13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 16, 2013 3:20 AM by armand@sg
oudenaardej Level 1 (0 points)

Dear Apple users,


I already asked the question in the iMac forum, but a poster there suggested I try to get this answered in the Bootcamp forum (which I didn't know existed)… so here goed


In short:

- I'm very curious on the options of installing Windows 7 on the new iMacs.

- I'm hoping that it's possible to install via a USB stick or HD, which so far I've never been able to succeed at with the previous iMacs (and I've tried that with numerous USB sticks and HD's, some of which do work on MacBooks via USB).


I heard/learned that on the previous iMacs, Apple turned this option off in the EFI, making it nearly impossible to install Windows via USB on these machines. Also, it feels a little silly having to buy the Apple USB Superdrive, which at this moment doesn't even officially support the iMac (for external installs), júst to install Windows ónce.


Here's my original discussion:



Does anyone have some more information on this perhaps? I would love to be able to install it on Bootcamp via a USB stick or HD


With kind regards

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • dalstott Level 4 (2,625 points)

    Here are links to reading material that will answer your questions. Follow the instructions exactly and you will have success. Regarding Windows games be sure to read and clearly understand the hardware requirements. If you only meet the minimal requirements you will have a poor game experience.







  • oudenaardej Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, but I already know about all of those things



    I have Bootcamp & Windows 7 installed on all my iMacs, and have had it on most of my Intel Macs before… the only thing I'd like to know which is not in the links you provided (yet), is wether or not you can install Windows via USB on the néw iMacs. This has previously not been possible on older iMacs (like my current model of 2009, and my girlfriend's iMac of 2006) because Apple didn't "allow" it by disabling this feature in the EFI.



    The manual actually specifically mentions this:

    You can install Windows with an installation disc you provide or, on some Mac computers, with a USB flash drive that contains a Windows 7 ISO image downloaded from Microsoft. Boot Camp Assistant helps you burn the image to the flash drive.

    Hence my question regarding the new iMacs

  • oudenaardej Level 1 (0 points)

    Is there an Apple employee on the forums who could give us an answer to this perhaps?

  • BobTheFisherman Level 6 (13,437 points)

    oudenaardej wrote:


    Is there an Apple employee on the forums who could give us an answer to this perhaps?


  • BobTheFisherman Level 6 (13,437 points)

    I don't have a new iMac but from reading the Bootcamp Installation Guides I think that if your computer has an internal DVD drive you can not use the USB port to install Windows. Does this somehow impact the new iMac? Is the new iMac identified as supporting USB installation? I think until someone with more iMac knowledge comes along you should read the installation manuals. The answer likely lies buried in the manuals.


  • oudenaardej Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the response


    I have gone through the manual hoping to find an answer, but there's no clear answer as of yet. I would assume (like you mention as well) that all Macs without an internal Superdrive would support doing a Windows installation from a USB stick/HD, but so far I haven't been able to find a definite answer anywhere.


    I was hoping to find someone here (wether it's an Apple support genius or not) who could shine some light on it, but I guess we'll have to wait for an answer untill the new iMac has been released in the wild

  • dalstott Level 4 (2,625 points)



    Have you tried this approach. It appears to be one way you can check it out by experience.



    From the manual


    You may be able to install Windows 7 with a USB flash drive that contains a Windows 7 ISO

    image downloaded from Microsoft.


    To check whether you can do so, open Boot Camp Assistant, click Continue, and see if the option “Create a Windows 7 install disk” is available.


    To install Windows 7 with a USB flash drive, you need the following:

    - An ISO image of Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate downloaded

    from Microsoft.

    - A USB flash drive with 4 GB or more.


    Boot Camp Assistant erases the flash drive, and copies to it the Windows 7 ISO

    image and software drivers that let Windows work with your Mac hardware

  • oudenaardej Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Dalstott,


    I have tried that actually. When I start Bootcamp I do at some point run into that option. Unfortunately that didn't solve the problem for me as when I actually try to use the USB stick during installation, Bootcamp mentions that it cannot find a proper installation DVD.


    I tried creating a USB stick via Windows on another computer, with the help of various tutorials (including Microsoft's tutorial). This included copying an official Windows install DVD ánd an official Windows install ISO. All my attempts were with various USB sticks and HD's, ranging from a Kingston and homebrand USB Stick, a Freecom USB HD, and finally a LaCie USB HD. So far nothing worked. Even when installing ReFit, Bootcamp keeps me from installing as it keeps mentioning that it cannot find a proper install DVD

  • dalstott Level 4 (2,625 points)

    Apple seems to not want to help the faithful do Windows.


    I did find another article you may find helpful as it addresses the "can't find" rejection.


    http://installingcats.com/2012/07/30/mac-bootcamp-4-mountain-lion-installer-disc -could-not-be-found/

  • oudenaardej Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh, nice find! From the article's explanation, it seems like I have the exact same issue. I'll give this one a try when my new iMac arrives. Worst case scenario, if this article won't fix the issue, there will probably be more information regarding USB-installs on the new iMac sans superdrive


    Thanks again Dalstott… I have actually never even heard of Installingcats.com, so i would've totally missed it

  • armand@sg Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi TS,


    How is it going?


    Just wanted to know what you've actually found out regards this question you had in the past.

    I have actually recently purchased the new iMac and now just waiting for it to arrive. Like you I, intend to install windows on it for gaming purposes, too.


    Thanks in advance!

  • oudenaardej Level 1 (0 points)

    Actually, it was drop-dead-simple


    It literally was the easiest installation I could think of. I used 2 USB sticks (8GB stick for Windows install, 2GB stick for Bootcamp drivers). I preformatted both USB sticks to Fat-32 via Diskutility, and after that I just followed the steps that Bootcamp Assistant provided.


    The only thing you have to make sure of is to have a Windows install DMG or ISO available, and in my case I had to get a 64bit one. The old ISO I had contained both 32 ánd 64 bit versions, and Bootcamp won't know what to do with it in that case. When I provided Bootcamp with a pure-64bit version (I didn't want to install a 32bit-version) everything went incredibly hassle-free, ánd a lot faster than an install via DVD (obviously)

  • armand@sg Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your update on this,, I'm looking forward in receiving my imac soon!