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I have been trying to install Windows 10 via a bootable USB on my Macbook pro (2016 running Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.6) for some time now, but I continue to run into issues. The USB boots up just fine, and allows me to get to the part of the windows installation where it asks me to select which disk to install the OS onto. The issue I am running into is no disks are displayed, and if I try to go into the WindowsSupport directory I added to the USB drive after downloading from bootcamp while it does have a AppleSSD64 driver it does not appear to function or allow the OS to detect the drive. I am running into much the same problem detailed at https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8269886

The drive is 256GB total in size and I have a windows partition formatted to exFat to try to allow the installer to detect it. I also manually used fdisk to ensure a hybrid MBR partition scheme is not used, as detailed here. (https://fgimian.github.io/blog/2016/03/12/installing-windows-10-on-a-mac-without-bootcamp/) Despite all of my efforts I cannot get the installer to recognize my computers hard drive. I have downloaded the Windows 10 ISO repeatedly from Microsoft and am sure it is not corrupt and do not have any idea what is going on.

The end goal of this process is to get windows only running on my mac, I do not want a Mac OS partition due to the limited hard drive space I have available, which is why I am attempting to install the whole thing from a bootable USB instead of bootcamp.

Any help is much appreciated, thank you.

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  • I believe I could post a better answer, if you actually knew the model year of your Mac. Is this because you do not have macOS currently installed on your Mac? – David Anderson Aug 30 '20 at 15:39
  • My apologies, the model is a 2016 Macbook Pro running Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.6 – Shades Aug 30 '20 at 15:49
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    I have done this a couple of times but I find that a small macOS installation left on the disk can aid in troubleshooting issues down the road. It also makes it a LOT easier as Boot Camp will do all the necessary disk magic behind the scenes. If I remember correctly 10-15GB will do for most minimal installations of macOS. Assuming you can afford the space... – Steve Chambers Aug 30 '20 at 16:12
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Your link https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8269886 contains the image shown below.

The $WinPEDriver$ folder should be in the root folder. There should not be a WindowsSupport folder. In other words, I would expect to see the path shown below.

D:\$WinPEDriver$\AppleSSD64\AppleSSD.inf

You are suppose to copy the contents of the WindowsSupport folder to the root folder of the flash drive containing the Windows 10 installation files. The image shows the WindowsSupport folder was copied instead, which is incorrect.

A Windows installation can fail if the wrong Window Support Software is being use. The best way to insure you are using the correct Windows Support Software is to use the Boot Camp Assistant installed on the same Mac that is going to run Windows 10. There is a option on the Boot Camp Assistant menu bar for downloading the Window Support Software. I should point out this is not the only way to acquire the Windows Support Software.

High Sierra and newer versions of macOS no longer hybrid partition a drive when creating a ExFAT partition. Since you only want Windows on your Mac, then you can use the USB Windows installer to erase your entire drive before installing Windows. This would make any previous hybrid partitioning irrelevant anyway.

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  • Thank you for your help, I tried this solution and it is still not detecting any drives with the $WinPEDriver$ at root. Could it have anything to do with how I have the drives partitioned? I have a 125 GB APFS GUID drive with Mac OS on it and an ExFAT 125GB drive that is blank. I have also tried formatting the ExFAT drive to MS-DOS FAT32 and still had no luck. – Shades Aug 30 '20 at 16:09

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