[GUIDE] Install Windows 7 on Air 2015

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by davidcie, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. petrony macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2016
    Hi everyone,

    I was trying to install Windos7 on a early 2015 macbook air following this guide.

    Everything went good, though I experienced problems running do_install.wim.bat "DISM error 769 compression is disabled for this volume". I was able to fix it by turning on the compression with "fsutil behavior set disablecompression 0". Everything else went as discribed in this manual, I ran setup, I had working trackpad and keyboard during the setup, I was then able to boot int MacOS (i have yosemite) and bless the custom booltoader. But in the end after reboot for windows setup completion I again don't have trackpad and keyboard. So the setup cannot be completed. I doublechecked that I have boot.wim and install.wim of greater than original size, so the drivers must be there.

    Also while booting into windows, the flag logo and the setup itself appear with color artifacts, though it doesn't affect the install process.

    Then I tried totally different approach. I thought if I already have EFI setup capable of booting windows, why not trying to restore existing windows backup to the same partition. I know it's a dirty approach, but just gave it a try. So I restored the whole windows partition form a backup that I have from my macbook pro 2014 with windows 7, which has the same bootcamp drivers and the same USB3.0 drivers installed. And it even booted to the logon screen, though again with dead trackpad and keyboard and color artifacts. The same story :\

    I tried to hit F8 during the boot process to check what is there to try and tried disabling driver signing requirement. And this time it booted with normal colors and fullscreen, but again no trackpad and keyboard.

    Did anyone face this before? Any suggestions are welcome.
    Pls, pls, plzzz, I dont want Windows10 ))

    Attached Files:

  2. davidworthley macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2016
    Hook up external KB/Mouse and then install Video and boot camp keyboard/mouse drivers.
    Does Macbook Air 2015 have magic trackpad? If it doesn't then you shouldn't have a problem.
  3. petrony macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2016
    Thanks for your suggestion! But that didn't work for me. I have only wireless KB, though it should not be a problem.

    Anyway, I succeeded in the end. The problem was that I was modifying Untimate version of it, but I noticed that it never asks me about the version during the install process. So I figured out that it unconditionally installs Professional. I did it all from scratch, prepared pendrive for Professional and it worked.

    I can also make some points for future downgraders.

    To be honest, those partitioning utils, no matter OSX or Windows - are crap. The crapiest crap I ever encountered! UEFI thing is totally messed up with oldschool MBR thing and that brings headaches.

    I found it very very useful (if not essential) to have a Linux bootable pendrive. Not every Linux boots on this hardware. A lot of them declare it, but only few actually do. I personally found ony one distro and it was live https://grml.org/. Recommend. It has True Simple, Real fdisk onboard OSX and Windows can only dream about. Besides it allows me to backup the whole system not relaying on any proprietary backup solution. I use http://partclone.org/ though I had to manually add partclone to live GRML pendrive.

    Ok let's start with it.

    1. Prepare the pendrive as topicstarter describes
    I had problems with do_install.wim.bat, error 769, which resolves turning ON NTFS compression:
    fsutil behavior set disablecompression 0
    If it doesn't ask about windows version during the install - just check what version it actually installs (can be seen on "create user" screen) and go with that version. Ultimate and Professional are almost the same.

    2. Prepare OSX pendrive
    It is not that obvious how to restore DMG image to the pendrive. There are a lot of manuals online. Mine didn't work when I tried to do this from windows. So I used spare Macbook (oops, you might create this pendrive while having OSX alive, before things get wrong) . Erase the pendrive, make it GPT with single partition and restore DMG to that partition, not the entire pendrive. Or it will not boot.

    3. Boot from OSX pendrive for HDD partitioning.
    OSX disk utility does crazy things on partitioning, specifically, it inserts 128Mib gaps between partitions, and only this way makes it happy. Otherwise OSX can refuse to install, Disk Utility can give strange errors on "Verify disk" etc. So just let it go. Pay attention to creating GPT scheme, and NOT creating any windows partitions with disk utility. It really falls back to hybrid MBR which will not work later. There certainly must be a way of bringing it back to pure GPT, but I didn't try that. I personally created 3 partitions (OSX, Win, and Data for just files). I believe the exact order and sizes of partitions doesn't matter.

    4. Then I just installed OSX, as the order in which you install them doesn't really matter.

    5. Ok. Now there is a clean macbook with only OSX installed and HDD partitioned to several HFS+ partitions. I'm sure those who don't break things to the very foundation like me can start from this point. Also, this is the right place to get rid of Apple CoreStorage and Recovery HD partition. But you can go with them.

    6. Now goes a caveat. I was only once able to install Windows ONTO the HFS+ partition. Don't remember exactly how I did it, but all subsequent attempts ended with windows installer unable to format HFS+ partition. Googling didn't give much help. No problem. Boot into GRML pendrive, run fdisk and change Windows partition type from HFS+ to Windows basic storage, (or whatever it is called) - fdisk filesystem ID 6.

    7. Now goes another caveat. Windows likes to create special boot partition of 128Mib in addition to the partition you ask it to install to. And this is exactly what it does with those nasty gaps left from OX disk utility. I personaly hate this, so I went little further with the GRML fdisk and crearted additional partitions that filled all gaps with Linux partitions. Sector counting involved. Tricky, huh?

    8. Now boot to windows pendrive and install windows, but don't let it reboot.

    9. Go ahead with OSX EFI partiton mounting, copying and blessing.

    9. Yet another caveat. I don't know why, but after I deleted 128Mib partitons (having already windows up and running) I got windows unbootable. Tried several times with the same result. So BEFORE continuing the setup, boot again into GRML and using fdisk, remove those 128Mib partitons created in step 7. I also changed Data partiton type to 6 (windows basic storage) for windows to accept it as its own.

    10. Now finish windows setup.

    Almost there! A few more caveats.

    Drivers. Headaches again.
    Download driver pack from the topicstarter. Easier.
    I got dead keyboard after installing driver from this pack. Trackpad wasn't properly detected by bootcamp.

    Alternative way to make a right click on windows - Shift-F10. Not that well known.
    Installing bootcamp from the pack requires UAC to be turned off (reboot required)
    Keyboard and trakpad drivers I took from bootcamp 5640.
    Bluetooth drivers complain about invalid signature. Both bootcamps behave the same way. Don't know why.

    Everything else works as expected. Sounds, Looks, Scrolls, Dims, etc.

    Again, many thanks to the topickstarter, as he did a tremendous work!
    I hope my experience will save somebody a couple of busy evenings ))
    Thanks for watching and happy downgrading!

  4. tl166115 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2016
    Hi davidcie

    Thank you so much that I successfully installed Windows 7 after tried for 2 weeks. I think besides what you said, I found something useful and I want to share this to all of the windows7 installer:

    1. The step "reinstall OS X" is not necessary. You only need to use the disk utility in the recovery mode to make another partition. MAKE SURE YOU DELETE ALL OF THE PARTITIONS BESIDES MAC OS AND RECOVERY and you still need to format it as HFS format. At least I succeed in my MBP early 2015
    2. Track pad and keyboard. Awwww. headache. I tried to just click the install program from the bootcamp and it doesn't do anything. Later I found the way to do this so that I don't need Shift+F10:
    1. Drag which ever driver install program inside Windowssupport/bootcamp/drivers/apple (e.g AppleCameraPre2015x64.exe) to the icon of AppleMultiTouchTrackPadInstaller64.exe.
    2. There will be a big error window, the only thing you actually need is the path of the actual install program on top of the window (e.g C:\Users\ADMINI~1\AppData\Local\Temp\Rarsfx0\dPins.exe, it should be the second line. AND DON'T CLOSE THE WINDOW)
    3. You want to find that program. (P.S if you press command+R and type %temp%. then it will poop up a window which is c:\users\whatever username you chose\appdata\local\temp.)
    4. Open a cmd windows as administrator, drag the program into it, the put a space, type /f /LM. Then press enter.
    5. Install as always and the trackpad will work! You want to do the same thing with the keyboard driver. No restart needed and you can right click, and scroll, etc.
    3. You can use Rt7lite to integrate the graphic card driver to install.wim so it will be automatically installed with Windows. This saves some time. You want to "driver force integration" marked.
    4. You can install Windows 8/10 later, but after you do that you need more time to boot into Windows 7 because it needs a restart. I strongly recommend you to back up the EFI folder AFTER your operation in the Mac OS.
  5. davidworthley macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2016
    So you have a MBP with magic touchpad working and right click?
    Were you able to get the wireless and bluetooth drivers to work?
  6. tl166115 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2016
    Yes. The Wireless network worked fine. And the dirver inside then boot camp doesn't work. I found a driver in a Chinese driver website that actually works. And here it is https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bxq--onVE9j5T1dNY3BlRWxEZms

    Also I just find the driver in the boot camp driver and install it. Then the Bluetooth devices showed up in the devices manager. By the way. I extract the "applenulldriver64.exe" and I use the devices manager to install all of them by using the .ini files. (There was like 10-ish drivers to install). Remember, always use winrar to extract the .exe driver install file and put the actual dpinst.exe into an administrative command line and add /f and /LM to install problematic drives. Good luck!
  7. davidworthley macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2016
    I just requested access to download the wireless driver. I'm really excited to try this out cause I had pretty much given up.


    Thanks I was able to download that driver and will try to do fresh install on Tuesday. I'm so excited that you found the way to make the drivers work. Will update everyone.
  8. tl166115 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2016
    I have other drivers for this one. If that one doesn't work, simply tell me and I will get u another one. And I just change d the access to anyone.
  9. tl166115 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2016
    Hey bro, trackpad can be used in Windows 7 with right click. I am editing a article about it. Basically, you want to extract the trackpad driver, open a admin-cmd, then run dpinst.exe /f /LM. Which enforced the installation of the driver dispite the digital signature. Remember, permanently disable the driver signature enforcement before it. And you need to install bootcamp. @petrony

  10. davidcie, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016

    davidcie thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 25, 2008
    Wow, just logged back in after a PM from @tl166115 to find out that a lot has happened since the last time I was here! Sorry guys for my absence, didn't mean to abandon the thread but — having turned on email notifications — I was certain MacRumors would email me whenever someone replies... didn't happen unfortunately, will have to look into it one day.

    Sorry, this is a very different setup to MBA 2015 :( It might be technically possible but since I do not have the hardware we might not be able to pull this one off easily.

    Great to hear the workaround (mostly) works for the MBP too! I am sure the right wifi + BT drivers should be available in some Boot Camp package. Can you please find out in Windows Device manager what the VID and PID of the relevant devices is? I have a collection of all recent Boot Camp driver packs so we should be able to get the correct latest one without any need for faking driver signatures.

    EDIT: it seems that @tl166115 is writing a more complete guide for MBP owners, so you should wait for that. Would love to help out but haven't got access to a MBP... Have a suspicion that it should be possible to find the right driver from Apple w/o need for faking signatures but then you guys & MBP owners probably know better and have tried!

    This one's a bit weird... as far as I understand you have a Macbook Air Early 2015? If so then you should be 100% compatible with the guide and the driver pack (unlike @davidworthley). Can you also tell us what VID and PID for these devices is? One alternative you might want to try is enable RDP via AutoUnattend.xml, integrate drivers for an Ethernet dongle, and remotely connect to your machine. However, if problems with keyboard and trackpad stem from incorrectly installed USB drivers then your dongle will not be recognized either :(
  11. tl166115, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016

    tl166115 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2016
    Hey Guys

    If you are installing Window 7 in MBP, I just made another thread with how to get fully support MBP in Windows 7. I realized that there is a lot of difference. Mostly in drivers http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...port-include-track-pad.1992139/#post-23334234
    --- Post Merged, Sep 8, 2016 ---
    But still, I am going to share this here. The driver for the trackpad for MBP. You want to use a admin-cmd to run it. The command is
    dpinst.exe /f /LM
    Remember to turn off the driver signature enforcement, premantly.
  12. marco271093 macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2016
    Hi David,

    Unfortunately I mounted windows 10.
    But I would still be able to install Windows 7.
    If you want we can try again to make some attempt.

    I see that your work has helped many people, I'm happy, but I'm disappointed because I still did not succeed.

  13. BTTF_DeLorean macrumors newbie


    Oct 11, 2016
    I keep on getting this error: Could not find Windows Boot Manager, press Enter to exit. How can I fix this? Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  14. tl166115 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2016
    Hi! In this case, the essential boot file is broken or missing. I guess you delete everything in the EFI partition right? Keep everything in the EFI partition except changing that two files.
  15. GeniusUmi macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2017
    Hello davidcie,
    I've following all your guide, but I stuck at boot windows. It said that "Windows is loading files ..." and then forever at this screen, how could I solve it?
    Device :Macbook 15' 2015 ver. GPU:M370x
    Is that M370x make this situation worse?
  16. davidcie thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 25, 2008
    @GeniusUmi yeah, unfortunately this is a very different GPU and motherboard configuration. Not having a similar machine I am unable to offer much help. Might have a new MBP coming my way this year but who knows... if so will try to extend shim support for other machines but for the time being I'm afraid you're out of luck :)
  17. KrypticCliff macrumors newbie


    Jan 23, 2017
    I'm not sure if anyone is having the same issue, but I am having a terrible time trying to get Windows 7 to recognize the created partitions. Upon arriving at the Win7 installation screen with partitioning options, I see a glamorous blank screen with an error saying it was unable to find a drive.
  18. tl166115 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2016
    Sir I've met some similar problems. In my view, if the "APPLESSD.sys" is not properly signed, Windows will refuse to load it. If the loading fails the driver the disk will not be recognized. Seems your problem is happening on the boot.wim. So you might want to see if there is any problems. My install.wim was wrong so the installation failed because of the inability to find the install destination after restart. I suggest you to check the boot.wim. Davidcie's hotfix was (supposedly) gonna take care of that.
  19. KrypticCliff macrumors newbie


    Jan 23, 2017
    So is it possible that the hotfix I'm using isn't being picked up during the injection? I've tried both Win7 boot.wim files provided in a purchased Win7 CD and the one provided in the other forum pertaining to this process.
  20. tl166115 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2016
    Sorry for this long postpone! I didn't see an email. So the image from the Windows 7 CD cannot be used directly, and the injection is mandatory. Where did you see the image? Is it from http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...most-fully-support-include-track-pad.1992139/ or somewhere else?

  21. KrypticCliff, Jan 31, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

    KrypticCliff macrumors newbie


    Jan 23, 2017

    Yup, that's the forum I used for the image. However, they would both give the same issues. As for the CD, I would do is extract all the files into a USB drive and switch up the files based off of the tutorial. Neither one was able to pick up the drive. I did notice that when using a 2.0 USB drive, the USB's partition was shown in the partition section, but when using a 3.0 USB drive, it wouldn't show and would say unable to load drivers.
  22. vista980622 macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2012
    Any chance for this guide to work on a Late 2016 MacBook Pro (15 inch) with some modifications?
  23. davidcie thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 25, 2008
    Do you mean a blank black screen or is this an installer message? Have a screenshot by any chance? EDIT: sorry, somehow I missed that you're the same person who I'm having a conversation with about this issue!

    Cannot hurt trying but would not count on it much! The Late 2016 15" MBP uses a dual-GPU setup for starters, and a different Intel graphics chip (Intel HD 530 vs Intel HD 6000 in Air 2015). On principle it might be possible to make it run but the chances of getting GPU switching to work right, and all other drivers to work correctly, are not too great IMHO.
  24. BTTF_DeLorean macrumors newbie


    Oct 11, 2016
    I finally got the installation screen, and I did the command prompt, but when I tried to install, it says "Setup cannot continue due to a corrupted installation file. Contact the vendor of your windows installation disk or your system administrator for assistance." error.jpg
  25. BTTF_DeLorean macrumors newbie


    Oct 11, 2016
    I finally got it to work, except for when I try install the bootcamp drivers, it says it's not intended for this computer model, even though I used bootcamp in OS X to download the drivers.

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