After having tried everything simple, I've arrived at the following scenario:

A blank SSD (internal) to work on.
An externally running Mac OS installation to do all the work from (and later clone back).
Goal: SSD: | Mac OS | Windows 8 |

Since the other variants all failed, I'm installing with Parallels on a physical volume, i.e. a Windows partition created with diskutil (as Boot Camp would do it).

This goes through fine, but now I just can't find any way to actually boot this volume.

I tried dd'ing the PhysicalMbr.hds to the disk, I tried gptsyncing GPT and MBR, but actually I don't know what the final hybrid GPT/MBR should look like and how to achieve it.

Since I have all the freedom to work on this disk with no data to loose there, it's really "just" a matter of writing the proper boot record. Yet, I don't know any further on how to get it right.

A solution would be greatly appreciated!


I settled and solved it in hardware, meaning I took out the HD and put the SuperDrive back in for installation. This took so much less time then all this trying around to get the boot record right. The disadvantage is that the boot disk (SSD) has to be where the hard disk was, so it's now in the mechanically better slot, whereas the spinning hard drive is where the super drive used to be. It will only boot windows like that, but I put in some rubber and it's totally fine. Thermally, it's even better then before since the HD doesn't receive all the heat from the CPU.

Also, I settled for Windows 7 since I couldn't get the Boot Camp drivers to install for Windows 8, despite that I tried all the tricks one can readily find.

TL;DR: Going for an officially supported configuration by putting back in the SuperDrive and using Windows 7 is probably the fastest (and time-wise most predictable) way to install Windows on these MacBooks with HD+SSD.

  • Can you briefly list all the other variants that failed? – Milind R Sep 12 '14 at 4:02
  • You likely don't need gptsync, instead running windows directly on the gpt hard disk. If you're interested i can tell you how in detail. – Milind R Sep 12 '14 at 4:03
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    The MacBook is from 2009 and according to what I read, only newer ones can load Windows natively in (U)EFI mode. Please tell me if you think there's a way! – Phantrast Sep 12 '14 at 9:18
  • The other variants: Regular Boot Camp install, but since my computer doesn't have the SuperDrive anymore but the SSD instead, I had to boot from a USB disk, which then appearantly will start in EFI mode, preventing the Windows installer from allowing install to a MBR formatted (or hybrid) disk. I also tried formatting everything just from Windows without Boot Camp to worry later about loading OS X, but Windows didn't boot that way either. – Phantrast Sep 12 '14 at 9:22

From my other answer :

If you even have a small spare drive, you can boot Windows(either 32 or 64 bit) from GPT on BIOS. A floppy/USB disk/another HDD will do.

Boot into the Windows install/repair disc.

Create the system drive on the small disk/floppy, and use bcdboot to put your boot files on the the newly created drive on the small disk. Add a bootsector with bootsect. Change the {bootmgr} device to boot. Boot from small disk.

Steps are detailed here.

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