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The situation is that my Macbook Pro's disk drive doesn't work. It just rejects a lot of CDs or DVDs you put in there. I've partitioned the hard drive using Disk Utility, so now i have 225GB of OS X and 25GB of an empty FAT partition. I have a USB with the contents of the windows xp install disk burned to it. I try and hold down alt when restarting, but my usb doesn't come up as one of the options. What can i do to allow it to boot from my usb, and thus install windows?

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Just make an USB installer on a flash drive. Your USB drive needs to be bootable. You could use e.g. WinToFlash Use boot camp tool on OSX to prepare your HDD not manually with disk util.

If you crash into problems booting the installer from USB but you're sure it's a bootable flash drive you have to use rEFIt

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That looks great, except it's a windows program. Is there a mac alternative? There's also the problem that when i hold down alt, my mac doesn't count the usb as being a boot source. I don't know if this will change anything. –  Andrew Feb 24 '12 at 22:35
    
afaik there is no easy to use tool to build suchs installer with mac. you could install it virtually –  Mose Feb 24 '12 at 22:43
    
Or you could give Carbon copy cloner a try. It can make bootable copies of osx DVDs to flash –  Mose Feb 24 '12 at 23:00
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@Andrew Get a virtualization program, such as VirtualBox (virtualbox.org), build a Windows VM with an ISO image of the Windows disc, use that VM to build your USB installer. You don't even need to activate Windows on the VM, since it's a short-term temporary setup. –  Iszi Feb 24 '12 at 23:55
    
And will that mean it'll come up as a boot source? –  Andrew Feb 25 '12 at 0:19
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