Mac OS X Lion + Boot Camp + Windows 7

Mac OS X Lion + Boot Camp + Windows 7

With our upcoming motion conference – not to mention the fact that I’m speaking at Adobe MAX right before our show – I’m not ready to risk installing Mac OSX Lion on my MacBook Pro – or our production Mac Pro machines that we use for motion graphics and post. But I have been curious about Lion and what it has to offer. So I decided to reformat one of our MacBook Unibody laptops (the cool little aluminum one that they only made one year – 2009) to play around with OS X Lion.

I also wanted to install a Boot Camp Windows 7 partition on this machine as well to use as our QuickBooks machine – the only Windows software we run. While there were some roadblocks that I hit along the way, ultimately it worked like a charm. So let’s take a look at the roadblocks – in hopes it will help others prevent these setbacks.

Challenge 1: Mac OS X Lion Clean Install

Whenever we upgrade our machines to a major release build, we always reinstall. I find that this always provides the best results – and heck – it makes you feel like you have a brand new computer ;). Generally, I insert the Mac OS X install DVD and boot from it by holding down the ‘C’ key on startup. Then, I run Disk Utility to reformat the hard drive, and finally, install the OS.

But what do we do now that Mac OS X Lion is a download from the App Store vs. being an actual DVD to install from? We create our own install DVD.

Let’s go through the process:

1. Download Lion from the App Store. Easy enough. It is a fairly large download, so after you start it – go back to working on whatever project you were doing before you got side tracked and decided to install Lion on your machine. Ok – maybe that’s just how I work 😉

2. When the Download is Complete…don’t continue the installation process. Quit the Installer.

3. Locate the Lion Install Application. You’ll find it in your Applications folder.

4. Show Package Contents. Right click on the icon and then select Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu.

5. Copy Installer to Desktop. When the Contents folder opens, browse to the SharedSupport folder where you will find InstallESD.dmg. Copy this file to your desktop. (copy – not move…we want to keep the original installer intact.)

6. Launch Disk Utility. It’s located in your Utility folder.

7. Insert a Blank DVD. That’s pretty self-explanatory.

8. Burn. In Disk Utility, click the Burn icon. Navigate to the InstallESD.dmg we just copied to our desktop, select it, and then click to Burn. This will create our Mac OS X Lion install DVD.

After this is complete, you can do a clean install Mac OS X Lion by:

  • boot from the Install DVD we just created
  • select to run Disk Utility from the menu items
  • reformat your hard drive in Disk Utility (note: even though we’re installing Boot Camp, we won’t make a partition yet)
  • quit Disk Utility
  • you’re now back in the installer…so install away!
Next step is to create a Boot Camp partition
1. Close All Applications. This is always a good idea when installing software.
2. Boot Camp Assistant. Navigate to Applications -> Utilities and double-click Boot Camp Assistant.
3. Select the option to add a Windows partition, select other options you need, and then click Continue.
4. Download Windows Support. If you haven’t already downloaded the Windows support software for this computer, select the option to download it. This will create a folder called WindowsSupport. In a later step, you’ll install the Windows support software on your Windows partition.
5. Set your partition size. Decide how much space you want to allocate to Windows 7. While you might be able to get aways with less, I opted for 20GB, which left me with just a bit over 16GB to use after installing Windows 7. To change the amount of space to dedicate to Windows 7, click the small divider between Mac OS X and Windows, and drag it to the left. In a later step, you’ll format the Windows partition.

6. Insert your Windows 7 installation disc

7. Click Install. Boot Camp Assistant creates the Windows partition, restarts your Mac, and opens the Windows 7 installer.

8. Start the Installation. When the Windows 7 installer appears, follow the onscreen instructions, until you’re asked where to install Windows 7

9. Select the BOOTCAMP partition and continue the Windows installation.

Challenge 2: Installing Windows 7 64x in Boot Camp on a Machine that is not “compatible”

The MacBook I’m installing to, is 64bit. But when you try to install Boot Camp in Windows – it says the my MacBook was an unsupported model (late 2009 MacBook Unibody). It’s 64-bit. Why doesn’t it work?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know the fix. In Windows:

1. Right-click on Start » Programs » Accessories » Command Prompt

2. Select Run as Administrator

3. Navigate to your the drive where you WindowsSupport folder is located. In my case, it was on Drive D. At the command prompt Type cd /d D and press enter.

4. Navigate to the WindowsSupport folder. cd WindowsSupportDriversApple

5. msiexec /i BootCamp64.msi

And just like that… it works.

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