1. sibeans's Avatar
    As a casual Windows user since the late 90's (my family did have a Macintosh "PowerPC" prior) and as an more aware Windows user since XP/Vista and as an enthusiast Windows user since 7; this process of installing Windows on a Mac via Boot Camp was quite the experience.

    I wanted to fully utilize the Mac hardware with Windows (mainly for gaming and sticking with 8.1 until I'm sure 10 will be flawlessly compatible or when I get around to building a Windows PC) as well as learn a little about how Macs work so I delved into this project green to OS X taking notes along the way, picking out the necessary information for each step, and noticing that there was not a complete writeup for installing Windows 8.1 Pro on a non-supported iMac; I decided to put together my notes with the intention of helping someone who may be in the same situation I was in.

    **an edited version with easier to follow formatting is posted on:

    Last edited by sibeans; 09-01-2015 at 09:21 PM.
    08-29-2015 07:47 PM
  2. sibeans's Avatar
    How Long Will It Take?
    - With long breaks in between, a weekend depending on your internet connection and speed of the drives used and if you don't run into bumps in the road along the way....if you set out a day to do it, it can be done in about a day

    What You Will Need:
    - A fast internet connect will help shave time off the project since there are 3 downloads of +3gb to get going and major time spent updating windows within the os via windows update
    - A Windows computer (to get Windows ISO)
    - A Mac not officially supported by Boot Camp on Yosemite \\ if it's supported then you should be fine following the barebones Apple guide
    - Latest Boot Camp 5.1 [I used 5.1.4 (500)] \\ in theory if you use the Boot Camp version that was last compatible with your Mac it should work but I'm not sure about that
    - An official Windows 8 Product Key (mine is 8 Pro and the key works for 8.1) \\ Windows 7 should work too
    - The create media tool for windows 8.1 x64 (x86 won't install, I learned the hard way)
    - KB + mouse
    - A flash drive dedicated for OS X Installer (for the Disk Utility function) of at least 8gb \\ and keep this for your sanity and if you need to make changes to the internal drives as running the recovery from the USB drive will allow changes since the internal drives won't be mounted vs running Disk Utility from OS X
    - A flash drive for installing the Windows ISO + additional Apple software for components compatibility with Windows of at least 8gb and formatted for exFAT for compatibility between Windows and OSX
    - Food and Drink because it will take a while
    - A lot of patience because it will take a while

    Tips to Maintain Your Patience:
    - Downloads can take its sweet time, install times and media creation are surprisingly quick depending on the speed of the drive you're are using
    Last edited by sibeans; 09-01-2015 at 08:53 PM.
    08-29-2015 07:47 PM
  3. sibeans's Avatar
    Chapter 0: install OS X Yosemite in iMac with wiped drives \\ skip if your Mac is already in working order

    1. tried all other means to restore (there are 4 different methods), and what worked was creating the OS X installer from a separate Mac
    2. created by downloading Yosemite update from the App Store\\ took hours
    3. used the builtin createinstaller \\ took some time
    4. install from USB \\ surprisingly quick

    Chapter 0 Notes:
    • With my understanding at the time, I had to purchase a retail Snow Leopard disk and go from there but after connecting the Mac to Internet Recovery I was able to download OS X but after it completed it seems there was a hiccup during the download because the Mac was riddled with SBBOD and applications not responding and the load times were egregiously long to the point where no matter what startup command I used, nothing would load
    • Created disk recover assistant from a MBA that shipped with Lion, did not work
    • I intentionally made the OS X partition smaller with the intention of running more Windows programs and games vs installing Windows on the other internal drive
    • format drive fully as Mac OS (Journaled) \\ originally had small drive for mac but discovered that the whole drive for os x had to be formatted; format time was quick since it was an SSD
    • The rest of the drive was left unformatted because I assumed it would save some time off Boot Camp \\ format the whole drive or Boot Camp cannot install
    • Save the installer on that USB drive for safe keeping
    08-29-2015 07:47 PM
  4. sibeans's Avatar
    Chapter 1: create Windows 8.1 x64 ISO
    1. find right Windows 8.1 ISO and make sure it's for x64, x86 will not work \\ time spent downloading and creating the wrong one and then the right one
    2. create iso \\ takes time

    Chapter 1 Notes:
    • Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help
    • Keep the ISO because it's nice to have a backup or if you want to install Windows on another computer
    08-29-2015 07:47 PM
  5. sibeans's Avatar
    Chapter 2: using boot camp

    1. modify boot camp to include iMac mid-2010 \\ painless and see notes for the instructions
    2. connect USB with ISO to mac and copy the ISO to the desktop
    3. insert the other USB drive for Windows installation
    4. run boot camp and select all 3 options:
    a. create usb media to install,
    b. Download apple software for windows
    c. Install windows 7 or later \\ this 3rd option will appear after you modified the .plist file
    5. the apple drivers will then download and when it is done downloading
    6. the next windows will ask you to select the drive that will hold and install the ISO + apple software; in other words, it will do the installing
    7.the next window will ask you to select the drive that will have windows installed in; in other words, it will receive the OS and all its glory \\ if installing Windows on the same drive as OS X as a separate partition, you will have that slider option to decide how much to dedicate to OS X and to Windows; make a note of the size for Windows as this will be important for the next steps.
    8. it will reboot as normal then a black screen will drop down which will then have white dots encircling the bottom middle of the screen, it will take time but it's working as it's supposed to

    Chapter 2 Notes:
    • My iMac identifiers:
    • For all those who are having trouble, here is what I did and I got it to work on a late 2010 Macbook Air (which officially cannot boot from a USB drive and does not support Windows 8).
    First, edit the plist of Boot Camp Assistant.
    1. Go to Applications/Utilities
    2. Right click Boot Camp Assistant and view package contents
    3. Find Info.plist in the Contents folder and edit it in Text Edit (it will make you duplicate the file first)
    Before you do anything, make a backup of Info.plist or the whole Boot Camp Assitant app so that you can go back if necessary. Rename it something like "Info old.plist" or "Original Boot Camp Assistant."
    You want to edit FOUR things:
    • Add your model to DARequiredROMVersions
    • Delete the word "Pre" from UEFIModels and add your model
    • Delete the word "Pre" from USBBootSupportedModels and add your model
    • Remove your model from Win7OnlyModels (if its there)
    To add your model to these lines, just copy and paste an exsiting row and replace the data between the two <string> tags with your model code. You can find the right codes to use for the plist by going to Apple Menu > About This Mac > More Info > System Report. Use the "Boot ROM Version" and "Model Identifier" as appropriate in the plist.*
    Once you make these changes, save the file and replace the old Info.plist with your new one. It will ask you to type your password.*
    The last step is to do a code sign. Boot Camp Assitant will not run if it's been edited. You need to resign it. Open Terminal (use spotlight to find it) and type this:
    sudo codesign -fs - /Applications/Utilities/Boot\ Camp\ Assistant.app
    It will probably ask for your password. Then it will say you need to download a developer tool from Apple. Agree to download it. (You don't need to install the whole X-Code, if it asks.) Once its been installed (its automatic), you need to go BACK to Terminal and run that command again. This time it will work.
    After you've done that - open your hacked Boot Camp Assitant (it should run now) and have it make the Windows installation drive for you. Have the Windows ISO handy, and plug in a flash drive thats about 4-8 GB or more. The entire flash drive will be erased. This process can take a while. When its done, restart your mac and hold the option key. The USB drive that Boot Camp made for you will be there for you to install windows from. Its a yellow disk icon labeled EFI Boot.
    I did this on a Late 2010 Macbook Air, which offically does not have a true version of UEFI. It worked anyway. This does the job. I think it might be because I edited the UEFI line in the plist and then had Boot Camp make the USB drive for me.*
    08-29-2015 07:48 PM
  6. sibeans's Avatar
    Chapter 3: the home stretch with setting up windows and boot camp on windows

    9. follow the steps of entering your product key, selecting the version of Windows to install and then you will hit a wall when it comes to choosing the partition that Boot Camp was supposed to have completed for you a few steps back \\ it's labeled as BOOT CAMP but if you select it with will say that the drive contains some MBR stuff (Windows) in it and that it needs to be GPT (Mac), even if you try to delete and then reformat from there, it still won't take
    10. exit out of that and restart the Mac and hold down option (or alt depending on the keyboard) and boot from the OS X Recovery drive \\ you will see the OS X partition, internal Recovery option, OS X Installer drive, and EFI drive (assuming that you left the 2 USB drives plugged in the whole time)
    11. from Disk Utility select the BOOT CAMP partition and erase it as Mac (Journaled) or GPT
    12. once completed, restart and hold down option or alt
    13. select EFI and it will boot back to the Windows installer and follow the steps
    14. when you get to selecting the drive for installation select the BOOT CAMP partition and if the "New" option isn't highlighted, format that partition and it should mention creating other partitions for Windows so select yes and then "New" will be selectable…..click Next and sit back and patiently wait as Windows will be installed!

    Chapter 3 Notes:
    • For some reason Boot Camp doesn't format the drive correctly as it's supposed to and that's why having the OS X Installer flash drive is indispensably handy to have
    • I have a product key that's for Window 8 Pro and the key worked fine for installing 8.1 Pro
    • From past horrible experiences with Vista automatically installing updates, I never ever let Windows install updates automatically even though the process is lightyears better with 8 than it was with Vista
    08-29-2015 07:48 PM
  7. sibeans's Avatar
    Chapter 4: using your dual-boot Mac, Windows side and Win key + x is your quick access to everything

    15. after logging into Windows for the first time there are four things to take care of and should be taken care of in the order presented:

    • Check if a restore point was created (this will save the time and trouble of reinstalling everything if something goes bad): "win key + x" > system > system protection > system protection tab > system restore and check if one was made, if not create a restore point

    • For some reason the Sleep function of Windows won't work when the PC is in sleep for an extended amount of time, the PC will be running but the screen stays black \\ "win key + x" > power options > change plan settings > "turn off display" and "put the computer to sleep" set both to never; save changes. Right click anywhere on the desktop > personalize > screen saver and then set the time to have a screen saver or just have the screen as blank \\ it's not sleep mode at all and is a band-aid workaround but at least the screen won't be on all the time and you won't have the headache of the PC not waking up from sleep whre you'd have to power off/on with the power button

    • Run Windows Update from the Control Panel to download and install updates, I had some nagging issues when just selecting all updates all at once where some updates won't install for some reason \\ install the updates manually and in chronological order, yes time consuming, but you won't experience the update or two that won't install issue where you would have to scour the internets for solutions that may or may not work \\ once all the updates are installed and the PC is working as it should go back and create another restore point (to save the time spend running Windows Update)

    • In my case, on a 2010 iMac with Radeon HD 5750, I couldn't control the brightness slider and that was due to the Boot Camp GPU driver working but not fully compatible (again Boot Camp not doing what it's supposed to do), so the solution was to "Win key + x" > Device Manager > Display Adapters > right click the GPU and select Uninstall and include the driver > if Display Adapters isn't on the list, right click on any of the others and "scan for hardware changes" (if the option doesn't reappear, restart the PC and don't worry, a generic display adapter will be in place of the Radeon HD 5750). If the generic Microsoft adapter is there > right click and select "Update Driver Software…" and update from the internet and Windows will install "AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5800 Series" and you will not have control of the brightness slider!
    I found the proper driver from the AMD website and tried installing the driver from there but there's basically no general guide to installing it, you can go via Device Manager but that was not as straightfoward, installing the Windows-provided driver was significantly easier

    • A weird bug I experienced was that I had two saved WiFi network names (from two different routers) that caused the system to crash, so deleting the duplicate names solved the problem

    16. subsequent restarts will give Windows the time to acclimate to the new hardware: make the necessary caches if installed on an HDD or allow the SSD to speed things up. I have it installed on a partition of the SSD and cold load times are faster than loading OS X.
    17.if Windows is installed on an SSD, you may want to follow the guides to minimizing the writes on the drive for hardware longevity

    18. if there are issues with the OS after it's been said and done from the beginning, you may need to start from scratch and reinstall Windows. If this happens, remember Boot Camp will not do certain things that it's supposed to do:
    • It won't create the correct format of the install partition for Windows
    • When uninstalling Windows via Boot Camp, it will remove Windows but won't clear the extra Windows related partitions \\ I learned the hard way when trying to reinstall Windows the reinstalls were utter crap compared to the first attempt, so you would need to manually delete the extra partitions after using Boot Camp to uninstall Windows
    Last edited by sibeans; 08-29-2015 at 08:13 PM.
    08-29-2015 07:48 PM

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