Microsoft has released a rather 'short' instruction here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd535816.aspx on how-to use an USB-Memory-Stick to install Windows 7 off it.
But you have to do all the necessary steps on a Windows-PC !
Thanks, but I tried this and a number of other similar processes. It always seems to fail when I try to boot from the USB with an error message from refit saying that USB boot is not well supported by mac os x firmware. In addition I only have access to windows xp which means that I cannot carry out the diskpart bit. Surely it should be possible to boot from an external DVD drive?
To clarify, the situation is as follows:
I have a macbookpro 3.1 that has a defective internal optical drive. I have a bootcamp partition. I have a windows 7 installation DVD (32 and 64 bit). I also have an external DVD drive and USB stick (4GB).
As the internal drive is not functioning is there anyway of installing windows 7 onto the macbook pro?
Am i right that the external DVD-drive is USB-connected and working in OSX ?
If so, insert the Windows 7 DVD in it and reboot your MBP while holding down the Alt/Option-key until the Boot Selection Screen is shown.
Choose to boot from the Windows DVD (should be shown as a disc-icon).
If booted successfully continue the Windows 7 installation as per the instructions in the BootCamp Installation Guide.
You might have to use the Alt/Option-key again at the neccessary reboots during the Windows installation.
Yep, the USB external DVD-Drive works fine in OSX. No probs with that, the Windows 7 install disk is seen by OSX and even recognised by bootcamp.
Upon restarting the DVD icon and OSX icons appear (when using Alt/Option Key or using bootcamp restart). However after selecting the windows DVD (listed as efi boot) the screen eventually starts flashing an apple logo followed by a circle with a cross through it (no entry sign).
Its looking more and more likely that Ill have to pay apple (even more money) to get the internal optical drive fixed.
this is actually super easy to do. I've done it several times on an Air with no disc drive. You just have to install reFit on the Mac first, which will enable you to boot from USB when you get to that stage in boot camp. see http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/9136/macbook-air-install-windows-7-with-boot-camp -without-an-external-dvd-drive/ for detail.
Yep, tried with the USB install process but it no matter what they all fail with the same error message - Legacy OS Booting is not well supported by Apple. Which apparently refit resolved in an update - but it seems to still have probs.