I have an iMac (bought in 2011) and I recently upgraded it with Yosemite. I am trying to install Windows 7 on it via Bootcamp.

However, its optical drive does not work, so I chose the USB key solution using the trick of modifying the file info.plist of Bootcamp (type 'usb bootcamp youtube' in google to see a video of this trick).

So I follow the process religiously and end up with the classic and famous boring screen 'No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key'.

So I tried to use Unetbootin ( http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net ) to make my USB Key bootable, and tried to boot on it through the screen that appears when you maintain the Option key (Alt button) while starting the mac. Result: I never managed to have my Unetbootin-formatted USB key appear on this screen :(

I read some stuff about reFit ( http://refit.sourceforge.net ) and GParted, but I just don't know how to use them...

If someone managed to install Windows 7 on his/her iMac with Yosemite using a USB Key, please help me understand why I can't see the USB as a boot option.

  • Welcome to Ask Different. If no one has a good answer, be sure to search the site for similar questions and add a specific error message to your post. Also, by listing the exact steps you took to make your USB stick and whether it works on another computer might help narrow down where your setup is failing you.
    – bmike
    Jan 24, 2015 at 18:06
  • It might be an issue with your specific iMac/Bootcamp version not supporting this.
    – Jan
    Jan 24, 2015 at 19:38
  • Try this: Creating A Bootable USB Of Windows 8.1 On OS X?. I can not see what difference which version of windows you have. Jan 25, 2015 at 1:44

2 Answers 2


Found this on an apple forum. It'll allow you to create a bootable USB on older macs through boot camp without an optical disk. I used this method on my late 2011 mbp and I now have windows 8.1 pro running on it perfectly::

Before you do anything, make a backup of Info.plist or the whole Boot Camp Assitant app so that you can go back if necessary. Rename it something like "Info old.plist" or "Original Boot Camp Assistant."

First, edit the plist of Boot Camp Assistant:

  1. Go to Applications/Utilities
  2. Right click Boot Camp Assistant and view package contents
  3. Find Info.plist in the Contents folder and edit it in Text Edit (it will make you duplicate the file first)
  4. You want to edit FOUR things:
    • Add your model to DARequiredROMVersions
    • Delete the word "Pre" from UEFIModels and add your model
    • Delete the word "Pre" from USBBootSupportedModels and add your model
    • Remove your model from Win7OnlyModels (if its there)

To add your model to these lines, just copy and paste an exsiting row and replace the data between the two tags with your model code. You can find the right codes to use for the plist by going to Apple Menu > About This Mac > More Info > System Report. Use the "Boot ROM Version" and "Model Identifier" as appropriate in the plist.

  1. Once you make these changes, save the file and replace the old Info.plist with your new one. It will ask you to type your password.

The last step is to do a code sign. Boot Camp Assitant will not run if it's been edited. You need to resign it. Open Terminal (use spotlight to find it) and type this:

sudo codesign -fs - /Applications/Utilities/Boot\ Camp\ Assistant.app

It will probably ask for your password. Then it will say you need to download a developer tool from Apple. Agree to download it. (You don't need to install the whole X-Code, if it asks.) Once its been installed (its automatic), you need to go BACK to Terminal and run that command again. This time it will work.

After you've done that - open your hacked Boot Camp Assitant (it should run now) and have it make the Windows installation drive for you. Have the Windows ISO handy, and plug in a flash drive thats about 4-8 GB or more. The entire flash drive will be erased. This process can take a while. When its done, restart your mac and hold the option key. The USB drive that Boot Camp made for you will be there for you to install windows from. Its a yellow disk icon labeled EFI Boot.

  • It didn't work. The USB drive created is named WININSTALL and not EFI Boot, and I can't see it on the boot menu when I hold the option key.
    – piof
    Jan 24, 2015 at 18:13
  • In bootcamp was there an option to partition your hard drive? You won't boot up from the usb.. The usb is used to just install windows on the partition
    – Rebs
    Jan 24, 2015 at 18:23
  • Yes at some point it asked me how I wanted to split my HD between OS X and Windows
    – piof
    Jan 24, 2015 at 18:30
  • Did you do that?
    – Rebs
    Jan 24, 2015 at 18:39
  • Yep, I did that. Basically I edited the info.plist file exactly like you said, and then launched the bootcamp assistant with the three options ticked. It formatted my USB Key, downloaded the drivers to install on Windows, partitioned my hard drive, and restarted. Did I do something wrong?
    – piof
    Jan 24, 2015 at 18:42

Has it occurred to anyone that the reason you can not boot is because you actually can't? The the iMac12,2 is listed as one of the PreUSBBootSupportedModels in the info.plist for BootCamp. The identifier iMac12,2 represents the 2011 iMac 27 inch model. Most likely the iMac models built before 2012 do not have firmware that supports booting windows from a USB port.

You watched a YouTube video that showed how to trick BootCamp into allowing the creation of the USB device. You probably succeeded. It probably works fine on 2012 or newer iMac.

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