trouble shooting it that way since my os wont allow me to create a usb boot-able iso image .

    i just had a few questions regarding the link.. is this a trial version? or a full version or a crack like most torrents out there. & also is this update-able to download the service packs now available, since most programs will require it sooner or later
     
  22. macrumors newbie

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    Apr 19, 2013

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