Blinking Cursor during Windows 7 Bootcamp installation

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rudyjr13, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. rudyjr13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #1
    Hello all. Hoping someone can help me with this issue as I have spent about 2days trying to figure out. I've searched online and this forum and found similar issues but nothing has worked so far.

    Background:
    I have a brand new 2011 MacbookPro 15 inch 2.2ghz i7 with 3rd party 8gb ram (2x4gb). I have the antiglare/higher resolution display. I put a 120gb Intel 510 SSD into the hard drive bay, removed the internal optical drive and replaced it with the stock 500gb 7200 hard drive using the MCE Optibay.

    OSX works perfectly...amazing speed, recognizes the 2nd hard drive in the Optibay no problem.

    I'm trying to install Windows 7 64bit Pro on bootcamp because I need it for work and prefer to have it running rather then using VMWare or Parallels. I also have a 2010 MBP that I did not modify and have installed Win7 on bootcamp without any issues, in fact I'm typing this from bootcamp right now.

    Here is what is happening. I go to Bootcamp. I downloaded the drivers and burned to CD. Bootcamp partitions the SSD fine (50gb). I then hook up an external optical drive and put the Win7 64 bit DVD in it and reboot. When I reboot, it reads the DVD but after the white Apple screen where you can hold down Option to get to your different boot options, I get a black screen with a blinking cursor. After about 30 seconds the external optical drive spins down and ejects the DVD.

    I have to hold the power button down on the laptop to get it to turn off. I've tried 4 different external drives including a Blu Ray internal drive I put inside an enclosure.

    Here's what I've tried:
    Reset PRam
    Different DVDs including different builds through MS Technet
    I tried burning the DVD using Windows and OSx
    Tried changing the resolution to 800x600
    I even tried to boot to a USB bootable drive with the OS on it as an alternative but that got me nowhere. Said it couldn't find a disk.

    Any other suggestions? Has anyone gotten Windows 7 to install through Bootcamp on one of these new 2011 Pros? If so, did you use the internal drive? I don't think it's the iso because I used the same one on the 2010 Macbook Pro. Is it possibly related to the Intel 510 SSD? I also have a Vertex 3 coming that I can try with.
     
  2. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 11, 2008
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    #2
    Same problem here.

    Tried a bunch of stuff, also. No joy. No assistance from the community, although I only posted mine this afternoon.

    Tonight I also tried making a flash drive installer and that didn't work, either. Also, none of my Vista install disks would boot, either.
     
  3. thagomizer macrumors 6502

    thagomizer

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    USA
    #3
  4. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I tried the following install disks:

    1. Retail Win7 64 bit Home Premium
    2. Retail Win7 32 bit Home Premium
    3. Retail Vista 64 bit Ultimate
    4. Retail Vista 32 bit Ultimate
    5. reburned ISO of disk 1 according to some other forum posting's procedure
    6. Flash drive installer based on disk 2 (boots my PC, so it looks like it works)

    All of these installers have the same result: after I select it with the option key it immediately gives me the black and blinky.

    The first posting that you linked to indicates that the problem due to 64 bit, but I get the same result with the 32 bit installers I tried. I'll give it a shot, though. Can't hurt.

    The second posting doesn't seem applicable, since I'm not even getting to the "select CD Rom" dead end prompt. That would actually be progress.

    Thanks,

    John
     
  5. rudyjr13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #5
    I gave up and put the darn Apple internal optical drive back inside the laptop. Win 7 64 bit installed without a problem. Same DVD I used with external USB optical that failed. Was a pain to undo all the tiny screws again but that tool a fraction of the time wasted with the external. Apple must be blocking installation of Win OS's via external USB optical drives. Works for the Air.
     
  6. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    That's interesting. Are we the only two people that noticed this?

    A lot of the posts I came across here and elsewhere were from one, two, or more years ago. I guess maybe this is something new, but the symptoms are not.
     
  7. richlee111 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #7
    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.
     
  8. rudyjr13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2011
    #8
    Could be others installed bootcamp before putting in the second hard drive or are using Parallels/VM ware instead of bootcamp. I would use VM but I'm an IT Professional and use bootcamp to boot directly into Windows when connected to my Domain. Just easier right now then dealing with adding the MacOS to the domain. I only have about 4 Macs I'm supporting right now including mine.
     
  9. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Yes, I suppose. I'm an IT professional, too. I use VM for my normal Windows stuff. I just wanted to see what the gaming performance was like with my new rig.
     
  10. richlee111 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #10
    Yes, VM installs will work the an external optical drive. The VM is able to trick the Windows install into thinking that it is looking at an internal drive.
     
  11. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Uh huh. I usually use ISOs I keep on my server via SMB shares.

    Bootcamp installs usually work with USB dvd drive mounted install disks, too. I've done it many times on my last 3 machines. This time I'm hitting a brick wall, though.
     
  12. richlee111 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #12
    All the postings I have found throughout different forums seem to suggest that boot camp can never be installed with an external drive. And some of the posts go back many years. With PC hardware, USB drives will work. But Mac hardware do not because they don't use BIOS, but instead EFI. There are ways to get the Mac hardware and the EFI to recognize the USB drive for boot camp, but it is more work imo.

    Lastly, if it worked for your last 3 machines, then maybe I am wrong. But in the end, the steps I wrote up above worked for me.
     
  13. Kaidao macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #13
    Hi,

    I signed up just for this thread haha. I'm having the same exact problem with WIndows 7 Ultimate x64. It would boot up fine maybe around 5 times and then the blinking cursor will appear, lasting like 2 minutes, and then the Starting Windows or whatever will appear and just get stuck there.

    Ive tried reformatting and reinstalling Windows 7, same thing with 2 different discs. I've also tried Startup Repair. Nothing seems to work. If you guys find a solution, please let me know. Team Fortress 2 runs a lot better in Windows haha.
     
  14. Kaidao macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #14
    Ok,

    I seem to have found a solution to this problem. First, I started up the computer and hit Option, then booted to my Windows 7 drive, then while the cursor is blinking, I booted into the Launch Repair screen. Then I ran Memory Diagnostic tool and it performed 2 checks, and said no problems were found.

    After the test was done, it booted me into Windows and it miraculously worked. As soon as I got into Windows, I downloaded EasyBCD on my Win7 drive and followed this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMUsrtTFcWU

    I rebooted afterwards and loaded Win7. The cursor came out, but only blinked twice, and Win7 booted up perfectly fine.

    I hope this helps some of you out there.
     
  15. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Yeah, that's not true. I have't had an Apple laptop with its DVD drive intact since I started using them in Summer '08. Windows has always installed fine from a USB drive. I've used both stock retail install disk and slipstreamed light installs and never had a problem booting into either installers. Now once I was in there I had to start over because I was careless about my partition setup, but the installer always ran.

    See this thread as evidence that I and others were doing Windows installs on RAID0 configs with the hardware as-is:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=676856&highlight=

    It could very well be that this is no longer valid because this machine is very different than all of the previous ones and it is necessary to put the dvd drive back and install from there. If that's the case, then I'd just do without native Windows.

    Thanks,

    John
     
  16. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Thanks for the info. Swapping the optical drive back worked. All I needed to do was the install and after the first reboot I shut it down and put it back to normal. The RAID volume came back as if nothing happened and on the OSX thing. I resumed the install at work by copying the Bootcamp drivers onto a flash drive and installed them from there. It was all pretty quick. The whole process in the morning got done between the time I have my coffee and the time I leave for the train. I should have tried this sooner. Swapping the drives in and out took a lot less time than some of the other procedures I encountered out there. I have it down to less than 5 minutes now. I couldn't find the right screwdriver so my time went up to about 8 minutes this morning.

    Played some Black Ops just now using my 24" monitor and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how well it performed, in spite of this not being a gaming laptop.

    Thanks again,

    John
     
  17. Gomaaz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    #17
    Ich have exactly the same Problem with the same Machine
    macbook pro early 2011

    Think I have to reinsert the cd again >.<
     
  18. prothesis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    #18
    it works

    Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I wanted to throw out a +1 for richlee's suggestion. I had a second drive in the OptiBay and needed to re-implant the optical drive to get a Boot Camp installation going after getting that blinking cursor of nothingness. It was quick and works great!

    One other suggestion for those of you who eliminate a Boot Camp partition and then try to re-create it. I kept on getting an error with setting up the partition again (due to not having enough "continuous space"). The fastest way around this is to use the Lion recovery program to "re-install" Lion. Turns out that it fixes the ability to re-create the Boot Camp partition without needed to do a wipe/reinstall of your data (Lion recovery doesn't remove your data). Hope this helps someone in the same predicament!

    Thanks for the advice.

    -pro
     
  19. knic1590 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #19
    Was the CD drive it doesn't like the external drive..
     

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