What kind of issues did you experience if I may ask? The reason I ask is because I installed Windows 7 via a USB installer on a '06 Black Macbook and on a '12 Macbook Pro 13" without experiencing errors related to those machine also having optical drives.
Though this was before I installed Mavericks, I'm not sure how the above would change with Mavericks. If you can tell me the exact issue you experienced, I'd appreciate it a lot since I am having some issues with installing Windows 7 right now, but those issues are related to selecting EFI Boot in the Boot Manager (boot with option pressed).
After a lot of googling, I realised there might be not way around this usb installation thing. Apparently not only bootcamp is locked in OSX 10.9, the bootloader is also programmed such that USB sticks will not be booted on macs with a optical drive through the traditional emualted bios. The closest I have is that the USB is able to boot using EFI. However, according to my research, older macs (before 2013 mba possibly) have efi that is not uefi 2.0 compliant and hence you gerenally cannot install windows natively using EFI. Another posssiblity offered online is to force EFI install and partition harddisk using GPT instead of MBR. I have swapped my harddisk to a new WD black which is GPT formated to begin with. Yet when I boot windows installer through EFI, it gives me the error that "your partition contains MBR table" which makes no sense. Moreoever, its likely that the drivers for older mac will also not work properly even if you are able to force install windows through EFI.
So basically after all these work, I realised u just need a **** disc...
P.S. Maybe using third party bootloader may allow the usb drive to be booted through the old emulated bios so that windows can be installed.
do you have multiple partitions on your USB stick? And what partition table does it use?
I have two windows installers. One is on a 4GB single partition fat32 formatted stick, and one is on a 5GB partitions of a 500GB USB HDD. On the USB HDD I have windows as second partition. First is OSX installer. I noticed that I can boot in BIOS mode with the 4GB USB stick, but not with the 500GB USB HDD.
So try a windows formatted USB stick with a single partition. See if that works.
Be carefull with google.. In the last few days I have been researching some bootcamp related things and there is waaaay more wrong information of people that tell others what they 'heard' than that there is right information of those who know how stuff works.
I am of the 2nd category btw. I only tell you what I know for sure. If an '06 macbook with ODD can boot of of USB into BIOS mode, then so should you.
Edit: The reason the Windows EFI installers says it found an MBR partition only is because by default the disk is in GPT mode with a 'protected' mbr so that non-gpt aware programs wont look and scream "free space! ".
In order for Bootcamp to install in legacy BIOS mode it converts this 'protective' MBR into a "hybrid" MBR. If you download the open source app "Gdisk", install it, and type "sudo gdisk /dev/disk0" in terminal you will see there is either a protective or hybrid MBR on the disk.
Formatting a disk to fat32 with any OSX tool (BC Utility or disk utility) will convert the protective MBR to Hybrid MBR.
Gdisk allows you to reset this to a protective MBR as described here: http://superuser.com/questions/508026/windows-detects-gpt-disk-as-mbr-in-efi-boo t
Hybrid MBR: Full Bootcamp compatibility. OSX knows whats up and decides everything. Windows installs in legacy BIOS mode on an MBR type disk.
Protective MBR: Bootcamp utility and OSX are not used since they would convert the disk to a hybrid MBR. This mode is compatible with booting in EFI mode. EFI compatible Windows versions (7 partially, 8 completely) will live alongside OS X, for the most without problems. And will install on a GPT type disk.
Hope to have helped you with this. Took me three full days of non-stop reading to figure this out.
Message was edited by: Jognt
Edit 2: Make damned sure you have a backup of your system. Messing around with partition types and tables shouldnt hurt when you know what you're doing. But since I know this for three days, and you apparently havent found this yet, I think it's safe to say both of us aren't yet 100% sure of what we're doing .
Message was edited by: Jognt
Temple123, I don't advise you to perform the steps mentioned here since it should work out of the box.
What issue did you experience that led you to perform the steps mentioned here, and what issue are you experiencing now? What crashes at what moment? And how does it crash? (does it hang, freeze, pauze, BSOD, reboot?)
My problem was to do with the Bootcamp USB device install. I have a 2012 iMac, with no optical drive, so I was forced to attempt to get my ISO onto a usb to boot up windows.
My bootcamp kept returning an error stating my ISO was not 64-bit. But it was, one discussion said to edit my info.plist and add my Model Identifier, then re-add it to the Bootcamp contents. This made my Bootcamp crash upon being clicked to open. Now, after adding my vanilla info back into the contents and doing the process mentioned above by BITTTe, it does the same thing as before. The app doesnt open. I just get a 'Quit Unexpectedly' message straight away.
Any ideas on how to fix this Jognt?
It's possible you have a Windows ISO for both 32- and 64-bit. In this case it's probably detecting the presence of the 32-bit installer and forgets to look for another 64-bit version.
A way to work around this is to not use the Bootcamp Assistant utility by following the listed steps:
The way installing Windows should work either way using the Legacy BIOS mode:
- Get a Windows 7 ISO or DVD and copy the contents over to a freshly fat32 formatted USB stick of at least 4GB.
- Download the Apple Bootcamp Support Software (4.x or 5.x, i believe 5.x only support 64-bit);
- Copy the content of the Support Software folder over the the same USB stick from the first step. It should fit just right (it did on my 4GB stick with 2MB te spare!);
- Use disk utility to partition your disk. Make sure the partition for Windows is Fat32 and at least 30GB;
- Reboot your machine while holding Option/Alt at the chime;
- You should be able to select either your OSX HDD or your USB stick labeled "Windows" -> Select Windows and press enter or click the arrow;
- The Windows installer should now load, format the previously made Windows partition to NTFS;
- Continue on your way.
Can you try what I typed above? If it doesn't work, can you let me know at what step things go differently than described?
Edit: This is based on the logical conclusion that any Mac that was shipped without ODD should be able to boot from USB.
One other note is that Mac's have trouble booting from USB when multiple USB storage devices are attached. So make sure you connect only one storage device.
Hopefully those are big enough to read. Basically, after following the original steps in this discussion, it has stopped my ability to open Bootcamp. I think it's a problem with my info.plist, even though its the same one that came with my mac. I think that command has caused more problems than good.
Hmm. I don't know how that got buggered up. Someone else also had this problem but it sounded like he got it fixed. I asked him how he got it fixed and linked here.
You should still be able to install Windows without the bootcamp assistant though. Follow the steps I listed. You can download the bootcamp support software from apple's website:
Support Software 5.x (64-bit only):
Support Software 4.x (also 32-bit):
Don't know the difference between the last two. One is 0.1 higher in version but is only 400MB compared to the other one that is 800MB!
Edit: If you want to install 64-bit, download the 5.x version
edit2: here's the link to the other guy with the same issue: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5483227?tstart=0