Bootcamp single partition on separate drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by wiski15b, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. wiski15b macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2016
    Hey guys,
    I am trying to install windows 7 via bootcamp on its own internal drive (Mac Pro 4,1/5,1). Problem is, bootcamp utility wants to partition the available drive to have an OS X partition as well. Currently I have OSx installed on an M.2 via PCIE slot, not sure if that has anything to do with it? Also, I plan on using the bootcamp install of windows to set up vmware as well, so that I can access it while booted into OS X. So I'm not sure if formatting the drive and booting from the windows install disk would interfere with vmware's ability to use it, or would it? I do have another hard drive with el cap installed, if you guys think the pCIE slot is the problem.

  2. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    To install Windows to its own drive, you don't need to use Bootcamp assistant at all. Just boot up the Windows installer and select the drive you want to install Windows to, just like you would on a PC.

    If there are existing partitions on the drive for Windows, delete them all in the installer, create one new one, and install to that.

    I strongly recommend removing the OS X drive beforehand. The Windows installer can mess with it, even if you correctly select the other drive.
  3. wiski15b thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2016
    But would that cause a problem with VMware using it as well?
  4. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Sorry man, I don't know about that part as I don't use VMWare.

    Are you not seeing both drives in Bootcamp Assistant? According to Apple:

    "When you’re asked to create a Windows partition, specify a partition size. If you have multiple internal hard drives, you can select a different hard drive from the one running OS X and create a single partition on that drive to use solely for Windows."
  5. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Note that a standard Windows installation against an unformatted drive will create extra hidden partitions for recovery and booting. If you depend on only a single partition on the Windows drive, that could be a problem.

    When creating a GPT drive, Windows also creates additional hidden partitions.

    These are completely standard partitions, nothing funny or non-standard. However, if you expect the Windows OS partition to be partition 0 - you'll have problems.
  6. wiski15b thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2016
    I think having my main OS X installed in the pcie slot did have an effect on how bootcamp wanted to partition the drive. According to apple's instructions, you may have to rearrange the drives so that the bootcamp drive is in a drive bay with a lower number, (yeah, strange I know). I ended up taking out my pcie drive and inserting another copy of el cap into drive bay 4. When using bootcamp on that setup it gave me the ability to install Windows on the new drive without partitions. Also, VMware was able to create a virtualization using the bootcamp drive when I reinstalled my pcie/main OS drive. Now I can boot Windows natively and/or use it within OS X. All is well. Thanks for the help!
  7. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    i have windows 7 installed on a different drive to my osx install.
    when i install windows
    -make a windows install media (dvd/usb)
    -i grab the bootcamp drivers and stick them on a usb stick
    -pull all drives but the drive that i want to install windows on to
    -boot from install dvd (or usb installer )
    -format the drive from the windows installer then install windows
    -boot's in to windows, install boot camp drivers then grab the new display driver
    -shut down then reinstall all drives then reboot, bootchamp is handy too
    -jobe done

    (i have used vm ware with this setup but not for years, had no problem last time but that was ages ago )

    (tho last time i installed windows 7 the windows updater was relay relay slow to bring it up to date)
  8. wiski15b thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2016
    Yeah, I'm still having issues actually. If I activate Windows on bootcamp, it deactivates VMware and vice versa. I called VMware, and they said I shouldn't be having this problem with activation. Gonna call them again today. They said they may have to contact Microsoft. Ugh....
  9. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    This is a common problem for VMWare and Parallels users when your Windows VM is using the same Windows key as your Windows native boot. This is because the virtual hardware presented by the VM and your actual hardware are significantly different, so Microsoft activation thinks it is two different computers.

    In my case, I had to reactivate maybe 2-3 times each on the VM and 2-3 times on the native boot, but then it sorted itself out and stopped asking.
  10. wiski15b thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2016
    So yeah, still same problems. Bootcamp will not boot when I have my pcie OS X installed. It just goes to black screen with blinking cursor. When I remove the pcie drive, I can boot into Windows no problem. I think it has something to do with my main OS drive being recognized as an external drive. If I open bootcamp assistant on my main OS/pcie drive, it will not allow me to choose the drive I have dedicated to Windows, and install it as a single partition. It always asks me to split/partition it for both OS X and Windows. However, when I insert a copy of el cap on a normal hard drive into one of the drive bays, it works fine. I can format the drive as one volume, and it will boot, but once I reinsert the pcie drive it fails to boot Windows. Also, bootcamp assistant won't allow me to partition the pcie drive even if I wanted to do it that way.

  11. buster84, Aug 13, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016

    buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    From what i understand Bootcamp cant be installed on another drive it has to be installed on your main drive, so you have to trick it into working. This is actually really easy if you dont use bootcamp, but since you need it to register that way for vmware to work try this.

    1) First things first, do a backup of your OSX drive with time machine, and backup your data encase something happens to that backup
    2) Then use bootcamp assist to create 2 partitions (bootcamp/osx). (Make this partition as small as you can)
    3) Take out your main drive (PCI-E SSD)
    4) Hold down alt to boot into the cd-rom windows installer
    5) If it doesnt let you install do this
    6) once windows has fully installed (make sure disk is labeled bootcamp), run updates then re-install your original drive.
    7) Then use disk utility to delete the extra partition from osx and resize it back.
    8) If that doesnt work the only thing left is to reformat the drive as 1 partition and do a restore.

    Doing step 8 could remove the ability for OSX from recognizing bootcamp as a bootcamp install and since you need that the only thing that i can suggest would be to leave that tiny partition alone and think of it as a required step in order to use VM ware through bootcamp on a separate drive. Id suggest reformating the tiny partition though and change its name from bootcamp since your going to have the other drive with windows labeled as bootcamp.

    if you can somehow get vmware to work without needing bootcamp then you can simply remove all the drives a do a simple windows install from the disk and then re-install the osx drive once its all setup. Try windows 10 if your not using that, sometimes having the newest software is best.

    Give it a try and let us know if you get it all installed. BTW i edited my post to make it clearer.
  12. wiski15b, Aug 13, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016

    wiski15b thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2016
    My first and only real issue is that I know you CAN install bootcamp on a separate internal drive with a single partition. I can do it by inserting a regular 3.5 hard drive with OS X installed into one of the slide tray bays.

    For example:
    Let's say I have El Capitan installed on a drive in drive bay 1, and drive bay 2 with blank hard drive.
    Bootcamp will then ask me whether I want to partition my boot drive into 2 partitions, OR use the extra drive in drive bay 2 as a single partition.

    When I boot from my m.2 in the pcie slot, bootcamp will tell me I cannot partition my OS X drive and will only give me the option to partition the spare drive into 2 partitions, one for OS X and one for Windows. It seems to consider the pcie slot as an external drive and I think that is what is causing the issue.

    I think there is Kext out there to trick OS X into thinking an external is an internal.

    I did try to trick it a few ways.
    I tried using my other copy of EL Capitan to install boot camp which formatted the drive into a single Windows partition and did the install as normal, but I downloaded the boot camp drivers from my Pcie copy of el cap.
    This kind of worked, the pcie recognized that there was a drive for boot camp and allowed me to select it as my startup. However, BLACK SCREEN/blinking cursor. And if I try holding option on boot, same thing. If I remove the pcie, and have only the Windows drive in, it will boot into Windows.....

    Clearly there is a conflict with having a pcie drive in the system.

    I did read on apples boot camp trouble shooting guide, that if boot camp doesn't work, try using a drive bay with a higher number. Since my pcie card is recognized as drive0 in disk utility, it seems I can't do that.

    So as far as I can see at the moment, it is one or two issues:
    1. OS X drive has to be recognized as an internal drive.
    2. The numerical order in which OS X assigns the drive has to be in order.

    And I don't know how to change either of these, either with some sort of Kext or terminal command.
  13. orph, Aug 13, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016

    orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    i do not use the boot camp app to install windows, it never works for me. It always seems to want to install on to the same drive as the OS i dont think it's designed for computers with more than one drive which is no surprise as few mac's have more than one internal drive and windows will not like external drives.
    i did use it last time to grab the drivers and stick them on a usb stick tho

    just try the way i mentioned without using the bootcamp app to try to in

    my setup
    optical bay 2 SSD osx
    bay 1 HDD storage
    bay 2 HDD 1 partition for win 7, 1 partition for data (mac format)
    bay 3 HDD 1 partition storage, 1 partition storage for windows (i wanted games to load faster so made a 100GB partition)
    bay 4 HDD 1 partition data osx, 1 partition osx 10.11, 1 partition osx 10.10 (both backups i can boot in to)

    but i have no pci drive
  14. wiski15b thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2016
    Gonna give it a shot.

    Then I will try installing Windows without bootcamp.

    Not sure how to go about that though.
  15. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    Just make sure use bootcamp to get the bootcamp drivers for the version of Windows that your using, that's all you'll use boot camp for.
  16. JMVB macrumors member


    May 16, 2016
    I'm having troubles with that

    I did the bootcamp installing several times before in Macbook pro's and Macbook's, with partitioned disk

    Well, in my cMP, I tried in an separate drive, but using the bootcamp utility.

    The W7 installation go well, I installed the bootcamp driver, then the GTX680 drivers.

    Reboot, all ok.

    I don't know why, after boot in OSX a few times, and then back to Win, the installation is messed.

    Can't boot and got the win7 repair app, which no repair nothing and I'm forced to install Win7 again.

    That's happened several times
  17. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    are you also using a ssd pcie m.2 drive?

    When i installed windows on my second pci-e m.2 sm951 i had to use the efi boot in order for windows to want to install on the drive, otherwise it wouldn't allow it. I actually have to manually select efi boot now every time in order to use windows, if i just click on the windows hard drive it wont boot, but if i click on the efi boot partition it works. Since i always held down alt anyways its not that big of a deal for me, now im just clicking efi instead of windows.

    I'm assuming that since it was allowed to install without any issues your probably using a sata ssd setup, if so take out the ssd and connect it to a windows computer and delete all the partitions, then reinstall it reformat it as NTFS, then reinstall it into your mac pro then remove all the other hard drives from the system and boot from the disc. Once installed, run windows update till its done/install the bootcamp drivers and once its finished re-install all the hard drives you took out and once windows boots go to the bootcamp menu in control panel and switch the boot drive back to osx.

  18. JMVB macrumors member


    May 16, 2016
    No, it is a regular 3.5" disk

    And I have a non-efi card, so, I don't have the boot menu :'C
  19. JMVB macrumors member


    May 16, 2016
    Ok, I managed install W7 64, and I flashed my GTX680, so, now I have bot screen.

    But, the same issue with the bootcamp installation, after a few boot into osx and w7, the w7 no longer load.

    Maybe it is a damaged hard drive issue. I'll try a new one

    @buster84 what do you mean with "click in efi boot partition"?
  20. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    When I hold alt with the windows 10 disc in the drive you have the option to load the disc normally or load it through the efi which is on another partition of the disc. I'm not sure if Windows 7 has this option I don't remember seeing it before Windows 10.

    If your just installing Windows on a normal hard drive you don't need to do the efi method, that method is because the pci-E SSD shows up as external instead of internal.

    I'd suggest removing all drives, then reformat the drive and do another install, then do all the windows updates and install your bootcamp drivers. When I did it this way i never had issues with Windows not loading lower on after a few restarts.

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