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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Can't get Windows 8.1 to install! Please help
    So I tried going through the normal process of boot camp on my Macbook pro, installed the windows 8.1 ISO to the usb through boot camp, installed the windows mac support files. Divided up the partitions and restarted, setup wouldn't work.

    I then tried this workaround step by step:
    https://discussions.apple.com/messag...45484#23545484

    I was able to boot to windows install but got the error that the disk is MBR and needs to be GPT for windows to recognize.
    So i googled the issue and tried this workaround:

    partitioning - Windows detects GPT disk as MBR in EFI boot - Super User

    Error went away, but now when I format the partition it says "windows cannot be installed to this disk"

    I even tried using a USB stick created for windows, and it wouldn't even boot. I've tried several times to do all the different steps multiple different ways, and every time I solve one issue I run into another. It is so frustrating I've wasted so much time trying this. I'm no tech noobie so this shouldn't be such a grueling & difficult process...

    Running:
    Mac OSX Mavericks 10.9.1
    Macbook Pro 2011 Modded with Samsung Extreme solid state drive & 1 TB HDD in CD drive.
    Windows 8.1 USB ISO

    If anyone could help me out with instructions as to what I can do I would be so happy! Please and thank you.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    Which drive are you trying to install Windows 8.1 on? You can not install Windows 8.1 or any eligible Windows to a drive that's sitting in the optical drive slot. Windows will only install to the primary boot drive location and that's the SATA slot not the IDE slot (optical drive).

    This would not matter on a Windows machine because you can switch the BIOS primary and secondary drive positions for installation. That can not be done on a Mac.

  3. #3


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    No I'm not, I'm installing in the same drive as I have OSX, the SSD.

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Pretty confusing.

    First up you need to burn Windows .iso to a DVD as your MBP has an optical drive. That is the only way you can install. You mention installing to the usb. Microsfot does not permit installation of Windows on an external drive if that is what you mean. Anti-piracy measure. And BootCamp does the partitioning of the hard drive, which must be one single partition only.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5

    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewbeatz303 View Post
    No I'm not, I'm installing in the same drive as I have OSX, the SSD.
    That's fine. But the part I missed and Harry caught is that your 2011 machine has an optical drive. Boot Camp will not ordinarily allow Windows to be installed via USB when an optical drive is present. As Harry indicated, burn the iso to a DVD and install that way.

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Which drive are you trying to install Windows 8.1 on? You can not install Windows 8.1 or any eligible Windows to a drive that's sitting in the optical drive slot. Windows will only install to the primary boot drive location and that's the SATA slot not the IDE slot (optical drive).

    This would not matter on a Windows machine because you can switch the BIOS primary and secondary drive positions for installation. That can not be done on a Mac.
    Thanks for the reminder. My Windows XP installation is on a hard drive in the optical bay. I was thinking about upgrading it to Wn 7. I would probably have spent hours trying to figure that out.

    Time for plan B.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    If anything about my explanation is confusing i'm happy to clear things up.

    I took my CD drive out and put a 1 TB HDD in. I don't have a CD drive in my mac anymore, so that isn't really an option...

    All i'm trying to do is have my system internal SSD Have A OSX Partition & a Windows Partition. Nothing to do with my other 1 TB HDD.

    I've seen people do it online with a USB drive. I found a workaround to make bootcamp install my ISO to a USB, I'm able to boot into the windows installation through USB, it just errors when I try to install to the partition I created.

    I'm not using pirated windows, I have legal software that works perfectly fine on my desktop.

  8. #8

    chscag's Avatar
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    I've seen people do it online with a USB drive. I found a workaround to make bootcamp install my ISO to a USB, I'm able to boot into the windows installation through USB, it just errors when I try to install to the partition I created.
    We never said it was impossible. There are work arounds that can be used, however, they sometimes do not work as expected. I read through both of the links you provided and have to admit that I would have given up. Lots of work to do something that should have been simple. I believe the problem stems from the fact that you're using USB to do the installation. The first work around link you listed should have worked.

    Any chance that you might want to install Windows 8.1 using virtual software? Parallels, Fusion or the free Virtual Box?

  9. #9

    Slydude's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone here is accusing you of doing anything illegal. You and I are being bitten by the same problem for the same reason. If I'm understanding what the guys are saying correctly, Windows is expecting an optical drive to be present on most systems. Booting from USB is supported if the system did not originally have an optical drive present.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    We never said it was impossible. There are work arounds that can be used, however, they sometimes do not work as expected. I read through both of the links you provided and have to admit that I would have given up. Lots of work to do something that should have been simple. I believe the problem stems from the fact that you're using USB to do the installation. The first work around link you listed should have worked.

    Any chance that you might want to install Windows 8.1 using virtual software? Parallels, Fusion or the free Virtual Box?
    I'm trying to use video software that I only have a windows license for & other software that is windows only. It is very processor intensive, so i'd rather be able to have all my system resources available and not use a virtual windows desktop.

    Yeah, Slydude I understand I was just trying to make it clear that i wasn't using anything pirated, in case people thought that was possibly the reason it wasn't working.

    The annoying thing is the USB boots, so I don't see why it would matter whether I have an optical drive or not. Windows just says "Sorry windows cannot be installed on this partition see log files for more information"

  11. #11


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    The only thing i didn't do from that workaround was

    "1. Create USB stick using Apple Bootcamp Assistant. This procedure only works with it.
    2. When it Bootamp assitant reboots your machine you need to interrupt the installation.
    3. When you hear the startup sound, hold option until it presents you with login options."

    As I had already previously gone through the boot camp steps & created the boot camp USB, I didn't partition it through boot camp before going into the OSX disk utility and deleting it and then creating a new exfat partition.

    Basically I started at step 8:
    Now press plus to add a new partition which will likely be names Macintosh HD2

    Because like I said i had already created the USB with windows. But would that even make a difference if i started over and did it from the beginning?

    Sorry if this is confusing, I don't really know how to explain much better its kind of complicated.

  12. #12

    chscag's Avatar
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    Because like I said i had already created the USB with windows. But would that even make a difference if i started over and did it from the beginning?

    Sorry if this is confusing, I don't really know how to explain much better its kind of complicated.
    I understand about needing to run Windows natively especially in doing intensive video work. As for starting over from the beginning and following the first link step by step, that's up to you. It should work if I understand everything he did.

    One thing I wanted to point out and missed... is that Windows 8 and 8.1 are EFI aware and can be installed that way. You may have to do some looking to find out how to install it using an EFI boot rather than fool with Boot Camp. We had a lengthy thread here about 6 months ago with a person who did just that.

    The other thing that complicates your install is the fact that the IDE slot now has a hard drive residing there instead of an optical drive. I know that can be worked around but it just adds to the difficulty of getting things working right.

  13. #13

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Never suggested any legality whatsoever. Explaining if you were trying to install on an external USB drive as you said this

    "installed the windows 8.1 ISO to the usb'

    Now we know you meant a USB thumb drive.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  14. #14


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    Yeah, I mean I've tried the OSX Utility solution like 3 or 4 different times, I don't think its going to work, I've also read other people having problems. Really stupid, this process shouldn't be so difficult.

    Ahhh there we go! Windows install through EFI, I will look into that. Lengthy process, but this looks like the only option I got.

    Thank you VERY much for your help chscag, you have been helpful and I appreciate it greatly! Much love, thanks again buddy.

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