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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
Las Vegas
I finally successfully finished this DAMN project, using my Mac Pro (for VMWare) and MacBook Air 11 (2012), should work on Retinas with USB3


first of all I right click or shift F10, every windows app launch so…

You need:

a USB2 spliter cable, or USB2 hub would work.

The main thing with this, and others may have run into this when trying to install Windows
from a USB Flash Drive is that if you use USB3 after you get half way the drive disappears
If you boot from a USB3 you get blue screen, but if you downgrade your USB3 to USB2
with a USB2 splitter or USB2 Hub you can install and boot, then patch later for
final USB3 booting, this is the main trick of this install!

Paragon NTFS (not required but nice)
Virtual Clone Drive (slysoft, free)

VMWare Running with Windows 7 x64
Windows 7 x64 .iso

BootCamp 5 drivers, with $WinPEDriver$, and AutoUnattend.xml

USB3 Flashdrive 32GB min I prefer 64GB Mushkin (sucker is reliable and fast)


I prefer to start as RAW as possible, covering as many bases as possible.

Insert USB3 flash in Mac, open Disk Utility
Select Flash DRIVE not volume
Select Partition TAB
Choose 1 Partition
Select Options… and select MBR
Name your Volume
Select Format Windows NT (compressed), if you can't pick FAT
Eject Flash Drive

Launch VMWare (I used 5) with Windows 7 x64 installed
After VMWare is up and running
Have access to Windows 7 iso in VMmachine
mount WAIK iso using Virtual Clone Drive
install WAIK

Insert Flash and click Open with Windows when VMWare asks
have VMWare always ask you, ie don't remember choice

Launch RMPrepUSB
Make sure your Flash Drive is selected
Select No user prompts
Select WinPEv2/etc
Select NTFS
Click 6 Prepare Drive

mount your Windows 7 x64 iso using Virtual Clone Drive
In the NT6_Fast_Installer folder there is a file called
INSTALLER, run that
press enter
press enter
Select install.wim from Windows ISO in sources Folder at root
Select your install flavor
Select your USB Drive Letter
Select your USB Drive Letter again
Select Enter to use C: as final drive Letter
Then I believe it's press any key to start
After this is done in about an hour, eject the Flash Drive

At this point you need to goto your MacBook Air 2012 and boot up Mac OS X
create a new VMWare machine do custom machine, select WIndows 7 x64 etc
choose without disk custom options, do not run or boot, select 2 cores and 2 GB ram
or more if you have it, quit VMWare

Insert your USB3 flash drive after boot without USB2 splitter
Launch Terminal
Type or Copy paste these lines line by line:
cd /Applications/VMware\
diskutil list
<note: locate your USB3 flash drive's disk# and part# like disk1 1>
sudo ./vmware-rawdiskCreator create /dev/disk1 1 "/Users/<user>/Documents/Virtual Disk" ide
<note: put your user name in damit :p>
goto Documents folder look in Virtual Machines folder
right click Windows 7 file show package contents
delete all *.vmdk files
take the two vmdk files called Virtual Disk right next to Virtual Machines folder in Docs
and drag to Virtual Machines folder
get info on Virtual Machines folder and propigate permissions
drag Virtual Disk.vmdk files to Window 7 package that is open
close Windows 7 package

Launch VMWare again and Boot From USB3 Flash Drive with Virtual Machine
After about 30-40 minutes you can get in and install VMWare tools, you should
After reboots are clean
Shutdown and make sure USB is on Desktop
Copy over contents of BootCamp5.x.x to root of FlashDrive
Launch VMware again and Boot Virtual Machine

goto start menu type cmd run as admin!!
type cd c:\BootCamp\Drivers\Apple\
type msiexec /i BootCamp.msi
msi is your friend! :p
You have to install in VMWare cause the installer rejects and has errors if you do native
after installs are done and reboots are clean
shutdown VMWare

using option key or NTFS Pane select your USB3 flash drive as Boot
your USB3 has to be plugged into USB2 splitter hub to boot properly
after you login you will wait for all the Apple Drivers to load and load
use tab key and apple key when trackpad goes out to reboot after they are all done

NOTE: You do not want to install any MS updates till all done with drivers
or they won't load

at this point you want to make sure you reboots are clean
you have to manually download USB3 driver cause apple wont launch

after installing USB3 driver you have to regedit
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> ControlSet001 -> services -> iusb3hub
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> ControlSet001 -> services -> iusb3xhc
I changed "Start" to "0" and "Group" to "Boot Bus*Extender"

after you reboot you will crash if you are still plugged into USB2 splitter
so plug directly in USB3, select boot normally all the time if you blue screen

You should be booting USB3 from your flash drive
If you restart you can leave flash drive plugged in USB3 and boot mac
If you want you can launch VMWare and use flash drive in VMWare Machine

So there you have it
Any Which Way You Want IT!

Boot native USB3 Flash Drive
Boot vmware USB3 Flash Drive

Yeah it's OVER

googled sources


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
Las Vegas
Finished round 2


All updates, work from Microsoft and didn't break bootcamp, for the need for a repair.

If I remember correctly I had to change the USB part with regedit one more time after the first round of 137 out of 137 updates, so you have to check that after the first round of updates, I don't think I had to fix it after that

You have to do all of the updates in VMWare tho, btw, because MS is basically saying "not if it's external/removable"

you should do this in the internals of your VMware virtual machine file

suspend.disabled = "TRUE"
snapshot.disabled = "TRUE"

right-click open package, open the Windows 7.vmx with bbedit and paste right before scsi section at the top

your always going to get the paging prefs to pop up after a reboot, note..

The last step is a DD save, and burn a gzip image of the 64GB to blu-ray

The reason is, you can't use Winclone, cause it's MBR (on the restore), and you want an image incase of failure, because notice, I have been doing updates since I posted the first post. That was 2 days ago? Yeah 2 days of Microsoft updates via VMWare from USB3 Flash UGH!


sudo su
dd if=/dev/disk1s1 | gzip > /Volumes/Scratch/win7x64Flash.img.gz

Restore ->

sudo su
sudo dd if=/Volumes/Scratch/win7x64Flash.img.gz | gunzip | dd of=/dev/disk1s1

the dd to make img will probably take under an hour via usb3 to usb3 ext
restore ? eh,,

oh I forgot I zeroed the drive which took 8 hours, then the DD backup today to 2 hours

oh one note to disclaim like all others DD is DESTRUCTIVE with SU
you have to get the "disk1s1" part right for your System and Setup
Laters... back to Mac Pro forums
Last edited:


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
Las Vegas
boot selection

I forgot to mention if you don't have a Mac that supports booting Windows from USB, you might be able to get away with using rEFIt or rEFInd

Good Luck.


macrumors newbie
Nov 14, 2013
Anybody having used this with success? Just bought an Sandisk Extreme 64 gb USB 3.0 for use with my rMBP and thought of trying this, but because of it being such a looong process I wondered if anyone had tried it with success?

Or perhaps there is another easier solution?

I have searched the net in a couple of hours on the subject and it seems like this is the most plausible approach - but please enlighten me. :)


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
Las Vegas
I went back and forth

I went back and forth for over 2 years trying to nail this down. This is the best I could do, seeing as you need to have special windows versions in most other possible ways talked about on the net...

Good luck, but here is something tho: You don't have to necessarily update windows when you are done, which would save you a couple days of just grinding away...on those :(


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
Las Vegas
What I mean by 2 years

2 years goes like this:

One month I had a weekend, so, I googled and googled and found nothing, tried some crap, and didn't work. Gave up. (MacBook Pro 17)

A few months go by same thing, I get a weekend and google and google, with forum posts and searching. Gave up. (MacBook Pro 17)

It always came back at why do I need this haha. And it was just TO ACCOMPLISH THIS. I could use bootcamp tho, and I would always say GOD I hate windows, so I quit this side project.

this went on for a while till I got my MacBook Air 11

Then I looked up some new google reports, and still nothing. (Once again a free weekend)

But the next time was different. Because it wasn't "Why do I need this = TO ACCOMPLISH", It was "I need this because I have my MacBook Air 11 and it only has a 128 GB flash drive!"

Then found some of those resources and got er done! Finally.

Want became Need...


macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2014
This didn't work on my haswell rMBP. I got error 0x00007b INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE

I did however find a working solution for windows 7 but it requires non-free software:

1) Install windows 7 normally with bootcamp drivers and all that.

2) Once in your windows 7 install, change the two registry entries mentioned by TC.

Also change HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> ControlSet001 -> services -> pcw

Set start to 1. This might not be needed for others, but I got error BSOD 0x00007e or something like that without it.

4) Back in OSX, open Disk Utility and partition your external drive, make sure that the partition scheme is GUID and the format of the partition is FAT32 (which is called MSDOS(FAT) or something like that in disk utility).

5) Get winclone (the paid software) and image your bootcamp drive.

6) Restore your Bootcamp drive to the external drive. Make sure that you replace BCD files when it asked you if you want to.

7) Go back to your bootcamp install and download set_7_usb_boot.cmd from here it's in one of the posts.

8) Start CMD as administrator (won't work otherwise) and change the directory to where the cmd file is.

Type set_7_usb_boot.cmd e:\windows

replace 'e' with the letter assigned to your external drive.

This file changes:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> ControlSet001 -> control -> BootDriverFlag to 6


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> ControlSet001 -> control -> pnp -> PollBootPartitionTimout to 30000

It also changes them in ControlSet002 and CurrentControlSet but I haven't had any success changing them manually for some reason so just use the command file.

Once this is done windows should boot from the external drive. It refuses to create a pagefile since it detects that it's an external drive but you can possibly fix this with filter drivers

If anyone gets this to work on Windows 8 then let me know.

I've written this all from memory so if something's wrong then ask me to look it up.
Last edited:


macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2014

Set pcw to 1 instead of 4. Setting it to 4 will cause task manager to crash.

None of the filter drivers worked for me. The disk is already detected as a local disk. I'm still trying to figure this out.

This update: breaks the install so skip it.

If you can't find your disk when trying to apply set_7_usb_boot.cmd then in cmd type 'diskutil' then type 'list disk' find your external drive in the list. It will probably say that it's offline, to online it type 'select disk N' replace N with the number assigned to your external drive and type 'online disk'.

Removing the local bootcamp drive before booting from the external seems to fix a couple of errors. Namely that the local bootcamp drive is C and the external is E even though you've booted from the external, so you should probably remove it.

Windows activation works fine and all of the updates (besides the one that I mentioned) work as well.

The only problem left is the pagefile.sys not being created.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
Las Vegas
That's good to know

Yeah I have the page.sys error too, but get by...

I find it so weird different machines need different codes to "get by"

It makes sense tho, just re-affirms how odd windows can be!



macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2014
This setup has been pretty unstable for me though. I just plugged in a keyboard and it immediately blue screened and then broke the whole setup. I read somewhere that plugging in new usb devices can reset some of the registry settings but I didn't expect it to immediately crash.

I've tried windows 8 and it worked incredibly well without any modification on all computers excepts my mac. I'm going to try to get that to work instead since it's already built for running off of a usb drive.

The problem is that iusbhub and iusbxhc don't exist on windows 8 since bootcamp just uses the generic usb drivers that come with windows 8 instead. Trying to let the generic ones load at boot doesn't work either.
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