Resolved 2011 MBP Not Booting Windows DVD or any non-Apple disc.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by revelated, May 4, 2011.

  1. revelated, May 4, 2011
    Last edited: May 7, 2011

    revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #1
    I've had many Mac computers since 2009. I have run Boot Camp without a problem on all but the MacBook Air. iMac 2010 is currently running it.

    For some reason, I cannot get it loaded on my 2011 MacBook Pro and I can't figure out why. I've been working on this for four days now without a resolution. People on the Apple Forums are more concerned about hurting people's feelings than actually trying to help.

    Problem is this. For some reason, my MacBook Pro will NOT directly boot a non-Mac OS DVD or CD. So no Windows, no bootable FreeDOS disc, nothing for Boot Camp, nothing. These discs DO boot inside a VM, so it's not the SuperDrive. That means that something is just not cricket. A thread somewhere on the Interwebs mentioned some issue with SSD firmware. A long shot, but one I'm happy to try...unfortunately, that requires that I boot from a burned CD...which of course I can't do without the fimware...which of course I can't load without the CD...

    I can boot into regular Snow Leopard no problem (10.6.7).
    I can boot from the original install discs no problem (10.6.6)

    I'm all patched up. At this point I figure it's got to be something in Snow Leopard, but I don't know what.

    UPDATE: For Google searchers or MRooglers with this same problem, the culprit was my X-25M Intel solid state drive, possibly due to a firmware issue. I could not update the firmware because I couldn't even boot the disc to do it, but when I swapped the SSD back to the factory platter drive, all of a sudden I could boot discs just fine. SO somehow the SSD was causing boot issues. I've used this SSD in two different 2010 models and never experienced this problem, but in retrospect I'm wondering if something between the 2010 and 2011 models changed such that now the drive is "remembering" things wrong.

    UPDATE2: Confirmed it's not a firmware issue as the firmware update did not resolve the problem. Appears to be an issue with the hardware somewhere, possibly some sort of incompatibility with the hardware Apple chose vs. the X-25M. No clear fix other than not to use the SSD at all, which isn't a fix at all. Has to be something Apple changed, because this same drive has worked perfectly in every other MacBook Pro it's been used in, and I know I've had other issues with this MBP and my SSD ever since I bought it.
     
  2. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    Have you tried rEFIt yet?

    I've had no troubles booting from other OS CD's. In fact, just today booted directly to Windows 7 64-bit, without Boot Camp, of course.
     
  3. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    Jun 30, 2010
    #3
    Tried it, same result. It doesn't even see the Windows DVD. I have tried USB booting, different DVDs...nothing works.
     
  4. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

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    #4
    There's been reports of some new MBP's shipping with two SATA III ports. And at least one person has reported a "buggy" drive with the optical drive being on a SATA III port.

    How new is your MBP?

    What does System Profiler say for your SATA devices?
     
  5. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    Jun 30, 2010
    #5
    Bought 2011 17" literally the day it was first sold. I'm not near my Pro - currently on my Air in a meeting - but when I get back to my desk I'll take a look. Definitely something wrong, but I'm wondering if that bug affects only Mac OS and native EFI or not. Because again, every disc works perfectly directly in a VM.
     
  6. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

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    #6
    Just for the record, do these discs work/boot on other computers?

    Are these backups or clones of other discs that you made, or "normal retail" discs? Simply asking because if it's a backup copy of Windows, perhaps something went wrong with the cloning and the files necessary for them to boot are missing/corrupt.
     
  7. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #7
    Tried both burned DVDs and retail discs. Neither work. These discs work 100% fine both in VMs and in regular PCs. They just don't work in the MacBook Pro.

    To the other poster - attached is the screenshot for the SATA. Don't know how useful that is.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

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    #8
    Yep, that's the screen I was looking for! It shows that your optical drive is on a SATA II port, by looking at the speed.

    It's a very strange problem indeed. I think your best bet may be to take it to an Apple Store. Sounds like more of an EFI or hardware issue than a software issue.
     
  9. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    Jun 30, 2010
    #9
    I'll consider an Apple Store appointment tomorrow. Need to swap my drive back out to an old one first as I have a lot of sensitive data on it.

    I also learned a valuable lesson. Never ask for help from the people on Apple's forums.
     
  10. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

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  11. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    #11
    Because as I mentioned, they care more about hurt feelings than fixing things. Dare not say anything negative about any Apple product. They should just rename the board Jobs4chan.

    Anyway, I tried other things to no avail:

    • SMC reset. This did change and allow me to at least run things, and I can at least see the Windows DVD in the boot manager, but can't run it. Goes straight to a gray screen with a flashing folder icon.
    • 100% fresh install of Snow Leopard, untouched, went straight to Boot Camp Assistant and set up the partition, rebooted, still does not let me run the disc even though I can click on it.

    At this point the only other thing I can try is a suggestion from the Leopard days - basically, allow the Boot Camp Assistant to delete its partition and update the boot manager, then see if I can run the Windows DVD by itself. According to some files on the INterwebs there were some issues with Boot Camp basically interfering with the ability to run Windows DVDs.

    The one thing I have NOT tried - and likely won't be able to try - is to consider subterfuge as the cuprit. Meaning, you can buy Windows and burn a DVD from the Microsoft Store, also for Action Pack or MSDN/TechNet subs you can get a bundle with DVDs or you can burn a DVD. I'm using a TechNet burned DVD, and the retail copy I tried is an Action Pack DVD. I've also tried recovery discs from other machines. None of them work. If a boxed retail copy works, then there is some preventative measure going on. But I can't imagine that to be the case.
     
  12. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

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    #12
    If you've got the time, perhaps try completely wiping the drive, kind of like you suggested with the Boot Camp Assistant. This may be slightly obscure, but it'll eliminate any variables there. Then perhaps try downloading a copy of Ubuntu or whatever form of Linux you enjoy if you have a favourite, and see if that gets you anywhere.

    Like you said, I suppose the copies of Windows you're using COULD potentially be the problem, but like you, I also kinda doubt this. If you could somehow get a copy of a retail Windows CD, even XP/Vista would work, we could at least cross that off the list.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #13
    You have a very limited imagination.
     
  14. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a

    ghostlyorb

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    #14
    Boot Camp Assistant won't load my W7 Pro disk either.. on a work computer. I haven't tried on my MBP.. but on the 13" 2011 MBP I tried it on, it wouldn't work, but you could click on it from the desktop.. and it works on other computers. Ticks me off. Glad I'm not the only one.
     
  15. revelated, May 7, 2011
    Last edited: May 7, 2011

    revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    #15
    Actually, I have an UPDATE and a FIX. And it infuriates me. Occam's Razor strikes again.

    So I had done a 100% clean install of Snow Leopard. Still didn't do any good. I was going to schedule up a Genius appointment for tomorrow to take a look, so I figured I was going to end up with an exchange and swapped back the original 750GB drive. Made sure it booted the SL instance I left it at, and then it hit me. What if?

    Go figure - now I can boot the Windows DVD with no problem. So it was my SSD (Intel X-25M) that was preventing me from running that DVD. I don't know why. Even a complete format and multiple reinstalls and changes wouldn't do it. Something on or about the SSD was the culprit. The disc is fine - I'm using the burned disc I referenced earlier. Seems to indicate not a software issue, but the possible firmware issue - the one where I couldn't resolve it because I couldn't boot the firmware update disc.

    So now, I'm going to need to figure out a creative way of doing the firmware update against the SSD to see if that resolves it - the only physical non-Mac device I have is an AspireRevo which of course does not have a disc drive, and I won't be near a PC until Monday which is too late. If not, then it might be the SATAII/SATAIII issue somehow. Pisses me off that I did the reinstall for nothing. I have the files backed up but still. If I can't figure it out then I'll just live with the platter drive to get me through until I buy a new SSD that's fully functional - 320 or M4 or some other. I need my MacBook Pro for work demos so downtime just isn't an option. It's a good thing I always keep the old factory drives.

    To anyone else having this issue - where a non-Mac OS disc will not boot on the MacBook when you know it should - if you're running a SSD, it might just be your culprit. Try removing the SSD and putting back the original platter drive if you have it, or just go to a different platter drive to see if it makes a difference.
     
  16. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

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    #16
    Wow, I never would've thought!

    Although I'm not surprised. It seems SSD's at this point can still be kinda sketchy.

    Good to hear you got it figured out! Sucks about the downtime though.

    What you could maybe try is installing OS X/Windows on your HDD, then clone it over to your SSD and perform your update and enjoy. :)
     
  17. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    Jun 30, 2010
    #17
    So here's the deal.

    I identified that I CAN boot any disc if the SSD is removed. However, the moment the SSD is put back onto the SATA controller, I no longer can boot the discs. Even with a full format including the EFI partition.

    Also, 1 Dremel, 1 thumbnail, two screwdrivers and a power adapter later, my AspireRevo is in pieces, sacrificed since Intel is incapable of providing a proper update utility for the Mac OS for its SSD firmware. Got that done, and it does not resolve the issue. Still cannot boot anything but Mac OS discs. Which means it's a hardware issue, possibly the SATA controller, though I'm not sure how or why.

    So the question is resolved in that I answered the question, and I do have a workaround - but what it means is that the Boot Camp utility is useless. I'll have to use VMWare and do a "ghetto install" which I was trying to avoid as it's quite the pain. Can't use Parallels because in the latest version they removed the ability to do the straight install directly and I'm not patient enough to go hunting for an old version to do something I should be able to do without it. I don't *NEED* Boot Camp, I just wanted to have it available for performance purposes when running Windows apps, but that's fine.

    Hopefully the thread helps someone else who is trying to at least figure out the root cause.
     
  18. paxos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #18
    This is scary man, have the same problem with intel 320...

    Anyone tested 10.6.8?
     
  19. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    Jun 30, 2010
    #19
    I did. Same result. Newer MBPs have had something change to where at least I can boot DVDs with a SSD in the drive bay. The very first built models are the ones that have the issue.
     
  20. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #20
    Did you guys ever determine what was the actual, underlying issue? I have an X-25M, and when installed, am unable to boot my Windows 7 or XP disks. Swapping out the SSD for either of the two platter drives I have here allows the boot to work fine. I'm lost! :confused:

    I'm also using an early 2011 MBP with all the firmware updates on both the laptop and the SSD.
     
  21. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    Jun 30, 2010
    #21
    Negative. And I haven't gone back to test with the Samsung 470 I ended up buying (which is decidedly superior in performance). I'll test it Monday when I'm near a Windows 7 retail disc.
     
  22. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    Location:
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    #22
    Thanks, I'd be glad to hear how it works - I hate to have this SSD just sitting around while I use the platter drive instead, but I noticed that I also can't boot from the Windows partition on the second hard drive that was installed in my optical bay.
     

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