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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Weird Boot Camp Problems


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fifthmanstandin

 
Member Since: Mar 14, 2007
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Hi all.

I'm having a problem with bootcamp and I'm at my wits end.

It started sunday when I decided that I wanted to reinstall windows. That was my first mistake.

I should note that I recently upgraded the mac hard drive to OS X 10.8.5 so that I could utilize a non-EFI graphics card. This is about the 10th time I've done a install of windows through bootcamp and have never had issues. I decided prior to doing this that I'd take out the new card and re-install the old GTX mac graphics card to prevent any possible graphical issues that might occur.

So specs are: Mac Pro 3.1. Two hardrives, one running mac and one running windows 7. No cards whatsoever plugged in other than the graphics card. Graphics card that is plugged in through all of this is the original mac GTX8800 card that came with the system.

After doing that I booted up the mac hard drive, went to bootcamp and selected windows hard drive and let bootcamp do it's thing. I noticed that the new 10.8.5 interface with bootcamp was a little difference but essentially the same thing. The disc in question is Windows 7 Ultimate with SP1 64 bit. I've used this same disc plenty of times without issue. As soon as it finishes the format it kills all programs, goes to a log out/reboot screen, restarts (pretty normal) and then suddenly....black screen with white cursor. Thinking it was a fluke I restarted the computer with a hard restart from the button. It booted back to the black screen. Odd. I hard restarted it again and held the alt key to bring it to the EFI boot screen (I think that's the right name) and was given the option for the mac hard drive and the rescue partition. I selected the mac hard drive and it boots back to mac just fine. I thought it odd that it's not showing the Windows hard drive at the EFI screen but maybe that's because the install isn't finished and the mac drivers aren't installed. Wash rinse repeat about 6 times. No dice.

I thought ok, maybe I can make a bootable usb drive for windows. I followed a guide for that which involved me installing rEFIit utility. I used a micro sd card in a usb adaptor and formatted it with FAT32 to make it bootable (I assume that's how it works). I modified the file that prevents BootCamp from giving the 'make bootable usb drive' for windows so that I could use BootCamp to make the usb drive install. Followed the instructions. No dice. rEFIit upon boot gives the option to boot from usb but gives an error that kills it before it lets it boot, oddly enough in the rEFIit EFI boot screen I can't boot to the mac partition either. Not sure what's going on there. I thought 'ok scratch that lets go back to the disc issue'.

So I got a friend's copy of windows and the dvd drive stopped reading. Like all of the sudden. Wouldn't even read an audio cd. Tried burning a test dvd and got an error message with about 4 different dvd media. Clearly the drive crapped out. Went to best buy and got an HP dvd drive and sata/molex adaptor to power it. Plugged the drive up and tested it. looks fine, works good, read everything. Thinking maybe the fluke came from a failing dvd drive the whole time I started up bootcamp and attempted to go through the usual install process with both dvd's of windows. Neither worked. Same black screen with a white flashing cursor. Left it on for an hour. No change. Every time I tried, same deal. At this point through all the googling and problem solving I'm at my wits end. I can only assume it's something about upgrading to 10.8.5 because never once did I have this issue with Snow Leopard.

Tried bootcamp several more times, at this point it starts going to a white screen with an apple logo after I try bootcamp with the disc. It stays there forever. If I hard restart it goes to a black screen with a white blinking cursor and stays there indefinitely. The only way to get back to mac is to hold alt on startup and select the mac hard drive.

Just as a couple more trouble-shooty points:

This is the first time I've ever done this on Mountain Lion and the first time I've ever had this problem. I'm assuming there's a limitation or problem with ML.

Three hard drives are plugged in: 1) the mac drive 2) the windows drive 3) a third drive that I store things on. Don't know if this effects anything, figured I'd mention.

The new dvd drive is an HP DVD 1265i and is 24 speed, in case that matters.

The only card plugged into to the system is the old original GTX graph card.

1 have the same white screen/black screen problems regardless of install disc.

I could not boot the usb drive with windows on it for some reason.

So I got desperate and assumed that going back to snow leopard on the mac drive and attempting a bootcamp install to the dedicated windows drive would be simple enough.

the plan was:

1) boot the snow leopard disc and install a new copy of OS X on the dedicated mac drive
2) Once complete, open up disk util, wipe the dedicated windows drive, put in the windows 7 disc, run boot camp and install windows
3) Once complete, verify windows is good to go by booting into that drive. Make a backup copy of that windows drive just for safety
4) Boot over to the mac hard drive and upgrade to Mountain Lion to utilize the drivers for the new graphics card.
5)Verify that the install was good. Re-install the new graphics card. Boot over to windows, setup the graph card drivers and be good to go

i got about as far as step 2. The bootcamp installer restarted the computer. It went to a white screen with an apple logo that would flash between a folder with question mark occasionally or a circle with a line through it (like a 'no' symbol) and do nothing. Which makes me worry whether or not the windows drive is even good anymore.

I reviewed my newegg history and see that I ordered the drive in 2008, so I guess it's getting up there in years. Just to verify if the drive is bad I'm doing a zero of the drive through disk util currently. I don't know if the drive is bad or not because disk util sees it no matter the formatting options and when I was in Mountain Lion I could see the drive on the left pane of Finder.

Currently I'm running a full zero on the windows drive hoping that maybe that will fix something/anything. That's going to take at least 2 hours.

I'm running out of ideas guys.
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chscag

 
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Your post is really to long and complicated to address each part so I'll give you a quick opinionated reply.

Quote:
As soon as it finishes the format it kills all programs, goes to a log out/reboot screen, restarts (pretty normal) and then suddenly....black screen with white cursor.
This is a Windows error that points to a missing or wrong graphics driver. Not sure if this article applies to your situation, but you might want to give it a try. LINK

The article talks about an iMac, but the situation is the same as yours.
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fifthmanstandin

 
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I'm really sorry my post is too long for you. In my experience detailed posts hasten the solution since all information is given.

As far as your link, My screen does not go black. It goes black with a white cursor. Steps 1 and 2 have been done half a hundred times. Step 3 implies that the installation of windows is successful. If step 3 was successful I would have no reason to post. So unfortunately the situation is not the same as mine. Read the post.

I hope I don't come off as short with you but I really need some help here. There should be no graphical errors as it is currently running the stock GTX card as I said in the post.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
There should be no graphical errors as it is currently running the stock GTX card as I said in the post.
A black screen with only the white cursor does indeed indicate a problem with graphics. If your video card were working correctly (driver maybe) you would see Windows 7 starting up. (I'm sure the card is OK since there's no problem running OS X.)

What I should have asked you in my first reply... did you install drivers for Windows 7 x 64 bit? The drivers are either going to be on your Snow Leopard DVD or downloaded from Apple via a Boot Camp update.

Another suggestion to try is attempt to start Windows in Safe Mode to see if you can get the startup on screen at least. Hold down your F8 key to see if you can get it to start in safe mode.

And don't get off too quick.... I said your post was too long and complicated to address each part, not too long to read; otherwise I would have never replied in the first place.

Let us know about the drivers and Windows safe mode.
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fifthmanstandin

 
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Once again, there is no windows. There is no windows installed.

"After doing that I booted up the mac hard drive, went to bootcamp and selected windows hard drive and let bootcamp do it's thing. I noticed that the new 10.8.5 interface with bootcamp was a little difference but essentially the same thing. The disc in question is Windows 7 Ultimate with SP1 64 bit. I've used this same disc plenty of times without issue. As soon as it finishes the format it kills all programs, goes to a log out/reboot screen, restarts (pretty normal) and then suddenly....black screen with white cursor. "

There is no windows installed. Bootcamp wipes the drive before it installs. It is now an empty dedicated hard drive for a windows install. there is no windows installed.
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mrplow

 
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If it fails to complete the format or immediately as it appears to finish the format. It's most likely the disk itself at fault. The next step is the Windows installer unpacking the install files to the disk from the DVD. That's not happening, so again as you've eliminated DVD errors, it points to the HDD.

Do you have a spare drive you can try as an alternative or maybe disconnect the current drive and partition the OSX or data HDD to accommodate bootcamp as a troubleshooting/temp measure?

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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fifthmanstandin

 
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Nope. HD is fine.

It was the DVD drive, particularly the SATA drive that was the issue. The original DVD drive crapped out mid install. I found that OSX runs in AHCI mode and can detect all the sata ports while running, when you run boot camp it goes over to legacy mode for the windows install. Legacy does not detect the sata port running the SATA DVD drive and so it starts the install and says 'where's the dvd drive? and goes to the error screens'. The fix was to find an old IDE drive. Note that you won't have this problem on a MacPro 4.1 model or newer but the 3.1 still has the old IDE cables, hence the issue. Once I got the IDE drive running everything was good.
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