Install Windows 7 without SuperDrive (Boot Camp)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by ichoppryde, May 26, 2012.

  1. ichoppryde macrumors newbie


    May 26, 2012
    Hello, I own an early 2008 Macbook Pro (not unibody) with a SuperDrive that no longer works. I had 2 partitions previously installed one for OSX (which is now Lion) and Windows 7. I installed an SSD into my laptop which has been fantastic improving the speed and briniging more life to this laptop. I have ran into a huge problem that I have been tackling for 2 days and have read numerous amount of tutorials at which non have helped.

    I am trying to install Windows 7 on a seperate partition and tried using Boot Camp to do this installation, I have loaded windows 7 onto a USB stick which I performed on my windows based computer with a tool called "Windows 7USB/DVD Download Tool". Now going back to my mac and loading Boot Camp and sticking the USB in and after telling the computer how much of the drive I want to partition I am getting an error message saying it "cannot find my windows disk please insert it and try again".

    All I want to do is have 2 partitions one for osx and one for windows though without a SuperDrive this seems so hard to accomplish, the tutorials I have read all seem out of date as the manipulate VMWare one seems so confusing and seems like steps aren't explained well enough and other methods seem to be for the macbook air.

    I guess I can't share my DVD Drive on another computer and install it that way like I would using a macbook air? Is there anyway to trick the macbook into thinking that?

    I am out of ideas and seems like my only solution is to grab a new SuperDrive which I don't want to do as other then needing it for this is a useless drive to me.

    Please if people can help me out I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you.

    Sorry for the very long post I just wanted to really make sure I explained everything!
  2. riptideMBP macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2011
    Do you still have the original hard drive with windows? If so, you can set up the partitions on the SSD, then use Winclone to overwrite it. If not, I'm pretty sure this isn't happening without a superdrive.
  3. ichoppryde thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 26, 2012
    Yes I still have the original harddrive it has everything still on it both OSX and Windows 7 on it I haven't touched it yet since I switched them though its just sitting in my box here its not inside my laptop. This suggestion you are giving me how do I do this?
  4. riptideMBP, May 27, 2012
    Last edited: May 27, 2012

    riptideMBP macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2011
    Make sure to read all the steps first...
    Okay here we go. This is essentially what I did a couple weeks ago to avoid reinstalling from scratch during my hard drive upgrade. If you don't have an external hard drive or sata enclosure you'd have to figure something else out, but everyone has an external hard drive... right?

    Note: if you plan on using your osx partition in step two, then do step four first (i.e. step zero)

    1st: Put the original drive back in... winclone (as far as I know) will only work with windows internal.

    2nd: Make sure you have enough hard drive space somewhere to clone windows (i recommend on an external drive):
    1.on either your new osx partition (using enclosure)
    2.somewhere on your old hard drive (you would still need an enclosure later)
    3.or on an external drive.
    This will need to be connected to the computer (internally or externally) when you perform the actual cloning in step five.

    3rd: Use winclone to copy your original bootcamp partition to the special winclone file. this file will be somewhat smaller than your windows installation in size.

    Note: you may have done step 4 already if you used the osx partition in step two. In that case simpy put the new drive in and proceed to step 5

    4th: Put your new drive back in and set up your partition scheme with bootcamp setup assistant. Obviously your windows partition needs to be the same size (or larger) than before. Don't restart when the setup assistant finishes.

    5th: run winclone again, this time restoring the special file from step 3 onto the bootcamp partition created in step 4

    6th:restart and let windows do its check disk
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Since boot camp already has the partition setup. Try just booting while holding the option key with the thumb drive plugged in. Then clicking on it to boot off of. From there just select the Win partition from the installer and install as usual.

    You could also spend about $20 on an external DVD dive and install that way.
  6. riptideMBP macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2011
    Thats the problem though... even if you install some custom boot manager like refit, you still can't get a non superdrive located windows installation to work (external superdrive, or USB).
  7. ichoppryde thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 26, 2012
    How Come apple doesn't make this more simple and just let us use USB or even remote DVD like on the air? Doesn't make sence!
  8. riptideMBP macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2011
    No idea, but looks like theres only 3 ways to do this:
    1) Figure out the VM method
    2) Try what I posted
    3) Get a new superdrive
  9. Dustoff macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2012
    I got the following from the Microsoft download site, might solve your problem:

    When you purchase Windows 7 from Microsoft Store, you have the option to download an ISO file or compressed files. The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool allows you to create a copy of your Windows 7 ISO file on a USB flash drive or a DVD. To create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive, download the ISO file and then run the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool. Once this is done, you can install Windows 7 directly from the USB flash drive or DVD.
  10. riptideMBP macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2011
    The OP already did this, the problem is that Macs don't allow windows to be installed this way for whatever reason
  11. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
  12. rottingbone, Aug 8, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012

    rottingbone macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2012

    Hey guys,

    After spending hours of web searching, I finally found a perfect method for people that have or know someone with a macbook with a superdrive. I loaned my brothers 13 inch macbook pro, installed bootcamp.

    Got the program Winclone (you can "cough" Download "cough" it or pay the dudes the money. Its the only program out there so it is kinda worth the 20 euro's.

    After the installation was complete I used the program to make an image on an external usb HDD, stuck it in my 15inch macbook pro (ssd + hdd) First I made a partition with Bootcamp, and after that the program copied the earlier made image onto the bootcamp Partition and Voila! A fully working windows 7 was born.

    Detailed step by step can be found here:

  13. solskip macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    Thats the exact same problem as i have right now. I can only choose installer and not partition. And when i choose installer it searches the superdrive but the files have been downloaded to the usb. Dont know what ive done wrong, ive searched all over and followed the exact instructions.

    Did you come to a solution ichopryde?

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