Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 15, 2012 10:51 AM by BDAqua
nicros Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm using a mac mini with a windows USB keyboard.  There is NO OSX on this machine- I added a new hard drive later and just partitioned it for windows.

 

I'm trying to find the hotkey combination to boot the system from USB.

 

Does anyone know how I can do this?


Mac mini, Windows 7
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (147,070 points)

    The option key brings up the Startup Manager, but it will only show volumes recognized as bootable by the EFI bootloader. On a Windows keyboard, that would be the alt key. It may not work if the keyboard is connected to an external hub.

  • nicros Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'll try that, thanks.  But I just realized... this is actually a bluetooth keyboard which may be even more trouble.  I'll try a wireless USB keyboard.  Because that's all I have

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (147,070 points)

    An Apple Bluetooth keyboard will work. I don't know about others.

  • nicros Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hmm no luck.  I hit 'C' to try and get it to see the USB.  It's actually like nothing is happening at all.  I see a light gray screen for about 1 minute (which seems like a long time) and then windows comes up.

     

    No apple, no anything to indicate the keyboard is working during boot.

     

    Maybe there is some key combo to press during startup that should do SOMETHING during boot that would at least let me know if the keyboard is indeed the problem or if there is something else going on?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (147,070 points)

    The C key will do you no good at all unless you're trying to boot from an optical disc.

  • nicros Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Eh?  That's not what it says here...

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1533

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,510 points)

    The C key only works if there is an OS X Installer on the media.

     

    What exactlly are you trying to boot from and what OS is on it....?

  • nicros Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a bootable usb thumbdrive with win8 64bit on it (yes I know it's not supported).  I'm trying to upgrade my system from win 7 32bit to win8 64b (and I understand it will wipe the drive).

     

    This system doesn't have osx, and I don't even have the disk anymore... so I just wanted to see if I could get the system to boot of that usb stick.  But it seems that nothing I do works.

     

    Win7 32bit (which I've been running for a while) works great, I see the grey blank screen for a bit then it boots into windows.  But no matter what I do I can't get the mini to boot off that usb thumb.  I know the drive works, Ive used it to install win8 on other machines.

     

    Any ideas?

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,510 points)

    I might be wrong because I have no use for windows os, but I don't think you can run windows on a Mac without first having OS X installed and then using Bootcamp to build the windows partition.

     

    Like Linc replied in his first post, you can not boot windows without the EFI bootloader.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,040 points)

    (yes I know it's not supported)

    It's NOT supported.

  • nicros Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You can run windows on a mac without having to install osx first- Im doing it.  I think I used the internal optic drive then to install it, not usb.

  • woodmeister50 Level 4 Level 4 (3,970 points)

    As it has been since the beginning, Windows can only boot

    from internal drives or partitions on internal drives.  Windows

    cannot be booted, other than installers, from any external drive. 

    This is not a Mac limitation but a Windows limitation.

     

    If this has changed for Win8, perhaps the bootloader in the Mini

    does not realize this and needs to be updated when an update

    is available.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,510 points)

    Not with support from Apple or the ASC Forums, try some other Windowshack Forum.

  • nicros Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    woodmeister50 wrote:

     

    As it has been since the beginning, Windows can only boot

    from internal drives or partitions on internal drives.  Windows

    cannot be booted, other than installers, from any external drive. 

    This is not a Mac limitation but a Windows limitation.

     

    If this has changed for Win8, perhaps the bootloader in the Mini

    does not realize this and needs to be updated when an update

    is available.

     

    This is an installer, if you had read the OP.  This question has nothing to do with windows really.  I could have installed Ubuntu on this machine, and be trying to change to Win7. 

     

    The whole point is that because when I partitioned the drive there is NO OSX on the machine, I can't get any bootable usb stick media to load.

     

    Man, you mention the word windows here and everyone freaks out, like the apple police shouting its not supported and you said the word windows so go somewhere else! 

     

    Nobody even bothers to read the question- is there any way to tell the mac mini to boot from a BOOTABLE USB stick if there is NO OSX on the machine?  On non mac machines would go into bios and change the boot order.

     

    Judging by the non useful responses (aside from Linc who actually had some helpful answers)  I would say the answer is no.

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