Stupidly difficult issues to get Win 7 installed in Boot Camp HELP

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by akm3, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. akm3 macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #1
    So, I have a 27" iMac with the internal DVD removed to have an SSD. I have an external DVD drive from OWC.

    I'm trying to use BootCamp to install Win7. It won't work.

    It requires the internal DVD drive. Since that is now my main system disc, that is a problem.

    I've tried rEFIt, but it won't boot from the Win7 DVD and a tremendous amount of google searching has led me to conclude that a firmware update from Apple (default on my iMac 27", so I can't downgrade to the old one) has prevented rEFIt from fixing this to work.

    So...HELP. I see three potential ways to go:
    1) Give up
    2) Tear my iMac completely apart maybe 3 more times to swap internal hard drives, reinstall the DVD drive, install windows, then put it all back together. And hope I never have a problem or have to reinstall again - bad solution.
    3) Find some way to use WinClone to clone a Parallels or VMWare installation onto the Boot Camp partition and use tons of command line magic to make it a 'real' bootable windows installation - less bad but still terrible solution

    Hopefully someone out there has an option 4.

    HELP!
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #2
  3. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #3
    I'll try that thanks!

    /edit: I do have a question/concern though - my problem is the Mac won't boot 'legacy' (bios based) stuff from a usb device. Why would it matter if it was an external USB dvd vs. and external USB hard drive or USB stick?
     
  4. exe163 macrumors regular

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    May 13, 2010
    #4
    I am having the same problem. I swapped the DVD drive on my MBP with an Optibay HDD. After I selected boot camp with the included utility, the system won't boot properly without holding down option key. When the Apple logo shows up, it flashes to a stop sign then flashes back. I have both USB windows and internal DVD with windows disk plugged into it using USB, but still can't get it working. Some help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #5
    Exactly same issue. rEFIt doesn't help.

    I'm trying to do the boot from USB stick thing that was suggested, but I don't have a handy USB stick yet.
     
  6. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #6
    Well.......crud.

    So I found an 8gb USB drive, installed Win7 into VMWare so I could use your directions to make a bootable USB drive with Win7 on it. Everything went great. Upon booting, rEFIt gave me exactly the same error I was getting before. The 'EFI' boot options don't work because Windows is using EFI 2.0 instead of 1.1 for Apple, and the 'legacy' USB boot fails because it can't reconnect to the USB device to finish booting.

    I believe I am well and truly screwed unless someone can tell me how to turn a VMware machine into a Boot Camp and/or some other wizard suggestion.
     
  7. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #7
    OK My next attempt...
    I've used Boot Camp assistant to create another boot camp partition on my other internal hard drive. Now I have one on the SSD and one on the HD.

    Then, I'm using WinClone to clone my bootable USB drive to an image, and then I'll try to restore it using WinClone onto the 2nd BootCamp partition. My hope is that when I'm done, I'll be able to boot from the 2nd BootCamp partition which will start the windows installer, allowing me to install it to my first BootCamp partition, on the SSD.

    I'll report back...
     
  8. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #8
    Well, that caused some progress. So, WinClone ended up giving me an error when I cloned my Bootable Win7 USB drive to my internal hard drive, but it seemed to look OK. On booting, rEFIt didn't give me the USB errors, but I just got a blinking white cursor in the upper left corner. So in theory, it seems to be working.

    Other people have had this cursor problem, so I'm off to see how they resolved it. If anyone knows, let me know.

    Most people who encounter it seem to have it later on, not during the install process.
     
  9. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #9
    I conclude that this is impossible, until Apple issues new firmware that properly allows EFI to boot 'legacy' OS'es from a USB drive.

    All Core 2 Duo and newer Macs have this limitation.
     
  10. exe163 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #10
    I got Win7 working on my MBP now. I spent a whole day working on this just because I took the DVD drive out, how convenient, Apple.

    First, I partitioned my black drive into two parts, one for windows and the other for MAC. Then, install rEFIt for easy booting. I take the drive out of my MBP and hooked it up to windows desktop via SATA (doesn't work with USB). Install Windows on it, and format the Windows partition is NTFS, and make sure the new Windows 7 is fully working on the desktop before doing anything else. After that, pop the drive back into MBP. rEFIt should see it now, so boot into Windows partition. Hook it up into a external DVD, install Boot Camp drivers using OS X disk.

    Viola! Windows partition automatically renamed to boot camp when Mac sees it and Windows 7 is fully working on it.

    Hope it helps.
     
  11. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 6, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    VMWare Fusion has a 30 day demo. You could try downloading and installing that and creating a VM that uses your NTFS partition as its hard drive (using /Library/Application Support/VMWare Fusion/vmware-rawdiskCreator to create a virtual hard drive that points to your physical partition). Then get Fusion to boot from your external DVD (with Windows 7 inserted) and install from there.

    This is only a suggestion: I haven't tried it.
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #12
    Crud indeed.

    I could swear I tried booting from my W7 32 bit USB flash drive and saw it in the regular boot menu on one of my Macs, apparently not. I checked it again and you are correct it does not work on my 2009 MBP, 2008 MB or 2006 iMac.

    Perhaps instead of Winclone, following the same process to an internal partition would have a better chance of being bootable. Note too that one of the usual fixes for the "blinking cursor" stuff is to unplug any unnecessary USB devices. It may even be that your nonstandard SSD/HDD setup is enough to confuse the bootloader and Windows.

    It's too bad that you can no longer just copy the contents of the installer disc to a network share and then install from that...

    B
     
  13. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #13
    OK, here is my new idea:

    What if I take my Win7 disc to Best Buy, and install on the demo 27" iMac...then install WinClone, clone the drive, plug in an external HD to copy the image, then restore it on my bootcamp drive at home.

    Will that work since the Best Buy demo units aren't i7's?

    Would I have to find someone with an identical i7 to make it work?

    Is my method even feasible?

    Just want a darn windows partition (via Bootcamp, not just VM) on my very amazing iMac.
     
  14. markojug macrumors regular

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    In A House, Ontario, Canada
    #14
    Couldn't you get in big trouble for this?

    FYI, if you want Windows 7 so bad, couldn't you just buy a cheap PC laptop?
     
  15. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #15
    I am on good terms with the Apple employee at the best buy (they have an actual Apple employee at our best buy, I don't know if that's normal or not) and I think I can talk him into letting me borrow his iMac.

    A cheap PC laptop won't run Microsoft Office 2007 and Supreme Commander as well as my i7 iMac :)

    Actually what this really boils down to at this point is I tried to do something I should be able to and couldn't, and gosh darn if I'm going to let a little technical issue prevent me from achieving my objective.
     

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