I have a 2011 MBP and I just replaced my optical drive with a hard drive. I wanted to know the easiest and free way to boot up windows 8.1 on one of the hard drives using only the iso and a flash drive.I attempted using bootcamp, but it wouldn't work because I don't have an optical drive anymore.

  • Many hoops to jump through once your Superdrive is gone - you need to use Bootcamp, even if it doesn't want you to. There are a few guides on it, try this one - andrewsavory.com/blog/2011/2156
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 3, 2015 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


You should be able to simply boot up off of the Windows USB installer, and install onto the second drive. You may need to temporarily remove the OS X drive before installing, as I have heard windows doesn't like seeing other OS's. You may want to do anyway, just to make absolutely sure you are not harming the OS X install.

Once you have it installed, you will want to install the Bootcamp drivers. You should be able to download them online.

  • Tired that, but the usb won't show up when booting or when I go to start up disk in system preferences
    – Rebs
    Jan 3, 2015 at 7:34
  • The Mac should see the Windows installer USB as a bootable disk, if it doesn't then there is likely something wrong with your installer. Maybe give this a go: intowindows.com/how-to-create-windows-8-1-bootable-usb-on-mac
    – Max
    Jan 3, 2015 at 8:20

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