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Apple documents state my MacBookPro2,2 2006 Core 2 Duo 2.16 MHz will not run Windows versions newer than Vista. However, I burned a 32 bit Windows 7 ISO to a DVD, after converting the ISO to DVD/CD master in the Disk Utility. The resulting DVD worked. I tried same procedure with a 32 bit Windows 10 ISO. The Mac froze at a black screen with a message asking for a boot choice 1, 2. Why did booting from the Windows 10 DVD fail?

I understand that my Mac has a 32 bit EFI, but the processor is 64 bit. I also understand there are issues with booting from an USB flash drive, which is why I used a DVD. Are there other methods to install newer versions of Windows on my Mac?

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You model Mac can only support only one boot method when booting from the optical drive. The 32 bit Windows 7 installer ISO provide by Microsoft can only be BIOS booted and therefore offers no problems when burn to a DVD. However, any of the Windows 10 installer ISO files provided by Microsoft can be either BIOS or UEFI booted. Using a DVD burned from one of these ISO files to boot your Mac will result in your Mac hanging as described in your question. This is true for both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions of the Windows 10 installer ISO file.

Several answers involving installing Windows 10 on your model Mac have already been posted. See the question Installing windows on a MacBook Pro 15-Inch “Core 2 Duo” without Mac OS X.

Note the following:

  • According to Microsoft, a computer needs at least 1 GB of RAM in order to install 32 bit Windows 10 and at least 2 GB of RAM in order to install 64 bit Windows 10. Your Mac was shipped with 1 GB of RAM, but is capable of being upgraded to at least 2 GB.
  • You do not need a license to install and test Windows 10. However, to continue using Windows 10 will require a license. You may be able to install a licensed Windows 7, then upgrade to Windows 10 for free. This was true as of early in 2020. I do not know if this is still true today. Also, if a licensed Windows 10 was previous installed on your Mac, then you will be able to use this existing license.
  • Apple only supports running 32 bit Windows XP SP2 or Vista on your model Mac. Therefore, the drivers provided by Apple may or may to work with a 32 or 64 bit Windows 10. However do to the age of your Mac, many of the necessary drivers will probably already be included in the Windows 10 installer software or will be downloaded automatically from Microsoft.

Using USB to Install Windows 10

The basic steps are outline below. An optical drive is not used to install Windows 10.

  • Use a USB port to install a 32 bit BIOS booting Debian Linux. This will include the Grub boot loader.
  • Use Debian Linux to copy the Windows 10 installation files to a NTFS formatted volume on the internal drive.
  • Use Grub to BIOS boot the Windows 10 installer on the internal drive.
  • Install a BIOS booting Windows 10. This will overwrite Grub and Debian Linux.
  • Expand the Windows 10 partition to consume the space occupied by the partitions containing the Windows 10 installer files and the Debian Linux swap space.

A more detailed version of above steps is given below. These steps can be used to install either a 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows 10.

  1. Install 32 bit BIOS booting Debian Linux. Follow steps 1 through 4 given in this answer with the following exception. When asked to Configure the package manager, choose a Debian archive mirror country followed by a Debian archive mirror.

  2. Prepare a partition for the Windows installation files. Start by booting to Debian. If the Mac does not boot to Debian (via Grub) by default, then restart the Mac and immediately hold option key until the Startup Manager icons appear. Select the internal drive icon labeled Windows. If a Debian desktop environment was not installed, login as root. Otherwise, login using the default username, open a Terminal window and enter the command shown below.

    su --login
    

    The middle partition on the internal drive (/dev/sda3) contains an ext4 formatted volume. The command given below will replace this volume with a NTFS formatted volume. A connection to the internet is required.

    apt update
    apt install exfat-fuse exfat-utils ntfs-3g parted
    sed -i '/\/installation/d' /etc/fstab
    umount /dev/sda3
    sfdisk --part-type /dev/sda 3 7
    partprobe
    mkfs.ntfs -L WINSTALL -Q /dev/sda3
    mount /dev/sda3 /installation
    
  3. Create a Windows 10 installer on an internal drive partition.

    Enter a following command to permit writing to the /home folder.

    chmod a+w /home
    

    Transfer, to the /home folder, the ISO file required to install Windows 10. In the case of this example, this would be the Win10_20H2_English_x64.iso file. If your file is different, then make the appropriate substitutions in this step. Below are various ways to transfer this file. Choose one way or find another way.

    Note: A choice below can depend on which predefined collections of software are currently installed.

    • Use another computer to download and transfer the ISO file to a ExFAT formatted USB flash drive. Use either the cp command or the Files application to copy from the USB flash drive to the /home folder.
    • Use another computer to download the ISO file. Use sftp on this other computer to transfer the ISO file to the /home folder on the Mac. Enter the command hostname -I on the Mac to get an IP address.
    • Use the FireFox ESR application to download the ISO file from the web. Use either the mv command or the Files application to move the downloaded ISO file to the /home folder.

    Next, enter the commands given below to copy the Windows 10 installation files from the mounted ISO file to the /installation mount point.

    Note: The boot.wim and install.wim files are very large and therefore will take a while to be copied.

    mkdir -p /media/iso
    mount -o loop,ro /home/Win10_20H2_English_x64.iso /media/iso
    cp -Rv /media/iso/* /installation
    

    When finished, shutdown the Mac. If a Debian desktop environment was not installed, then enter the command below instead.

    shutdown -P now
    

    Remove any USB flash drives that may be plugged into the Mac.

  4. Replace the 32 bit Debian with Windows 10. Start by booting to Grub. If the Mac does not boot to Grub by default, then restart the Mac and immediately hold option key until the Startup Manager icons appear. Select the internal drive icon labeled Windows. When an image similar to the one shown below appears, press the C key.

    GNU Grub

    Enter the commands given below to boot from the /dev/sda3 partition.

    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ntfs
    insmod ntldr
    set root='(hd0,msdos3)'
    parttool (hd0,msdos1) type=7 boot+
    ntldr /bootmgr
    boot
    

    Proceed with the installation of Windows. When you reach the window shown in the image below, select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).

    When the window shown in the image below appears, leave Drive 0 Partition 1 highlighted and click on the Format button. Next, click on the OK button in the popup window. Finally, click on the Next button.

    Proceed with the installation of Windows 10.

  5. Install the Boot Camp Support Software (Windows Support Software). The Boot Camp Support Software is on the Snow Leopard installation DVD. The files can be accessed from Windows. Officially, only 32 bit versions of Windows can be installed on your Mac. Since I do not have your model Mac, I can not predict how difficult it will be to the adapt the software for use with a 64 bit Windows. You should consult lx07's answer for more information.

    A Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) ISO file can be downloaded from the website Mac OS X Snow Leopard Install DVD. You should verify the download by computing the SHA256 hash value. The Get-FileHash Power Shell cmdlet can be used to compute a SHA256 hash value. Entering Get-FileHash along with the path to the downloaded file in a Power Shell window should produce the following SHA256 hash value.

    CBEEB2378C40B20A9B06236F567DE593E9030A0A865515B50CF6D35833E25CD5
    

    Under Windows 10, the Boot Camp Support Software can be accessed by mounting this ISO file.

  6. Remove unnecessary partitions and extend the Windows 10 partition. Boot to Windows 10 desktop. Next, right click on the Start button and select Disk Management. A windows similar to the one shown below will appear.

    Right click on the last partition shown for Disk 0. Select Delete Volume…, as shown below. In the popup window, click on the Yes button.

    Right click on the free space shown for Disk 0. Select Delete Partition…. In the popup window, click on the Yes button.

    Right click on the partition with the volume label WINSTALL. Select Delete Volume…. In the popup window, click on the Yes button.

    Right click on the partition with the drive letter C:. Select Extend Volume…. In the popup window, click on the Next button. Again, in the next popup window, click on the Next button. In the next popup window, click on the Finish button.

    The result is shown below.

    Exit the Disk Management application.

Setting BIOS Booting as the Default

If a BIOS booting Windows is the only operating system installed on a Mac, then the Mac should automatically boot to Windows. However, if BIOS booting has not be set as the default, there may be a delay before booting begins. Otherwise, the Mac Startup Manager can be used to boot Windows. Below are two methods for setting BIOS booting as the default.

  • Method 1: Boot from an OS X (macOS) installation DVD or USB flash drive, open a Terminal window and enter the command given below.

     bless --device /dev/disk0 --setBoot --legacy
    

    The version of OS X (macOS) chosen must be compatible with your Mac. The instructions for creating a Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) installation USB flash drive can be found here.

  • Method 2: A successful installation of the Boot Camp Support Software (Window Support Software) will include the creation of the Boot Camp control panel for Windows.

    To set the default operating system in Windows:

    1. In Windows, click the Boot Camp icon in the system tray and choose Boot Camp Control Panel.

      Note: Your screen may look different, depending on which computer you’re using.

    2. Select the startup disk with the Windows operating system as the default.
    3. If you want to start up that operating system now, click Restart.

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