I don't know what happened. But something did.
This is my fourth MacBook Pro and my seventh Mac computer. In all of these machines I have always been able to set up Boot Camp without an issue doing the exact same things each time. For some reason though, all of a sudden I am unable to on my 2011 MacBook Pro 17". Works fine on my 2010 27" iMac, but not the 2011 MBP. For the record, I am using Windows 7 64 bit, but at this point I really don't care what OS I use, because none of them are working. It's not the Windows disks, it's the MBP.
- Open up Boot Camp Assistant.
- Don't need the software downloaded, I have the Snow Leopard install disc.
- Tell it to partition the drive. I select 20GB, because Windows 7 will use approximately 7GB of that storage. I don't need to store anything directly in Windows and don't plan to keep it for the long term as I use VMWare/Parallels.
- Asks me to insert the install DVD and then restart. I do so.
- On restart, it sits at a gray screen for 1-3 minutes. I hear the drive spinning during this time, then slows, then the screen starts flashing the folder with the question mark, which I understand to mean that it can't find an operating system. Well, that's because I haven't loaded it yet.
- Force power down with the power button, power back on while holding Option. The Mac OS drive comes up, then the SuperDrive spins up and two other opticals show up: "Windows" and "EFI Boot". If I select Windows it repeats step 5. If I select EFI boot it freezes and does nothing. I can boot into Mac OS normally and the partition is configured correctly in Disk Utility - FAT32, properly named, etc.
So for some reason the Mac does not know how to boot the DVD even though I confirmed it IS a properly bootable DVD by attempting to load it from one of my Windows VMs, and was able to do so without a problem. Mac OS is all patched up so I know it's not a missing firmware update.
Question is what do I need to do to fix it? Note, I am not interested in workarounds like USB or Terminal commands. I want it to work via the standard method because there's no reason it should not work.