Mac Bootcamp 4 Mountain Lion - Installer disc could not be found - Solution

Update Feb 6, 2013: See Lior’s comment/fix to Bootcamp Assistant not giving the option to make your USB drive into a Windows installation bootable drive.

Here’s my solution to the ”Installer disc could not be found” problem when installing Windows on a Macbook Pro Retina with Bootcamp using Bootcamp Assistant.  At the Install step, after sizing partitions for the Macintosh HD drive, Bootcamp Assistant will return an error :

Bootcamp Assistant Installer Disc Could not be found

Bootcamp Assistant 4 is a step-by-step program on Mac’s (available in “Other” programs group, same group where you find Disk Utility, visible below) that will guide you through setup of dual boot Windows and Mac OS X on your Macbook/iMac/Mac Pro.  Bootcamp Assistant can create a bootable Windows installer USB key from your Windows 7 ISO image file (download official Windows 7 ISO images) or use your Windows install DVD if you have bought one, but Bootcamp Assistant sometimes can’t recognize the USB key as being a bootable “Installer disc” when the Partitioning step of Bootcamp Assistant is reached.

The solution: use Disk Utility to partition Mountain Lion’s hard disk, then restart holding alt/Option key and choosing the Windows USB key install image as the drive to boot from.

Finding Disk Utility on Mac OS X Mountain Lion:

Start Launchpad, click on Other and find Disk Utility.

Launcher Mac OS X Mountain Lion

mountain_lion_other_apps

mountain_lion_utilities_programs

Launch Disk Utility.  You’ll see something similar

disk_utility_default

Select the top most drive, which should be your 251 GB or 502 GB APPLE SSD.

On the right you’ll see 5 tab buttons: First Aid | Erase | Partition | RAID | Restore.

Choose Partition. Then click the + button below left of the rectangle.  This adds another partition to the rectangle, separating the top and bottom with a bar.  Drag this bar up and down to resize your OS X Mountain Lion partition (space on the drive dedicated to Mac) and the BOOTCAMP partition that you will create to hold Microsoft Windows.  I went with about 60GB.

Change the Name to BOOTCAMP or something that helps you remember this is your Windows partition.

Change the Format to MS-DOS (FAT).  This will be reformatted during Windows installation to NTFS.  Click Apply to save the changes and then reboot your Mac and we’ll begin Windows installation.

disk_utility_partition_bootcamp

During reboot, you’ll hear the startup “Chime”.  Press and hold the alt/Option key and you’ll be presented with drives to boot from.  Use the arrow keys and return button to select the Windows yellow USB key drive containing your Windows 7 installation files. This will begin the Windows install.

mac_boot_selection

First screen where you’ll need to make selections is the drive selection of where to install Windows 7. Select the BOOTCAMP partition you created in Disk Utility.

windows_install_drive_options

Click Drive options (advanced).  This will reveal the Format option, which you’ll need to use in order to reformat the partition for use by Windows 7 (formatting the partition to NTFS).

windows_install_format_selected_drive

Follow the rest of the Windows installation steps and stay at your Mac during the process.  Windows will need to reboot several times during the installation process and you’ll need to be ready to press/hold the alt/Option key during the Mac boot-up chime so you can select the BOOTCAMP partition to boot up into to continue the installation process.

Once the install is complete and you’ve booted into Windows 7, don’t forget to install WindowsSupport files that were put onto your Windows 7 installation USB key.

These support files adjust the resolution and keyboard/trackpad for best usability.

Enjoy your Bootcamped Macbook Pro Retina with OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 7!


Lior’s solution to no-bootup option for your USB drive Windows installation disk in Bootcamp Assistant (thanks Lior!):

If you have only 2 options in the boot camp assistant, or if bootcamp doesn’t recognize the windows installer disk when its on a bootable usb, it’s because bootcamp doesn’t recognize your macbook as a model that should install windows from a USB, its actually quite easy to fix, just follow these simple steps:

1. go to Applications>Utilities> right click on boot camp and click Show Package Conents, you’ll find a folder inside called Contents (If i remember correctly, not on my Macbook atm). Inside that folder exists a file called info.plist.
2. Right click on the folder containing the file > get info > change permissions so any user can read & write. Do the same for the file itself (right click > get info…).
3. Right click on info.plist and choose Open with > Text Edit.
4. at the end of the document theres a list of strings that contain different versions of Mac computers, the list is titled something like: “USB boot Versions”, add your Mac’s version to the string list ( MB40 ) if your version is Macbook 4,1 (you can see this by clicking on the System information App in the Utilities folder).
5. save the file and change back the permissions on the file and folder.

Now open boot camp and you should see the option to create a Windows 7 installler on a USB, and also bootcamp will look for a windows installation on any USB’s after you partition the hard drive.


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A little question please, How do you create the Windows 7 USB Key ? what do you mean by that ? An usb drive ? how does the bootcamp assistant create a bootable Windows 7 Bootable USB stick ?

Rui, I’ve added a link for Windows 7 ISO install images to the article. You need a blank USB key (4GB was sufficient for me) for Bootcamp Assistant to load on a bootable image of Windows 7. Thanks for the questions.

Thanks alot for you answer Ben :)

The problem is i have an older macbook pro (late 2007 / 2008) and i’m afraid it won’t boot from usb sticks. Not even with rEFit installed. Or is there a kind of trick to make the USB boot in older macbook pros ?

Thanks again in advance,

Greetings

Hi Rui,

I also have a 2007 MacBook Pro and I can boot from USB sticks and drives without any problem.

When you press & hold the alt/option key after hearing the boot-up “chime”, your Mac doesn’t show on screen the various drives from which you can boot? (That you select using arrow keys and enter button)

Hi Ben, It does show, But when i click on the windows USB stick, It gives me a list of errors (lettres are in yellow) and then i have to reboot.. Is there a special way to do it ? I have the ISO, do i only open the ISO on my mac, and copy the content to the USB drive ? (wich is formated in FAT file system btw)

Thanks again for your answers and help, very much appreciated!

Hi Rui,

To make the bootable USB key, you should have Boot Camp Assistant make it for you.

When you start Boot Camp Assistant (assuming version 4), there will be a screen with three checkbox options, the top being “Create a Windows 7 install disk”.

Having that checked (only) and running Boot Camp Assistant (which will ask you for the location of a Windows 7 ISO image saved on your computer) will create you a proper bootable Windows 7 USB key.

Let me know how that works.

Hey Ben, It doesnt work with me, Because I only have 2 options. Wich are the Download windows support files, and install windows :/ So i guess my hardware is not compatible with that unfortunatly :/ (my bootcamp version is version 5..)

Thanks again alot Ben,

Best Regards

FYI, I just did this and worked great - I used the Windows DVD rather than the USB but it shows up in the same way when you reboot holding down the alt/option key.

thanks!

I have disk problem after instalation. the W7 takes about 37 gb spase on the disk.
what i coud be. it’s clear windowa without any program i shouldn’t takes so mach spase

If you have only 2 options in the boot camp assistant, or if bootcamp doesn’t recognize the windows installer disk when its on a bootable usb, it’s because bootcamp doesn’t recognize your macbook as a model that should install windows from a USB, its actually quite easy to fix, just follow these simple steps:

1. go to Applications>Utilities> right click on boot camp and click Show Package Conents, you’ll find a folder inside called Contents (If i remember correctly, not on my Macbook atm). Inside that folder exists a file called info.plist.
2. Right click on the folder containing the file > get info > change permissions so any user can read & write. Do the same for the file itself (right click > get info…).
3. Right click on info.plist and choose Open with > Text Edit.
4. at the end of the document theres a list of strings that contain different versions of Mac computers, the list is titled something like: “USB boot Versions”, add your Mac’s version to the string list ( MB40 ) if your version is Macbook 4,1 (you can see this by clicking on the System information App in the Utilities folder).
5. save the file and change back the permissions on the file and folder.

Now open boot camp and you should see the option to create a Windows 7 installler on a USB, and also bootcamp will look for a windows installation on any USB’s after you partition the hard drive.

That should get you past the bootcamp assistant phase, assuming your usb is indeed bootable, your mac should partition the disk and boot into the USB and start the installation (for some reason mine doesn’t recognize the USB as bootable but thats another issue)

How come when i reboot i dont see the selection of Windows i only see Mac and Recovery

How do you update your bootcamp to bootcamp 4?

Lior, thanks for your help.
I was struggling with this for 2 days.

I already have created USB key drive containing your Windows 7 installation files using bootcamp and already created a partition, but when I restart the system and hold ALT/Option it only appears the Macintosh HD and the Recovery 10.8. The yellow flash drive icon “Windows” dosent appear at all!!

What could it be???

Thanks

I’m in the same boat as thomasloh and Raeafa. I’ve created the Win 7 USB installer but it does not show up in the list of bootable volumes.

Im also in the same boat, that drive does not show when hitting option on startup, and my computer is not reading the windows installer DVD, its just ejects automatically after it spins for a few seconds. Disc is not damaged, and i cleaned the superdrive before attempting. Have the iso file, but still not working. Help would be appreciated!

Thanks

Pomogite pojalusta… Vo vremya ustanovki windows 7, posle formatirovat razdela najimayu DALEE daet oshibku: “Программе установки не удалось создать новый или найти существующий системный раздел. “

I tried all the steps mentioned, when I trying to install windows, it doesn’t provide the option of choosing which partition? Thanks for your help.

Thanks, Lior!
If you’re adding your hardware string to the Boot Camp Info.plist, make sure your model comes BEFORE the existing later model or it will not work:
MBP51
<string<MBP90

Has anyone got this to work. My computer doesn’t recognize the flash drive I have when I reboot holding the alt key. I did all steps required and still no luck.

Same as above. Tried both USB with updated info file and a dvd as well. I read somewhere that mountain lion does not have the drivers to boot Windows formatted startup disks. Could that be the problem? In that case I would like my money back until it does..

The USB stick with the windows 7 iso isn’t displaying when i hold the option key? What can I do?

Matt: the USB stick needs be a Windows 7 *boot* drive, not the ISO of Windows 7.

The Win7 ISO is used to make the USB stick a boot drive with the help of Bootcamp Assistant while using Mountain Lion.

Thanks for the response Ben, I’ve looked in and out of bootcamp assistant and haven’t anything in regards of creating a bootable USB stick.

I have access to a Windows computer that I can use a program to create a bootable USB for Win7, would this work?

I would use the DVD but the installer gets stuck on “Windows expanding files 0%).

Any help is appreciated.

Hi Matt,
If you have a Windows PC, you can use that machine to create the bootable USB key with Win7 and use that during the Bootcamp Assistant setup.

Also, have a look at Lior’s comment above regarding whether your particular Mac is one listed as “bootable by USB key”. (You can fix it if not).

Ben, I do have another PC and I used that tool to create a bootable Win7 USB stick and it still didn’t see it when I rebooted.

I also have a brand new iMac, I used the create a bootable Win7 USB stick via bootcamp and my early 08 MacBook still didn’t see the USB drive upon start up.

I even went to the extent of installing refit so I could get a better boot screen and it still doesn’t see it.

I’m at a loss here and I need Windows on this thing for school work. I don’t want to use parallels.

Is there anyway that I can use an external hard drive? Or any other options??

Thanks!

Hi Matt,
If you have an external hard drive, I would try that, just to eliminate the possibility something is wrong with your USB key.

You could get extreme and pull out the hard drive from your 08 Macbook, connect it to your PC (either via a usb drive caddy or directly if possible) use partition magic or similar to repartition it, adding an NTFS partition, installing Windows 7 onto that partition, then reconnecting it to your Macbook and seeing if you can hold Option and see that bootable partition.

With my old 07 Macbook Pro, I used to have two identical disk drives that I could swap in and out while trying crazier/riskier stuff like this.

So I did everything exactly and it all was working till i get to the formatting part. I format the partition but then it gives me an error saying

“windows cannot be installed to this disk. The Selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI system, Windows can only be installed on GPT disks

Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer’s hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk’d controller is enabled in the computers BIOS menu”

I’m at a loss here.

Victor,
Take a look at the screenshots in the article, the second Disk Utility one, which is titled APPLE SSD etc.

Look at the bottom right hand corner where it says Partition Map Scheme: GUID Partition Table. This is GPT. When you’re in Disk Utility on your Mac, does it say the same or are you on Master Boot Record (MBR)?

If you’re in MBR, I think you’re stuck unless you want to reformat your entire disk as GPT, create two partitions, one for OSX and another for Windows, reinstall OSX and go through the Bootcamp process again in prep for installing Windows on Bootcamp.

GPT formatted disks allow disks to be above 2TB in size. MBRs are old-school which can only support disk sizes below 2TB. More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

Thanks a lot for the reply Ben,

Yeah mine says all the exact same things as it does in the screenshot up above “Partition Map Scheme : GUID Partition Table” and everything else.

When I go back to OSX after failing to continue installation after formatting the partition, I check the partition and it is in “Windows NT File System (NTFS)”. I’ve looked around the internet and I cant seem to find an answer. I’ve retried all the steps 5 times with the same outcome. The only thing that’s different is when I go to format the partition, under “Type” mine says “Primary” not “System” like it does in the screen shot above 9not sure if that’s anything, just saying).

Don’t know if it matters but I’m on a 27-inch, Mid 2010 “iMac11,3″ Intel Core i7 1TB running Mountain Lion, and I’m booting Windows 8 off a USB stick.

Again thanks for replying.

im as same as vector

victor*

i have the very same problem of victor

except im on a macbook pro 17″ early 2011

i have a 750gb hdd drive and a 256gb samsung ssd

I’ve got mbp80 (macbook pro 13 early 2011) and this doesn’t work for me.
It seems that the problem is not so easy to solve. Lior’s method does work for the first step: in bootcamp I now can create bootable usb stick. But when I run ‘Install Windows 7′, mac reboots and then doesn’t recognize usb as bootable. Lior’s usb didn’t work either, so as couple of people’s sticks as seen in comments.
On russian site http://goo.gl/F7puL described the same as Lior’s way to install win7 from usb, but in comments TS says that it turns out that you can boot only on mbp 2012 and later, mba 2010 and later and so on. In comments somebody said that refit helped with macbook bro 7,1, but for me it don’t work too.
Any ideas?

With Bootcamp 5.x the steps to get the 3 options available is slightly different than what is listed.

In the DARequiredROMVersions array, add a string at the top that contains your Boot Rom Version that can be found in System Information.

This is mine:
MBP81.0047.B27

Next go to the PreUSBBootSupportedModels array and add a string at the top that has your Model Identifier (also found in system info).

Mind is:
MacBookPro8,1

After adding these two strings and saving Bootcamp no longer told me that I needed an optical drive to install Windows.

Thanks Serian, That’s work for me with some more little setting. I’ve changed PreUSBBootSupportedModels to USBBootSupportedModels and it’s work fine for me instead of just add the model to a list.
Anyway i’m still stuck on the same issue as victor. Is there anyone know why the system said
“windows cannot be installed to this disk. The Selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI system, Windows can only be installed on GPT disks

Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer’s hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk’d controller is enabled in the computers BIOS menu” ?

“If you’re adding your hardware string to the Boot Camp Info.plist, make sure your model comes BEFORE the existing later model or it will not work:
MBP51
MBP90″

Thanks, nck! I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t showing up, but once I moved mine to the head of the line, my third option showed up! And thanks too, Lior, for the fix.

Hello
I installed win xp along with apple windows on my macbook. Now Im having two issues First : I dont know how to install drivers e.g. graphics, sound, mouse pad etc. and 2nd how to switch from xp window to apple?

kindly help me resolving these issues.

Regards

the gtp problem is usually for disks who where not formatted through bootcamp. Do the format from there and not the disk utility

GTP problem stay even than if your original install of osx was not using GTP format.

Back up your osx with time machine, reformat the whole thing and reinstall osx should work I guess.

I have converted my USB stick as Windows bootable ISO image with help of Boot camp Installer. In the same setup, the Boot Camp asked for Partition and then install. I did the partition and then the Mac restarted and then it was asking for disk and not the pen drive :(

The restarted screen says:
There is no disc inserted. Please insert the disk and then press any key.

So i came out from there and restarted the MacBook and pressed “Alt/Option” but I am not getting the option of “WININSTALL” for booting.

Please help me as I am struggling from last 3 weeks and need it urgently.

Ben Lam, Please help.

I did your steps upto the point where you reboot and supposed to see the usb drive , all mine shows is MAC drive and a recoverable drive option…….All USB’s are connected, the windows cd is in the drive too……

Thanks for this guide. However I’m still having a problem. I did the Lior’s solution, because I could only see 2 drives during reboot, no USB showing, not windows partition either. What do you think it’s the problem?, I’m using an older Macbook Pro (2011) with Mt.Lion that has a CD drive, but my version of windows 7 is in a flash drive and bootcamp doesn’t recognize it. I tried making a disk image of it before, and put it on a DVD but it didn’t work either, the image had the .dmg extension. So, I’m trying to do it this way partitioning the hard drive, but when I reboot it doesn’t recognize the other drives.

i followed the steps but when i reset, i only see macintosh HD and recovery…. the new bootcamp drive doesn’t even show up. but when i go to disk utility, it’s there.

Thank you very much! This works smoothly with Macbook Air 13!

I was following the bootcamp instructions carefully but in the end it failed to recognize Win7 bootable USB as an installation source. That was after spending hours trying to move the ISO image from one laptop to a 4GBSD card to the Macbook Air, only to realize that it won’t make the 4GB bootable because it’s too small. I then found an 8GB USB drive and shuffled the data around, tried bootcamp to make that 8GB USB drive bootable but it would fail after formatting it and gave some error. I eventually created the 8GB USB drive bootable using “Windows 7 USB Download Tool” but the bootcamp software still didn’t recognize that. In one attempt I put the ready-to-use bootable USB drive on the Macbook Air and accidentally clicked “next/install” on Bootcamp with the checkbox “Make this USB bootable” selected which wiped clean the USB which was previously ready to use. I had to take that USB back to the other Windows machine to make it bootable using Windows 7 USB download tool.

How to mąkę my partition “system”not primary? Thanks