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Create Windows 7 install USB using Boot Camp


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Tarek

 
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Hello there,

I have a mid-2010 MacBook Pro that is running Mac OS X Lion v. 10.7.2.

I'm aware that we're supposed to be able to create a windows 7 install disk using a USB flash drive rather than having to use a DVD, but unfortunately I'm not able to do that.

When I open Boot Camp Assisant, the option is there, but it's not really check-able, or in other words, you can't really check it, it's just there.

Is there a reason for this? I have all the latest updates except for two which I just found, and they are Java and Digital Camera Raw Compatibility so they really have nothing to do with Boot Camp Assisant.

I tried booting from the USB flash drive using rEFIt but it unfortunately gives me a black screen and says "No bootable device found.. please insert a bootable device" or something of that sort.

Please help me with this.

Thank you very much.
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Tarek

 
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I forgot to mention that I tried formatting (deleted all the Windows 7 files) the USB flash drive as Windows NT Filesystem using Disk Utility hoping that Boot Camp Assistant would read it and let me check it, but unfortunately that did not work.

I'm going to attempt to format it as MS-DOS (FAT) at the moment and see if that works. Although I am pretty sure installing Windows when you're USB Flash Drive is formatted as NTFS is much more efficient and way faster.

EDIT: Nope.. Didn't work.

EDIT #2: Tried formatting it as FAT32 and then loading Windows 7 on it using my PC (and made sure it boots correctly on my PC) and then using rEFIt to boot it, but still gives the "No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key" error.

What am I doing wrong here, folks? :S

EDIT #3: I am starting to think maybe I'm not able to use that option because it is designed for MacBook Airs only (no optical drive)?
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Tarek

 
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I am honestly getting crazy and frustrated with this. I slept and woke up and immediately started working on it. To be completely honest, I can just go and buy a DVD disc from the shop next to me and install Windows 7 using it, however, I want to learn how to do it without having to use a DVD disc, or get to the bottom of whether it is possible (hundreds of sources claim it can be done) on an Intel-Mac, regardless of whether it's an Air, Pro, or an iMac.

My latest attempt (which I'm currently undergoing) is to install Windows using Parallels Desktop 7 to the Boot Camp partition, and then editing the BC partition's MBR (Master-Boot Record) in order to continue the installation from there rather than from the virtual machine. I sure hope this is going to work, although it didn't the first time and gave me an error after the "Expanding Windows Files" thing.

If anyone has any information, please provide them as they could be useful to me and everyone else.
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Tarek

 
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Just as I thought, it didn't work.



I have a feeling this is because of a message that popped up before I began the installation process, and it read something like: Any changes you attempt to do to the physical Hard Disk (in this case with the Boot Camp partition) will not be applied except in the virtual machine. OR something like that! I honestly thought that indicated something about the Boot Camp Partition itself not being updated with the MBR, but I guess I was mistaken.

I think I'm giving up.
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dtravis7

 
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I tried to help another user here with Windows 7 or 8 on a Bootable USB Flash drive and nothing either of us did worked. Not sure why but Windows 8 DP does say it will not boot off any external drive!
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Tarek

 
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Yeah, it sucks. I don't know what's up with Apple and their fear of USB flash drives. I mean if you want to include the option of loading Windows 7 onto a USB flash drive in Boot Camp Assistant, at least make it clickable!

The whole refit thing didn't work either, though, but I found out why, and it's because the MacBook Air is configured to boot from Hard Drive OR an external USB (optical, hd, etc.) whereas the MacBook Pro and others that already have an optical drive are set to boot from either the HD or the OD only.

The article that said that may be wrong, but it definitely makes sense. I wish the boot order was changeable.
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I boot from USB sticks weekly on my iMac 2007. Works great. Linux, Lion, FreeBSD, even Haiku, just not Windows 7 or 8.

All I have to do is hold down OPTION at startup and a boot menu shows with all bootable devices. Never had that issue till I tried to make a bootable W7 or W8 Flash drive.
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Tarek

 
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Yeah, I guess. Would Windows XP work? The reason I got 64-bit is because the 32-bit reads my RAM as 2.18GB only and that's not good because I would like to play Battlefield 3 Online and it'll be really slow when there are over 30 people in the game!
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It's not an Apple restriction, it's an MS prohibition against installing any version of Windows to an external device - flash drive, hard drive, etc. There are work arounds posted in various places on the web, however, be aware that it will violate the MS EULA to do so.
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dtravis7

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
It's not an Apple restriction, it's an MS prohibition against installing any version of Windows to an external device - flash drive, hard drive, etc. There are work arounds posted in various places on the web, however, be aware that it will violate the MS EULA to do so.
That is what I figured was going on. Thanks for the conformation!
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Tarek

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
It's not an Apple restriction, it's an MS prohibition against installing any version of Windows to an external device - flash drive, hard drive, etc. There are work arounds posted in various places on the web, however, be aware that it will violate the MS EULA to do so.
Well, I sure am glad it's not Apple's fault because, well, the main reason I bought a Mac in the first place is because I had given up on Microsoft and their crap. I'd appreciate it if you can PM me any of those workarounds, unless it's against forum rules. Thank you very much for all the information.
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