Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Alternative Operating Systems > Install WIN7 on a MBP without internal superdrive??

Install WIN7 on a MBP without internal superdrive??
Thread Tools
Professional Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Hamburg / Linköping
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 8, 2011, 12:20 PM
 
Hi, I have a serious problem!
I have 2 HDs in my 2011 17" Macbook Pro - 1 SSD and a standard HD.
Both had 2 partitions - SSD: OSX & WIN7 HD: DATA & XP
Both HDs were already installed in my old 2009 15" MBP and that's where I set up Windows XP (first) and later Windows 7 on the SSD
I installed both HDs in the new MBP when it arrived and replaced the superdrive with an Optibay and the standard HD just as I already had it in the old MBP.

Windows 7 only needed a few driver updates and worked pretty well.
3 days ago I wanted to start into XP because I wanted to update the firmware of the SSD and had to find out, that XP wasn't working anymore at all...
I though: "Oh well, maybe better not to do any damage to the SSD with some new firmware and I don't need XP anymore anyhow..." and used the Bootcamp Assistant to remove the XP partition from the standard HD. Everything seemed to work as expected...

...but now I can't boot into WIN7 anymore!!
Seems like the bootmanager ("bootmgr is missing") has been destroyed by the Bootcamp Assistant!?

Well, what now?? I want to install WIN7 again but I can't!
- the internal superdrive is broken
- Apple doesn't allow me to boot Windows from an external USB medium (I have an external DVD drive) - the screen stays black
- USB sticks don't work either (at least not on my new MBP - people with older hardware have reported success)

What now??
Is there any virtualization software that can install on physical HDs instead virtual images only?
I tried VMware Fusion and I can install WIN7 but only on an image - I want to install it on my Bootcamp partition!
***
     
badidea  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Hamburg / Linköping
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 9, 2011, 06:58 AM
 
Problem solved!
The superdrive fortunately did work again and I installed it in the MBP and replaced it with the SSD again after Windows was installed...
***
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 16, 2011, 11:14 PM
 
Bootcamp can boot from External USB DVD Drives. Its just picky about which brand. I've had 100% success with LG external drives. The big ones that include its own power cable. On my moms laptop, a slender USB only one didn't work (the kind with 2 usb plugs and gets it power from USB.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
badidea  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Hamburg / Linköping
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 18, 2011, 10:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Bootcamp can boot from External USB DVD Drives. Its just picky about which brand. I've had 100% success with LG external drives. The big ones that include its own power cable. On my moms laptop, a slender USB only one didn't work (the kind with 2 usb plugs and gets it power from USB.
Sorry but that's not true for 2011 Macbook Pro models!
***
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 20, 2011, 10:18 AM
 
It isn't? That sucks.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 20, 2011, 01:57 PM
 
Part of the issue is related to how Windows handles hardware at boot time. I have no reason to believe that Microsoft has changed the boot scheme with Win7 from all previous versions. Windows either ignores BIOS information about equipment configuration, or uses it only to initially find its boot code. After that, it reenumerates all USB connections as part of the Windows load process, so it effectively erases its own trail to its boot data in the reenumeration.

When Boot Camp installs Windows, it can pull all the data off of a USB source (because Boot Camp is managing hardware and data sources) and let the Windows Installer per-install what it needs to in order to get to the "reboot now" stage, but after that, things can get confusing. The Installer may or may not properly mark the newly created partition as bootable, and when Boot Camp creates that partition, it only marks it as an NTFS partition, so the Installer may or may not "see" the pre-installed data...

I am interested, badidea, in how you determined that 2011 MBPs "cannot" install Windows from USB. In my experience it has been a variable and labor intensive task to get it done, but I have seen it work, just not on a newer Mac, so I would find your source for saying this won't work to be valuable.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
badidea  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Hamburg / Linköping
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 23, 2011, 08:56 AM
 
Glenn, I don't remember exactly where I got this information from but there are countless threads for the same problem if you google "Install WIN7 on a MBP 2011 without internal superdrive"!
No easy solution exists except re-installing the superdrive!
I think I saw an official statement from Apple somewhere but I'm not sure anymore.
A hint that this is really the way Apple wants it to work (or rather not work) is the new option in the Bootcamp assistant that allows you to create a bootable USB flash drive from a WIN7 disk image, which only works on Macbook Airs and the new Mac minis, which both lack the superdrive!
***
     
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 24, 2011, 01:18 PM
 
...or the solution they came up with for the MBA and Mini is such a pain to implement (in the target machine) that it wasn't worth the effort for all other machines. Making a USB device boot-persistent for the Windows Installer has to be enormously difficult. It is possible to hack the Installer to stop the re-enumeration step, but that too is a royal pain. I'd tend to believe at Apple would like us to have the option to install what we want, particularly if it tweaks noses at Redmond, but that this is a very difficult thing to do and not very frequently needed by most users, rather than thinking Apple was actually intending to make things harder for most of their customers.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:35 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2014 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2