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I recently bought a new SSD. I own a MacBook Pro with Boot Camp and a Windows 7. However, I don't really use my OS X. So I've decided to skip it and do a clean Windows 7 install on my new hard drive. My thought:

  1. Switch hard drive
  2. Plug in USB drive w/ Windows 7 installer
  3. Boot and install Windows
  4. Wooh

Not that easy! I've tried it and when booting with the USB stick in, all I get is a grey screen with a flashing folder with a questionmark.

What I have:

  • Old hard drive w/ OS X and Windows 7
  • Windows 7 on USB ready to go
  • Brand new SSD

What I've thought I could do:

  • Insert SSD
  • Install OS X.
  • Install rEFIt
  • Boot USB, whipe SSD and install Windows

Only one problem. Can't find my OS X cds!

Does anyone have a tip?


Thanks for the help and suggestions, guys. For now, I've come to the conclusion that my USB stick is not bootable. At least not on a Mac. It won't boot a Windows install, neither an OS X installation (grey "reboot computer" screen loop).

I'll try and buy some DVD's tomorrow (it's 0:38 AM in Denmark)

share|improve this question
Please try it and if you get stuck then come back with specific questions. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jun 16 '12 at 16:39
@techie007 It's not that easy to begin with though. Kordonme, which version of OS X do you have? – slhck Jun 16 '12 at 16:42
Take a look at… – stuartd Jun 16 '12 at 16:42
I currently have OS X 10.5. I've updated the question. – Kordonme Jun 16 '12 at 16:52
I think it's doable, we have a few questions on that if I'm not mistaken – slhck Jun 16 '12 at 17:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I did this. I formatted the MAC with Windows 7 exclusively and quickly realized that I was going to be unable to pull down firmware or driver updates from the Mac Software Update option. You can probably find new Bootcamp drivers out on the Internet and just install them on the Windows side, however, you will be out of luck for firmware updates and other updates only pushed to the Mac side.

HIGHLY SUGGEST shrink the OSX partition down to the minimum amount of space (25 - 30GB) and just boot into it to run updates. I never use the Mac side anymore. Then, configure your book, so that it boots Windows only.

share|improve this answer
I knkow that I won't be able to do a firmware update. But came to think about it. I might want to do some iOS development someday. So I think I'll keep the OS X installation after all. – Kordonme Jun 16 '12 at 22:41

Very dooable. The hard part may be getting your system to boot from the USB device (which is why I always try to install from an optical disk). Another hurdle may be getting your BIOS to recognize your hard drive (even though it's actually an SSD). But once you clear those hurdles it's just a matter of partitioning your hard drive(s) and installing.

"Partitioning" may also be a struggle if you've had OSX installed on the hard drive. I can't say since I've never run into the need to wipe out a "foreign" partition like HFS when installing Windows. I always prepare my hard drive with a linux utility like GParted before installing anything.

One other thing you may want to be aware of, if you use a SSD would be to be sure and enable TRIM which should be enabled if you use Windows 7. Anything less than Windows 7 and you will almost certainly have some more adjusting to do when you're all up and running. (You probably will anyway now that I think about swap files and the like.)

Good Luck.

share|improve this answer
Wiping HFS is no different from wiping any other partition or even partition table – slhck Jun 16 '12 at 17:09

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