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I used to run Ubuntu on my mac but needed Windows so decided to reinstall El Capitan and use bootcamp. One major problem I always faced was that my mac didn't accept any startup key combinations, making everything much more difficult. I have a wired Windows keyboard, which i've tried on all 5 usb ports and with all possible combinations.

Bootcamp didn't let me use an .iso file to make the windows partition and i didn't have a windows DVD so I tricked it by mounting my Windows iso with Deamon Tools. Bootcamp created a partition and booted into a "No operating system found" screen. The mac did't accept any of my USBs so I finnaly found a Windows XP CD that I had and inserted it. It installed XP, so my initial plan was to upgrade, one OS at a time, to Windows 10, but the XP was 32-bit and didn't allow me to install a 64-bit Vista Upgrade. I still couldn't boot any USB installers so my only option was installing from within the OS.

Now finally I found a Windows 7 DVD, but Windows XP couldn't upgrade from it, so my only option was to get back to the "No operating system found" screen which I stupidly tried by destroying the Windows XP system.

After a reboot, the system still detected XP, just couldn't boot from it. No CDs/DVDs are being detected either.

So to recap, the system only boots to the Windows partition, which has a corrupted Windows XP that won't boot. I am unable to access the Startup Manage. I'm able to boot into Refind from a USB, but only after first removing the Hard Drive.

My assumed possible solutions:

  • Find a way to boot to Recovery or Startup Manager.
  • Find a way to Wipe the Windows partition so that it boots to El Capitan.
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    How about borrowing a Mac keyboard; that would at least give you the opt/boot – Tetsujin Feb 5 '18 at 16:23
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    You're a bit Catch 22 right now, you can't get it to boot to the Mac partition without the opt key or the software switch in Win Boot Camp. If you could get it to boot from an OS X USB stick you could do it from there, but I've never ever got a 3,1 to boot from USB; which leaves an OS X CD & the C key at boot, which it ought to recognise even from a Win keyboard – Tetsujin Feb 5 '18 at 16:48
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    @Tetsujin ,I did previously succeed with booting a El Capitan installer from Refind (without the hard drive in). At that point I would select startup disk, and choose the installer from the list, hit reboot, and at the exact moment the power was off, I would insert the HD, and that would boot the installer without the HD taking all the attention. But now I cant seem to boot anything from refind. – jazzzooo Feb 5 '18 at 16:55
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    Currently, you can install Windows XP 32 bit from a DVD? Do you know if this installation allowed for access to the internet? Or, do you have another computer that can access the internet? (Else how are you posting to this site?) Also, what is your desired final goal? In other words, what operation systems do you want installed? – David Anderson Feb 5 '18 at 17:28
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    Basically, you could install XP from DVD. Next install the Boot Camp Support Software. You can either download the software directly to XP. Or, you use another computer and download to a USB flash drive. Once you have the Boot Camp Support Software installed, you can have XP boot back to OS X. – David Anderson Feb 5 '18 at 17:31

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