Late 2011 MBP El Capitan Windows 7 Boot Camp No internal optical drive (LOSING MY MIND, PLZ HELP)

Mark-Technology

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 25, 2011
111
181
What I have:
  • Original Windows 7 Pro disk from Microsoft on hand
  • Downloaded exact ISO copy from Microsoft as well if need be
  • External Samsung optical DVD drive
  • USB drive(s)
What I don't have:
  • Internal original optical drive; the bay is empty.
  • Patience to use VM's and WinClone and all that BS.

Sorry for the harsh tone, but I am losing my mind editing .plists and rebooting a hundred times in a day; erasing USB drives when this all used to work years ago.

I was pretty sure it was possible to install Windows 7 on my Late 2011 MacBook Pro from an external optical drive. I'm not even asking to use a USB.

Why is it that I have all the official files from Microsoft and a USB/DVD drive but am forced to use an internal one which is broken for like 90% of Mac owners.

I'm seeing a black screen with a cursor on boot or a black screen saying no bootable device... after using Boot Camp Assistant. I tried not using the assistant and making a Fat32 partition on my on and bootable usb, but that method failed as well for some illogical reason.

Please help me or at least explain some restrictions that I can never get around regarding my machine and Boot Camp.

Thanks!
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
El Capitan version of boot camp does not support Windows 7 so you can either mess around with hacks etc to get it to work or use VM's or use a newer version of Windows.
 

Mark-Technology

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 25, 2011
111
181
El Capitan version of boot camp does not support Windows 7 so you can either mess around with hacks etc to get it to work or use VM's or use a newer version of Windows.
It does work...on Macs made prior to 2015, which in my case it is. The assistant doesn't download the support software automatically (but I have it on my drive downloaded manually).
 

MacStuffAndThings

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2016
18
28
I can confirm that this does not work. You HAVE TO reinstall the optical drive and install via DVD. And no. You can't connect an external optical drive either. It has to be done via the internal optical drive.

I even had the same problem with the black screen with the blinking cursor and spent quite some time trying to figure out a workaround. The only possible way I could get it to work is by reinstalling the original superdrive.

*Days and days trying different methods. None worked except for swapping in the original optical.
 

Mark-Technology

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 25, 2011
111
181
I can confirm that this does not work. You HAVE TO reinstall the optical drive and install via DVD. And no. You can't connect an external optical drive either. It has to be done via the internal optical drive.

I even had the same problem with the black screen with the blinking cursor and spent quite some time trying to figure out a workaround. The only possible way I could get it to work is by reinstalling the original superdrive.

*Days and days trying different methods. None worked except for swapping in the original optical.
God that's so stupid it makes me so mad.

Thanks anyway.
 

MacStuffAndThings

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2016
18
28
Yup. i was frustrated too.

I'm not sure they expected people to ever remove the optical drives, maybe? Back in 2011 an optical drive was useful, and people just mainly installed OS's via DVD.
 

Mark-Technology

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 25, 2011
111
181
It's an EFI restriction though. They could simple release an update and fix this, can't they? I don't expect them to anytime though. Apple has wonderful support in everything else, but compatibility....hell no.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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30,348
Boston
On computers that have optical drives you cannot install windows by way of ISO, you need the DVD.

Its apple's way or the highway, I understand its a simple option for apple to enable, but they won't. I mean it's 2016 and they removed the optical drives from their laptops since 2012 (for the most part). That sort of update will not come given.
 

Mark-Technology

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 25, 2011
111
181
On computers that have optical drives you cannot install windows by way of ISO, you need the DVD.

Its apple's way or the highway, I understand its a simple option for apple to enable, but they won't. I mean it's 2016 and they removed the optical drives from their laptops since 2012 (for the most part). That sort of update will not come given.
I understand that, but the fact that I do have the DVD, but an external optical drive instead of an internal is asking for too much.

They want a dvd only install and it has to be the optical drive located inside the Mac. Why can't I use the external optical drive. Makes the restriction sound ridiculous.
 

MacStuffAndThings

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2016
18
28
I understand that, but the fact that I do have the DVD, but an external optical drive instead of an internal is asking for too much.

They want a dvd only install and it has to be the optical drive located inside the Mac. Why can't I use the external optical drive. Makes the restriction sound ridiculous.
I guess Apple's logic should be that there shouldn't be an issue. The laptop sold with an internal DVD drive. All the people, like myself, who swapped out the superdrive for an SSD are technically messing with an non-user-servicable part.
 

Mark-Technology

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 25, 2011
111
181
I guess Apple's logic should be that there shouldn't be an issue. The laptop sold with an internal DVD drive. All the people, like myself, who swapped out the superdrive for an SSD are technically messing with an non-user-servicable part.
My Optical drive stopped working, like many many others'. Hence I removed it instead of bothering with repair when I never truly used it anyway.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,831
30,348
Boston
My Optical drive stopped working, like many many others'. Hence I removed it instead of bothering with repair when I never truly used it anyway.
The point is that you changed the laptop in a non-sanctioned way, and now you want apple to accommodate you

I understand your logic and can sympathize but this is a non issue, in that Apple is never going to address it.
 
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Mark-Technology

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 25, 2011
111
181
The point is that you changed the laptop in a non-sanctioned way, and now you want apple to accommodate you

I understand your logic and can sympathize but this is a non issue, in that Apple is never going to address it.
I hear you man, but this only adds to Apple's reputation of making everything thinner, weaker, and not building machines towards their "pro" customers anymore.

Removing the optical drive in place for a second hard drive is nothing unheard of and I wouldn't even consider it a non-sanctioned way.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,831
30,348
Boston
I hear you man, but this only adds to Apple's reputation of making everything thinner, weaker, and not building machines towards their "pro" customers anymore.
Just remember, though Pro is a marketing term, nothing more. They wanted a designation for their laptop line to differentiate from their MacBook line (the white macbooks) that were being sold as consumer/student laptops.

Removing the optical drive in place for a second hard drive is nothing unheard of
I agree but again, its apple game and if you want to be on their platform, you have to play their game. Unfortunately they're making all their computers sealed and disposable - I'm none to happy about that.

Btw, back when I had a non-retina MBP, I also swapped out the optical drive for a SSD, so I know where you're coming from.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,284
2,276
Perth, Western Australia
You modified your machine. Apple software supports apple hardware. Your machine is not a configuration they ever shipped.

It's also 5 years old and that chassis/model has been end of sale for 4 years now.

I know what you expect (software/firmware updates from Apple to accomodate your custom hardware), but i think you're being unrealistic.
 

Mark-Technology

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 25, 2011
111
181
You modified your machine. Apple software supports apple hardware. Your machine is not a configuration they ever shipped.

It's also 5 years old and that chassis/model has been end of sale for 4 years now.

I know what you expect (software/firmware updates from Apple to accomodate your custom hardware), but i think you're being unrealistic.
I don't expect anything for a 5 year old machine. Relax. We're just discussing how unreasonable the restriction itself is regardless of the restriction's age given it's very common.

I'm searching for a proper way that doesn't leave me with Efi boot freezes or anything of that sort without having to get an internal optical drive.