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Installing windows via bootcamp with external usb dvdrom drive

Posted on 2009-05-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-12
I am trying to install windows using bootcamp on my intel macbook. My internal dvd drive needs to be replaced, but until i do that i would like to be able to do this using an external usb dvd rom drive. I have partitioned the drive for windows and continued to install the software, the system reboots, but cant seem to find the external drive, so it just shows a grey screen with an apple. I shut it down, rebooted to the mac os, went to bootcamp and selected to install the windows files it the new partition again, but this time when the system rebooted i held down the option key to try to select the external dvd rom drive to boot, but it does not show up, only the HD is listed. Everything i have read indicates that i should be able to do this.  

I have another external dvd drive i will try that has both firewire and usb. I will try using both connections and repost the results.

But even if i find out that the other external drive works, i would like to know why this current situation is not working.

Thanks,

intel macbook
OS 10.5 with all updates.

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Question by:matrix1324
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by:grahambowman
ID: 24407733
I believe that you can't boot off USB drives, only firewire drives. My guess is that if you try the other drive via firewire it will work fine
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Author Comment

by:matrix1324
ID: 24409386
No go.

I  tried two external dvd rom drives
 *via usb the drive was not recognized at startup when holding the option key.
 *via firewire, the drive was recognized, but then went to a black screen that said no boot up device recognized.

This is a intel macbook, and from what i read it should work via both usb and firewire. Any thoughts?
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by:thenrikson
ID: 24415284
I'm not positive, but I believe the install should work off of an external dvd drive (as long as its firewire and shows up in finder).

Here's the steps you need to take:

1- Boot into your mac side and run "boot camp assistant."  (You've probably already done part of this)
2- It should prompt you to decide how much space to allocate to your windows partition.  If you've already done this, it should ask you to begin the installation of windows.
3-  Make sure you windows xp installation disc is in the external drive, and shows up in finder.  You should then be able to continue the assistant.  

Note:  If you want to install windows via boot camp, you have to go through there to have it start the install on reboot.  You can't simply hold option and boot off of the windows disc, as boot camp runs background processes that allow the disc to work on reboot.
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Author Comment

by:matrix1324
ID: 24416625
thenrikson,

Thanks for your reply. However, all of those steps have been done. Once bootcamp is partitioned and goes to reboot to the windows dvd to install, it fails. Same result if i hold the option key and boot to the dvd rom, i get the black screen saying it cannot find a bootable source. This was using firewire.

So unfortunately, i am still no further ahead.

Can someone please chime in with a workable solution.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:thenrikson
ID: 24421848
matrix1324,

Can you help us out here and give some more information?

Is your windows installation disc showing up in Finder when placed in your external drive?  If it's not, you're going to be wasting your time.
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Author Comment

by:matrix1324
ID: 24424142
Yes, the disc is recognized in the external drive in finder, so long as i am using firewire.

As stated before, after the windows partition is made, they system reboots to load to the cd, i just get the black screen. So i boot back to ox x and go to bootcamp, tell it to go ahead and reboot to install windows, but this time hold the option key, my boot choices are the max hd, or external dvd rom, i choose the dvd rom, and then it goes to the black screen again. Saying cant find a boot device.
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thenrikson earned 500 total points
ID: 24432966
matrix1324,

I did some more research and found the answer, albeit a disappointing one.

It turns out that the drivers for firewire will not work until windows is fully installed and the drivers are pulled from the boot camp drivers disc (or OS X drivers disk since you have OS 10.5).

Therefore, the system is having trouble loading the installer disc from a device that needs software to be usable.

At this point, you've got two options:

Go the Parellels or VMWare Fusion route, or go purchase a replacement internal drive.  

By the way- if your mac is under a year old (or if you have applecare), Apple will replace the drive for free.
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Author Comment

by:matrix1324
ID: 24532997
thenrikson,

Thanks, i have not read this, what are your sources? I just want to be sure this is true, then i will accept your solution. Don't mean to be a pain. Thanks for your continuous support.


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