Windows install boot from internal partition

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by qbunnie, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. qbunnie macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2010
    I have a 2009 iMac that I recently added an SSD to, replacing the optical drive. The installation went fine, and OSX reads the disk with no issues. The internal superdrive is now sitting in a USB enclosure.

    I want to install windows to the SSD, but the process has become a little frustrating. Basically, I can't boot the Windows 7 x64 install disk from the USB external SuperDrive. I've checked on the web, and it seems that this is a limitation in the EFI. I've tried installing rEFIt, but the modified bootloader has not worked either. The OSX install disc does boot without issue.

    The normal bootcamp installation (with the whole 2nd drive chosen as the bootcamp drive) hangs at the white/gray screen upon reboot. 2 error icons will flash in a somewhat random pattern - a folder with a question mark and a circle w/ slash. rEFIt recognizes my external DVD, but similarly hangs when trying to boot from that.
    I've also tried creating a bootable USB thumb drive, which also fails in more or less the same manner.
    Further searches here and on the web result in mixed results, with the rEFIt method being the best success rate, but by no means good (seems about 50-50 to me).
    rEFIt always gives me the same error, where it says that the firmware has rejected the boot, and that Apple has poor support for booting legacy OS from USB disks.

    There is a method to install Windows using Parallels, then editing the EFI boot information to get the EFI to recognize the partition, but this seemed a bit complicated - I will try it if all else fails.

    Since the problem seems to lie in trying to install from a USB source, what I would like to do is to create a partition on my OSX hard drive, and then write my Win7 install iso to that partition (restore image). I am hoping that the EFI will recognize it as a bootable disc, and do my bootcamp install on my empty 2nd hard drive.

    Please let me know if there are any obvious or fatal flaws with this plan.

    Thanks very much.
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
  3. qbunnie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2010
    Okay, I see. I missed it on my initial searches, since it's a bit buried, but thanks, I'll post if it works.
  4. qbunnie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2010
    Step 3 requires putting a Vista/Win7 compatible Volume Boot Record at
    the head of the partition. You can do this in VMWare by using the Win7
    ISO as a recovery disc (bootrec.exe /fixboot):

    I don't understand how this works. My W7 iso boots up in VMWare, but I see no way of giving it access to my system partitions, only virtual disks.

    If someone can please help, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

    Here's the whole post:


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