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I'm running Lion on an old MacBook, MacBook 2.1 Mid 2007. I want to install Windows 7.

I have an iso for Win 7 and create the partition and a usb installer with Boot Camp but when the machine restarts to install Win 7 apparently refuses to boot from the usb and then shows a non bootable device message.

My CD/DVD drive is dead and I've tested the iso with virtual-box and it boots.

  • How old? Can you give a year or some other information to help better identify the exact model? – David Anderson Nov 12 '18 at 9:51
  • Does Windows 7 include SP1? Also, is Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit? – David Anderson Nov 12 '18 at 16:14
  • i'm not sure beacuse i don't see any folder identified as SP1. this is strange because i have a kali linux usb stick that boots smoothly on this machine – jmac Nov 12 '18 at 16:32
  • Yes, but kali linux EFI boots. If does not matter if Windows 7 can EFI boot because Apple has not provided the drivers for any EFI booting version of Windows on your model Mac. You must BIOS boot and you can not BIOS boot Windows from an USB port on any model Mac. – David Anderson Nov 12 '18 at 16:42
  • that could mean that i will not be able to install win 7 using a usb stick? – jmac Nov 12 '18 at 16:49
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Windows 7 has to include Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Next, older Macs install Windows to use a BIOS boot method. Mac computers can not BIOS boot from flash drives.

If you have a working optical (DVD) drive, then you should use the drive to install Windows. If your optical drive is broken or missing, the you can still install Windows, but the procedure is fairly complicated. See Installing Windows 7 or 10 Pro 64 bit without DVD or Flash Drive for the procedure.

Some really old 64 bit Macs can not install 64 bit Windows without first modifying the Windows ISO file to remove the EFI boot method. This only applies when using the optical drive.

Officially, your Mac can only run 32 bit version of Windows. This is also true for my 2007 iMac, but I was able to run 64 bit Windows 7 anyway. So if you have 64 bit Windows, then the only way to know would be to try installing.

The Boot Camp Support Software 4.0.4033 for your Mac can be found at this link. Newer versions of the Boot Camp Support Software (Windows Support Software) will not contain the correct drivers for your Mac.

If you have problems installing the Boot Camp Support Software 4.0.4033, then read the instructions given here.

Just so you know, older Macs can usually run Windows 10. The oldest Mac I have running Windows 10 is a 2007 iMac. If you want to try the current version of Windows 10, the you can download the ISO file from this site. You do not need a license to install, but to continue to use Windows 10 you will eventually have to buy a license.

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Research has shown that apparently this model of macbook (2.1) can't boot from usb because firmware is not prepared for that. this model has a CD/DVD drive and firmware allows only windows to be installed from that source, even if the usb was made with a "hacked" Boot Camp assistant

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