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I am having endless issues while trying to install Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit via Bootcamp on my MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), i.e. MacBook Pro 10,1.

Firstly, when I try to create the bootable USB, it tells me only 64bit versions of Windows 7 is supported (which the ISO is). So after a long struggle, I ended up just installing the same ISO in a VM (and verifying that it is indeed 64bit...), and from there using the Microsoft Windows 7 USB Tool to create a bootable install USB. This is anyway strange since the 10,1 MBP is listed under the 32bit supported section in the Info.plist.

OK, so having the USB, and separately downloaded the support software, I try to continue with the install (the last option). Now it tells me that it can only install Windows 8...

Any help will be appreciated. I have never had this much issues on my older MBPs.

  • Your post is a little confusing. Which VM? If VirtualBox, then it is possible to install to your internal drive without creating a bootable USB. I am fairly sure the Microsoft Windows 7 USB Tool creates a USB that will not work on any Mac. Your comment "can only install Windows 8..." refers to what? The Boot Camp Assistant or the Boot Camp Support Software 5.1.5621? If you want to try to install without using the Boot Camp Assistant, let me know. This would be a BIOS/MBR install. – David Anderson Sep 14 '15 at 12:37
  • @DavidAnderson yes virtualbox. The usb that the sub tool creates is recognizable by Bootcamp. The "can only install windows 8" refers to Bootcamp. I cannot get to the point of the actual install starting – Nico Huysamen Sep 14 '15 at 14:17
  • Well, if you have not installed Windows, then you have not yet executed any software called Boot Camp. There is no software that executes under the OS X operating system that is called Boot Camp. There is a application call Boot Camp Assistant. There is Boot Camp Support Software that is copied from the internet to a USB flash drive. There is a partition labeled BOOTCAMP where Windows is to be installed. That is it, there is nothing else. If you have done this before, you must know Boot Camp is accessed from the Windows control panel or Windows task bar. – David Anderson Sep 14 '15 at 16:02
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Apparently, Apple is in the process of changing how Windows is installed on Mac's. So, what was true 6 weeks ago may not be true at the moment. Also what is true today, may disapper tomorrow.

VirtualBox can be used as a substitute for the Boot Camp Assistant. There two differing philosophies regarding how to do so. Both install using a legacy BIOS and MBR partition table.

The first method can be outlined as follows:

  1. Create FAT formatted partition to install Windows. This also creates a MBR partition table.
  2. Instruct VirtualBox to install Windows into the partition.
  3. Boot Windows in the virtual world and run sysprep. This prepares Windows to run in the physical world.
  4. Exit VirtualBox and boot Windows.
  5. Install the Boot Camp Support Software.

The actual steps for for Windows 7 are given here. This has been used successfully on Mac's older than 2012. I am not sure about the 2012 model, because the Boot Camp Support Software has the folder $WinPEDriver$ and the file AutoUnattend.xml. You may need the next method.

The second method uses VirtualBox to simulate a Windows PE. Windows is never installed or executed in the virtual world. The outline follows.

  1. Create FAT formatted partition to install Windows. This also creates a MBR partition table.

  2. Copy the files on the Windows iso to this partition.

  3. Copy the Boot Camp Support Software to this partition.

  4. Create a small image file to hold the MBR bootstrap code.

  5. Boot from the Windows iso using VirtualBox and run Windows commands modify both partitions. Quit VirtualBox.

  6. Copy the MBR bootstrap code to the MBR of the internal drive.

  7. Boot the Windows partition and install windows.

  8. Delete the iso files and the Boot Camp Support files. (optional)

I don't know if these steps are given anywhere. The closest would be here for Windows 10. A slightly differ version for windows 7 is given here

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