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This question may at first glance seem to be a duplicate but I am asking for an update and clarification to an unsolved problem.

After extensively scanning the web, it seems that the consensus is that even if one were to force bootcamp in a macbook pro 2010 model (with optical dvd drive removed) to recognize usb, there remains the problem with EFI vs GPT booting. See the previous AskDifferent thread: Mac Mini 2010: DualBoot (BootCamp) OSX Mavericks + Windows 8.1

Has this community come up with a solution?

  • Well refresh your browser. Also, you need to add a @David somewhere in your comment, or I may not be notified you posted it. – David Anderson May 30 '15 at 9:20
  • EFI vs GPT make no sense. I think you meant MBR vs UEFI booting. GPT means GUID Partitioning Table. This is the modern replacement for the old Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning table. Although technically, a GPT contains a MBR partitioning table and UEFI booting allows for a legacy MBR booting mode. – David Anderson May 30 '15 at 9:30
  • I updated the steps for Windows 8.1. If you have any problems, let me know. – David Anderson May 30 '15 at 17:48
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Apple iMac and MacBook Pro models did not have UEFI firmware and the ability to boot Windows installers from USB flash drives until the 2012 model year.

Your firmware does not have the ability to boot from a USB flash drive Windows installer. You should install Windows using your DVD drive. If you no longer have a DVD drive, you may still be able to install using the Windows 8 iso file. This have been done successfully using Windows 7 on a 2010 15" macbook pro (MBP6,1). If you wish, I could update the procedure for Windows 8. (Or are you installing 8.1?). Anyway, go here for more information.

To install directly using the GPT partitioning table is only recommended if your computer has a UEFI. Your model does not. Most people who succeeded usually have a problems with one or more drives not working properly. There is no advantage in trying. Installing using the MBR partitioning table will work without any problems.

You don't have to use BootCamp. Most who don,'t, want something different than the default; such as an extra NTFS or ExFat partition. The procedure depends on what you have in mind.

Updated Procedure for Installing Windows 8.1 Using VirtualBox

The original steps are posted here.

Steps 1-14. No change

Steps 15-17. Substitute Windows 8.1 for Windows 7.

Step 18. No change

Step 19. Images slightly different, but not worth updating.

Step 20. The rest the virtual machine installation will be repeated again after booting Windows on the physical machine. For most questions, you can use the default answers. Use the provided answers below when the following windows first appear. When asked a second time, you can provide your own answers.

(Hint: For a better view, click on the image or open in a new window.)

When the following window appears, enter a name for the computer. You will enter this same name later. I used the name Shark. Choose any name you like.

When the window below appears, choose Customize.

VirtualBox creates a virtual Public network for your virtual machine. Therefore I would click on "No" in the window shown below.

To be safe, I would not let any updates download or install until after the Boot Camp Support Software (the drivers) is installed. Therefore, when the window below appears, I would choose "Don't set up Windows Update (not recommended)".

When the window below appears, choose "Create a new account".

Select "Sign in without a Microsoft account", when the window below appears.

Enter a temporary user name, password and password hint, in the window shown below. You can delete or disable this account later.

Step 21. Replace

From the Start Menu, select "Computer" to open a window containing the hard disk drives and devices with removable storage.

with

Right click on the Start Menu and select "File Explorer" to open a window containing the devices and drives.

The first image will be slightly different. Replace

Select "Start Menu→All Programs→Accessories", then right click on "Command Prompt" and select "Run as administrator", as shown in the image below.

with

Right click on the Start Menu and select "Command Prompt (Admin)".

Disregard the second image. The Desktop shown in the third image will be different.

Step 22. Replace Windows Explorer with File Explorer.

Step 23. Same instructions. Replace image with the following. This step takes a long time to complete.

Step 24-26. No changes.

  • I have windows 8.1 pro - iso, legitimate copy... can you update the procedure? I will follow it. – gordon50 May 30 '15 at 9:58
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You do not need to use BootCamp for Windows 8 at all. Macs come with GPT-partitioned disks by default and Windows 8 in EFI mode now supports GPT disks; just create a partition with Disk Utility, boot Windows 8 in EFI mode and it will be able to format that partition, install on it and boot from it.

The whole point of BootCamp is to fake MBR-partitioning while keeping the actual disk in GPT, because old versions of Windows only supported MBR and did not recognize GPT. Since Windows 8, that problem is gone. Simply creating a partition and installing is exactly how it should work; BootCamp is an ugly workaround which only exists because Microsoft wasn't very quick in supporting the newest technologies. BootCamp is not needed anymore.

The only problem that remains is that you have to download drivers for your Mac hardware from Apple website from under OS X, put them onto USB and install from under Windows.

I did not try with 15" macbook specifically, but I currently have Windows 8.1 installed on Late-2012 iMac, and I have never used BootCamp for that, just Disk Utility and bootable Windows 8.1 USB drive.

(Special note: this will not work with Fusion drives because Windows cant recognize Apple CoreStorage technology and no drivers yet exist).

  • So with my macbook pro 2010 with the DVD optical drive removed - I can just use the usb key? – gordon50 May 30 '15 at 8:07
  • @gordon50: No you can not. Wait for my answer. – David Anderson May 30 '15 at 8:39

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