Forcing Macbook to use external screen for Windows Install

StephenNettles

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2011
8
0
So here's the issue. My macbook pro works totally fine except for the screen...which is busted. This is totally fine since i use it with an external monitor. The problem comes when I try to install windows on a boot camp partition.... the windows installer will only use the internal screen and i can't install since i can't see the screen to answer questions... I tried using an unattended install but even those require minimal input and don't work. So... is there any way I can force it to use the external screen for the install?
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
So here's the issue. My macbook pro works totally fine except for the screen...which is busted. This is totally fine since i use it with an external monitor. The problem comes when I try to install windows on a boot camp partition.... the windows installer will only use the internal screen and i can't install since i can't see the screen to answer questions... I tried using an unattended install but even those require minimal input and don't work. So... is there any way I can force it to use the external screen for the install?
No, there isn't.
 

Tsuchiya

macrumors 68020
Jun 7, 2008
2,310
370
You could try:

-Boot up with your external monitor connected and a USB mouse/keyboard attached.
-Close the screen on your laptop, does it go into standby mode?
-If it does, keep it closed but use the mouse/keyboard to "wake" it back up.

Slim chance it'll detect the monitor as it's only display and use that instead.

Worth a shot!
 

StephenNettles

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2011
8
0
You could try:

-Boot up with your external monitor connected and a USB mouse/keyboard attached.
-Close the screen on your laptop, does it go into standby mode?
-If it does, keep it closed but use the mouse/keyboard to "wake" it back up.

Slim chance it'll detect the monitor as it's only display and use that instead.

Worth a shot!
I did try to use clamshell mode and it just didn't work. It would start there but as soon as I selected the windows xp install disk as the boot up device it went to the internal monitor. I could try getting it to go into standbye mode and wake up in clamshell mode from that point. probably won't work but heck... its worth a shot lol. Thanks for the idea.
 

StephenNettles

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2011
8
0
So I tried it and as expected it totally did not work. The next step would be is there anyway around this such as uninstalling the display drivers... or would I have to take apart the mbp and remove the whole screen manually. What about a network install? Could that work? Cloning a VHD into the bootcamp partition?
 

iforbes

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2011
327
1
Do you have a spare machine laying around that you could install and just record the steps you need to take to answer each question?

Step one->tab twice->enter
step two->down arrow->tab->enter
etc
etc
?
 

StephenNettles

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2011
8
0
not with me but i could go to my parents house and use one of their old dusty windows xp machines that they don't use anymore. good idea
 

jasonki32

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2011
13
0
Do you have a spare machine laying around that you could install and just record the steps you need to take to answer each question?

Step one->tab twice->enter
step two->down arrow->tab->enter
etc
etc
?
This won't work since he will have to click on the bootcamp partition to select it and format it. You could try but there is a chance that you will click the wrong partition and format it.
 

StephenNettles

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2011
8
0
thanks guys. i was afraid i'd have to do that. it just so dang expensive! I'll probably try to just custom build a windows gaming rig...it would only be a couple hundred dollars more max
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,935
33,918
Boston
thanks guys. i was afraid i'd have to do that. it just so dang expensive! I'll probably try to just custom build a windows gaming rig...it would only be a couple hundred dollars more max
That's what many people do. MBPs are not the best gaming rigs in the first place, so building a computer more geared for that problem is usually the easiest solution
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,389
63
You could also just install the your Windows somewhere else on some partition on your parent's computer and copy it over already installed and ready to boot up. You might need to install the bootcamp drivers just so they are in the system (only the dedicated GPU driver really matters). One would have to extract them should be plenty of tools for that. Maybe just streamline your Windows DVD with the bootcamp drivers or some laptopvideo2go.com driver mods.
Next copy the whole mess bit for bit to your MBP HDD bootcamp partition. Preferable with a tool such as clonezilla, Paragon Backup Revocery or such stuff that can manage to make the target partition bootable.
Usually Windows only asks for reactivation when so much hardware changes around it but that is all, it boots usually without any problems. The dedicated GPU drivers need to be available so it can auto install them once it finishes booting.
Unless it is a 13" MBP in which case it should boot just fine and the Intel GPU driver Windows should fetch all by it self given web access. You need more than the generic GPU driver to get the external screen but in most cases Windows installs the real driver without any troubles.

If you have an external HDD that should do it the biggest problem is probably MBR and such. Might be that you'd need to take the HDD out of the system and put it into a desktop to transfer all the files as I don't know of any OSX based tool that can transfer the files in a way so it is a bootable partition in the end. There are plenty of Windows tools for it most of them bootable DVDs which probaly only work with a native screen.
 
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