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I just removed the SuperDrive on my MacBook Pro and replaced it with an SSD. So now my laptop has a SSD, and a HDD, but no optical drive. I have Lion on the SSD and I want to install Windows 7 on the HDD. Unfortunately, Boot Camp only will install Windows off of the Windows DVD. I have made a bootable Windows 7 thumb drive but my MacBook Pro won’t boot off it.

So my question is how can I install Windows on the other HDD?

I have thought about maybe using Oracle VirtualBox to install it on that hard drive, but I don’t know if that would allow me to boot directly into Windows. I really don't want to go down the whole virtualization route.

I know I could just take out the SSD, put back in the optical drive, run the Windows 7 DVD, take the optical drive back out, put the SSD back in. But that sounds like a nightmare.

Also, I really don’t want to use things like rEFIt.

Any advice?

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Why won't it boot off the drive? Are you sure you created it correctly? (see here) – soandos Jun 13 '12 at 19:18
I have no idea. My windows computers will boot off the Win7 USB drive I made, but my Mac won't. I think it has to do with Macs using UEFI instead of BIOS maybe? – user1238528 Jun 13 '12 at 19:19
Did you enable boot from flash drive? – soandos Jun 13 '12 at 19:20
How do you do that? I just help down Alt and the flash drive wasn't there. How do you enable boot from flash drive? – user1238528 Jun 13 '12 at 19:22
You may need to use this – soandos Jun 13 '12 at 19:23

You might want to look at Mac OS X's bless(8) command's man page, especially the --setBoot and --legacy options. I believe you can use that to get Mac OS X to recognize your bootable Windows 7 flash drive. That man page also mentions that you might need to use fdisk(8) to mark a legacy partition as bootable (active), so you might want to check that flag on your flash drive.

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Apple typically prevents models that ship with an internal drive from using USB media in BootCamp. You can use the instructions found on the atomicPC Forums to enable the option on your machine. It does involve editing one of the Bootcamp plist files.

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