Bootcamp fails to boot Windows when 2 hard drives installed

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by 77vv, May 20, 2015.

  1. 77vv macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #1
    Problem summary: Bootcamp will not boot Windows when 2 hard drives are installed.
    MacPro Specs: 2.5 Ghz Core i5 Memory: 8Gb OS X 10.9.5

    Background: Purchased MacPro in November 2013 with plans to wait for 1 yr warranty to expire before replacing optical drive with a second drive (solid state), and a specific need to also run Windows (for Windows-specific software) on the machine.

    Using Virutual Box or similar mirroring software on top of OS X results in slow performance with Windows-specific software, thus the need to try running one OS at a time. Enter Bootcamp.

    Proceeded to install Windows via Bootcamp. All was fine until a second drive was installed by replacing optical drive with "Opti Bay" adapter purchased from MCE Technologies, San Dimas, CA. Once the second drive was installed booting up Windows from the "option" boot (holding option key down upon start up and selecting Windows) results in stalling permanently at a black screen with flashing white cursor in the top left corner. #windows_via_Bootcamp_fail_(with_2_drives).

    I've invested significant time and energy into troubleshooting the problem myself (trawling the internet myself, speaking with Apple, etc.). Eventually took it to my local Mac certified technician who assured me he'd done this in other Mac Pros many, many times before. A day later he called me back, apologetic and completely baffled as to why it would not work as soon as a second drive is installed. He tried his own disks, as well as his own OS installs, eventually concluding that the problem is "isolated to system not component".

    Questions to Mac Community:
    1) Anyone else having this issue? (again, spefically: Bootcamp running Windows with 2 hard drives installed)
    2) Solutions?

    I'm all ears. Apple's position is that running a 2nd drive is an "unsupported configuration" and therefore they refuse to help. But I feel this is a cheap and convenient way for them to avoid an obvious bug. Especially when everyone I've met has said they've done this in other mac pros.

    Many thanks in advance!

    Colin
     
  2. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #2
    I haven't tried it yet, but tomorrow I am receiving a 2012 MBP, a SSD and a hard drive caddy to replace the dvd drive. Will be doing the same like you, put the original spinning drive in the dvd bay, and use the SSD for the operating systems. I will be running Yosemite, W8.1, and Linux.

    I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  3. 77vv thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 20, 2015
    #3
    Thanks z31, looking forward to hearing how it goes.
     
  4. bobbytomorow macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #4
    I am having exactly the same issue with a 2012 MBP 15". I removed my optical drive and replaced it with a caddy and second HD and I cannot boot into Windows in order to install it and I have tried a couple of different methods and disks to no avail. I get as far a black screen, sometimes with a blinking cursor sometimes just a black screen. This is using disks and an external optical drive via USB.

    I had absolutely no problems installing Windows on my previous MacBook Pro (late 2008 15")
     
  5. 77vv thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #5
    Very interesting bobbyt! Although I purchased it in 2013 my MBP was also from a 2012 production run. I've also tried every combination of drive location (main bay vs. optical bay) and which drive has the OSs on it I could think of.

    Getting stuck at the black screen with flashing white cursor when 2 drives are present (but not 1) sounds like something (Bootcamp? OS motherboard firmware?) is simply confused at detecting more than one drive. Can anyone (more familiar with how computers boot up than I am) suggest what the stumbling block is (and explain it in detail)?
     
  6. bobbytomorow macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #6
    Check out this thread, it seems many others had this issue in 2012 and that its having 2 hard drives and no optical drive that messes things up installing Windows on a MacBook...then there is this may be worth checking out.

    What I am going to attempt tonight is disconnect my optibay drive, simply unplug the cable from the mainboard and install Windows into the HD that is in the Hard Drive bay then plug the optibay back in and hopefully have two working operating systems in the end. I will report back.
     
  7. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #7
    Sorry guys. I haven't been able to test it yet. The MBP that I received yesterday runs hot and I am just returning it to the seller.
    I am on the hunt for another one now.
     
  8. bobbytomorow macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #8
    Ok, disconnected my SSD which is in the optibay leaving only the standard spinner connected in the HD bay, plugged in an external optical drive and same results, black screens, tried with multiple different disks :confused:

    Sorry about your luck on that MBP, just an FYI avoid the 2011 MBP's with AMD GPU's as there is TONS of evidence of them running hot and ultimately failing so much so that Apple has an extended care program for all MBP's built in 2011 with AMD GPU's. Don't know if thats what you've tried but just a word of caution.
     
  9. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #9
    Will only buy the 2012 base model. Not looking to spend much. This is just going to be a second machine to run Windows when need it and mess with Linux a bit.

    I still can't think of a reason why Windows stopped booting after you took out the optical drive.
     
  10. bobbytomorow macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

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    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #10
    After some searching it looks as though Windows cannot be installed without the optical drive being connected.

    So another way to install would be via a virtual machine, but install premaritally onto the hard drive, if you know what I mean.
     
  11. 77vv thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #11
    Hey bobbyt, installing Windows and booting it up was no problem for me with the Optical Drive in. The problems came after the Optical drive was replaced with extra storage - at that point booting up Windows always froze at the black screen with flashing white cursor.

    Sorry to hear about the delays z31. Hope you're geared up soon!
     
  12. bobbytomorow macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #12
    Thanks for the update brother! I ended up creating a bootable USB stick with Windows 10 on it and it went just fine via bootcamp
     
  13. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    #13
    I have had this problem with two external thunderbolt drives on an iMac - if both are connected then the Windows boot loader freaks out.

    I assume it is something to do with the order of the devices (or simply the numbers of them) on a specific bus, since removing the OS X drive allows the Windows one to boot just fine.

    I assume that this is the problem with adding the second drive to the MBP. What happens if you do the full bootcamp setup after the drive is installed?
     
  14. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #14
    Ok, I got a cmbp to play with.
    I took a different approach. I installed the second hard drive before I installed W7. Also I didn't use Bootcamp for the install. I am not sure if these things make a difference or not, but I have not had any problems with Windows booting. Same with Linux (triple booting OS X,w7, and linux).
     

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