Install Windows/Bootcamp on MacBook Pro with Fusion Drive and no Optical Drive

This post was published 10 years, 11 months ago. Some material it contains may no longer be applicable.

Installing Windows on a Machine without a Optical Drive is a pain, because its no longer possible to boot from the Installation DVD. USB is no good workaround, because USB boot is also permitted somehow.

The case is getting more complicated when you have a FusionDrive setup as I have: I replaced my Optical Drive with a second harddisk (SSD) and formed one Volume out of it as a FusionDrive.

After Google’ing for many hours, i found a solution which actually worked on my setup.

Some Additions:

  • Even If you have an MacBook Pro 2011: Do Part 1 Step 3! I didn’t do it and after rebooting I got a blue screen
  • To trick the Boot-Camp Assistant creating the partition for you, it also works mounting the Windows Installation ISO with Toast or Daemon Tools
  • The correct installation order is: FIRST create your fusion drive, then let the BootCamp Assisstant build the Windows Partition
  • Don’t try the solution with replacing the MBR with the one created in the VM: It does not work on a FusionDrive setup
  • To avoid the complicated removal of the “system reserved” partition as stated in the manual, do this: When you install Windows  in the VM, format the drive. A message will popup informing you that it may create some more partitions blabla. Click ok and you will see it actually created 2 partitions. Now manually remove the small 100 MB Partition and install on the other one. It will work and boot correctly.
  • WinClone is no longer free available as some stupid company bought it and did some minor updates to it. But maybe you find it somewhere. If you use the latest version, it will ask you if it should delete the cache files while creating the image. I clicked yes. On restore, I had it replace the booting-information.

Finally it worked. When I boot my mac holding ALT the boot device selection menu shows up. It displays my Mac drive two times as well as the windows drive two times. Anyone know a solution out there how to fix that?

One thought on “Install Windows/Bootcamp on MacBook Pro with Fusion Drive and no Optical Drive

  1. It’s quiet nice to have a method, that is actually working, but still it seems a bit to complicated to me. I had to install Windows on my SSD/HDD MacBook Pro twice, and both times I made it differently.

    One time I used Bootcamp to partition the drive and then booted the Windows (7) Installer from an external DVD-Drive using rEFInd (not rEFIt!!).**

    The other time I only had access to an ISO-file, so I mounted the ISO using DEAMON-tools (don’t remember whether I had to edit the plist for BootCamp). After the Partition was created I reformatted the drive with NTFS (Paragon NTFS – free to try) and than copied over the installer files from the ISO. No I booted into the Installer and installed it to the Disk it was booted from. Afterwards I deleted the Installation files.

    Both methods seem far more easy to me and everything just worked (until I used Windows, of course). Both times I used Windows 7 (8), but other Distributions should work, too. Even if Apple does not officially supports your Mac (Nor Apple supports running a FusionDrive).

    **The first install DVD I tried it with booted fine, just to tell me, that I can’t install Windows using this drive. But the second DVD (a friends one, same build version) just worked fine.

    PS.: Just installed Windows 8 64bit on a machine, that does not even support any 64bit Windows OS or Windows 7 at all.

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