cMBP + Optibay + Bootcamp USB = No

Yahooligan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2011
965
113
Illinois
Having a weird problem that's only happening with my cMBP. I created the bootable USB stick using Boot Camp Assistant and that went fine, added a 2nd partition to my 2nd drive, and if I try to boot off the USB stick (Holding down Option, selecting the "Windows" USB stick) it eventually just results in a black screen telling me no bootable devices found.

I can plug the same USB stick into my rMBP and use the same boot method and it will boot from the USB stick, loading the Windows installer, just fine.

So, there seems to be something about the setup of my cMBP which makes me unable to do Boot Camp. Not a big deal, but I was bored. Now I'm just annoyed. :D
 

vistadude

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2010
1,423
1
I'm not sure on all the technical details, but if your mac came with an optical drive, then during the bootcamp assistant setup, it assumes you still have an optical drive and doesn't copy over driver (think BIOS options) to boot from usb. What you'll have to do is temporarily take out the optibay and install windows via dvd, then put the optibay back in.

I'm sure there are other alternatives, but this is what I ended up doing. Just don't tighten all the optical drive screws in because you'll have to take it out soon anyways.
 

Yahooligan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2011
965
113
Illinois
I don't think that's it, I actually installed Boot Camp like a year ago, after I first got this cMBP, and I had no problem booting from the same USB stick. There's something about this specific config that it doesn't like, I never had to use the optical drive to install Boot Camp.

And, like I said, my rMBP boots off the USB stick just fine with zero changes done to the USB stick so it's not a matter of anything missing due to Boot Camp Assistant.

It's a weird one!
 

J.Appleseed

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2012
258
73
The Netherlands
I don't think that's it, I actually installed Boot Camp like a year ago, after I first got this cMBP, and I had no problem booting from the same USB stick. There's something about this specific config that it doesn't like, I never had to use the optical drive to install Boot Camp.

And, like I said, my rMBP boots off the USB stick just fine with zero changes done to the USB stick so it's not a matter of anything missing due to Boot Camp Assistant.

It's a weird one!
It most definitely is a matter of anything missing.

Since the MacBook retina doesn't have a Superdrive by default it is allowed to boot from USB. The classic MacBooks and iMacs (i.e. pre-2012) do have a Superdrive by default and thus cannot install Windows from USB. Boot Camp simply does not support that feature for these models.

There is a workaround for which you must create a Windows partition via Boot Camp and then clone the contents of a VM to it, but I find that to be quite a lot of work for such a simple task and I believe it isn't exactly the easiest thing to do either.
 

Yahooligan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2011
965
113
Illinois
It most definitely is a matter of anything missing.

Since the MacBook retina doesn't have a Superdrive by default it is allowed to boot from USB. The classic MacBooks and iMacs (i.e. pre-2012) do have a Superdrive by default and thus cannot install Windows from USB. Boot Camp simply does not support that feature for these models.

There is a workaround for which you must create a Windows partition via Boot Camp and then clone the contents of a VM to it, but I find that to be quite a lot of work for such a simple task and I believe it isn't exactly the easiest thing to do either.
Apparently you didn't read my last post completely, I previously installed Boot Camp via USB stick on this very same MBP without any such issue or jumping through hoops.

If booting or installing from USB weren't an option then Boot Camp Assistant wouldn't give me that option, Apple says this right in the docs. It also doesn't say that it only works for models without an optical drive.
 

J.Appleseed

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2012
258
73
The Netherlands
Apparently you didn't read my last post completely, I previously installed Boot Camp via USB stick on this very same MBP without any such issue or jumping through hoops.

If booting or installing from USB weren't an option then Boot Camp Assistant wouldn't give me that option, Apple says this right in the docs. It also doesn't say that it only works for models without an optical drive.
I have read that, and I have absolutely no idea how you managed to do so. As far as I know, that is just not possible due to a restriction in the EFI.

Quoted from Apple's Boot Camp Install manual:
You may be able to install Windows 7 with a USB flash drive that contains a Windows 7 ISO image downloaded from Microsoft. To check whether you can do so, open Boot Camp Assistant, click Continue, and see if the option “Create a Windows 7 install disk” is available. To install Windows 7 with a USB flash drive, you need the following:

[...]
I always understood that the "Create a Windows 7 install disk" only is available on Macs that don't come with a Superdrive by default.
 

LeeM

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2012
603
0
i did a fresh install of osx on my macbook pro which had an ssd and a hdd in the optibay at the time of installation.
since then ive ONLY had the option to install windows from usb, even when i put the disc drive back in bootcamp would only give me the option to make a bootable usb rather than a cd.

ive reinstalled windows a couple of times and used a bootable usb every time