Installing Windows 7 on a Macbook Pro without a SuperDrive?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by DaSal, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. DaSal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #1
    Does anyone know of a way to install Windows 7 on a Macbook Pro without a SuperDrive?

    Some options, that should work for say, a Macbook Air don't work on a Macbook Pro;

    1. Using an external SuperDrive - this is not supported on the Macbook Pro, like it is in the Macbook Air. Windows won't install from an external SuperDrive/DVD drive on the Macbook Pro.

    2. Using a USB stick and rEFIt. I just get a "no bootable device" error when trying to install Windows from USB on my MBP. It should work on the MBA but I can't seem to get it to work on a MBP.

    3. Using a remote disc. Even when applying a terminal hack to enable remote discs on the MBP, it only works while booted into OS X. It won't detect a remote disc when holding option while booting.

    I looked for some alternatives, but couldn't find any that work for me.

    In this thread is a guide explaining how to trick VMWare into installing Windows on a Boot Camp partition, however the instructions are outdated and/or incomplete and don't work for me, when followed step for step (as explained by me here).

    I was hoping that someone knew of an up-to-date way to do this, and could provide a complete step-by-step guide. It seems that there's many leads online, but I can't find any that either don't work for me, are outdated, or are explained vaguely and thus are of no use.

    If someone could help me (and I'm sure others with the same problem) out, that would be great! :D
     
  2. menomano macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    usa
    #2
    create a 4GB fat32 partition and put the win7 install files there. make the partition bootable.
    you will have to alt select this partition to boot between restarts until the installation is done.
     
  3. DaSal thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #3
    Thanks, I'll try this. Could you tell me how to make a fat32 partition bootable? Should I use rEFIt or can I use the native EFI?
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
  5. DaSal thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #5
    The instructions are incomplete, either they're:

    (1) I created a 4GB FAT partition on my Leopard hard drive.
    (2) I opened the Win7 ISO in Finder and copied the contents to that partition.
    (3) The partition was made active and bootable.
    (4) I booted off the partition and ran the installer.

    In which case, step 3 doesn't explain at all how to do it, just that you should.

    Or they're:

    1) Using Disk Utility, I created a 4 GB FAT32 partition on my Macintosh HDD for the Setup files and named it WIN7INSTALL.
    2) I also created a 50 GB FAT32 partition on my Macintosh HDD and called it BOOTCAMP.
    3) I booted into the Windows 7 Recovery Console using a Windows 7 Startup CD and opened up the Command Prompt.
    4) I typed the following commands in the Command Prompt:

    In which case I don't see how that would work, because I can't boot into the Windows 7 Recovery Console cause I don't have a SuperDrive and so I can't start the Windows 7 installation.

    I may be missing something here but I'm really quite lost, it seems to me that the instructions make no sense? (How can you boot into Windows 7 recovery console to make a drive bootable when you have no SuperDrive?)
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    The second version is for a system that won't read DVDs, but can read CDs. The first requires you to boot the recovery CD in VMWare Fusion for step 3.

    B
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    That could work, but puts a pre-Vista MBR on there instead of the Vista/7 one suggested. I know this causes some delays when regularly booting 7, so just be aware of that.

    Here's another approach that might work. Use the ISO in your VM software to follow this guide to copy the installer onto a USB thumbdrive. http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-install-windows-7vista-from-usb-drive-detailed-100-working-guide/ I have used this guide successfully to make a thumbdrive that worked on my PC, but not on my Macs.

    Then, use dd to copy the boot sector created with bootsect.exe with something like.

    Code:
    dd if=/dev/<USBPART> of=/dev/<HDDPART> bs=512 count=1
    B
     

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