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riptideMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 29, 2011
260
0
Most of the procedures I found online for installing Windows7 via bootcamp were fairly complex, so I thought I might share a simpler method here.

Based on my research, this is what I did:

1.Figure out your partition scheme.
I wanted 5 partitions on my 500 gig drive:

"SSD BACKUP" 50 Gigs
"PARALLELS" 50 Gigs
"BOOTCAMP" 100 Gigs
"MEDIA" 150 Gigs
"ARCHIVE" 150 Gigs

note: only the first two drives in your partition scheme will be visible in windows.

2.Use Boot Camp Assistant to partition the disk (dont restart)
The partition you create for windows will actually end up being the last drive in your partition scheme. For example I gave windows a 150 gig partition in the assistant because that is the size I wanted for "ARCHIVE"

3. Add partitions in Disk Utility
At this point you should have two partitions... in my example they are SSD BACKUP -350GB , and BOOTCAMP-150GB
Click on SSD BACKUP, then click the plus sign to add a partition. Continue this process until you have the number of partions you want.

4.Distribute disk space in Disk Utility (the trickiest part)
Here you need to assign the amount of space you want your actual windows installation to take up to the third partition on the list. Set the third partition to be formatted as MS-DOS (FAT). This third partition is where windows will end up. Assign the rest of the disk space so that anything you might want to access in windows is partition 1 or 2. Make sure that the third partition is named BOOTCAMP and that the last partition is BOOTCAMP as well (created by the assistant). Remember that the last partition will end up being something other than windows... "ARCHIVE" in my case.

5.Format the Drive

6.Reclaim last partition
Here you select the last partition "BOOTCAMP" and erase it for other use (archive in my case)

7.I'm not sure if this step is necessary
Erase the "BOOTCAMP" partition and have it re create itself as "BOOTCAMP" with MS-DOS (FAT) formatting. my reasoning for this was that when first created, this disk shows up in finder as "BOOTCAMP 1"

8.Install Windows7
Insert the DVD, restart while holding the option key and select the "WINDOWS" boot option... from here on, the procedure is completely normal
 
Last edited:

balamw

Moderator
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
I like this one better. Thanks.

As long as you realize that "going off the reservation" can potentially lead to problems down the line. (e.g. you can't run Boot Camp Assistant to reclaim the space allocated to Windows, you can't boot a non-standard partition scheme as a VM in VMWare/Parallels, ...)

B
 

riptideMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 29, 2011
260
0
As long as you realize that "going off the reservation" can potentially lead to problems down the line. (e.g. you can't run Boot Camp Assistant to reclaim the space allocated to Windows, you can't boot a non-standard partition scheme as a VM in VMWare/Parallels, ...)

B

I can confirm that the procedure I outlined produces a Boot Camp partition that works with parallels.
 

sam byte

macrumors newbie
Jun 11, 2011
1
0
riptideMBP,
In your partition scheme, I was wondering where is you Mac OS X partition? Is it SSD BACKUP?
 

slackpacker

macrumors 6502a
As long as you realize that "going off the reservation" can potentially lead to problems down the line. (e.g. you can't run Boot Camp Assistant to reclaim the space allocated to Windows, you can't boot a non-standard partition scheme as a VM in VMWare/Parallels, ...)

B

Do you realize that sometimes you have to do this. I see no reason to stick to Apples limit of 2 partitions on the drive.... because BootCamp Assistant says so. There is no reason I can see for the restriction. I have my system set for 3 Partitions - Snow Leopard , OS NDA , BootCamp. It all works perfectly. I went about it a little differently with iPartition with my already setup HD that had just Snow Leopard and BootCamp installed on it.
 

balamw

Moderator
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
Do you realize that sometimes you have to do this. I see no reason to stick to Apples limit of 2 partitions on the drive.... because BootCamp Assistant says so. There is no reason I can see for the restriction. I have my system set for 3 Partitions - Snow Leopard , OS NDA , BootCamp. It all works perfectly. I went about it a little differently with iPartition with my already setup HD that had just Snow Leopard and BootCamp installed on it.

The problem I have is that MOST users of either operating system don't care to know the differences between GPT and MBR, and why mixed GPT/MBR partition schemes can be fragile.

NOTE: Unless you have eliminated the GPT system partition, you probably actually have four partitions. If you did eliminate the GPT system partition, you will have trouble with firmware updates... This is the kind of subtle issue that can lead to problems down the line...

If Windows had better GPT support (only 64 bit editions of Vista/7 provide some support for booting from GPT) things would be far easier...

B
 
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