There are many people who have had problems installing install Windows 7 64-bit on many older EFI based machines like the Aluminium Macbook Pro. The problem manifests itself in Vista SP1 64-bit.
There are a few articles around detailing why this is and many more showing how to solve it.
The problem is around the fact that the Windows Bootloader doesn’t seem to treat ISO9660 file version numbers correctly. To make a disc work and boot in EFI mode on these machines, you need to rebuild the ISO with ISO9660 version numbers suppressed.
However, all of these solutions required running Windows utilities to recreate the ISO. As I recently installed a new harddrive in my Macbook Pro I didn’t have a version of Windows installed that I could rebuild the ISO with.
I decided to find if I could create a compatible bootable Windows 7 DVD using only tools that are runnable under Mac OS X.
I used an article from jowie.com as a reference. It describes how to recreate the ISO with the fix using a 3rd-party Windows utility “Imgburn”.
I downloaded the latest version of “
cdrecord” (formerly “
cdrtools“) which includes the latest version of “
mkisofs“, a *nix utility for creating ISO files with advanced options.
I managed to find the correct set of arguments to create a bootable DVD. DVD-RWs are my friend, although it only took 4 or 5 tries.
My machine is running Mac OS X Snow Leopard but I don’t see anything that won’t work on Leopard. These steps require the Mac OS X Developer Tools to be installed.
If you’re at this post, you may have already burned a copy of the Windows 7 DVD ISO (or a copy of Windows 7 Retail). I did, so I got the files for recreating the ISO from the DVD, you may choose to simply extract the contents of the ISO to a folder on your harddrive instead.
If you choose to use a folder, replace occurances of “
/Volumes/GRC1CULXFRER_EN_DVD” with the folder you extracted the DVD to.
Here are the steps I took:
- Put the Windows 7 DVD in the drive or extract the ISO.
- Download the latest version of
- Extract the archive and run the following from Terminal:
- Once again from Terminal:
./mkisofs -N -UDF -iso-level 4 -no-hfs -U -V GRC1CULXFRER_EN_DVD -no-emul-boot -b efi/bcd -c boot.catalog -o windows7rc.iso /Volumes/GRC1CULXFRER_EN_DVD
- Now burn the new ISO to a disc. You can use Disk Utility, Toast or any other ISO burning tool to do the job
- If you haven’t already, make sure you have either free unpartitioned space or a spare partition to install Windows on to.
- Reboot your machine, hold down Option to bring up the boot menu
- Insert the DVD into the drive (if it isn’t in there aleady).
- Select the Windows CD, Windows 7 should now boot without problems
That is it.
Once Windows 7 is installed, insert a Snow Leopard disc to install the 64-bit Boot Camp drivers. If you don’t have Snow Leopard, you can download the latest Boot Camp drivers from Apple’s download section.