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Installing Windows on an (older) Mac without DVD drive with Parallels

technologybootcampparallelswincloneSat 12 Jan 2013 10:18:54No comments

My Macbook Pro (mid 2010) model does not have a DVD drive - I removed the inbuilt DVD drive and moved the supplied HDD to the optical drive (with an OptiBay) when I installed my SSD. This causes problems installing Windows as the EFI version on this machine will not boot a Windows install DVD from an external DVD drive

One method to get around this is to install Windows on a virtual machine first and then clone the image onto the bootcamp drive using Winclone

Hugues Valentin has an article describing the method using VirtualBox. I already use Parallels and would rather not install VirtualBox for a single purpose.

You will need the qemu-img command from QEMU to continue, you can get it from MacPorts.

To install Windows, proceed with the instructions in the article above. Ensure you only create a VM with the lowest size practicable (i.e 20GB rather than the default 60GB) as we'll need to copy it later

Once Windows is installed, open up Terminal and change to the directory holding the Parallels disk image. Use qemu-img to convert the Parallels disk to a raw image, like so:

qemu-img convert -f parallels -O raw Windows\ 8\ 0.hdd.0.\{5fbaabe3-6958-40ff-92a7-860e329aab41\}.hds win8.img

You can the mount the Windows image as a regular disk drive ("open win8.img") and then use WinClone to clone it to your bootcamp drive


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Mathew McBride, telecoms hardware access engineer, programmer, gamer and all round nerd

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