i've created a Windows 8 to go (Windows 8 that boots from a USB flash) on a Windows 8 machine and tested it on that machine and it worked fine. The system could boot from the USB.

Now I want to do the same on my MacBook Air rev. A (early 2008) with OS X 10.7.4 with the same Windows 8 to go. The thing is that when I restart OS X and hold the 'option' key, only the HDD which contains the OS X installation appears, no USB stick. Windows 8 To Go works for sure on a MacBook here is a link to a video demoing it

What am I doing wrong? Why doesn't my USB flash appear? I understood that there is something to do with MBR but don't understand exactly, not very familiar with the OS X ecosystem.

  • How exactly did you create the drive? – slhck Aug 2 '12 at 11:34
  • @QuickSilver i intend to format to ntfs in windows the usb stick after the GUID Partition Table in OS X(because this is how it's done in the tutorial to make a Win8 To Go boot stick). Will the windows format affect the GTP format from mac os x? is this the way to go? triballabs.net/2012/03/… – Alex Aug 2 '12 at 13:06
  • @slhck here is a link to how i created the drive triballabs.net/2012/03/… the drive is formated in windows to ntfs and win8 is mounted using Imagex.exe and then set the boot path – Alex Aug 2 '12 at 13:08
  • I thought it would need to be formatted with a GUID partition table, not MBR, in order to be able to boot from it. Can you select the volume as Startup Disk in System Preferences? – slhck Aug 2 '12 at 13:14

I'm not sure if it is compatible with your hardware/version of OSX, but I've had good luck using rEFIt for tasks like this. It's a replacement for the OSX EFI bootloader, that has a lot more features, flexibility, and is much better at detecting things like your thumb drive.

It is usually compatible with 10.7, I've heard, but you might have to do one or more of the following to get rEFIt fully installed:

  • Run sudo /efi/refit/enable-always.sh in the OSX terminal (this is dangerous, use it as a last resort, and have an OSX recovery/install disk handy).
  • Reboot your mac multiple (some users report up to 5 are necessary) times.
  • Manually install rEFIT as per the instructions on the site.
  • Run a disk-level (not a volume-level) permissions fix on your OSX HD via the Disk Utility.

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