Win7 x64 booting natively via EFI (no BIOS emulation)

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Hi, has anyone got Win7 x64 booting natively via EFI without bios emulation or know of any resources elsewhere that discuss this? I understand it would have to be on an independent GUID partitioned HD... so not using bootcamp... ruling out all but Mac Pro's I suppose.

Any insights would be helpful.
 

Andrmgic

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2007
531
1
Windows Vista and Windows 7 can be installed directly on a mac without using bootcamp. You'll likely still want to use the bootcamp drivers for your hardware, but they both boot on EFI systems.

Doing it that way without harming your OS X partition... that is another animal, since the windows installer GUI doesn't offer a way to non-destructively partition your hdd so that Mac OS still boots.

However, if you wanted to load windows in place of OS X, it is certainly possible with either OS.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Windows Vista and Windows 7 can be installed directly on a mac without using bootcamp. You'll likely still want to use the bootcamp drivers for your hardware, but they both boot on EFI systems.

Doing it that way without harming your OS X partition... that is another animal, since the windows installer GUI doesn't offer a way to non-destructively partition your hdd so that Mac OS still boots.

However, if you wanted to load windows in place of OS X, it is certainly possible with either OS.
Yes, however, installing Windows without BIOS emulation mode is non-trivial and is what I'm after. It does require a dedicated GPD formatted disk and it can only be done with Vista SP1 x64 or Win7 x64 which are the only two flavors of Windows that support native UEFI 64.

Has anyone here actually done this successfully?
 

ryannazaretian

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2008
652
4
Mississippi
This is not my area of expertise, but from the rEFIt information pages I understand that Intel Macs run a EFI 1.1 compatible firmware in 32-bit mode. Which sounds to me like it wouldn't be possible.
I don't know if I would trust that source. It hasn't been updated since October 15, 2006. A lot of things have changed since then... like Vista has been released... Macs use Core 2 Duo... lots of changes...
 

Andrmgic

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2007
531
1
ah. I must have misunderstood.. I thought BIOS emulation was only used when you used bootcamp from within mac os x.
 

ryannazaretian

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2008
652
4
Mississippi
I think I did it... but I'm not entirely sure and it isn't working yet. I completely wiped off my hard drive since OSX had quite a few bugs in it and figured a clean slate would be best to work with. I started out by putting in the OSX disk and deleting all my partitions. Then restarted with the Windows 7 64bit disk and started it with EFI Install. I then deleted the GUID or whatever partition table that the OSX disk left behind and wiped off all partitions again, so the OSX disk part was probably unnecessary. I'm installing right now directly off of the EFI boot option in Windows 7. At 50% installed right now.
 

crazzyeddie

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2002
2,790
0
Florida, USA
How do you access the EFI boot option?

AFAIK, the BIOS compatibility layer is integrated into the EFI and takes over automatically when it detects a Windows startup volume. How do you tell it not to do so?
 

ryannazaretian

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2008
652
4
Mississippi
Well I finished the installation and it's working.

As for the EFI thing... Not sure how I really did it or if I did it correctly. When I put in my Windows 7 RC1 64bit disk, it brings up a CD with Windows Setup and a CD for EFI install. I selected the EFI install. When I had OSX still installed, it would boot into OSX, but without it, it starts the installation.

Not sure though.
 

tdgrn

macrumors 6502
May 1, 2008
357
7
Little Rock, AR
Why are you wanting to do this? It seems to me as if you are making this much harder than what it needs to be without any apparent reason? I'm not trying to call you out or anything, I just simply don't know of a reason to try and do this.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Why are you wanting to do this? It seems to me as if you are making this much harder than what it needs to be without any apparent reason? I'm not trying to call you out or anything, I just simply don't know of a reason to try and do this.
Apparently BIOS emulation creates a slow boot process. Native EFI will be significantly faster.

Honestly, though, I'm with ryannazaretian... interested to try it just to see if I can make it work. Doing this kind of thing is my hobby. :eek:
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Well I finished the installation and it's working.

As for the EFI thing... Not sure how I really did it or if I did it correctly. When I put in my Windows 7 RC1 64bit disk, it brings up a CD with Windows Setup and a CD for EFI install. I selected the EFI install. When I had OSX still installed, it would boot into OSX, but without it, it starts the installation.

Not sure though.
Okay... I just wasted 2 hours. OSX wouldn't install with the partition table created by Windows (MBR I guess...). Back to square one.
So you got it working or not? Given your last post... I'm guessing not? But you are talking about OSX... what are you trying to do? It sounds like you are trying to install both operating systems on the same drive... that's not possible if you want natively EFI boot Windows.

For this to work, you MUST install Windows on it's own dedicated drive... Before you embark on this, remove your OSX system drive and any other drives from your system.

This is why this technique really only applies to Mac Pro owners... it's not possible in one drive systems.

For the benefits of anyone else willing to try this before I get a chance...

The target drive for the EFI Win 7 install must NOT be formatted... in other words, if the drive has any existing partitions, remove them before starting this process.

Then during the install, you need to create a GUID partitioned disk... (GPT). That's a pre-req. for native EFI boot. MBR cannot support EFI boot. I'm not sure if that's presented as an option... hopefully it is.
 

ryannazaretian

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2008
652
4
Mississippi
Didn't know that about only Windows could be installed.

Here's what I did:
1. Backed EVERYTHING up because I was going to remove the partitions.
2. Restarted the computer with the OSX disk in. Removed the partitions and setup a GUID partition table.
3. Restarted the computer with the Windows 7 RC1 64bit installation CD and held down Option. It prompted me with Windows Setup or EFI Install. I selected EFI Install.
4. Started the installation and reconfigured my hard drive. Removed all partitions again, so step 2 was probably unnecessary. I can't remember how I partitioned them, but I setup two partitions, one for OSX and one for Windows. However, I know now that what I did wouldn't work.
5. Installed Windows 7.
6. Restarted and attempted to install OSX. I ran into trouble with the partition I created and had to redo everything the way Apple wants us to install Windows.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Didn't know that about only Windows could be installed.

Here's what I did:
1. Backed EVERYTHING up because I was going to remove the partitions.
2. Restarted the computer with the OSX disk in. Removed the partitions and setup a GUID partition table.
3. Restarted the computer with the Windows 7 RC1 64bit installation CD and held down Option. It prompted me with Windows Setup or EFI Install. I selected EFI Install.
4. Started the installation and reconfigured my hard drive. Removed all partitions again, so step 2 was probably unnecessary. I can't remember how I partitioned them, but I setup two partitions, one for OSX and one for Windows. However, I know now that what I did wouldn't work.
5. Installed Windows 7.
6. Restarted and attempted to install OSX. I ran into trouble with the partition I created and had to redo everything the way Apple wants us to install Windows.
I see... thanks for clarifying... so the good news is that you did get it working until you wanted to get OSX back in the mix.

In step #4... the Win 7 installer allowed you to setup a GUID partition?

Cheers! :)
 

ryannazaretian

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2008
652
4
Mississippi
I see... thanks for clarifying... so the good news is that you did get it working until you wanted to get OSX back in the mix.

In step #4... the Win 7 installer allowed you to setup a GUID partition?

Cheers! :)
I don't remember if it did or not. The OSX disk did though :D but Windows 7 didn't like it :(.
 

Andrmgic

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2007
531
1
For some reason, Windows won't boot via EFI on my aluminum macbook.

I was able to get in, use diskpart to make a gpt EFI system partition, but it is still booting the normal windows installer rather than the EFI installer.

Do we know for sure that the newer macbooks support 64bit EFI?

I choose "EFI boot", but it is like my mac decides that it can't do that and switches to the normal windows bootloader.

I think this is a mac specific EFI problem, because there are a few motherboards out there for PCs that support UEFI and they can use EFI boot just fine.
 

bradnic

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2009
2
0
no go on early 07 core2 mbpro

Same result as Andrmagic on a core2 2.33ghz mbpro - no EFI boot option with Win 7 64 dvd. 'convert gpt' with diskpart works successfully but the installer still uses MBR.

I can boot off an external drive running rEFIt, and the ver command shows EFI 1.1 Apple firmware dated 2007.

Let's hope Snow Leopard brings an EFI 2.0 firmware update for '06 and '07 vintage macs.
 

Infrared

macrumors 68000
Mar 28, 2007
1,680
56
For some reason, Windows won't boot via EFI on my aluminum macbook.

I was able to get in, use diskpart to make a gpt EFI system partition, but it is still booting the normal windows installer rather than the EFI installer.

Do we know for sure that the newer macbooks support 64bit EFI?

I choose "EFI boot", but it is like my mac decides that it can't do that and switches to the normal windows bootloader.

I think this is a mac specific EFI problem, because there are a few motherboards out there for PCs that support UEFI and they can use EFI boot just fine.
I think it is because Apple are using outdated (antiquated?) firmware:
an EFI 1.1 variant rather than UEFI 2.1. The latter is required to boot
Windows.

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/firmware/uefireg.mspx
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,231
1,512
192.168.1.1
I seem to be unable to install Win 7 x64 or x86 at all on my Mac Pro (1,1). I get a "CD Type 1 or 2. Please select" message, or something to that extent, on screen which then becomes unresponsive.

I did a brief Google search, and the solution seems to require re-burning the disc images with some additional and modified install files...

Not wanting to really invest the time and effort required just to install Vista 2.0, I gave up. But never did see anything regarding EFI options.
 

Glen Quagmire

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
512
0
UK
1,1 Mac Pro here, installing on to a Windows-only hard drive with two partitions (both NTFS, one with the W7 beta, the other with my Windows files).

I got the "type 1 or 2" prompt with x64 Windows 7, reburned and had all kinds of trouble getting the thing to install. First time burning with the modified image, it got almost to the end of the install process and hung up. Trying again, it would restart a couple of times and then complain that it had restarted unexpectedly and couldn't proceed (eh?). Finally, I got it to install by messing around with partitions. That worked well until I tried rebooting into Windows a few days later, as the install was hosed and Windows refused to boot.

I've given up on the x64 version and have managed to get the x86 version working perfectly. Of course, I can't use all 4GB of memory in the computer, but at least the thing works. I have no idea whether it uses EFI to boot, but the boot process looks a lot like the XP one (up to the initial loading screen), and takes a similar amount of time.