Cannot install Windows 8.1 or 10 with Bootcamp

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by jjdodders, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. jjdodders macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2015
    I'm having so many problems trying to install Windows with Bootcamp, I don't really know where to begin.

    Firstly, my setup: 2015 5k iMac, 4.0Ghz. 32GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive, OSX 10.11.2

    I tried running bootcamp with a windows 10 ISO from Microsoft and the partition is created and the mac reboots into windows install. At the point at which you select the partition to install, and format it, when you click next it gives an error message "We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one".

    The first time it did this, Windows install created 3 partitions, "Windows Recovery", "EFI", and "Microsoft Reserved". When I booted back into OSX, bootcamp and disk utility both refused to erase and reformat these partitions, so I booted back into windows setup and used that to format them. However they then became unallocated disk space and I lost 500GB of my Fusion Drive as it didn't show in Disk Utility. Long story short, I had to split the Fusion Drive, format both the HDD and SSD, then rebuild the Logical Volume Group, and reinstall OSX.

    Tried reinstalling windows via bootcamp again, and still get the same partition error message. I've done a bit of digging around online and found that Windows apparently cannot install if there are more than 4 primary disks. When you go through Windows Setup and get to the screen where you chose where to install windows to, the Bootcamp partition is ALWAYS disk 5. Which is what I think is causing the error. How have people overcome this?

    When I look at the partitions mine are listed as:

    1 EFI Boot
    2 Macintosh HD
    3 OSX Recovery
    5 Bootcamp

    The OSXRESERVED partition is the windows install disk, created by bootcamp when you select the Windows ISO. This is where the windows install files come from instead of being put on a USB. However, its getting in the way! I can't delete any of the partitions but I also can't reorder them, and I can't opt to install Windows from a USB.

    How have people managed to install Windows via Bootcamp at all?!?!

    I've also tried using Winclone... created the partition and restored from the Winclone image, however when that finishes I get an error saying "Updating Partition Table Failed" and I cannot boot from it.

    WHAT IS THE SOLUTION!? I really do need Windows on my new iMac. I managed to install it onto my old one just fine. How come there are suddenly so many issues?! HELP! :(
  2. Gerry Johnson macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2015

    You can easily install Windows on Mac OS X using Bootcamp, if your Mac system meets the requirements. First of all, your system's processor should be of Intel based Mac, 64-bit machine, 55 GB of free disk space, blank USB flash drive of atleast 16 GB free space in it. If your Mac computer meets these requirements, then you can easily install Windows OS on your Mac system in few simple steps. For complete details to install Windows OS on Mac OS X, please refer this link
  3. jjdodders thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2015
    That's not really helpful. Obviously I have tried using Bootcamp. That was the first thing I tried. It has not worked, for the reasons I've given above.
  4. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    There's more than one way to do it. Just that Apple doesn't tell you about those.

    The simplest way, is to install windows 10 on another computer, then switch that hard drive into your mac or plug it into your Mac BEFORE ACTIVATING WINDOWS registration key.

    The other way, and how I did it is in my posting here:

    That will put it on your partition. Make sure and back up anything important first, just in case something goes wrong.

    Hope this helps.

    Best of luck to you.
  5. Gogol macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2013
    The Netherlands
    For safety and restore options you have to use the Bootcamp way or else you have problems with that Windows Recovery partition.
    That is where you are now.
    The solution is (and was in my case) is to backup your OSX, go to system recovery (cmd-R) and try to reformat your hard disks and start from scratch with your Fusion Drive (I only have an SSD but I think it is possible with FD).
    The trick in my case was to partition with MBR and not GUID or else you cannot wipe the Windows recovery partition. After that you can use GUID partition again.
    Reinstall OSX from Time Machine or image and then use Bootcamp Assistant to install Windows. In that case you don't have the Windows recovery partition.
    Then you can use Winclone to backup
  6. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    It sort of sounds like you unpacked the Microsoft ISO to your hard drive and are trying to install from one partition on your hard drive to another partition on your hard drive. If that's true then there's your problem.
    You have to unpack the ISO to a flash drive or burn it to a DVD.
  7. jjdodders thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2015
    Yeah I know, that's the problem I'm having. Unfortunately Bootcamp Assistant on my iMac doesn't give me a choice of whether I boot from a USB drive or not. There is only one menu screen and it tells me to point BCA to a windows ISO file (not disc as there is no superdrive) and create a partition... in theory it then creates the partition, creates the Windows Bootable install partition, reboots, installs windows, and bing bang boom, all done no drives needed. Except it creates this problem.

    I need Apple to let me choose to use a USB drive to install or windows to remove its weird limit of only being able to install on the first 4 partitions of the hard drive.
  8. ghislain macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2009
    To install windows with bootcamp, you have to start with a single HFS partition with MacOS (plus the EFI and OSX hidden partitions), and then use bootcamp assistant to create the windows partition and install windows. In your case, with 5 partitions, it will never work I am afraid...
  9. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    Without wasting too much time on it, the fastest way to get going again would be to totally clean install OSX then install Windows

    You've tried a few different things, all likely leaving cruft behind which will just make things messier
  10. jjdodders thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2015
    Already tried the clean OS X install and then tried putting Windows on. It doesn't work because of the number of partitions issue I mentioned earlier.
  11. jenzjen, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016

    jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    UPDATE - forgot you have an iMac w the fusion drive - you need to completely redo that drive first, see here

    THEN do this -

    Burn a clean USB installer of OSX (google)

    Reboot your machine holding the option and select the USB drive

    Before installing OSX, go to disk utility and completely erase ALL partitions by selecting the physical hard drive on the left side and erase

    If you get an erase error, select a sub-partition instead and erase it first then go back to the physical hard drive name and do a master erase

    Once done, exit the utility and install OSX on this drive

    Once OSX is installed, don't do anything (don't setup iCloud, etc) except fire up boot camp assistant to see what happens

    Report back

    Oh, make sure all external devices are disconnected from your machine

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