Bootcamp installation: partition Mac HD first?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by macstatic, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. macstatic macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    I've just received my newly repaired Mac and since it doesn't contain anything I'm free to re-install things as I like.
    I'm wondering... what's the correct and best way to install Bootcamp? Do I:

    1) install OSX the usual way, and when done, reboot into OSX and run Bootcamp which will shrink the OSX partition, create a separate Windows (NTFS?) partition where it installs Windows


    2) boot from a separate drive, run Disk Utility and erase/partition the Mac HD into two partitions (OSX and Windows), then run the OSX installer to install OSX on the first partition. Finally, when done, reboot into OSX and run Bootcamp, then choose to install Windows on that second partition.

    I suppose option 2 is the safe way to do it, but which format should I choose to partition the Bootcamp partiton in, within Disk Utility? As far as I know there's no NTFS option.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
  3. macstatic, Apr 25, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017

    macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    Thanks, that's what I finally found out as well, and after several failed attempts I came across "How to Install Boot Camp and Run Windows on Your Mac" where it explains that you need to choose the BOOTCAMP partition when asked by the Windows installer on which partition you want it, plus needing to perform a disk format.

    And even after all of that I'm getting a "Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause". I downloaded Windows from "Download Windows 7 ISOs legally and for free" to be used as a trial version, but I might have gotten the wrong one (there are so many Windows 7 downloads to choose from).

    This is probably the 5th time I've completely reinstalled OSX followed by running the Bootcamp installer (using a blank USB stick which it appears to make a Windows boot-disk installer on, from the downloaded Windows ISO file) so I could need some good advice on how to do it properly

    UPDATE: I looked closer at the Windows error message I got and it says:

    File: \Windows\system32\drivers\AppleSSD.sys
    Status: 0xc0000428
    Info: Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file
    so it appears that the problem isn't directly Windows related but something the Boot camp installer has messed up -perhaps the option about downloading any updates?
    Is there anything I can do apart from starting from scratch again (the Boot Camp Assistant seems to want to start with a single Apple partition each time).

    UPDATE 2: I found a solution here which suggests making the Boot camp installer USB stick, then replace certain files with older versions (downloadable from Apple) before performing the actual partitioning and Windows installation.
    Since this is all very time consuming (I've reinstalled OSX almost a dozen times now, and Bootcamp almost that as well): is it possible to create a disk image of the Boot Camp installer USB stick? I'd like to have one with the original files and one with the modified ones.
  4. macstatic, Apr 27, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017

    macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    Never mind! I fixed it myself and answered my own questions in the process ;)

    Here's a step by step for how to install Boot Camp with Windows 7 (I'm running OSX 10.9.5. and installed it on a 13" Macbook Pro (non-retina) mid-2012 but the instructions should apply for other Macs as well).

    1) Install OSX from scratch if you want/need to. I won't cover that here.
    DO NOT partition/repartition your hard drive first (Disk utility etc) for use with Boot Camp!!! The Boot Camp Assistant application handles all of that and will refuse to install Windows if you try to partition on your own using Disk Utility etc.

    2) insert an empty (or can safely be deleted) 8GB (or larger) USB memory stick. It doesn't need to be partitioned or prepared in any way as that will be done with the Boot Camp Assistant.

    3) have the Windows 7 ISO disk image file available (no need to double-click (open) it though)
    You may legally download and install Windows and use it in trial mode for up to 120 days, or buy a license if you intend to have it permanenty installed

    4) Run the Boot Camp Assistant (it's located within the "Utilities" folder within the "Applications" folder) and select the first two options only, then press "Continue" to prepare the USB disk. You'll be asked where the Windows ISO file is and if it's OK to overwrite the USB memory stick

    5) When the USB memory stick has been prepared, quit Boot Camp Assistant (DO NOT install Windows at this stage!)

    6) Double-click the USB memory stick to show its contents in the Finder.

    7) Delete the $WinPEDriver$ and BootCamp folders from the USB memory stick (remember to empty the OSX trashcan as this will give room to other files later):

    8) download and open the appropriate Boot Camp support software file (version 5.1.5621 is the correct version for my 13" (non-retina) mid-2012 Macbook Pro), but depending on your Mac model you may need a different version. Have a look here for all versions of Boot Camp support software from Apple. (NOTE: be sure to carefully read through those pages! Apple misleadingly first lists the computers which AREN'T supported, then near the bottom of the page you have to click on "system requirements" to expand it and see which computers it DOES support!).

    9) locate the $WinPEDriver$ and BootCamp folders from the expanded zip file and copy them over to the USB memory stick (effectively replacing the folders we recently deleted).

    10) run the Boot Camp Assistant again, this time leave only the last option checked and start installing Windows 7:
    11) You'll be asked to partition the Mac hard drive. Be sure to have a backup at this stage if you have important files on your Mac.
    I've been told that around 32 GB is fine for a simple Windows 7 installation.

    12) When the Windows installer asks "At where do you want to install Windows?" and multiple drive partitions are presented, choose the BOOTCAMP partition, then click on "Drive options" and choose "Format".

    13) The installation will continue, and at some stage it'll also update whatever is needed for both Windows and Boot Camp.

    It worked perfectly for me :)

    Additional, possibly useful info for some people.....

    Creating a Boot Camp disk image
    Having spent so much time installing and re-installing I thought it might be a good idea to create a disk image file of the USB memory stick so I wouldn't have to ask Boot Camp Assistant to install everything onto it every time I got a failed attempt, so I created a disk image for both the original installation (after completing step 5) and a different disk image for the modified USB stick installation (after completing step 9).

    1) ensure the USB memory stick is attached and mounted on the Finder desktop (either the original installation or the modified one)
    2) start Disk Utility
    3) click once (to select it) the WININSTALL disk icon on the left column (where all the drives are found), then click on "New image":
    4) You'll be asked for a filename and where to save it. You may call it anything you like (something descriptive live "Boot Camp USB stick installation (fixed version)" might be a good idea.

    5) I haven't tried this myself (I installed from the USB memory stick), but in case you need to install Boot camp again for whatever reason, you can now just double-click the disk image file you created above, and Boot Camp Assistant will think it's a real, ready-to-install USB memory stick (it contains the Windows 7 installer as well as everything else). Once mounted on the desktop, go to step 10 to actually install Windows.

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