Installing Windows 7 on a MBP with a non-working DVD drive
March 17, 2009 11:22 PM   Subscribe

How can I install Windows 7 (via Boot Camp or rEFIt) from an ISO? I think the Superdrive on my Macbook Pro (10.5.6) is on its last legs, because it ejects almost anything I put in it. (Meaning blank DVDs, and the DVD I burned of the ISO on my Windows XP desktop with ImgBurn). It's not extremely old (I got it refurbished on Christmas 2007), but still old enough to be out of warranty (at least I would think so). What I have available: 1tb My Book Firewire External Hard Drive 4gb 1st gen iPod Nano, that isn't even formatted as an iPod right now, so it's basically just a 4gb USB flash drive. I know I can boot from it if it's set up right, because I've been using it with this

What I've tried so far:
I can't restore the iPod to the ISO in Disk Utility, so I tried to convert the ISO to a DMG (in Disk Utility and using a program called Converso), getting errors both times.

I tried mounting the ISO, erasing everything on the iPod, and copying everything straight out of the ISO to the iPod, but it doesn't appear as anything bootable.

Please help if you can
posted by N2O1138 to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can run a vm like bochs with the ISO as the boot image. Make the partition you want to install to available for direct writing within the vm (I am pretty sure this is possibel with some vms), et voila, you can install onto the partition, from within the vm. I think.
posted by idiopath at 11:27 PM on March 17, 2009

You can install the Vista 7 beta from a usb stick, if the Mac will boot from USB.

Instructions here.
posted by pharm at 2:41 AM on March 18, 2009

Best answer: "it ejects almost anything I put in it."

I've had this problem for months and actually did a bunch of weird image-based contortion to try to get an install going including VMWare, external devices, dd copies, and all manner of other craziness. It sort of worked but was a huge, elaborate pain in the ass.

Then last week I took some canned air, shoved the nozzle straw in the slot, and blew it out. Optical drive works fine now, including for boot purposes. Try that before you try to get elaborate.
posted by majick at 9:06 AM on March 18, 2009

Response by poster: majick's fix seems to work! but idiopath, could you explain how to compile bochs? i never really figured it out, and compiling would be a useful skill to have.
posted by N2O1138 at 10:49 AM on March 18, 2009

In retrospect, bochs probably was not the right software to suggest, bochs is an intel emulator that allows an intel os to run in an os on non-intel hardware, or it can be used as a slow vm. I think the more appropriate solution would have been parallels. which unlike bochs is not free, but will run faster because it is not emulating the hardware.

As to how to compile bochs, installing unix apps from source is done by
  1. Installing the toolchain (compiler, assembler, etc, the gcc toolchain comes with a mac on one of the supplimental disks last I heard)
  2. Installing either
    1. A package manager
    2. or
    3. All the libraries that the source package depends on but does not include, look for a file called README in the top level directory..
  3. now you can
    1. install the package by unzipping the tar.gz, entering the resulting directory from the command line, and running ./configure && make && sudo make install This will check for missing libraries, complain if they are absent, then proceed with building the package, followed by installing it to the default location.
    2. or, if you installed a package manager, choose between installing the premade binary provided by the repository, or doing an automated source build. Refer to your package manager for documentation.
This is a large amount of work if you have never done it before and you are only doing it for one program, but it is a nice skill to have if you have the patience for it, and the second time will be much easier, and the 100th time will be so automatic you hardly think about it.
posted by idiopath at 11:42 AM on March 18, 2009

You can't install from an ISO as there is nothing to mount it as a CD/DVD at boot time. Also, your install sources has to be on a different drive/partition.
posted by wongcorgi at 12:43 PM on March 18, 2009

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