Booting Win 10 "anniversary edition" on a 2013 Mac Pro in Boot Camp?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kingtj, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    As a late 2013 Mac Pro owner, I've never really had an interest in dual booting into Windows until now. (I used to have a fairly high-end Windows desktop I built for things like gaming.) Well, now, my oldest daughter has gotten into games that demand that type of machine to run well, and she's no longer happy with the Mac Mini she'd been using. I decided to just give her my Windows gaming rig, thinking I could do all of that on my Mac Pro if I installed Windows 10 on it.

    Except I realized my timing probably couldn't have been worse, since Microsoft just released the "redstone" update to Windows 10 (the "Anniversary" edition patch, as they're calling it). From what I've read, it's having a lot of problems clobbering other drive partitions on any drive it's installed on. When it sees a partition on a drive of an "unknown type" (meaning Mac OSX, Linux or something else like that), it just goes about deleting it to re-allocate it as usable space for the Windows install.

    To further complicate matters, most of my drive storage on my Mac Pro is by way of an external Thunderbolt drive enclosure that has 5 SATA drives in it, presented to the Mac as one big drive since they're formatted as RAID 5 using the firmware in the enclosure itself. I'm not quite sure if I can get Windows 10 to boot properly from that enclosure, even if I get it installed onto a partition on there successfully? (Will Windows even include driver support for Thunderbolt that's sufficient to let it start up from there right after the first install?)
  2. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    Windows will have thunderbolt support as long as you download the support software. This is how i'd suggest you do your install. Since you said the new windows deletes other partitions on the drive that doesnt leave you any choices but to use a second drive.

    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 download the support software
    3) Take out all drives except for the drive you plan to install windows on
    4) Hold down alt to boot into the cd-rom windows installer
    5) If it doesnt let you install on this hard drive do this
    6) once windows has fully installed install the support software and thunderbolts should be back up and running.

    If you dont have a second drive then your only other option would be to partition your main drive splitting it for osx and windows, but if the new operating system deletes all other partitions your only option is to use a lower version, windows 7 or windows 10 and they do not have to be activated, just install without the key then once its all up and running. Do the upgrade to the newest version of windows. This should allow you to have the newest windows on the same hard drive.
  3. Padaung macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
    My Mac setup is totally different to yours so this as feedback from a survey of 1!

    Running a Mac Mini 2012 i5 with MacOS 10.10.5 (Yosemite), just updated from Windows 10 to Windows 10 Anniversary Edition with no issues - both Mac OS and Windows 10 partitions are intact and both OSes boot without issue. I run Windows 10 using Boot Camp.

    However, I went into the Windows 10 update blindly - I hadn't heard of any issues (your post is the first I've heard of this issue) before I went ahead with the Anniversary update, I would have been more cautious if I had. My data is backed up with Time Machine, but I've only a single 512Gb drive to backup...

    Sorry, I've no suggestion regarding Thunderbolt drivers.

    Edit: I see someone else has just posted before me with ideas about Thunderbolt.
  4. kingtj thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    Thanks for the assistance!

    It turns out the "key" to getting everything to work properly for me was to power off my Thunderbolt external drive enclosure (after making sure the Windows 10 ISO installation image was saved to my 2013 Mac Pro's internal SSD). Then I ran Boot Camp and re-partitioned the internal drive, and installed Windows 10 to it (but only temporarily).

    (In the past, when I tried to do this same process but with the Thunderbolt array up and running? Things would get stuck at the point where the Windows 10 setup needed me to select the "BOOTCAMP" partition to install it onto. Selecting it would result in an error message about it not being properly formatted in NTFS. But if I formatted it from there and selected it again, it would generate a different error message about not having a valid partition to install onto. Really odd that turning off the external Thunderbolt drive was the trick to this part working!)

    When that finished successfully, I shut down the Mac, powered the Thunderbolt array back on, and then rebooted the Mac so it would see it again. Now, the goal was to get the BOOTCAMP partition copied over to the external drive, where it would have a lot more room. I used Apple's Disk Utility to shrink the original partition on the external array, and to create a new "DOS FAT" partition for BOOTCAMP to get moved onto. Then I got that part done pretty painlessly with the Winclone 5.5 shareware utility ( It's designed just for this purpose. I just had to make sure I re-ran Boot Camp Assistant so it would remove my original BOOTCAMP partition and revert my Mac Pro's internal drive to the original "all OS X in one partition" configuration, before rebooting again.

    So.... NOW, I just have some loose ends to tie up with Windows.

    1. It looks like the new "anniversary update" is refusing to run with this setup. Windows Updates downloads it and attempts to install it - but I just see the screen briefly show a display where it's at 0% of the upgrade process with the percentage drawn inside a white circle in the middle of the screen. Then it restarts immediately, back into Win 10 where it reports it failed to upgrade.

    2. Fighting a lot of video driver issues here.... The original FirePro drivers included in Boot Camp seemed to work ok, except they're really outdated and have slow frame rates in games. If I try to use the latest "official" ones here:

    ... They install properly, but then my multi monitor setup is all messed up. (I have 3 displays, including an LG wide-screen 29" panel. The wide screen panel gets stuck in 800x600 max. resolution and looks terrible.)

    Then I found out about the mXDriver for Boot Camp:

    ... This one seems ideal, *except* ever since installing it, I repeatedly hear the Windows "disconnected device" sound playing, at random intervals. Pretty sure it's momentarily losing connection with my displays - though the screens don't flicker or anything, and the Windows Event Log doesn't indicate anything happening.

    Any suggestions on this part? I have the FirePro D500's in this particular Mac Pro.
  5. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    I've yet to try and install the new windows 10 anniversary updates, but if its like the windows 10 upgrade then they should also include an iso to download and burn. I couldn't get windows 7 to do the upgrade properly and it would stick at 0% and never change so instead of doing it that way i downloaded the iso. So if that's still an option, try it that way.

    As for the video card issue, i cant help since ive never used it. You could try and see if the upgrade will fix this problem, if not then maybe call amd, or send them an email about it?

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