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I'm trying to install Windows 8 with Bootcamp on my Macbook Pro. Sadly it won't let me get past the disk partition choice (even after formatting the Bootcamp-drive).

It says:

Windows can't be installed on this storage device. The chosen harddisk contains a MBR-partition-table. Windows can only be installed on GPT-harddisks on EFI-systems. freely translated

What is going wrong here?

Here's a photo:

enter image description here

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did you try reformatting that disk to NTFS? Also, i wouldn't recommend running windows 8 on a macbook pro, there are no drivers that are compatible with it. Bootcamp drivers do NOT install when the OS is up and running. –  AlanTuring Oct 1 '12 at 1:07

5 Answers 5

I was having a similar problem, the first time I got the same MBR error, rebooted and started getting a generic error to check the install logs.

What fixed this for me was to format the partition using diskpart, opened a command prompt on the "select partition screen" and formatted the partition. I formatted it on NTFS and after that it allowed me to select the partition and installed successfully there.

Here my steps:

  1. Start the install and go to the partition selection screen
  2. Press Shift+F10 to open a command prompt window
  3. Execute the following commands:

    select disk 0                      (assuming 0 is the disk where you created the bootcamp partition)
    select partition 4                 (assuming 4 is your bootcamp partition)
    format fs=NTFS label="Windows 8"   (I didn’t use QUICK)
  4. Press refresh and you should be able to select the partition.

This solution doesn't seem to work when booting from the bootcamp created USB. I managed to make it work by buying a USB SuperDrive and booting from the Windows disk (not EFI). Worked like magic after that. Also quick format works too - will save you 2 hours on a 1TB disk.

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Thanks a lot, this solution successfully solved a long and painful search for me. The only thing I had to do in addition to your steps was to reboot my Mac and restart the installation process. –  Florian Feldhaus Dec 30 '12 at 9:30
This didn't work for me, still won't let me select the partition –  marchinram Mar 12 '13 at 4:45
This didn't work for me either I'm afraid. I also tried formatting using the UI, which seems to just silently fail. Whatever I've tried so far the installer still thinks that the drive has a MBR partition table. –  andynormancx Mar 29 '13 at 12:25

I also was looking for solution to this issue and find it by understand the roots of problem. Bootcamp utility creates hybrid-MBR table and this prevents Windows 8 to be installed. Now when Win 8 installer have EFI boot mode, we actually don't need Bootcamp utility at all.

I removed Bootcamp partition with Bootcamp utility - this reverts partition table to GUID. Then I go to Disk Utility and manually divide Mac OS partition in two parts to add space (not formatted) for windows installation. After that, when I rebooted with Alt-Option button, I was able to choose EFI Boot option on inserted DVD disk and successfully install Windows by create appropriate partition on space that I prepare with Disk Utility. At this point reboot with the Alt-Option button and select the Windows DVD. (Not EFI) This time when you see the partitions it will be select-able as the installation disk. During installation Windows rebooted 2 times and I use Alt-Option button just to be sure that proper disk was booted.

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This was exactly the problem I had - thanks very much. –  RB. Dec 13 '13 at 13:55
THANK YOU! After trying everything and everything, this was the solution that worked. Turns out Apple's Bootcamp is a load of crap. Just use Disk Utility to resize the drive and go. Thank you. –  balupton Sep 15 at 5:12

I was stuck with this challenge last night as well. After 10 hours, I finally have resolved this. As it turns out, not all OSX are the same. For example, I have Macbook Pro Retina, iMac, and Mac Pro. ClaitonLovatoJr's solution works on Macbook Pro Retina but not iMac or Mac Pro.

Here is why:

iMac (2014) and Mac Pro (2014) have different types of hard-drive. So far I haven't gotten Mac Pro to work, because it has the most particular type of hard-drive, perhaps Windows simply does not support. But again, I haven't tried for very long.

On iMac, here is how you can get Windows 8.1 (Professional) to install.

Since late 2012, iMac have fusion drive, which means its hard-drive is combined with SSD and traditional hard-drive. As a result, Apple has an interesting way to manage it. I am not going to the details. In short, EFI would not work with the hardware, so we must go through Apple's Boot Camp.

The first thing to do is to find a USB flash drive. Many people including me failed because we try to use SD card. This won't work because SD card is too advance for what we are doing. It will load the install program, but after loading it becomes all Windows, and then it will fail the installation. So what we need is an old fashion flash drive. I tried using SD card adapter, it failed too. It might have something to do with the type of adapter I have. But to be safe, we should USE FLASH DRIVE.

Then we will create an installation stick with Boot Camp Assistant. Be sure to use the latest 5.1 version. And we must check downloading from Apple, because it will give you drivers you need to complete the installation. If downloading failed for some reason, we can download the files here:


And then manually place the files to the installation disk.

I suggest not to check install just yet, in case you need to manually place the file.

Now we can finally use Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows. We must use it because Boot Camp is the only application that can create usable disk space for the installation. Disk Utility or other type of applications will not work. Apple has a very specific design for the hybrid EFI-MBR system for iMac's fusion drive.

Then the computer should restart, and very likely to stuck in black screen. Don't panic, this is because there is a bug in Apple's Boot Camp loading system. The wait time is too short, if you have many devices connected it will not load correctly. We can power off the computer by holding the power button and then power up while holding option key.

Now we cannot choose EFI-Windows when booting up, we must choose Windows. EFI is faster and more advance, but we cannot use it.

Now we should be able to boot into the installation interface, a very lowres one. If you see a highres interface it means it went to the EFI. Power down and try again. If you don't see the lowres interface, something went wrong. Boot into OSX and remove Windows through Boot Camp Assistant (actually just to kill the new partition), and then redo everything.

If you are in lowres interface, it's not all done yet. You still need to format the new partition, either just by clicking on format or using command center. Now you should be able to install!

After installation we can set up Windows, but it will die and reboot. Don't panic, because iMac is not design for Windows. Windows thought it had some hardware failure. And then we will be able to login after rebooting, but it will stuck for a long period of time - like 20 to 30 minutes. This is because it needs to download and set up some drivers for the odd environment it encountered. Finally, we will see pop up to encourage us to install Boot Camp on Windows. We don't have to. We can always use option key went starting the computer. But it's up to you.

When shutting down Windows sometime it will fail and give you errors, this is because Windows ultimately does not work with Apple's driver very well (fusion drive or other hardware). No worry, just power down by holding the power button.

Hopefully this help! :)

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My solution; NOT TESTED ON a FUSION DRIVE MAC 1. go to disk utility and partition your HDD into 2,

  1. then delete the empty partition leaving you with free space(unallocated space),

  2. after which continue as normal on the windows install process but this time the empty partition will show up, select it and there should be no install problem.

  3. download bootcamp drivers and install them in windows to make it functional

    NB The partition will be called "EFI boot" y default instead of Windows and the logo may be different from bootcamps but it still will work the same*

  4. Have fun :)

Hope this works for you guys as it did with me.

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Here is the following link I think useful for your problem. http://tekwik.com/2012/06/setup-windows-on-mac-boot-camp/

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No it isn't. The problem didn't happen with non-final versions of Windows 8 and it is also not described at that page. –  Hedge Oct 1 '12 at 12:00
link-only answers are discouraged. Consider adding at the very least a summary of what we may find on the linked site. –  Zuul Oct 22 '12 at 17:49

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