Trying to install Windows 7 on mac pro 2009 w/ RAID and Single drive...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by brock2621, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. brock2621 macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #1
    So i have Snow Leopard running in a RAID, and just a separate single drive installed for windows 7. Problem is, when i try to go to bootcamp assistant, it tells me that RAIDS aren't supported in bootcamp. I don't want to install it on my raid, just on the other single drive. Does anyone know a workaround or how to do this? Thanks guys!
     
  2. ncc1701d macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I'm no expert - hopefully nanofrog will jump in here at some point and I can't say for W7, only that I did it with Vista in a similar config... however...

    You have to load something onto the windows drive called an AHCI first and join the OSX system to it via bootcamp after doing this. I don't think Bootcamp can do this process which would normally be automatic with the set up you have.
     
  3. brock2621 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #3
    Hmm... i'm not familiar with doing this. I appreciate it very much. I'll try to find a detailed walkthrough online. I'll keep checking back for nano.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

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    #4
    I don't think you need to use Boot Camp assistant, as the EFI should already have the legacy BIOS support, or if you are using 64 bit W7 (recommended) it supports EFI anyway.

    Try putting the W7 DVD into the SuperDrive, and rebooting holding down the option key.

    When you've booted into Windows setup, find your new drive, and format and install Windows to that. This should leave the RAID intact.

    Once you have the base install, you should be able to hold down the option key and boot into windows, after which you can insert your OS X disk to install all the drivers.

    EDIT, format the drive in FAT32 using Disk Utility BEFORE booting using the W7 disk. This ensures that the partition table is GUID rather than MBR
     
  5. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #5
    There is a known bug in the system that causes Windows to see the HDD ports as external when an OS X SW Raid is installed.

    The most simple work around is removing the drives which build the RAID array.

    Before you remove it you should clone your OS X onto another HD. Use that OS X to run Bootcamp and partition your single Windows partition on your Windows HD.

    When you are done with installing Windows you can re fit your array and remove the single OS X HDD.
     
  6. brock2621 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #6
    gugu, does cjmillsnun's way work? I put in the disk, held down the option key and it gave me these options:

    Macintosh HD (my single old leopard drive that i'm trying to install W7 on)
    Raid 01
    Raid 02
    Windows 7
    EFI Boot

    Which one do i boot to? And will windows let me format the drive first before installing windows?
     
  7. brock2621 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #7
    Wouldn't the drive already by in FAT32 since i had an old version of leopard on it? Also, won't W7 want to reformat it to NTFS once i try to install it?
     
  8. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

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    #8
    The drive would be in HFS+ if you had Leopard. The idea of using FAT32 is it is a format that Windows can recognise (HFS+ isn't). Yes it would reformat to NTFS, but it wouldn't need repartitioning, thus keeping the GUID partition table...

    and FYI use Windows as the option you select on bootup... EFI Boot will go to OS X
     
  9. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #9
    It will work somehow, but may malfunction. There is a difference between disk utility and bootcamp utility in the preparation of the partition table. Disk utility creates an empty 128 MB section behind the Windows partition. This can send the installation into nirwana on first reboot. It doesn't do this all the time but it is known to happen.

    Windows 7 is the DVD you want to boot from to install Windows. EFI boot is only for bios firmware machines, not for Macs. Raid0 and Raid1 are your RAID members which you should better remove.

    Windows let you format before you install, yes. You need to select the richt option from the menu to do that.
     
  10. brock2621 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #10
    Thanks guys! I'll give somethin a shot this evening. I really appreciate it! Take care and best of luck!

    Brock
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #11
    Is this just with the 4x HDD bays though?
    I'm thinking the ODD_SATA ports (presuming one is available) might be immune, given the SATA ports on the ICH10R are in a 4+2 config, but was wondering if you can confirm or not. Assuming this is the case, then there's an even easier way around the bug. :)

    Assuming the above doesn't work, then at least this isn't a difficult work-around. ;)
     
  12. brock2621 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #12
    Ok let me know if this is an acceptable procedure:

    Remove my Snow Leopard RAID, leaving only the original 640gb hdd. Boot with SL disc, open disc utility, erase the hdd using FAT32 format. Turn computer back off, insert Windows 7 disc and boot from it. In the windows setup, reformat again in NTFS and install Windows on that drive.

    Restart holding option and hope for the Windows 7 icon to boot from.

    Will Snow Leopard recognize this even tho the official bootcamp isn't installed?
     
  13. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #13
    You can try, but as I said before you can have the blinking cursor issue when Windows reboots the first time during installation. It can also happen that the installation will fail to write to the HDD at all. This is because the two utilities have different ways to prepare the partition table.

    It is way safer to partition with Bootcamp. The least safe partitioning method is by Windows DVD. That also kills the chance to use Winclone later on the drive because Windows will use an MBR partition table instead of the GUID table.
     
  14. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #14
    According to my tests a 2009 Mac Pro needs the AHCI mode enabled on an already installed Windows operating system to run from the "B" ODD port. This means you have to install Windows on an HDD port before you transfer it to the ODD port. It is also possible to transfer an AHCI enabled disk from a MP1,1 or 2,1 or Winclone such a system to the "B" port.

    It is, indeed. The Raid array fits back without loosing the installation.
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    Well that sucks. :eek: I'd have thought the AHCI mode could be enabled directly from the second (unused) ODD port. :(

    But at least there a workaround, and it's not difficult to do. ;)

    Ah... The wonders of modern computing... :D :p
     
  16. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #16
    Unfortunately the first step to set AHCI mode on an EFI based machine is edititing the Windows registry. This is obviously a problem if you do not have Windows installed in the first place.

    The second step is setting the driver to AHCI and only the last step is patching the MBR.

    It would be possible I guess to patch an MBR on a drive without Windows but I don't know if Windows would install then. I have never tried it this way round but I suspect it will fail. The process is fairly fragile.
     
  17. brock2621 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #17
    :confused: My head is exploding... lolol

    I posted over at the official Apple forums and got this back:

    "Format #3 with Disk Utility as Master Boot Record and MSDOS.
    Pull Mac OS drives
    Boot from Windows 7 DVD"


    Is this basically what I said? And we aren't sure if it will work?
     
  18. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #18
    It is bad advise. The Master Boot Record (MBR) partition table will give you limited compatibility with OS X programs like Winclone which are very useful to have.

    I'm not going to explain it a third time. If you want to try disk utility go ahead but use at least the GUID table option.

    If the install fails you can try it the way I proposed.

    And disregard all the conversation between nanofrog and myself. It doesn't matter in your case because you are only using standard HDD ports.
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #19
    I was thinking in terms of:
    1. Install the disk to the '09 ODD SATA port (not to be shared with OS X)
    2. Install Windows
    3. Mod the Registry = AHCI Enable
    4. Run BC disk to get the drivers (and key mapping app) installed

    In such a case, I was under the impression Windows would install, and then the AHCI mode can be set. But no need to patch the MBR. (Most basic means of doing so, but presuming there's no need for Winclone or other apps from OS X that need it's GUID partition scheme).

    If such a need exists, then the added step is required.
     
  20. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #20
    The Windows install DVD will not find the ODD Sata port until the AHCI mode is enabled. So there is no way around installing Windows to a HDD port and go through the motions.

    There are many people who give bad advise about the partitioning of Mac drives for Windows. The best advise is to use the original Apple utility. You are guaranteed to have the least trouble with that. The clever people who recommend shorts cuts are usually far away when things don't work out for the poor guy who took the advise.
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #21
    I was under the impression the '09 got around this in it's firmware (Windows would install directly on an ODD port under Legacy mode, then AHCI had to be set post initial installation).

    Apparently not. :( Oh well. So much for simple. :D :p

    In working with Nadav35, we tried the method you describe + others (presuming execution was correct), and nothing worked. Not even the HDD method of installing, setting AHCI, then moving it to an available ODD port. Once on the ODD port, it just would not boot.

    Understandable. Personally, I prefer the separate drive method, as there's less chance of a mistake blowing the partition tables of either OS installation.

    So if Winclone is desired to be used to clone the Windows disk (rather than skipping BC's partition = MBR + 3rd party software to clone), then using the BC partition tool is a necessary step that's not that hard to do in order to have Apple's GUID partition scheme in tact on the Windows drive as well.
     
  22. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #22
    There is either an irregularity on the MP3,1 or on Nadav35's machine. I can't say what because I never had a 3,1 for experiments.


    The bootcamp utility can use both one HDD or separate disks.

    Winclone is the best!
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #23
    Going by the fact you actually can get it to run off an ODD port in the other models, I'm thinking the '08 is an anomoly. The fact it's the first EFI64 based system may have something to do with that (1st attempt at the firmware, and the chipset also had PATA ports as well to further complicate things). ;)

    Sorry about any confusion here. I meant the use of a dedicated Windows drive, as its an option, unlike a shared OS disk. I recall being able to get windows going without the need for BC this way. But software such as Winclone won't work, as it's strictly MBR based. I see BC on a separate Windows drive as an option, though desirable one. :)
     
  24. brock2621 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #24
    Just an update... took out my RAIDs, inserted SL disk, reformatted it as MS-DOS, put in W7 disk, reformatted it, installed and i'm now running W7 :) Thanks for the advice guys...
     
  25. Gavroche62 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #25
    Hi - I just tried brock's final method unsuccessfully and need some clarification.

    Where exactly was the new disk you installed Win 7 on? Attached to one of ODD e-sata connectors on the motherboard with the whole disk array (all four line drives) disabled (pulled out)? Or did you use an unused (spare) raid drive.

    I have an 8 core late '08 macPro and have configured 1 mirror+1 spare so hoping to use the last drive in Bay 4 as a Boot Camp Win7x64 disk. So far all attempts have failed. After formatting the said drive as MS-DOS using SL Disk utility, Win7 still does not recognize it and can't find drivers. I even tried the same scenario with a new drive attached to an ODD port (making sure the raid drives were all pulled out of course). No luck.

    Does installing Win7x64 native on another raid-less MacPro first work?
    How about a boot-camped Win7x64 drive built on another radi-less MacPro?

    Looking for options here before I consider a new Raid card (Caldigit?) or all the tricky efi,grub,ubuntu hacks I am reading about.

    Regards and thanks in advance to all...
     

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