Can you make a Windows 7 bootable USB w/ Snow Leopard?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by knidsrok, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. knidsrok macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2009
    Ok, here's my situation:

    I want to install Windows 7 on a friends' computer, which at present, has no working OS on it. The tricky part is her optical drive is totally kaput. I've been able to find some instructions on how to make live USBs in leopard (like these), but so far, none of them have been bootable by a PC.

    When I try to use the disk utility's "restore" function, I get an error message saying "Could not validate source - error 254"

    I've googled around for other possible solutions, but haven't turned up anything. Has anybody here been able to figure this out?
  2. crayonshin macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2008
  3. knidsrok thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2009
    That would probably work, if it weren't a windows program. I have crossover, but it won't work with it.
  4. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    For starters what kind of computer does she have? I'm not sure if I understand how this is an OS X question since you are talking about how you can install Windows 7 on the machine (Mac or otherwise) when there is no OS on it.

    You could probably get a much faster answer about alternate installation methods for Windows 7 on a Windows forum, whether it was to be installed on a Mac or not. In general you can install Windows from a USB/thumb drive, there are several good tutorials on how to prep the disk here;

    If you only have access yourself to a Mac and she has a PC then you would need to run Windows under Boot Camp on your Mac to set things up... it should not surprise you very much that Macs aren't designed to build Windows 7 boot media.

    In a nutshell though, you will not be able to install and set up Windows 7 on an EFI machine (non BIOS machine) like the Mac very easily.

    The normal way you would do it is get OS X installed first and then use boot camp (or other EFI boot management tools) to set up the machine to boot Windows 7 for installation.
  5. runinguy macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2009
    I believe you may have misunderstood the question, but perhaps since I am in a similar situation to knidsrok I might be able to clear things up.

    I have have a Windows 7 Ultimate (64bit) ISO that I would like to be able to install onto a partition on my MacBook Pro's hard drive via Boot Camp 3.0. I would like to be able to accomplish this using a USB drive rather than burning the ISO to a disc.

    My question is: how can I (a) properly format the drive to do something like this; and (b) transfer/restore the ISO file to said drive for use with Boot Camp 3.0.

    Thanks in advance.
  6. dekadent macrumors member


    Sep 30, 2009
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Actually not entirely correct. You can install Windows from scratch, as only operating system, on a blank harddrive on your Mac, just as easily as you would on any generic PC.

    Even though Mac use EFI there is an automatic BIOS emulation enabling Windows to be installed without the need of an OS X installation.

    Only drawback is that you cannot do firmware updates as those require OS X.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Windows for the most part (except for hacks) cannot boot up from a thumb drive. You'll need to use an optical drive to load windows from.
  8. pysen macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2009
    Could you point me to any of those "hacks" you reckon? They're my only hope since my superdrive is broken.


    - Björn
  9. okboy macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    This information is wrong.

    Anyway, I am in the same situation, wondering if there isn't a way to get Windows 7 onto USB on a Mac. There is an app for it from Microsoft, but it's an .exe. of course.
  10. 22Hertz macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2007
    I couldn't find anything about this either.

    Is it possible to take a Windows .ISO file and make a bootable USB drive on OSX (for use on another PC)?

  11. Mac_Max macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
  12. xkushx macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2013
    Los Angeles, 626
    I have a similar problem,except reverse. i want to put osx LION on a bootable usb, but will be using a windows 7 pc to do so. I swapped my bad hard drive with my brothers friends good hard drive, only problem is i cant install any downloaded programs( i.e. adobe flash) and my optical drive is also "kaput", it is currently running osx 10.5.8, and i just dl'd osx LION on my windows pc, so i want to put LION on my macbook (late '07). how can i completely wipe out the hard drive and do a clean install of LION via USB??

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