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Running High Sierra (APFS, unencrypted) with up-to-date Boot Camp Assistant (6.1.0) — clean OS install a couple days ago.

Running into trouble at every step of the process, with both Windows 10 64-bit and Windows 8.1 64-bit (clean ISOs downloaded directly from Microsoft).

Use Boot Camp Assistant to create partition (122GB on 1TB SSD). It downloads Windows Support files, but 9 times out of 10 the laptop crashes at the step of “Saving Windows Support files” – but force restarting allows me to alt/option-boot into the Windows installer anyway: great.

Boot into Windows 10 installer, format Boot Camp partition, select Windows version (have tried both Pro and Home) — it gets through copying, expanding, installing Windows files… but then I get an error every time at "Installing Updates” – error code 0x80070002, can't find drivers compatible with this hardware — Windows will restart (doesn't restart, just goes to a black backlit screen and stays there until I force restart).

Ok. Delete the partition, download the Windows Support Drivers to a FAT-formatted USB drive, then repeat all the above. Same exact thing.

Ok. Delete, repeat, but once booted into the Windows installer, first click "Load drivers" and select the OSXRESERVED partition: shows up all the driver folders, but shows no actual driver files when you navigate to any of the folders. Un-check "Hide drivers that aren't compatible with this hardware”, and a few drivers show up for each piece of hardware — install them all. Proceed to Windows install – no dice, same error at “Installing updates” stage.

Ok. Delete, repeat, “Load drivers” but check the USB instead of OSXRESERVED — same thing, folders are there but drivers don't show up unless I un-check the ‘Hide non-compatible drivers’ option.

Ok. Try again with Windows 8.1 instead of Windows 10, and older version of the support software (Boot Camp Support 5.1.5722) on the USB.

This time Boot Camp Assistant actually completes the “Saving support files” portion of the automatic driver download, and asks for admin password for restart, instead of crashing. Great. Boot into Windows 8.1 installer – it requires a license key instead of having the “I don't have a license key” option, but find one online to get me to the next step. This time it hangs indefinitely at 24% of copying Windows files.

Anyone have any advice? Am I missing something obvious here?

  • Your title mentions no signed drivers, but the the word signed is missing from the body of question. Why? How to you intend to active Windows? I ask this because you are trying different versions. Can you document where you acquired the Windows software? How to tried to use the Boot Camp Assistant to just download the Boot Camp Support Software? If you could succeed at just downloading, you best bet would be to try installing Windows without any additional help from the Boot Camp Assistant. – David Anderson Feb 23 '18 at 23:34
  • I mixed up two different error messages when posting my question — "no signed drivers" was actually the message when I tried to manually browse for drivers to install from Windows installer ("Load drivers"). I have indeed downloaded just the Bootcamp drivers and tried to install Windows without further help from BCA, using a bunch of methods (most recently yours below). The actual error message I get every time is: “Windows cannot install required files. The file does not exist. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. Error code: 0x80070002” – dubyaD Mar 1 '18 at 3:21
  • You say you have tried a bunch of methods. Have you tried installing without the use of a flash drive? There is also another method that does not use the Windows installer. Instead you install using Windows commands. This method is about as low level as it gets. There is also the method where you first install using a VirtualBox VM, but with actual drive partitions. Next, you use SysPrep to generalize Windows and then boot without using Virtual Box. Although, I have never heard of anyone trying this on a 2105 Mac. If interested in any of these methods, let me know. – David Anderson Mar 1 '18 at 4:01
  • You could also install a free copy of Virtual Box. This would allow you to install Windows in a virtual machine. This is good way to test if your Windows 10 ISO file is any good. If you try this, make sure you use a EFI boot method. – David Anderson Mar 1 '18 at 4:04
  • I would be happy to try either method — I'm just about ready to sell this MacBook and buy a used 2016 one… (I've heard that there is a known issue with the AMD GPU in this particular model — one of the things I tried was replacing the AMD Graphics driver in the Bootcamp drivers with updated ones from bootcampdrivers.com, but it didn't help.) – dubyaD Mar 1 '18 at 5:50
1

Below are the instructions for installing Windows 10.

Note: To get a better view of the images shown below, either click on an image or open an image in a new window.

  1. Remove all Windows related partitions that may have been created by previous attempts to install Windows. When finished, the output from the command diskutil list disk0 should appear similar to what is shown below. I assume your sizes will be slightly different.

    /dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk0
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
       2:                 Apple_APFS Container disk1         999.8 GB   disk0s2
    
  2. The command below will create the 122 GB "BOOTCAMP" partition on your internal drive. The space occupied by this partition will be used for installing Windows.

    Note: Since I do not know the exact size of your Apple_APFS partition, I assumed the partition was 999.8 GB in size. Since this is unlikely, you may have to adjust the value of 877.8 GB.

    sudo  diskutil  apfs  resizeContainer  disk0s2  877.8G  FAT32  BOOTCAMP  122G
    
  3. Use the Disk Utility application to erase a 16 GB or larger USB flash drive. Enter the settings shown below in the popup window. When finished, do not remove the flash drive.

    y1

  4. Use the Boot Camp Assistant to download the Window Support Software. Look for the "Action" pulldown on the Boot Camp Assistant menu bar. On my Mac, these files were downloaded to the ~/WindowsSupport directory.

    Note: You can not download the Boot Camp Support Software for your Mac computer from any Apple website. You must use the Boot Camp Assistant to download an officially copy of this software.

  5. Mount the Windows iso file and copy the contents to the "WINSTALL" volume. You will need the use the cp command from a Terminal application window. Below is the exact command I usually use. The string ESD-ISO is the name of the mounted ISO file from Microsoft. If necessary, make the appropriate modifications.

    cp  -Rv  /volumes/ESD-ISO/  /volumes/WINSTALL
    

    Note: This command will take a while to complete. Be patient!

  6. Copy the Windows Support Software to the "WINSTALL" volume. Below is the exact command I usually use. If necessary, make the appropriate modifications.

    cp  -Rv  ~/WindowsSupport/  /volumes/WINSTALL
    
  7. Continue starting at step 3 of my answer to the question Boot Camp Assistance is stuck on create a partition?

  • Thanks so much for your in-depth answer. Your method works fine until around 70% of the "Getting files ready for installation" step, and then I get the following error: “Windows cannot install required files. The file does not exist. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. Error code: 0x80070002” I have gotten this error multiple times, with different Windows ISOs (all clean), with different methods of creating a bootable USB, with third-party AMD drivers… every time the same error. – dubyaD Mar 1 '18 at 3:14
  • Where or how did you acquire the Windows iso file? – David Anderson Mar 1 '18 at 3:23
  • There is always a possibility of an error in the procedure. I can suggest downloading the iso file from the official Microsoft website Download Windows 10 Disc Image (ISO File). If the procedure fails using this ISO, then I will try the procedure on a 2013 iMac using the same ISO file. If the procedure works, then we will know there is a problem with your current Windows ISO file. Note: When installing, I usually choose "Windows 10 Pro". – David Anderson Mar 1 '18 at 3:40
  • I've tried the version from the official Microsoft website, plus a couple from windowiso.net (most advice I have seen says to use a 1607 "Anniversary" version, not the newer 1709 Fall Creator's Update build, which is all that shows up for me on the Microsoft site). The one I'm using now is Windows 10 Home Single Language from the windowiso site: I know the ISO itself is good, because I successfully installed/booted it on an external hard drive. – dubyaD Mar 1 '18 at 5:43
  • Normally, the Windows installer will not permit an installation to an external hard drive. Could you explain how you were able to do this? – David Anderson Mar 1 '18 at 10:19

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