Install Windows on iMac with broken DVD drive

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by sinser, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. sinser, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014

    sinser macrumors 6502a

    sinser

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    #1
    I'm installing Windows 7 through Bootcamp on 15 iMacs. All are late 2009 iMacs with 10.6.8. Right now I've completed 5 of them but I found one with a non working DVD drive. What can I do ? Can I somehow install from USB ?Bootcamp Assistant does not offer such option.
    Would creating a bootable USB from ISO under Windows work after installing rEFIt on OS X ? Something like this http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/9136...with-boot-camp-without-an-external-dvd-drive/

    Would an external Apple superdrive work ? As far as I know windows won't install from external drive....
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #2
    You do not need rEFIt. You can create a USB installer on a Mac using the Boot Camp Assistant and the appropriate .iso of the Windows 7 edition you are trying to install.
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #3
    Not all iMac models can boot from a Windows USB install drive and on those models Boot Camp Assistant will refuse to create a USB drive. While Boot Camp Assistant can be modified to allow it to create a USB installation drive, some models can not boot from them.
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #4
    Did the Snow Leopard Bootcamp Assistant allow the USB drive to be made, or was it limited to 10.7+?
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #6
    According to my research, the late 2009 iMacs were indeed compatible with USB Boot Camp installers.
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
    Boot Camp Assistant doesn't list any optical drive containing iMac as a supported machine for it to create a USB install media for. The first iMac that it will make a USB install drive for is the late-2012 model.
     
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #8
    Your best bet would be to restore the Windows ISO to a USB disk using Disk Utility.

    After that, manually create a new FAT32 partition and then restart the Mac. Boot from the Windows stick this time (don't select EFI boot. Pre-Haswell Macs don't really support a UEFI installation of Windows).

    Then when prompted, format the newly-created FAT32 partition into NTFS and proceed installation as normal.

    You could try to install it in UEFI, but the problem with Disk Utility is that when you create a FAT32 partition in your drive, OS X will format it with a hybrid GPT-MBR partition table (which means Windows will see it as MBR and OS X will see it as GPT).

    So you'd need to use gdisk (free Terminal utility) to remove the hybrid MBR so that Windows will see the partition as GPT.

    However, I tried it once and Windows just wouldn't install the bloody thing into the partition, even though it was seen as GPT to Windows already. This was on an early-2011 MBP.

    I didn't have such a problem on my late-2013 iMac though.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #9

    I am aware that the Boot Camp Assistant under 10.6 will not make the USB drive. However, if one was to make the drive using Boot Camp Assistant on a supported Mac, it would boot the iMac. I do know that the 2007 and 2008 aluminum models were iffy with this, but the 2009 model should work beautifully.
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    It may boot on that model iMac, but the Boot Camp drivers would not be the correct ones and Boot Camp Assistant would refuse to create a USB media if run on a Mac that does not natively support USB booting.
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #11
    If one was to uncheck "Download latest Windows support software from Apple" then the drivers should not be copied to the USB drive. Therefore, one could simply download the drivers from Apple's website and copy them to a USB drive. Then they could install off the installer created by Boot Camp Assistant and load the appropriate drivers from the download from Apple, correct?
     

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  12. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #12
    The drivers would have to be located first, Apple tends to hide them or not make the downloadable outside of Boot Camp Assistant. You would still have to properly partition the drive using Boot Camp Assistant before installing Windows as well.
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #13
    This page contains all of the software downloads for Boot Camp along with the appropriate software for each OS/machine.
     
  14. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #14
    It doesn't contain the more legacy downloads nor those for very recently released machines.
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #15
    The Boot Camp software for Windows Vista and Windows XP shipped on DVDs that came with the Mac. Only the newest Mac Mini and iMac are limited to Boot Camp Assistant for obtaining the software. OP's iMacs are included in this list of software.
     
  16. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #16
    To make a USB install media as being discussed, one must be using Windows 7 or newer. The Boot Camp drivers included on Mac OS X installation discs for 2009 iMacs are not fully compatible with Windows 7. Thus, the downloaded ones must be used.
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #17
    Yes. That is why I posted the page where OP can download the latest version of the Boot Camp software appropriate for his iMac running Windows 7 (Boot Camp Support Software 4.0.4033).
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    From reading this thread, the bottom line is because the OP's Mac has an optical drive, he cannot create a USB installed. There may be ways around it, but he may be better off getting the optical disk replaced.
     
  19. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #19
    Actually there's another roundabout way.

    The OP would have to create a Windows VM first (use a free trial of VMware or Parallels, or just use VirtualBox).

    After creating the Windows VM, place the ISO in the VM and connect a USB stick, mounting it in the VM as well. Then run the Windows USB/DVD download tool (obtain it from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-usb-dvd-download-tool ).

    After the bootable USB is created, restart the Mac and boot from it.
     
  20. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #20

    Creating a Boot Camp installer and regular USB installer does not differ provided one does not have the support software on that USB.
     
  21. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #21
    The support software (i.e. the Boot Camp drivers) isn't needed on the USB.

    I've tried it on my Haswell Macs and it works flawlessly.
     
  22. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #22
    I know... What I said was that creating the USB in the Boot Camp Assistant provided you uncheck the download support software option and creating the USB in a different program does the same thing.
     
  23. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #23
    The problem is, the OP has a MBP that came with a SuperDrive, but he removed the SuperDrive from it.

    On such Macs, Boot Camp Assistant cannot create a USB installer.
     
  24. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #24
    OP has an iMac with a busted drive. I have a 2012 classic MacBook Pro and I can create a USB in the Boot Camp Assistant. If he uses a different Mac to make the USB then he will be fine so long as the support software is not on that stick.
     
  25. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #25
    Oops my bad.

    Oh really? I tried to do the same thing on my 2011 15" and the option to create a USB installer was absent.
     

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