Installing Windows 7 on MBP w/ optibay SSD/HD

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by danyuhlj, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. danyuhlj macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    I have a macbook pro 15" that I bought in august and I've successfully installed an optibay with a 128gb samsung 830 SSD and the macintosh stock 500GB HD. I wanted to install windows to run windows programs and play games but I've been having problems... I don't have an optical drive anymore so I put the windows iso on a 16gb USB flashdrive and tried to install windows. I partitioned my SSD (48 GB for windows) and successfully installed windows. I made an account, logged in, and installed all the necessary drivers. However, when I restarted I couldn't boot into windows because of this error:
    bootable disk cannot be found -- blahblahblah

    I tried removing the partition and reinstalling after reading some suggestions on googles (barely any relevant threads popped up) but it still wouldn't work. Anyone know if it's possible to install windows successfully on a MBP with 2 drives?

    My ideal MBP would be to have my SSD with 2 partitions for bootup/applications(OS X/win 7) and my HDD with 2 partitions for the bulky files(OSX/win 7).

    I'm kind of a newbie to all of this so I'd appreciate any advice/help! Thanks!
  2. djfmf macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2012
    i use parallel 7 and installed windows 7 x64 ultimate on the main SSD drive. i didn't partition, they share the same hd space. no problems, works fine.
  3. danyuhlj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    so you didn't partition the 2nd HDD? the problem I'm having is that the mac won't let me boot into windows when I'm connected to both SSD/HDD. how did you get over that problem?
  4. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    If you search around on this forum and the Windows on Mac forum sections, you will find that this is a common problem due to some Windows limitations regarding external drives for both installing and running Windows.

    Unfortunately, most have found the quickest solution is to temporarily reinstall the optical drive in the computer with the target disk in the normal disk spot, install Windows, then put it all back like you had it. :(

    Some people have had luck using WinClone to move a Windows install from one machine to another, but you can run into driver issues real quick doing this with Windows.

    Good luck.... :)

    The post by djfmf refers to installing Windows as a "virtual machine" using Parallels or VMware to run it in a OS X window. It will be slower than actually booting Windows natively if you are running intensive games.
  5. danyuhlj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    Thanks, I found this post:
    and apparently it works if you do that and if you install them on separate drives.
    However, apparently it is not possible to have both windows AND mac osx on the SSD drive and have them both use the HDD drive as storage/files? If so I guess I'll have to go with the SSD -> macosx and HDD -> windows route T.T
  6. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Sure you can, although it is going to be tight with only 128GB to play with ... partition the SSD using BootCamp from OS X and install Windows on part of it. Then reinstall your HD and either dual partition it with HFS+ and NTFS for separate access, or make the whole drive or a partition ExFat or Fat32 so both OS can read/write with it.


    BTW - depending on which MacBook Pro you have, you may experience data issues with a SATA-III SSD in the OptiBay due to a poorly designed cable. I would put your high speed SSD in the normal disk spot, and move the original hard disk (which is only SATA-II and slower) into the OptiBay. I haven't seen anyone with a problem who has done that.

    It would be nice too if you could get a 256GB SSD, then splitting it for 2 OS would be much easier, and you could even run a DIY "Fusion" drive with it if desired.
  7. danyuhlj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    really? looking at the responses it seemed it indicate that it wouldn't work...
    on my last attempt I managed to get windows running and got the drivers but then when I restarted I couldn't get into windows again because of missing install disk error (SSD had both OS). For my HDD I have my mac HD partition formatted as Mac OS Extended Journaled and my windows HD partition set as Fat32. is this ok?

    I have the newest MBP 15" with SSD in optibay because for some reason it wouldn't work the other way around.
  8. arashb macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2009
    On my MBP I had two SSDs installed. My 256gb had OS X (HFS) + Windows (NTFS) and my 128gb was partitioned as exFAT. Worked fine, I was even able to read the HFS partition from windows 7 for some reason. So it's possible, your error is from something else. Also, try using NTFS as windows. Don't see any advantages of FAT32 over NTFS, only disadvantages.
  9. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Jun 26, 2012
    Just to clear it up, Windows 7 can only be installed on NTFS volumes/partitions.
  10. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I want to install a similar setup that's slightly different. I want to take out the hdd and replace it with a SSD, and install snow leopard and windows 7 with bootcamp, and test it out over several weeks to make sure TRIM and speeds work correctly. Then I want to put the old HDD in an optibay and copy over files and eventually convert the HDD into a giant FAT32 disk.

    1) Will windows and snow leopard freak out there that there is a new hard disk installed?

    2) Will the computer freak out when I put the old HDD in and the computer sees 2 installs of snow leopard and 2 installs of windows 7 initially?

    Thanks in advance.
  11. rezwits macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
    Las Vegas
    Here is what you want to do, it's kinda rough if you don't have your stuff backed up anywhere but:

    I don't know what size drives you have but:

    Use WinClone 3.5 to make an image of a Windows install before.

    Make your SSD and HDD a Fusion drive

    then use a Flash Drive, with Mountain Lion installed on it. Boot off the ML flash drive with the drives bare just bare, you (probably) needed the ML Flash drive to get the Fusion drive made.

    Install ML 10.8.2 on your drive and get a Recovery Partition setup and your Mountain Lion installed.

    after you're done, use Bootcamp to Partition the tale end of the Drive I would say the 128 GB or whatever no less than 32 GB but it should be the same as what you backed up with WinClone 3.5, if not it's ok...

    then after the Partition is made, Clone backup image back to the Windows 7 to the bootcamp part, use Vista BCD option in Prefs

    Enjoy: A Recovery Partiton followed by A Mac OS Partition followed by your Windows 7 (Bootcamp) Partition on your Homemade Fusion Drive...

  12. vutienha92 macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    Canberra, ACT, Australia
  13. vutienha92 macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    Canberra, ACT, Australia
    #13 Check out the post on Feb 14, 2013, for SSD+HDD Windows 7 Installation guide (without SuperDrive).

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