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As the title says, I'm looking for a way to install Windows 10 on a mid 2010 MacBook that is currently running OS X Yosemite.

The laptop has a broken optical drive which doesn't recognize any media. Unfortunately, Bootcamp Assistant insists on this boot media and completely ignores the bootable Windows 10 USB that I have plugged in.

I followed these instructions and it got me as far as installing and an initial run of Windows OS. But things get impossibly complicated the moment I update drivers either via Apple's Bootcamp driver package or Windows Update. Going either way results in blue screen and/or endless restart/repair cycle that can't be fixed by anything I tried. There's always a problem with one of the mountmgr.sys or igdkmd64.sys drivers.

Having thought that the graphics driver is the most probable culprit, I tried disabling the built-in Intel HD graphis card, hoping it would help, but to no avail. Sooner or later, the thing blue screens.

I've already wasted 10 hours on this. What bugs me is the fact that this very laptop used to run Windows on Bootcamp successfully in the past, but it was installed via Bootcamp Assistant from a DVD. Since this is no longer an option, my only hope is USB.

How can I make the Bootcamp Assistant recognize my bootable USB stick?

UPDATE

I tried to install Windows 8.1, as suggested. I used the official ISO from microsoft.com. The installer proceeded to copy all the files, but then, at the end, it complained that it couldn't update the boot configuration. After restart, I found that that Windows partition is unbootable. I can still get into the OS X by holding down the Option key at boot, but Windows is no go.

I tried installing the Windows 10 again, this time disabling internet connection during setup. I got much further, because it didn't try to automatically install drivers. I then tried manually installing latest NVidia driver for my GeForce GT 330M card. It succeeded, but the driver wouldn't take for some reason. Looking at Windows Device Manager, there was an unspecified problem with the display adapter corresponding to the NVidia card.

What else can I try? I have no clue.

UPDATE 2

I've now even tried it with an official Windows 7 ISO. This one won't go past the very first "Windows is loading files..." setup screen, before even copying any files. It just hangs at that point.

It's starting to really look like I'm not getting any Windows version on this MacBook... Which is sad. The only reason I want Windows is because my kids would like to play a Windows-only networked game with me, and this is the only other free computer we have...

  • There are no drivers for a 2010 MBP for Win10. Max supported Win is 8.1 – Tetsujin Jul 14 '20 at 14:48
  • Ok, I accept that. But the question remains the same: how can I install Windows 8.1 from a USB stick using BootCamp Assistant, which expects a DVD drive? – aoven Jul 14 '20 at 14:57
  • Don't use BCA, use the method you linked in your question. – Tetsujin Jul 14 '20 at 15:01
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The instructions, you have linked to, install Windows to EFI boot. The Boot Camp drivers provide by Apple were designed for a BIOS booting Windows. In other words, you need to hybrid partition the drive and the instructions explicitly insure the drive is using a fully protected MBR. If you can select EFI Boot of the Windows 10 installation flash drive from the Mac Startup Manager and successfully boot from the flash drive, then you can install a BIOS booting Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 to your Mac. However, you will have to use the command line (CLI) to install. In your case, the graphical user interface (GUI) provided by Microsoft will only allow EFI booting installations.

The are many examples on the web of how to use the CLI to install Windows. For example, these instructions install for a dual boot. Perhaps you could adapt the instructions for your use.

  • Wow, it worked! I got a little sweaty-palmed typing in all those commands, because my scenario isn't exactly the same as linked, but I managed to setup everything AND keep the OS X partition intact and bootable. You are awesome! :D – aoven Jul 15 '20 at 9:37

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