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I am running Mojave still (if that matters, but could update to Catalina), and want to dual-boot Windows 10 for the odd occasion when i need to run a program that is windows only.. or debug something.. but crucially don't want to virtualise.

Not being a massively experienced macOS user (only switch this past year), i've read that bootcamp does some funky things with the partition table, resulting in a MBR/GPT hybrid? Is this still the case? Even though Windows 10 has been UEFI for ages now?

I was planning to simply do a UEFI boot from a USB drive with Windows 10 it, and go from there... will i struggle with drivers without Bootcamp, and is that partition still going to be available in something like parallels though?

Thanks in advance!

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  • Just a note, "Even though Windows 10 has been UEFI for ages now?" is not always true. Windows 10 can boot off of Legacy BIOS systems also. – Todd May 26 '20 at 20:46
  • @Todd: Your commant is true. For example, if a Mac was upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, then the Mac would be BIOS booting Windows 10. However, all Macs capable of running Catalina are also capable of UEFI booting Windows 10. – David Anderson May 26 '20 at 22:38
  • @Todd good point, to confirm, i have never installed Windows 10 using MBR, always UEFI.. which is what i meant, this was admittedly unclear in the post 👍🏻 – m1nkeh May 27 '20 at 7:29
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Based on the information in your question, Windows 10 UEFI boots on your model Mac. Most users use the Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows 10. You do not have to use the Boot Camp Assistant, however the easiest way to download the Windows Support Software (the drivers) is to use the Boot Camp Assistant. Once you have the Windows Support Software, you can install using a flash drive if you wish.

You can use the Boot Camp Assistant to download the Windows Support Software without actually creating a partition and installing Windows.

You will not need hybrid partitioning to run Windows 10 on your Mac. This is true whether or not you use the Boot Camp Assistant to install.

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  • Ah ok, super.. Thanks for the response, to confirm it's not about needing hybrid.. it's about actively avoiding it 🙂. So to confirm, using bootcamp will not result in some strange hybrid? This was my concern, maybe what i had read was v. old info.. – m1nkeh May 27 '20 at 7:28
  • Oh, also i read this question (apple.stackexchange.com/questions/312737), which you also answered where you state "High Sierra removes hybrid partitioning in favor of a fully protected MBR", can you expand on that at all, what is a fully protected MBR? Ty! – m1nkeh May 27 '20 at 7:41
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    The Boot Camp Assistant will not use hybrid partitioning when installing Windows 10 on a Mac running Mojave and is capable of running Catalina. – David Anderson May 27 '20 at 9:37
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    The UEFI specification requires the Master Boot Record (MBR) table to contain a single type EE hexadecimal entry which covers the entire drive, except for sector 0 which is where the MBR is stored. This has been refered to as a full protected MBR. The purpose of this is to fool legacy software into believing the drive contains a single partition of a type unknown to the legacy software. Hybrid partitioning reduces the size of this type EE entry so other partitions can be added to the MBR table. A BIOS booting Windows is considered by the UEFI specification as legacy software. – David Anderson May 27 '20 at 9:58
  • cracking, thanks for the info! 🙂 – m1nkeh May 27 '20 at 9:59

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