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How do I remove macOS completely from my MacBook Air 2015 and install Windows 10 only after?

I have tried formatting my drive to GPT and tried booting a Windows Installation USB however I'm stuck at the installer not being able to find any drives.

  • Win10 is not going to see GPT partitioned HFS+ formatted drives. Try erasing the drive first (zero it out) and then partition MBR then format FAT32 – Allan Nov 22 '17 at 12:10
  • This is a fine thing to try, but if you reinstall macOS, you get the benefit of Apple boot camp application and all the windows drivers you will need for the hardware. As long as you know you’re making this harder on yourself, let the learning commence to do the install “the hard way”. (I use quotes since look on the right to several potential problems getting windows 10 running even with boot camp). – bmike Nov 22 '17 at 12:17
  • I am interested in this as well as I have a perfectly good, almost like new, MacBook Pro 17" late 2011. It will not let me upgrade to Mojave. So if Apple is going to screw me, why not install Windows on my perfectly good laptop. I was also thinking about going Linx as an alternative as well. I like my MacBook and already have upgraded it to 16 Meg Ram and a SSD. Both of which Apple said I could not do. – JTinDC Feb 28 '19 at 22:51
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Most people are going to assume that you are going the boot camp route. However, have you tried a fully UEFI Windows 10 install? Your update does not detail very much so it is important to possibly include pics since command line output will be limited preinstall. This is also treading along as unsupported but if you want to get your hands dirty it is an EXTREMELY good learning experience.

I've managed to do this quite a few times (albeit keeping macOS without boot camp). Here is a rough outline of what you need to do:

  1. Make sure your disk is labelled GPT. GPT is a disklabel not a formatting type. I believe you have done this, so it should be ok.

  2. Create a USB install of Windows 10 that is UEFI compatible.

  3. Insert the USB drive and hold down option. The bootloader should detect a Windows USB disk. Be sure to select the USB as the boot medium.

  4. This step is highly dependent on what happens next. If your macbook does not boot into the windows install screen, then you need to figure out why it can't load. Any errors would be helpful.

If you are able to get into the Windows install prompt, then you may run into issues with the installer detecting the hard drive. You may need to have a windows equivalent driver that you load via the installer to ensure your hardware is supported. Again it is dependent on what you see.

  1. Select the disk available. Format the drive/create partitions, allow install to finish.

  2. Reboot and let the installer finish the windows install.

  3. Install all boot camp drivers manually.

Lots of info is available. Most people will tell you to go the boot camp route, but I've found that the UEFI method results in MUCH quicker boot time. Let me know if you need anything.

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Download the Boot Camp drivers to a pen-drive, format the device using the Windows installer before installing. Run the bootcamp.exe once Windows is up and you'll have all the drivers you'll ever need. Make sure you get the right drivers for your device.

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This answer is a modified version of my answer to a different question. It assumes you already have macOS installed and have a Windows ISO in hand.

Before continuing, make sure that you have a backup of your data! I am not responsible for any damage caused by this guide. You have been warned.

You need a USB formatted as FAT32 with at least 8 GBs of free space... Skip to step 2 if you already have an installation media.

Step 1: Download and install unetbootin from here. Then run it and select Disk Image option on the screen. Select ISO option from the dropdown menu next to Disk Image text if it is not already selected. Then press the button with three dots (...) and select your Windows ISO image (assuming you already have one). Lastly, select your USB from the dropdown menu next to Drive text and press OK. This will burn the ISO image to the USB.

Step 1.1: To learn what your USB is called, open up a Terminal from Spotlight and type:

diskutil list

This will show you all of the drives connected to your computer. Your USB is something like /dev/disk1s1 or /dev/disk1s2 (but definitely not /dev/disk0). You can understand which one is your USB by searching for your USB's label.

Step 2: Now open up the Bootcamp assistant for the last time. Once it's opened, select Action > Download Windows Helper Software. This will download Bootcamp helper. Select the target as your desktop and continue.

Step 3: Once your bootcamp software is downloaded and unetbootin is done, copy the WindowsSupport folder to your USB's root directory.

Step 4: It's time to begin the installation! Reboot your MacBook and when it's powering on, press and hold Alt (option) key on your keyboard. Once boot manager appears, select the EFI Boot or Windows option. This will start the installer. Give it a few minutes and once the button to begin the installation appears, press it. Wait for it to start. Once it starts, select Custom installation option. This part is important!!! A list of volumes should have appeared now.

Step 4.1: This will destroy any data on your other volumes! Delete all of your partitions one by one. Once there is only free space left, create a new partition and install Windows on there.

Step 4.2: Wait for the installation to finish.

Step 4.3: Once the computer restarts, hold the alt key and select Windows or EFI Boot option with a hard drive icon.

Step 5: Once you fully setup Windows, select your USB from Windows Explorer and go to WindowsSupport folder. In that folder, run the setup program. Install it like a normal program and you are done!

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You must first use bootcamp with osx to create the partition. Once the partition is made and windows is working, then you can delete osx and allocate the memory to windows. You can see in the image below that only 200 is needed by the internal mac os (to boot the mac and so forth). Other than that, my bootcamp is the only os on the disk. Now I don't know what you'd do without a recovery partition if you wanted osx back for whatever reason. I don't see any reason to do so because having one os is much better than 2.

My disk for my mac.

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I've just succeeded in replacing OS X with Windows 10 on a late 2018 MacBook Pro with the touch bar.

NOTE: you'll need an external USB keyboard (and perhaps mouse) because MacBook's ones won't work before you install the drivers. Steps to follow:

  1. Open the Boot Camp application on OS X and download the Boot Camp Support Software, i.e. a package containing all the Windows drivers you'll need to install and smoothly run Windows 10. You can download that package via the Action menu entry in the Boot Camp application.

  2. Copy the content of the package to the root of a FAT32 USB pen (a 8GB pen will do the job).

  3. Create a bootable USB Windows installer. I made it on another Windows 10 machine, but I guess it's possible to make it on OS X too.

  4. Insert the Windows installer USB pen and reboot the MacBook Pro. Hold down the Option key until a boot menu appears. Boot from the Windows installer.

  5. Chose the Custom installation. You'll be asked to chose the drive where to install Windows to, but you probably won't see any storage device. Hence, insert the Boot Camp drivers USB pen and press Load drivers. There, you can browse the pen and select the Apple SSD driver (I don't remember what is the exact folder you have to select, but it's not hard to find out).

  6. Once the driver is installed, you can finally see your hard drive partitions. I deleted the OS X partition and created a new NTFS one.

  7. Complete the installation. Once Windows is booted, run the setup.exe executable in the Boot Camp USB pen. That will install all the needed drivers (network, keyboard and touch-pad, ...).

  8. Enjoy.

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The way I did it was to do everything with bootcamp:

  • Once booted into the windows install screen press FN-SHIFT-F10. This will open CMD.
  • Once CMD is open, type diskpart into the console. This will send you to the disc command section.
  • Then type in list. This will show a list of disks ready to install on.
  • Now type in select disk 0 (Disk 0 is where Macintosh HD is stored.)
  • Next, type clean. It will get rid of Macintosh HD, making it ready for the windows install.
  • You can exit CMD and continue with the install.

(Note: if the install restarts and goes back to the first step of the install, you will have to type these commands in again. This happened to me, but I doubt it will restart back 3 times.)

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