End of my rope...

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Bede5man, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. Bede5man macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    #1
    OK, I have this mid-2101 mac mini. I'm running Boot Camp for Win 7 Pro. All works well....but....

    I'm trying to set up the external HDD to image the Win partition, so that if the SSD in the mini goes bad, I can recover it, with NO requirement to have installation disks on hand for all the software on there right now.

    I used the Win 7 backup to "image" the disk to an external HDD, and am trying to make a bootable .iso DVD if i ever have to reinstall the OS. And, I am trying to make a Win 7 "rescue disc" on DVD as well.

    Here's the problem; I can't take the downloaded .iso and burn it to a DVD that is BOOTABLE (either via the "hold down C key" or "hold down Option key" or whatever. Also, the efforts to burn a "rescue disc" via Win 7 are for naught. Win 7, even though it uses the SAME ****ING HARDWARE as in OSX, won't recognize DVDs in the drive when in the Win partition. (except already burned ones...but not even empty ones.)

    Bottom line here; I need to survive a complete SSD failure (got the apple side covered with Super Duper) but still be able to boot into Windows to get to the image on the external HDD.

    This sucks ass...should I have just bought another goddamned computer to run Windows???

    I'm about to smash the ****ing thing.
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    Just use Windows 8, I used that to install Windows on an external drive and it went fine, but required some fiddling.

    Steps:
    Connect external drive to Windows VM. You must have a Windows VM in VMware/Parallels/VBox, or a Windows PC. Any existing Windows environment will do.

    Note: If you’re using a 32-bit ISO, your Windows environment used to do these commands have to be 32-bit. And if it’s a 64-bit ISO, the environment has to be 64-bit.

    What you need:
    install.wim file (obtain this from your Windows ISO)

    Open elevated cmd.exe (run as admin)

    Note: All commands aren't case sensitive, including pathway to files.

    Type diskpart
    Type list disk
    Take note of the disk you want to select
    Type select disk 1 (if your disk is Disk 1)
    Type clean
    Type convert gpt (do this and then stop at this point if you're using a drive with a Thunderbolt port. If installing in BIOS-CSM, type convert mbr and then stop at this point if you’re using a drive with a Thunderbolt port)
    Type create partition EFI size=100 (skip if installing in BIOS-CSM)
    Type format quick fs=fat32 label=EFI (skip if installing in BIOS-CSM)
    Type assign letter=S (skip if installing in BIOS-CSM)
    Type create partition primary
    Type format fs=ntfs quick label=W2G (or any other name you wish for label)
    Type assign letter=E
    Type exit

    Open up File Explorer. In your C drive, create a new folder named WIN2GO.
    Put the install.wim file in this folder

    Back in cmd.exe:
    Type dism /apply-image /imagefile:C:\WIN2GO\install.wim /index:1 /applydir:E:\ (this process will take quite a while)
    Type E:\Windows\System32\bcdboot E:\Windows /s S: /f UEFI (use this one for UEFI installation)
    Type E:\Windows\System32\bcdboot E:\Windows /s E: /f ALL (use this one for BIOS-CSM installation)

    Restart your entire Mac. After the chime, hold down Option and when prompted to select your boot drive, select EFI Boot (or whatever else that comes up for a BIOS-CSM installation).

    Proceed installation normally.

    After installation, install Boot Camp drivers. Feel free to trash the VM once you're done too.

    For best results, use USB 3/Thunderbolt. If you don't have USB 3, use Thunderbolt. If you have neither, stick back to the internal drive :)

    Don’t use a USB stick.

    Note: This method involves reformatting the entire external drive.

    For Thunderbolt drives, just boot from the Windows USB installer and install directly onto the TB drive. Windows sees TB drives as an internal PCIe connection. However, you must format the TB drive as GPT first.

    CAUTION: Windows can only be installed in UEFI flawlessly on Haswell Macs and later. Ivy Bridge and earlier Macs can only run Windows in BIOS-CSM flawlessly. Attempts to boot a UEFI installation of Windows on an Ivy Bridge or earlier Mac will result in driver issues.

    These steps do not work with Windows 7, as it lacks the dism.exe utility.

    UEFI-compatible Macs:
    MacBook Air (mid-2013 and later)
    iMac (late-2013 and later)
    Retina MacBook Pro (late-2013 and later)
    Mac Pro (trashcan shape)
    Mac Mini (late-2014 and later)

    Long story short, only Macs with PCIe SSDs support UEFI. Non-retina MBPs, along with other Macs not listed above (basically all Ivy Bridge and older Macs), are not UEFI compatible.

    WinToUSB basically does the same thing, but doesn’t always work because WinToUSB doesn’t really take into account between BIOS-CSM and UEFI Macs; it only uses one method for all (which may result in boot failures and other problems).

    I run Windows off a single Transcend 960GB JetDrive and constantly use it between Macs without problems.
     
  3. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #3
    Not sure where you saw that W7 won't install in UEFI in non-retina Macbooks.
    I have a mid 2012 cMBP and I installed W7 with UEFI without Bootcamp. I also installed Linux with UEFI in a triple boot setup. W7 and Linux work absolutely fine with no problems. No driver problems for Windows or Linux. In fact, the Facetime HD camera will work in Linux in the cMBP while it wouldn't work in my late 2013 rMBP.
     
  4. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #4
    OP, Microsoft has changed the process of making a bootable W7 DVD. I believe you need to enter the license key to download the ISO directly from Microsoft. And it needs to be a non-OEM key which I assume is what you have since your Mac doesn't come with Windows from factory.
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #5
    How do you tell if Windows 7 is installed with uEFI? How come on my MacBook Pro with 7 I see the black screen with blinking cursor for a second before "Starting Windows" appears where as with Windows 8 I do not.
     
  6. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #6
    The reason I think it's UEFI is because I had 5 partitions before I installed W7.
    1. Mac OS
    2. Apple recovery HD
    3. Fat32 (for W7 install)
    4. Fat32 (for Linux install)
    5. Fat32 (Linux swap)

    I installed OSX first. Then I installed Linux on the 4th partition which Linux installation USB formatted it to EXT4, and used the 5th partition as Linux swap space.

    W7 was installed last. I used a W7 64 bit DVD and selected the EFI option, not the 'windows' option. Everything went fine. I didn't use Bootcamp to install W7 but I did download the Bootcamp drivers from Apple once W7 was installed and running.
    That's why I think it installed in UEFI but I may be wrong. Many claims online suggest that W7 needs UEFI 2.0 firmware and Apple's is 1.1.

    These are my partitions when viewed in W7.
    The unallocated space in the end is the EXT4 Linux partition which Windows can't read so it thinks it's unallocated space.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #7
    OP, sorry for going off topic. If worse come to worse, you can still buy a W7 rescue dvd on ebay. Seen them between $10 and $20.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #8
    @z31fanatic Do you see the brief blinking cursor when booting into Windows?
     
  9. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #9
    Never looked for it but next time I boot in Windows I'll look for it.
     
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #10
    Let me know of your results!
     
  11. Bede5man thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    #11
    What a bunch of ****around!

    My family got an Apple II+ in about 1979...but after that I was a PC guy until maybe 2011. I'll never go back to the PC standard.

    Computers are tools to me; I'm a professional pilot and mechanical engineer, not a "virtual reality" geek. When I spend the money for the OS/hardware/cables/peripherals, I expect that the respective "experts" have set it all up right.

    I take a position of excellence in my job, and I expect the same of others, in theirs.

    When I download and install software that is purported to work on my machine, as a consumer, I don't expect to have to **** with it.

    That said, I did extensive online research and found that I had to convert the .iso to a ".cdr" file to burn it as bootable.

    It worked (using OS X). Now it will boot from a cold start, into Windows, to recover my image for a full recovery.

    Question: Since it is possible to boot the Apple OS from an external drive, why not Windows??? Obviously it's not a technology problem; the OS's can use the same hardware...

    Oh, wait, I know; somewhere, somehow it has to do with...wait for it...****ing money. It's always ****ing money. A concern with cloning, or copying, or some damned thing.

    It always comes to that. **** Microsoft and their ****.

    -Kev, Out!


    P.S. - Why do you edit the language here? Is society going to collapse if adults (or children, for that matter), see any language that one can type? I contribute to several gun forums and they do the same thing...wow...I would think that above all else that gun forums were, by their inherent nature, for adults. Guess I'm wrong or that I don't believe in god or something. Whatever.
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #12
    I believe it has to do with the way that OS X partitions the boot information. There is some cloning tools for Windows that create bootable backups as well.
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #13
    There is a way for Windows to boot externally - it's just long winded.

    Connect external drive to Windows VM. You must have a Windows VM in VMware/Parallels, or a Windows PC. Any existing Windows environment will do.

    Note: If you’re using a 32-bit ISO, your Windows environment used to do these commands have to be 32-bit. And if it’s a 64-bit ISO, the environment has to be 64-bit.

    What you need:
    install.wim file (obtain this from your Windows ISO)

    Open elevated cmd.exe (run as admin)

    Note: All commands aren't case sensitive, including pathway to files.

    Type diskpart
    Type list disk
    Take note of the disk you want to select
    Type select disk 1 (if your disk is Disk 1)
    Type clean
    Type convert gpt (do this and then stop at this point if you're using a drive with a Thunderbolt port. If installing in BIOS-CSM, type convert mbr and then stop at this point if you’re using a drive with a Thunderbolt port)
    Type create partition EFI size=100 (skip if installing in BIOS-CSM)
    Type format quick fs=fat32 label=EFI (skip if installing in BIOS-CSM)
    Type assign letter=S (skip if installing in BIOS-CSM)
    Type create partition primary
    Type format fs=ntfs quick label=W2G (or any other name you wish for label)
    Type assign letter=E
    Type exit

    Open up File Explorer. In your C drive, create a new folder named WIN2GO.
    Put the install.wim file in this folder

    Back in cmd.exe:
    Type dism /apply-image /imagefile:C:\WIN2GO\install.wim /index:1 /applydir:E:\ (this process will take quite a while)
    Type E:\Windows\System32\bcdboot E:\Windows /s S: /f UEFI (use this one for UEFI installation)
    Type E:\Windows\System32\bcdboot E:\Windows /s E: /f ALL (use this one for BIOS-CSM installation)

    Restart your entire Mac. After the chime, hold down Option and when prompted to select your boot drive, select EFI Boot (or whatever else that comes up for a BIOS-CSM installation).

    Proceed installation normally.

    After installation, install Boot Camp drivers. Feel free to trash the VM once you're done too.

    For best results, use USB 3/Thunderbolt. If you don't have USB 3, use Thunderbolt. If you have neither, stick back to the internal drive :)

    Don’t use a USB stick.

    Note: This method involves reformatting the entire external drive.

    For Thunderbolt drives, just boot from the Windows USB installer and install directly onto the TB drive. Windows sees TB drives as an internal PCIe connection. However, you must format the TB drive as GPT first.

    CAUTION: Windows can only be installed in UEFI flawlessly on Haswell Macs and later. Ivy Bridge and earlier Macs can only run Windows in BIOS-CSM flawlessly. Attempts to boot a UEFI installation of Windows on an Ivy Bridge or earlier Mac will result in driver issues.

    These steps do not work with Windows 7, as it lacks the dism.exe utility.

    UEFI-compatible Macs:
    MacBook Air (mid-2013 and later)
    iMac (late-2013 and later)
    Retina MacBook Pro (late-2013 and later)
    Mac Pro (trashcan shape)
    Mac Mini (late-2014 and later)

    Long story short, only Macs with PCIe SSDs support UEFI. Non-retina MBPs, along with other Macs not listed above (basically all Ivy Bridge and older Macs), are not UEFI compatible.

    WinToUSB basically does the same thing, but doesn’t always work because WinToUSB doesn’t really take into account between BIOS-CSM and UEFI Macs; it only uses one method for all (which may result in boot failures and other problems).

    I run Windows off a single Transcend 960GB JetDrive and constantly use it between Macs without problems.
     

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