Problems booting Windows 10 on Mac Pro 5,1

MisterAndrew

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 15, 2015
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Portland, Ore.
I installed Windows 10 Pro on it's own SSD using this guide: http://fgimian.github.io/blog/2016/03/12/installing-windows-10-on-a-mac-without-bootcamp/

Installation was easy. Microsoft's warning about the Creators Update can be ignored. It installed fine using this method. (I previously installed the Anniversary Update version as Microsoft instructed and then updated, but I found that's not necessary.)

However, almost every time I try to boot Windows 10 (holding the option key at startup and selecting the drive) it will not boot. It often shows the Windows logo with no spinning dots and just hangs there. So I restart it and then when it comes up the spinning dots are there and it attempts automatic repair. Then it says it can't repair it and wants me to restart. So I restart and then it starts normally. It does that every day. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do? I've tried reinstalling Windows and it behaves the same way. Would it be better to install Windows 7?
 

JedNZ

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2015
433
157
Deep South
I tried to install Win10Pro on a SSD in the bottom Optical drive bay, but after countless attempts I had to give up. Apparently Windows won't boot from the optical drive bay. I then worked out/read somewhere that to install Windows you have to remove all other drives, particularly Mac formatted drives. That worked.

Once I got Win10Pro installed I had problems trying to get it to boot. I wold get a blank screen, so I would just hold the power button down and try again, and again, and again. Finally worked out that I had to give it more time, so typically I have to wait about 20 to 40 seconds before I get the Win10 splash screen on boot up.

So check these things - some may or may not be causing startup conflicts:
Which bay is the Win10 drive installed in? Consider moving it to bay 1, and removing other non-windows formatted drives, or move them around.
What other hardware do you have installed? PCIe, USB, Firewire etc. Unplug one at a time to try and isolate a hardware conflict.

Just out of interest, I installed a similar method to the one you used, and then installed BootCamp drivers. My system is stable, and looks (sorry to say it) beautiful (okay, maybe not a word synonymous with Win-glut) on my 4K display. But it there are features I really like, e.g. sharp GUI verses macOS anti-aliased podgy text rendering). And...it plays PC games wonderfully with my setup (see my sig).
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,247
6,849
Hong Kong
I tried to install Win10Pro on a SSD in the bottom Optical drive bay, but after countless attempts I had to give up. Apparently Windows won't boot from the optical drive bay. I then worked out/read somewhere that to install Windows you have to remove all other drives, particularly Mac formatted drives. That worked.

Once I got Win10Pro installed I had problems trying to get it to boot. I wold get a blank screen, so I would just hold the power button down and try again, and again, and again. Finally worked out that I had to give it more time, so typically I have to wait about 20 to 40 seconds before I get the Win10 splash screen on boot up.

So check these things - some may or may not be causing startup conflicts:
Which bay is the Win10 drive installed in? Consider moving it to bay 1, and removing other non-windows formatted drives, or move them around.
What other hardware do you have installed? PCIe, USB, Firewire etc. Unplug one at a time to try and isolate a hardware conflict.

Just out of interest, I installed a similar method to the one you used, and then installed BootCamp drivers. My system is stable, and looks (sorry to say it) beautiful (okay, maybe not a word synonymous with Win-glut) on my 4K display. But it there are features I really like, e.g. sharp GUI verses macOS anti-aliased podgy text rendering). And...it plays PC games wonderfully with my setup (see my sig).
Not necessary true. My Win 10 Pro SSD is installed in the optical bay. And I can boot from it without any trouble regardless upper or lower bay.

And I never ever remove other drives when installing Windows. I have HDDs in the native port, also have SSD / HDD on PCIe card. Total 6 hard drivers at there with 3 of them are bootable to MacOS. And I can still installing Windows without any problem.
 

JedNZ

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2015
433
157
Deep South
Hmmm...so much trial and error - so much conflicting advice all over the place - add me to the list of offenders *smile*
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,247
6,849
Hong Kong
Hmmm...so much trial and error - so much conflicting advice all over the place - add me to the list of offenders *smile*
I suspect those problem may be EFI mode related. I never install Windows in EFI mode, but only legacy mode, and most of them actually done via Bootcamp. And always use a DVD for installation, which also make the process very straight forward.
 

Squuiid

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2006
1,593
899
Woah. That's one 'interesting' guide.
Do yourself a huge favour and just burn the Windows ISO to a CD (ensure to select 'verify' when burning). Then boot from the CD and choose if you want to install Legacy or UEFI versions of Windows. I'd try UEFI first and if you have problems with it then use Legacy mode.

The guide you linked above really is bizarre.

One more thing, double check the SHA1 or MD5 hash of your Windows ISO. You may have a corrupt/incomplete download.
 
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Draeconis

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
969
264
I installed Windows 10 Pro on it's own SSD using this guide: http://fgimian.github.io/blog/2016/03/12/installing-windows-10-on-a-mac-without-bootcamp/

Installation was easy. Microsoft's warning about the Creators Update can be ignored. It installed fine using this method. (I previously installed the Anniversary Update version as Microsoft instructed and then updated, but I found that's not necessary.)

However, almost every time I try to boot Windows 10 (holding the option key at startup and selecting the drive) it will not boot. It often shows the Windows logo with no spinning dots and just hangs there. So I restart it and then when it comes up the spinning dots are there and it attempts automatic repair. Then it says it can't repair it and wants me to restart. So I restart and then it starts normally. It does that every day. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do? I've tried reinstalling Windows and it behaves the same way. Would it be better to install Windows 7?
If you were trying to install Windows on a SATA-III PCIe adapter, I'd expect you to run into issues. But installing to a disk in the ODD bay should definitely work, especially in Legacy mode.

EFI mode can be a little more work, potentially. I got my machine booting from an SM951 in EFI mode, but I had to jump through a few hoops to get there.
 

fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
I have Windows 10 in EFI on a 3Gb/s SSD and it's fantastic. No incompatibilities or issues other than I'm not able to flash my 7950 because Widnows EFI doesn't play nice with it, but I haven't looked back since I decided to not have boot screens. Windows EFI boots faster than MacOS Sierra does (which is on a faster 6Gb/s bandwith, so that's a bit insane).

I'm not sure if it's a Windows EFI vs Bios thing, but to be able to boot back and forth without holding down the "ALT" key every time, you must disable SIP. It's a really painless process to do so. I think it has more to do with Apple's SIP regardless of Windows being EFI or Bios, though.

Some solid advice above is to try Windows EFI installation first and try it out.
 

MisterAndrew

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 15, 2015
1,999
1,534
Portland, Ore.
Is that only happen if you try to boot to Windows during a "restart"? Or also happen during "cold boot"?
It happens after I haven't started Windows up after the computer was turned off. It's very odd.

I tried to install Win10Pro on a SSD in the bottom Optical drive bay, but after countless attempts I had to give up. Apparently Windows won't boot from the optical drive bay. I then worked out/read somewhere that to install Windows you have to remove all other drives, particularly Mac formatted drives. That worked.

Once I got Win10Pro installed I had problems trying to get it to boot. I wold get a blank screen, so I would just hold the power button down and try again, and again, and again. Finally worked out that I had to give it more time, so typically I have to wait about 20 to 40 seconds before I get the Win10 splash screen on boot up.

So check these things - some may or may not be causing startup conflicts:
Which bay is the Win10 drive installed in? Consider moving it to bay 1, and removing other non-windows formatted drives, or move them around.
What other hardware do you have installed? PCIe, USB, Firewire etc. Unplug one at a time to try and isolate a hardware conflict.

Just out of interest, I installed a similar method to the one you used, and then installed BootCamp drivers. My system is stable, and looks (sorry to say it) beautiful (okay, maybe not a word synonymous with Win-glut) on my 4K display. But it there are features I really like, e.g. sharp GUI verses macOS anti-aliased podgy text rendering). And...it plays PC games wonderfully with my setup (see my sig).
I have the SSD installed in Bay 2. It's a Samsung 850 EVO. I have MacOS on SSUBX on a PCIe adapter in slot 2, and ADATA SU900 in Bay 3. Nothing in Bay 1 and 4. Bay 1 is partly occupied by the graphics card radiator. A GTX 1080 in slot 1, and an Ableconn USB 3.1 adapter in slot 3. My wifi card is a BCM94360CD.

I have Windows 10 in EFI on a 3Gb/s SSD and it's fantastic. No incompatibilities or issues other than I'm not able to flash my 7950 because Widnows EFI doesn't play nice with it, but I haven't looked back since I decided to not have boot screens. Windows EFI boots faster than MacOS Sierra does (which is on a faster 6Gb/s bandwith, so that's a bit insane).

I'm not sure if it's a Windows EFI vs Bios thing, but to be able to boot back and forth without holding down the "ALT" key every time, you must disable SIP. It's a really painless process to do so. I think it has more to do with Apple's SIP regardless of Windows being EFI or Bios, though.

Some solid advice above is to try Windows EFI installation first and try it out.
I haven't had to disable SIP to boot without holding the Option key. After I hold Option and the drives come up and I can select one holding the Control key and it will always restart with that drive until I select a different one. However, if I'm in MacOS and I tell it to restart from Bootcamp it will restart to a blank screen because I guess it points to a partition that is not there and I have Windows on a separate drive.

I'll try installing Windows from a DVD and see if that helps. I tried booting it off a USB using the media creation tool and it wouldn't boot. That's why I followed that guide I found. Also, I couldn't get the Windows installer to boot without removing the other hard drives like that guide says. I'll see if I can leave them in with the DVD.
 

MisterAndrew

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 15, 2015
1,999
1,534
Portland, Ore.
I reinstalled Windows using Boot Camp with the new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update ISO burned to a DVD to a SATA SSD in Bay 1. It was working fine until I put my other drives and the USB 3.1 PCIe card back in and then it wouldn't boot. I pulled out each item to see which one is causing the problem and it's the USB 3.1 card. It's an Ableconn PUSB31P2A. Is there a different USB 3.1 card for the Mac Pro that Windows likes?
 
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