I recently got a macbook pro with the intention of dual booting Windows 7 so that I can play some old games I still have that don't run on anything more recent, and generally access my Steam library. I was frustrated to find that Bootcamp would not allow me to use Windows 7, despite the fact that my laptop is compatible, and therefore set out to create a bootable USB on my own.
It's been really, really frustrating. I've searched for a couple hours online, but I must be doing something wrong, because all of the tutorials I can find either do not work, or tell me to use bootcamp - Which won't let me doing what I'm trying to do. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make that USB stick function as a bootable drive, so that my Macbook will let me install Windows. Microsoft has a tool for creating a bootable USB stick installer that works with Windows 7, 8 and You can find it here.
Now Bootcamp will do the same thing plus it will put all the right drivers in the installer to be installed with Windows and help you resize the Mac partition and create a Windows partition. You don't technically have to do it that way though. If you open the Boot Camp package there will be a Windows driver installer package you can copy onto your Windows 7 install USB media and then run once you have windows installed. Note that you will likely have to re-partition the drive yourself.
It is not terribly difficult but does require enough computer experience to not mess things up and do everything in the right order.
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How to Install Windows On Your Mac When All Else Fails
Then try booting it. In this step, we revert this additional change made by Disk Utility by switching back to a pure GPT partition table. If your MBR partition is set to hybrid , please continue with step 4, otherwise if it is set to protective , you may skip the rest of this section.
Simply type q and hit return to exit GPT fdisk. This step is critical as I have had rather serious problems during Windows installation when certain external drives are connected. Unplug everything from your Mac except your keyboard if wired and your bootable Windows USB stick which we prepared earlier.
If your Mac contains multiple physical drives, you will need to disconnect all disks except the one which you intend to install Windows on or you may encounter the following error:. Windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation. To install Windows, restart the installation.
Ensure that the USB stick containing the Windows installer is inserted and then restart your Mac while holding down the option alt key. You should now be presented with a list of bootable drives.
When you are asked Where do you want to install Windows? OS X only supports creation of FAT filesystems, so this is why we need to re-create the partition ourselves during install. You may encounter a known issue whereby the Boot Camp Support Software installer locks up while installing Realtek audio.
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If this occurs, you will need to open Task Manager and kill the RealtekSetup. Install and run SharpKeys and then configure the following mappings to correct your Mac keyboard so that it behaves like a regular Windows keyboard:. PrtSc Special: Left Windows Special: Left Alt Special: Right Windows Special: Right Alt. Paste the following into a file named Enable NumLock on Boot. As such, I recommend purchasing a Logitech or similar mouse for use in Windows.
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The safest way to delete these partitions is through the Windows installer. So simply boot from your USB stick as we did before and when you reach the Where do you want to install Windows? Once done, simply quit the installer by clicking the X in the top right corner of each Window and reboot back into OS X.