Creating a Bootable Windows 7 USB Disk in OS X ML

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by momavujisic, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. momavujisic macrumors newbie

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    Denmark
    #1
    So, I have a PC that does not have an optical drive, but I do have a Windows 7 DVD and my Macbook Pro.

    How do I go about creating a bootable Windows 7 USB stick in Mac OS X?!

    I've tried a ton of things so far including:

    Making an .iso of the DVD using Disk Utility, then using Bootcamp Assistant to create a bootable USB. I boot from the USB on my PC and get a black screen with the 'No Operating System Found' error...

    Any idea what I'm doing wrong? Any one else successfully made a bootable USB windows 7 disk in OS X?
     
  2. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

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    #2
    You need a Windows boot sector for the USB drive. If Boot Camp assistant isnt working then I'm not sure if there are any utilities for OS X that would write one for you.

    I'll dump one off one of my drives tomorrow and let you know how to write it using dd.
     
  3. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

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  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #4
  5. jsuaggie macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #5
    I have a bootable ISO image of Windows 7 Professional. I am seeking the commands to create a bootable USB drive using the ISO and my mac. I know this can be done since this functionality is inherent to Bootcamp. I have tried the followingh commands in Terminal with no success:

    sudo dd if=/dev/path to iso of=path to USB drive bs=2m

    I have executed this command using a USB drive formatted as FAT32 and I have also used the commands with a drive formatted as free space. Neither booted my Windows PC. I have also partitioned, ran fdisk to select an active partition then formatted the active partition. I then ran the command above, selecting the active partition as the destination. Also, I have also tried the root level of the USB drive.

    Nothing has worked. I know OS X can do this, what am I missing?
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
  7. Pegasus82 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2013
    #7
    I am also unable to make a PC-bootable USB disk from a Win7 ISO using my MacBook Pro with Mountain Lion.

    I tried a similar command to above (from this guide http://evan.borgstrom.ca/post/1314205955/osx-bootable-usb-from-iso) but the result is not bootable on the PC.

    Also after doing this, I can no longer access this USB drive in my Windows7/Linux VirtualBox VMs (running under OSX). I have tried several partitioning options in the OSX Disk Utility but no luck.

    Does anyone have a solution?
     
  8. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

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    #8
    In order to boot Windows setup the ThumbDrive has to have a Windows MBR and VBR (Master Boot Record/Volume Boot Record). The easiest way to do this is to Re-Partition and then Re-Format the drive on Windows.

    You said you have Windows 7 installed in a VM, so I've included the steps you need to take below:

    1. Mount/Attach the USB ThumbDrive to your Windows 7 Virtual Machine
    2. Mount your Windows 7 ISO to the Windows 7 Virtual Machine
    3. Inside the Windows 7 VM:
    4. Click the Start button
    5. Type "cmd"
    6. Right click "cmd" and choose "Run as a Administrator"
    7. In the now open Command Prompt type:
      • diskpart
      • list disk (make note of which disk is your flash drive)
      • select disk # (where # == your flash drive)
      • clean (this will completely erase the ThumbDrive)
      • convert mbr
      • create partition primary align=4096 (the align part is important for flash memory)
      • active
      • format fs=NTFS label="W7_SETUP" quick override
      • assign
      • exit
      • exit
    8. Copy ALL the files from the Windows 7 ISO to your ThumbDrive
    9. On your ThumbDrive browse to "/sources/", hold down "Shift" and delete "ei.cfg"
    10. Unmount the ISO & ThumbDrive
    Congratulations, you should now have a Windows 7 Setup drive that boots on any computer. Just restart your Mac and hold "Option" while booting.

    Note: When your done, you will need to re-format the ThumbDrive as FAT32, because after doing those steps you'll have it formatted as NTFS.

    ----------

    If the correctly setup ThumbDrive doesn't work, your going to have to buy or borrow a Apple external SuperDrive. :(
     
  9. Pegasus82 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2013
    #9
    Thanks for the thorough and clear suggestion. I wish I could try it out, but unfortunately since I started trying to create the bootable USB stick in OSX, I am unable to successfully access it in either the Windows7 or Xubuntu VirtualBox VMs.

    The Windows7 VM Device Manager tells me "Unable to start device. Error code 10".

    The Xubuntu VM sees the hardware (lsusb command), but I have not yet figured out how to access it (fdisk, gparted commands).
     
  10. bigbird888 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 1, 2009
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    Singapore
    #10
    This worked for me:

    http://liondiskmaker.com/



     
  11. Pegasus82 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2013
    #11
    Thanks for the suggestion, but this topic is asking about using OSX to create a bootable USB disk for booting, and installing Windows7 on a PC.

    The tool you have linked to appears to be only for creating a bootable USB disk containing OSX (and presumably for installing to a Mac).

    Are you saying that you used this tool to create a USB disk which you then used to boot a PC and install Windows7?
     
  12. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

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    #12
    *shrugs* I've read through the previous suggestions in this thread, and none of them sound like they could kill a ThumbDrive. :confused: The worst that should happen is the drive would need to be re-partitioned & formatted. Maybe the drive just died on its own?

    Do your other USB drives/sticks work?
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #13
    FWIW not all flash drives are created equal. I bought a bunch of "industrial temperature rated" SLC thumb drives for an embedded application that lose their firmware upon repeated power cycling. Of course I was using it to capture the behavior of my device on power cycle.

    I bricked several sticks this way, and have had others fail spontaneously forgetting what size their flash was.

    My on point is that you don't know for sure what will fry a thumb drive, and not all drives are created equally.

    B
     
  14. H2SO4 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 4, 2008
    #14
    This goes exactly as planned, thanks for your insight. Question tho, why are we deleting ei.cfg?

    EDIT:
    Googled it. I still have the original DVD with product keys, shall I still delete?
     
  15. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2011
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    United States
    #15

    Very old thread...

    Deleting ei.cfg only removes the SKU configuration from Windows Setup. If you remove ei.cfg, it will prompt you what edition you want to install if there are multiple editions on the DVD. On retail media, there are usually editions from Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Ultimate. They will all be the same bitness.

    If you do not delete this, the installer will still work fine.

    Keep in mind that many Macintoshes do not boot Windows from a USB Flash Drive unless they are relatively current. If they have that capability, Boot Camp Assistant usually will create this drive for you, without the need for you to do the above steps. There are also some extraneous steps listed above, but it should still work.
     
  16. H2SO4 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 4, 2008
    #16
    Cheers, this is my last gasp attempt.
    I cannot get any version of Bootcamp to work. Probably due to the data listed against my 1,1 from Apple kb5634 page. I've been using W7 in Parallels but as some games are quite taxing I want to fire on all cylinders if you understand.
     
  17. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

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    United States
    #17
    I am not sure exactly what I am missing, but the entire procedure should be straight forward. What version of OS X do you have? Where are you getting stuck?

    From the article you referenced, Windows 7 is not "supported" but that doesn't mean it will not work. What Windows 7 SKU do you have, and what is the bitness of it? (32 or 64?)
     
  18. H2SO4, Dec 24, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013

    H2SO4 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 4, 2008
    #18
    I have a retail disc with a proper product key and everything. Win7 Ultimate English ROW. Have both 64 and 32bit versions in the box. Have only ever installed the 64bit one in Parallels. Works fine there.

    I agree the procedure is straightforward. Just doesn't work for me.
    I've got a multi OS set up and been through and tried to install with BC5 under 10.8, BC4 under 10.7, and BC3 under 10.6
    Under 10.8 I just get an alternating Apple logo flashing no entry sign and go no further.
    Under 10.7 I just get a Kernel Panic.
    Under 10.6 I just get an alternating Apple logo flashing no entry sign and go no further.

    When trying to install without Bootcamp I just get a continual blank white screen. This is with USB and modded DVD. If I try with the real DVD I just get a blank white screen and go no further.
    This is with option booting of course.
     
  19. rexwers macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2014
    #19
  20. Gav Mack, Jan 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #20
    With the BCA for the old 1-2,1's I'm sure I used a Win XP or Vista OS disc when the BCA asks for the OS disc to reboot the drive, let it restart, hold the option key down, eject the drive and then replace it with the 7 DVD. A while ago, back in Lion era though but I'm sure that's how I fudged it working but that was 32 bit 7 too, I've never done a 1 or 2,1 with 64 bit Windows myself..
     
  21. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #21
    Did you format in disk utility (or elsewhere) using master boot record?
     
  22. No-vato macrumors newbie

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    Jan 30, 2014
    #22
    I'm having the same trouble trying to create a PC-bootable USB disk in Maverick. I've tried formatting as NTFS and MBR as well, and then using this steps: http://garmoncheg.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/how-to-burn-write-iso-image-to-usb.html
    The steps work fine, the PC just doesn't recognize the USB and I guess it's a Mac-PC problem.

    Do these steps reformat the USB disk using a different format than the one it previously had, and maybe that's why it doesn't work?
     
  23. Unixwolf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    #23
    Making the flash drive bootable

    You'll also need to create a boot sector; to make the USB drive “Bootable” you can copy the required files from an ISO image of the OS installer or the actual DVD of the Windows OS.

    After expanding the ISO image (with WinZip or similar tool) to a folder, or mounting it to a virtual drive, or inserting an OS install DVD, change the directory to "(drive letter where folder or DVD is located):\>cd boot"
    Next, type: "(drive letter where folder or DVD is located):\>bootsect /nt60 (drive letter for flash drive)".

    You can now copy your OS’s installation files from the original DVD onto the key. I also recommend copying your hardware drivers onto the same key so the OS installation wizard can find them. If it doesn't then at least you'll have them close by to manually install them yourself.
    Type: xcopy (files from OS DVD or Folder) *.* /s/e/f (drive letter for flash drive)

    This should make your flash drive bootable.



     
  24. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

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    New York, USA
    #24
    That is not necessary if your doing the steps inside Windows 7:
    • "convert mbr" Writes the MBR (Master Boot Record) with a blank partition table
    • "create partition primary align=4096"
    • "active" Marks the new partition as bootable
    • "format fs=NTFS quick override" Creates the VBR (Volume Boot Record) and File system for the partition (NTFS in this case)

    Windows 7 Default MBR and VBR are capable of finding the boot files extracted from the ISO and running them if the drive is formatted as NTFS (FAT32 is a bit more finicky). Now Windows XP on the other hand, you might have to re-write the MBR's & VBR's boot code.
     
  25. ghiocce macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #25
    A possible solution

    This is what I did:

    (1) install virtual box (VB) on your mac.
    Install windows 7 (from the image you have) to VB.
    Also install the VB extensions or guest additions to get usb and folder sharing support.

    NB: For USB drives over 4GB you need to follow this procedure to get them working:
    in the main VB window (i.e. the window before starting Windows 7) scroll down to USB and click on it you will find a drop down menu click to enable usb 2.0 then click the usb icon with a plus sign an add the usb key.

    Now when you boot Windows 7 it will recognize your usb stick. (remember it will not be seen if mounted on your Mac system)

    I am assuming you have set up a shared folder or the drag n drop feature between VB windows 7 and your mac os system.

    Now the easy part: download Microsoft's DVD USB tool and create the bootable Win 7 usb key.

    Good luck!!
     

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