Monday, November 21, 2011

Windows 7 with boot camp on macbook late 2008 (Part 1)

In this serie of articles, i will describe the steps I followed while trying to install a Windows 7 in Boot Camp. I will try to make this guide as detailed as possible in hope it'll be helpful to other people. But before i dive in a bit of context, that has its importance.

My computer is a MacBook Pro of late 2008, whose Superdrive is unfortunately dead. Which meant i was not able to simple put in the DVD install of Windows 7 into my Superdrive into my MacBook, which left me with trying to install it from a USB boot disk. Unfortunately, my Mac being from late 2008, it means that usb boot disk was out of the question, which i only discovered after trying to the steps below.

The guide below will detail how to create a bootable USB on a 2008 MacBook Pro (and by extension on a Mac that doesn't support boot on USB). If that's not of interest you can skip to Part 2 directly.

Also important point I have OSX Lion installed, more importantly Boot Camp 4.0.1.

It has a very nice option that allows you to create a USB boot disk (on top of creating bootcamp partition, and downloading Windows Support files). Having read that i wanted to give it a try. But when i started it, the "Create a Windows 7 install disk" was grayed:

That is due, as I understand, to the fact that my Mac model is not supposed to be able to boot from USB. In order to solve that I had to tinker with the "Boot Camp Assistant" application.

First Ctrl+Click on "Boot Camp Assistant", then "Show Package Contents" > Contents, then edit "info.plist:



To figure out the model use the "System Information", next to "Model Identifier":

From the name it was pretty easy to figure out the reference is MBP51. A MacBook would have been MBxx and a MacBook Air  MBAxx.

After saving the file, i was able to create a USB Boot Disk for Windows7 using the assistant.

Also this whole procedure didn't work (and probably won't work for anyone in the same situation), it might be helpful if you need to create an usb boot disk for another new machine.

Don't forget to click the "+1" button if that was helpful :)

Now for the meaty bits, how to really start installing windows7 on Boot Camp partition, head over to Part 2.