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How to create a bootable USB Windows OS using Mac OS X

I am attempting to install Windows 7 on a system I've newly built, and I'm having a hell of a time of it. I need to create a USB stick which will install Windows 7. Apparently this would have been a lot easier to do from Windows, but at this point, I no longer have a working Windows install. I have only a Macbook Pro running OS X available (note: I am not trying to install Windows on the MBP.)

I've found reports that I claim I just need to dd the files over, but this does not work.

I also tried using Boot Camp Assistant (after hacking the Info.plist) to create install media.

In both of these cases, what has happened is that the bios (or the UEFI?) has recognized the disk, but all I get is a black screen and a flashing cursor (the underscore kind, not a mouse cursor.)

As I briefly noted, this system has a UEFI bios. I'm not really familiar with this, so I thought it might matter.


1 Answer 1


Okay, after much tribulation, I figured this out.

The best bet is simply to use that handy ISO you've got sitting around to create a Windows virtual machine and then use Microsoft's tool to create an installer USB stick.

You can use Virtual Box (free) to create the Windows VM (if you need help, there are somewhere around a million tutorials online.) The one little tricky bit was that you have to install Virtual Box's Extension Pack (also free!) in order to get USB drives to work in the Windows VM. Be sure to eject the USB stick in OS X, then you can go to the Devices menu in Virtual Box, and check the USB stick, and it'll appear in Windows.


  • Dude, you just saved a lot of my time. I tried dd and osx boocamp and got the same problem exactly with the f...ing flashing cursor. I tried many times, but this answer has prevented me from another 3-4 tries.
    – mudlee
    Feb 28, 2015 at 15:37

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