Windows 7 install issues, MBP 2010, SSD+Optibay HDD, External optical drive


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 22, 2012
Hi i have a 2010 MBP i5 running Lion.

System configuration:

OCZ Vertex 3 120 gb ssd
Optibay with my original 320 gb hdd
8gb ram
i5 2.4 ghz

I have my optical drive in a external case (the original drive from this MBP)

Now here is my problem:

I want to create a Bootcamp with windows 7 on my hdd in the optibay; however i cant boot up with the windows 7 USB thumb drive, windows 7 DVD, nothing at all.

Without the refit, and trying to boot on the external dvd drive, it just flashes with , a folder with a ? question mark and a "ø" sign.

If i try to boot with refit (both thumb drive and DVD) i get an error where it trys to boot i get a black screen where i get a message that it cant boot from the drive.

Second i have tryed to make an immage of a windows 7 (configured on a friend of mines MPB 2009 with same configuration as mine) and unloading that to my partition created by boot camp with winclonw. When i try to boot here it says missing operating system. Note my friend had no problems at all installing a windows 7 with external optical drive on his hdd placed in the optibay.

I want to find a solution that doesnt require me putting the original drive back into the computer.

Next move will be to install a windows 7 in a VM ware and move it before it is configured for WM.

Any other idears?

p.s. resetting the PRAM didnt make any difference...
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macrumors member
Aug 17, 2010
if you read my post you can see that i have tryed with refit... ;)

But i found a solution i will poste it asap in order to help those who have encountered the same issues....
I have the same problem, can you help me with your solution.

thanks in advanced


Staff member
May 3, 2009
The issue is that win7 won't fully boot on an external optical drive. The only work around I've heard of is to put the optical drive back into the laptop. There may be better options but that one at least is known to work


macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2008
Yep, every time I swapped drives in my optibay I've swapped them around, taken my SSD out, put the HDD in the normal hole and put the DVD drive back in. PITA but haven't found another way.

Guess what I'm going to be doing again this evening to put my new 1TB drive in... :mad:


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 22, 2012
Ok what i found out was that i could install windows 7 in a VMware and make a immage with winclone; it took me the most of a day to figure out how to do it but i worked and now i have a immage making it possible for me to make a new win7 install in less than 1 hr.

what you need: VMware Fusion, win7 iso, Winclone, atleast 40 gb free space on the main drive, a little patience

1. First thing to do is to download VMware fusion and install, and make sure it is running.

2. make a bootcamp drive and reboot to OSX

3. create a virtual machine manually! This is necesary in order to install win7 on you'r bootcamp drive:

Open terminal


sudo su
/*it will ask for pw*/

mkdir /Virtual\ Machines
/*this will create a folder on you're primary drive*/

cd /Virtual\ Machines
[/B]/*change folder to the folder you just made*/

/Library/Application\ Support/VMware\ Fusion/mware-rawdiskCreator print /dev/disk0
/*Set the disk you will install windows on for me i had to install it on disk1; you can find out where your partition is by typing diskutil list*/

/Library/Application\ Support/VMware\ Fusion/vmware-rawdiskCreator create /dev/disk0 3 Bootcamp ide
/*this should if done correctly create a file in the folder !! /dev/disk0 3 Bootcamp ide - i wrote /dev/disk1 4 Windows ide to choose the right partition and to name my drive windows !!*/

close terminal

*If you dont have 40 gb free on your main drive you should make it on another partition or you wont be able to install windows 7 via this machine.
**Dont put the vm on the bootcamp drive, it gave me some issues when i tried.

4. Open vmware

- choose Install windows or another operating system in a new virtual machine
- continue without disc
- Use an existing virtual disc; here you locate the disc you just created in the previous step
- disable fast setup
- finish the quick guide
- mount the win7 iso
- install windows 7 _THIS IS IMPORTANT_ When windows 7 rboots the first time after extracting files shut down the virtual machine! or it will not work!
- close VMware

5. open winclone and create a immage of the bootcamp drive (where you now have installed windows 7)

6. remove the bootcamp drive

7. make a new bootcamp drive with the same size as before

8. extrct the windows 7 to the bootcamp drive again, without doing this you wont get the correct boot settings on the windows partition

9. reboot and hold down alt and you should be able to boot up in windows and finish the install, and install the bootcamp util.

Now for my case i now have 2 windows discs i can choose at boot however i can only boot from one of them so find out which is working. This can be doe without using rEFIt.

If you save the winclone immage (should not be larger than 4-6 gb) then you can simply make a bootcamp drive and extract the immage :)

I spend around 4 days trying different install methods and was so stubbon that i wanted to find a method that didnt require me to do a hardware swap and i found it. So dont get to sad if this will give you some problems, pm if you are having problems and i will see if i can help you.

This should work on all macs with optibay drives

and Thanks to those who made guides for different workarounds i used to combine this one :)

The reason for manually creating the VM file through terminal is to trick VMware fusion to install windows on the bootcamp partition. It was the only way i found where i could install it on that partition.
Furthermore it should be added that if you put this file on the bootcamp partition it will disaper the second you try to install windows and the installation will fail.
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macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2012
I've been thinking,

since you have two harddrives,
1. restore the windows7.iso onto the hdd,
2. bootcamp and partition the windows part. on your ssd
3. connect your hdd, and fire up your mbp with your hdd holding option key
4. install windows to your windows partition
5. finalise it
6. delete your windows7.iso

BAM you have your ssd+hdd dual system.

this is just my thought, not sure if it'll work or not since i still haven't recieved my optibay yet


macrumors 6502
Aug 17, 2011
For some reason MBP's have really bad issues when you are trying to install Windows in a drive that is located in the optibay. You might want to try to switch the SSD and HDD around so that the HDD is in the mainbay, repartition it with bootcamp assistant and try the installation again.