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Why does Windows 7 not show up in System Preference's "Startup Disk"

6367 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Apr 28, 2009 5:45 AM by sfong15 RSS
kn9jri Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 18, 2009 3:57 PM
Why does Windows 7, installed via Boot Camp, show up when you hold down the option key when booting but the drive does not show up in System Preferences under the Startup Disk icon.

As an aside Windows 7 runs perfectly on my MacBook.

- Mike
2.4 gHz Aluminum MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Node927 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I have the same issue..,lol
    MBA, MACMINI, Xserve,, Mac OS X (10.5.6), AD, OD, LDAP, EXCHANGE, VMWARE, XP, VISTA, 7
  • Eric Barbosa Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
    Same issue on my iMac. I just recently installed Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro after seeing how seamlessly the Vista drivers worked on my iMac, but haven't checked my MacBook Pro.

    I really need it on my iMac because my aluminum keyboard will not let me choose a disk by pressing option on my white iMac, and my only solution now is to plug in my white keyboard.

    And yes, Windows 7 in beta seems to run 10x better than Vista in SP1. Boot Camp drivers, iTunes, QuickTime and Safari all work well as well.
    MBP 17" 2.33GHz 2GB, iMac Core Duo 17" 1.83GHz 1GB, Mac OS X (10.5.5), iPhone 16GB, iPods: classic 80GB, touch 2G 16GB, shuffle 2G 1GB
  • Waveflash Calculating status...
    By any chance do you have Macfuse installed as that is a common program used in conjunction with bootcamp and has the known side effect of making the windows disk invisible in the start up disk preference pane.

    Even if you don't and its some Windows 7 issue, who care? If you need to change your default start disk just boot into Windows and use your BootCamp control panel to do it. It might be a little inconvenient, but its not such a great problem.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Windows Vista x64, 2.5 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 Gb RAM, Nvidia 8600 GT (512 VRAM)
  • Eric Barbosa Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
    I don't even know what MacFuse is. Like I said this is a major inconvenience for me to have to leave my white keyboard on my desk and plug it in whenever I want to start into Windows 7.

    I checked my MacBook Pro, and it does not show up even though I used a different install method:
    on my iMac I upgraded from Vista
    I then used winclone to copy the Windows 7 partition to my MacBook Pro
    Not a problem on my MacBook Pro, though, as I always hold down the option key to select a startup disc.
    MBP 17" 2.33GHz 2GB, iMac Core Duo 17" 1.83GHz 1GB, Mac OS X (10.5.5), iPhone 16GB, iPods: classic 80GB, touch 2G 16GB, shuffle 2G 1GB
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,540 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2009 3:05 PM (in response to Eric Barbosa)
    Most of the driver updates I've used, on a clean install of W7 so they weren't there to begin with, have to be run in Vista Compatibility Mode (Properties, or control click and select the "Troubleshoot Compatibility" menu item on the setup install apps and it will make the change for you.

    Otherwise, the drivers may even seem to have been installed, but not properly.

    Try again and see if it helps.
    Mac Pro Windows 7 9800GTX 4 x WD Caviar 640, Vista 64-bit ACD 23" Sonnet Tempo E4P APC RS1500
  • Martijn Samsom Calculating status...
    No disrespect, but what?? English please! You sound like you know what you are doing, but from the way you describe how to resolve the problem, I am left scratching my head trying to decipher your "code." Some of us mortal computer illiterates need very basic guidance and clear language. Can you please explain in further detail? Thank you so much.
    Macbook 2.4g Aluminum, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • kittie2171 Calculating status...
    I have the same problem as well.
    windows 7 works well if i hold option when booting. Can't get the internet to work with windows 7 in VM fusion.
    macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • conirad Calculating status...
    I have been working with this exact problem for several weeks now. I have tried clean installs on both OS X 10.5.6 and Windows 7 (via Boot Camp) and have STILL not been able to get Windows to show up as a viable startup option in OS X.

    Everyone I have talked to states that they can "see" the Windows partition in Disk Utility as a greyed-out drive, but never able to do anything more with it.

    My best guess at the moment is something to do with the Windows 7 EFI support. I noticed that in Vista, Microsoft was leaning towards introducing EFI (which is what OS X uses) as a boot loader. With Windows 7, it shows up in a folder on the install disc, but I can't figure out how it's used.

    Holding down the Option key still works, so maybe the EFI isn't completely screwed up. I don't know. Any ideas?
    MacBook 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (Black), Mac OS X (10.5.6), 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,540 points)
    EFI support is only for 64-bit versions of Vista SP1 and above, W7, and Server 2008.

    Trouble is we can't update EFI firmware, Apple seems to use their own unique off-shoot.

    And I have the same problem. And with 3 installs of Vista and W7, only one shows with Option key until I get to the Windows boot menu pause.
    Mac Pro Windows 7 9800GTX 4 x WD Caviar 640, ACD 23" Sonnet Tempo E4P APC RS1500
  • conirad Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Do you think there will be the same problem (Windows partition not showing up among the startup drives in OS X) if I reinstall with a 32-bit version? I've cloned my Win7 x64 partition, but I'm still recovering from the tedious boot camp and driver installs that I'm weary of doing it again (albeit without the 64-bit problems to worry about).
    MacBook 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • sfong15 Calculating status...
    Now I found I'm not alone. My situation is similar but not exactly the same.

    I recently switched from the white MacBook to latest mac mini, tried installing XP Pro not successful for some reasons then tried Win7 (build 7000). On my old macbook this worked perfectly.

    Got win7 updated and picked win7 as startup disk in windows, used that for few days without going back to leopard. On just one occasion I booted with 'alt' key pressed (using a PC keyboard) I have choices of drives so I thought everything was fine. As soon as I booted into leopard I found no win7 partition in system>preference>startup disk, OMG I couldn't boot back to win7 since then. From that point onwards the 'alt' key didn't work for me. Every time only leopard can be booted.

    What can I do now?

    Why it was OK in macbook but didn't work on mini? Is it worth investing on a mac external keyboard just to get the 'option' key?
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.6)

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