Installing Bootcamp Using External SuperDrive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dmw16, May 29, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #1
    Recently I swapped my SuperDrive out for an SSD using OWC's datadoubler. I also bought their external SuperDrive enclosure so I'd still be able to use discs when needed.

    The SuperDrive works fine when I'm in OSX; I can install software, burn discs, etc.

    However, when I go to install Windows via Bootcamp I am able to start the installation in OSX, but when it goes to reboot and kick into the Windows install the bootup process hangs and it flashes between the gray screen with the Apple Logo and a Circle with a line through it. I let it sit a while but it doesn't seem to go beyond that. Although sometimes it flashes a folder with a question mark in it.

    Is there something about the external enclosure that won't allow discs to boot?

    If I can't get this to work I may try buying another external DVD drive or following the process I've found on installing Win7 on a MBA w/o an external super drive.
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    #2
    Bumping this - as I will need to do the same thing......
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #3
    I've spent DAYS trying to figure this out.

    It turns out: Windows won't boot from an external DVD drive. Any. Even on PC's.

    Apparently the only DVD drive that will boot Windows is the Macbook Air external super drive, and then, ONLY on the Macbook Air, not on the MBP. Seems Apple did something special to the firmware or something that lets it work.

    That's the general consensus I found anyway, obviously I haven't tested all external DVD drives on all setups, but judging from many forum posts complaining about the same problem it seems to be true.

    I wouldn't waste your time on this, and just try doing it another time.

    The Macbook Air w/o external superdrive guide (the one using rEFIt) didn't work for me on the MBP either, I kept getting an error message, don't remember what it said exactly... something about no bootable disc or drive or something.

    In the end I saved myself HOURS of messing around by just putting the superdrive back into the Macbook Pro, installing boot camp using the internal superdrive, and then taking it out again.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Nopstnz8

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #4
    What if you leave the optical drive, install the SSD in the HDD slot, boot from the Windows 7 disc, install bootcamp on the SSD, then swap the SSD back into the optical bay and remap the drive locations for each OS, Mac and your Bootcamp partition?
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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  6. macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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  7. macrumors 68000

    wikus

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Planet earth.
    #7
    Would it be possible to install Windows from the optical drive onto an HDD in its original bay and then move the HDD into the optical bay via caddy and still boot into windows?
     
  8. macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
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    #8
    Yea, I did exactly that. Works just fine.
     
  9. macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    上海 (Shanghai)
    #9
    I could never get Windows to install with an external optical drive, so I've given up since.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #10
    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    Putting the optical drive back in won't work in my case (I don't think) because I am putting the bootcamp partition on my larger (now secondary) hard drive and only putting OSX and applications on my SSD. So I'm probably screwed on that one.

    What about putting another MBP into target disk mode (where it basically turns it into a $2000 super drive)? I could use my wife's MBP if that would work.

    Otherwise I guess I'm SOL.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #11
    This is the main reason why I bought and tried out the optibay for a few months, but eventually returned to original configuration. That and if I ever had to have my MBP repaired, they could easily deny warranty service as soon as they open it up.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #12
    Here's what I did. The configuration I desired was:

    An SSD running OS X in the original hard drive spot.
    A secondary HDD in the Optibay caddy running for storage and boot camp.

    Here's what I did:

    I put the original HDD into the original drive spot, and put the optical drive back in. I installed OSX on the HDD. I then booted OS X up and ran the boot camp assistant to install boot camp.

    I then took out the original HDD and optical drive, put the SDD in the drive spot, and put the HDD into the optibay caddy. I installed OS X on the SDD and booted up. I then formatted the OS X partition on the secondary hard drive, leaving the boot camp partition untouched.

    You can then use the recently formatted OS X partition as a storage drive, and boot camp as... well, boot camp. OS X will boot from it just fine.
     
  13. Dragvinz, Jun 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #13
    Damnit!! i am so frustrated now have been searching for hours how to get my problem resolved, which i think is the same as yours, i believe. Hopefully you guys are able to respond and give some advice whether I should go ahead and do the same thing as u did,dmw16. here is my situation. I have an ssd which is now in my original hard drive position and the hard drive is in my optical drive position. Using external optical drive with the usb enclosure that maxupgrades provided. was also trying to install windows 7 through bootcamp using the external optical drive. however when the mac rebooted, it just goes to a black screen and stays there. nothing happens. it doesnt boot up the windows 7 cd. however on my pc, it does the installation fine. So am i right to say my problem is the same as urs? that windows cannot be booted up using an external optical drive, even if that optical drive was from my original mbp's? and in that case, should i put back my optical drive, install the stuff on my ssd first, and then take out the optical drive and place the hdd back into the optibay? thanks for all the help i can get guys...will really appreciate it.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #14
    You are better off putting the SSD in the optical spot because only the original HDD location has a drop sensor to protect your drive.

    I am going to try putting my SSD in an external enclosure and put the optical drive back in temporarily. I'll report back if this works.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    PackFan

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #15
    Only ok in my mind if you have a SATA II SSD - If you have a SATA III SSD, you will not see the full speeds out of the drive unless you put it in the main bay.
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #16
    u mean, i should put the ssd into my original hdd drive, and then put the optical drive back to its original position and then take out the hdd drive from optibay for a while while i set up bootcamp right? so it is confirmed that in a mbp, u cant install windows using external optical drive? thanks for the help!
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #17
    Is the optibay not SATA III?
     
  18. macrumors demi-god

    johnnyturbouk

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    Location:
    southerner trapped 'up north' (UK)
    #18
    usb + rEFIt - worth a shot i think

    installed win7 from superdrive - win7 install via bootcamp
    i cloned my windows using winclone - before reformatting and moving stock drive to optibay
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #19
    i used rEFIt already but somehow it still doesnt work with an external optical drive.

    the usb procedure is kinda complicated as well=/...
     
  20. macrumors regular

    PackFan

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    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #20
    Unless you are extremely lucky - no.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #21
    There is no way to install Ubuntu/Windows except using the superdrive in the spot inside the computer. I have windows on my secondary drive that doesnt have OS X on it...just move the HDD to the stock spot and put the optical drive in and do it, OS X doesnt have to be present. When done move the drives to the spots you want and your done.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #22

    Actually, it does, with the external drive. I simply 1) made bootcamp partition, 2) burned the windows 7 disk, and 3) installed refit....... 4) I could install it onto bootcamp.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #23
    Ive tried every way possible, rEFIt, usb, cd and nothing works. Unless you have some special secret then I dont see how you got it to work.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #24
    Back in April, when I first got my 2011 Macbook Pro, I ran into this same exact problem and wrote the the following in another post. This worked for me and its a lot of steps and swapping of drives a couple of times, but it works like a charm. Hope this will help:

    Here's the deal. Recently I wanted a similar setup for my own '11 Macbook, and after much research and trial/error, I was able to get it to work.

    The problem is not your machine, Mac OSX, the boot camp installer, or even your Windows installation disks. The fact is that Windows itself cannot be installed from an external CD drive, nor can it be installed on an external HDD. The reason why you don't hear much about this problem is because most people with Macbooks are installing their boot camp partition on the same HDD as their Mac OS, with the built-in superdrive. For us who want to run 2 HDDs in the Macbook, with one of the drives being the boot camp drive, we make the honest mistake of taking out the superdrive, thinking that we can just install Windows from an external optical drive. Jus know that this will never work.

    So if you want to run 2 HDDs from your Macbook, with one being for boot camp, the steps below worked for me:

    - Take out the MCE optibay and put back the superdrive into its original location.

    - Install the drive that you want to install boot camp into the original HDD drive bay.

    - Stick the original OSX install disk into the superdrive and first install Mac OSX onto it. Realize that you are only doing this to run the boot camp install and will be wiping it out later.

    - After you have installed OSX, go through the initial setup and be at the desktop. Run the boot camp assistant and go through with the install and have it create a partition for boot camp. At this point, it doesn't really matter how big/small the patition is for Windows. You can adjust and resize the partition during the Windows install process for choosing the location and partition.

    - Go through finishing the boot camp assistant in OSX, stick your Windows install CD into the drive and boot into it. This time it should work.

    - Once you have completed the Windows installation and you are at the Windows desktop, stick the Mac OSX cd back into the drive and run the setup.exe. This will install all the drivers that will make it recognize all the Mac hardware, etc.

    - Finally, take out the CD drive, swap back in the optibay, put your boot camp HDD in there, and put back the HDD with your Mac OS.

    - That's it. Now when you boot up, the EFI boot will recognize the Mac OS and Boot Camp and you are on your way.

    Hope this helps.
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #25
    yup, i also cant get it to work...u must be lucky...no idea how u did that....i did exactly the same steps as u did. it just gave me a black screen when booting windows cd.
     

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