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Installing Windows 8 EFI on Mac Pro


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#1
djohnsto77

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I bought Windows 8 Pro so I could install it on my Mac Pro (3,1)'s EFI RAID system, but the disc will not boot properly into the Windows installer when I select the EFI partition on the DVD as the startup disk. It shows Loading Files.... and a bar that fills up twice, but then it just restarts. On my newer Macbook Pro, the EFI installer boots up fine from my external USB blu-ray drive. Has anyone gotten this to work on a Mac Pro 3,1? All my drives are connected through the RAID system and the BIOS emulator won't boot from it. 



#2
Sotirios Papakonstantinou

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This happens because Windows 8 setup cannot detect the hard disk. I have seen this behaviour in Windows 7, Windows 8 and MiniPE (live CD with Windows XP and many tools for disaster recovery etc). Do you need to create RAID? If not, separate the disks and set them in AHCI or IDE mode (not sure how to do it in a Mac, since I'm not familiar with them, Google it). If you do want RAID, set the disks into AHCI or IDE, so Windows 8 installer can proceed and create the RAID within Windows installer before continuing with setup. You should go to the second installation option (Custom for advanced users) and at the hard disks click on Advanced to see all options. Surely there is an option to create RAID. After you set the disks to RAID 0 (stripe = make a single disk with double capacity and speed) ot RAID 1 (mirror, copy one disk on the other for backup), then proceed with setup. No need to create any partitions, Windows setup will create them for you, unless you want to keep space for installing MacOS. I hope that helps, sorry I cannot give you more details, as I'm not familiar with Macs. Do they have a BIOS where you can tweak stuff, as PCs have? How do you access it?



#3
djohnsto77

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Ok, that's helpful, thank you. You think it just needs to be able to "see" a hard drive without an extra driver to get past that stage where it's rebooting now. Right now, it wouldn't see anything, I have to use the "Have Disk..." or whatever button in the custom install to load the RAID drivers before I can see any disks when I start with the BIOS emulator, but again it won't install since it's an EFI device. I can connect an eSATA drive to the motherboard, but I need a cable. I ordered it, hopefully that will solve the problem. Thanks again.

 

Oh, and to answer your question, the only EFI setup built in to the Mac is a graphical boot drive picker you get by holding down the option key at startup. There's no complicated setup program you get by pressing a function key like on the PC. 



#4
Donk

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There are no Windows drivers for the RAID card so this is not going to work if you want to use RAID. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1346



#5
Sotirios Papakonstantinou

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The RAID drivers would be necessary in order to create the RAID in hardware (from the controller settings) and then install Windows. But since Windows setup cannot proceed to the disk selection screen, it is useless. If you leave the disks in AHCI or IDE mode (no RAID), then Windows setup might proceed and see them as two identical disks. You can then create RAID (software mode) before installing Windows. I don't think it will make any difference in performance and stability or compatibility if the RAID is created in either hardware or software mode, so why not try it?



#6
Donk

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The RAID drivers would be necessary in order to create the RAID in hardware (from the controller settings) and then install Windows. But since Windows setup cannot proceed to the disk selection screen, it is useless. If you leave the disks in AHCI or IDE mode (no RAID), then Windows setup might proceed and see them as two identical disks. You can then create RAID (software mode) before installing Windows. I don't think it will make any difference in performance and stability or compatibility if the RAID is created in either hardware or software mode, so why not try it?

The drives in a Mac Pro are always on a hardware RAID card. You cannot change them in the BIOS (there is only EFI) to AHCI or IDE. You could unplug them from the card, but whatever you do Windows on Mac Pro has no way to see them on the RAID controller. This is very well documented on the web and is also listed on the Apple web site. A useful set of instructions are here 



#7
Sotirios Papakonstantinou

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The drives in a Mac Pro are always on a hardware RAID card. You cannot change them in the BIOS (there is only EFI) to AHCI or IDE. You could unplug them from the card, but whatever you do Windows on Mac Pro has no way to see them on the RAID controller. This is very well documented on the web and is also listed on the Apple web site. A useful set of instructions are here 

In that case, plan B: Assuming you want to keep your MacOS installation and dual boot with Windows 8, why don't you just use Bootcamp to install Windows? It should provide any driver needed for Windows to see the disks. If they do during installation, then there is no need to reinstall the driver afterwards. You can proceed with installing the rest of the drivers (Intel chipset, nVidia graphics etc). The problem starts if you want to remove MacOS and install Windows only. But then there is no point using a Mac, buy a PC! Could you install a SATA PCI-E (or PCI) controller in your Mac? In that case Windows can see the disks connected on the card. In worst case, Windows setup will report no disks found, but it will proceed to the disk selection screen. Then, through the advanced options, you can browse to a flash drive or CD-ROM containing the necessary drivers! Then proceed with creating the RAID, if you wish, and install Windows. Yes, you might have to buy an extra card, but this is about 20-25€. There is a chance that after Windows are installed and you install all other drivers (including the original Apple RAID controller) that you can then remove the extra card and connect the disks back on the RAID controller with the same order. Windows will be able to boot since the necessary drive will be already installed. So, if lucky, you could borrow the extra card, not even buy it. I cannot be of more help as I don't have a real Mac to try...

 

PS: By the way Windows 8 are supposed to boot from either legacy BIOS or EFI hardware. So this is not the problem. The problem is they cannot identify the hard disks on the RAID controller. Try cheating with a SATA card as I said above...



#8
djohnsto77

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There are no Windows drivers for the RAID card so this is not going to work if you want to use RAID. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1346

 

 

I don't have the Apple RAID card, I have an ATTO card (ATTO ExpressSAS R644), and it does have Windows drivers.


In that case, plan B: Assuming you want to keep your MacOS installation and dual boot with Windows 8, why don't you just use Bootcamp to install Windows? It should provide any driver needed for Windows to see the disks. If they do during installation, then there is no need to reinstall the driver afterwards. You can proceed with installing the rest of the drivers (Intel chipset, nVidia graphics etc). The problem starts if you want to remove MacOS and install Windows only. But then there is no point using a Mac, buy a PC! Could you install a SATA PCI-E (or PCI) controller in your Mac? In that case Windows can see the disks connected on the card. In worst case, Windows setup will report no disks found, but it will proceed to the disk selection screen. Then, through the advanced options, you can browse to a flash drive or CD-ROM containing the necessary drivers! Then proceed with creating the RAID, if you wish, and install Windows. Yes, you might have to buy an extra card, but this is about 20-25€. There is a chance that after Windows are installed and you install all other drivers (including the original Apple RAID controller) that you can then remove the extra card and connect the disks back on the RAID controller with the same order. Windows will be able to boot since the necessary drive will be already installed. So, if lucky, you could borrow the extra card, not even buy it. I cannot be of more help as I don't have a real Mac to try...

 

PS: By the way Windows 8 are supposed to boot from either legacy BIOS or EFI hardware. So this is not the problem. The problem is they cannot identify the hard disks on the RAID controller. Try cheating with a SATA card as I said above...

This is what I'll have to do if I can't get the RAID to work. I still need to wait a couple days for the thing I ordered to come. The Mac Pro motherboard has two extra SATA ports on it and this thing will extend them to eSATA ports on the backplate. The problem is I disconnected the internal backplane that has the four internal drive ports from the motherboard and plugged it into the ATTO card, so I have four internal drives connected to the ATTO card and 12 drives in an external SAS expander chassis connected to the ATTO card with an SAS 8088 cable.



#9
djohnsto77

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The only thing I've discovered so far is that the two SATA ports on the Mac Pro's motherboard are NOT the same as the four other SATA ports connected with an 8087 cable (normally to the internal backplane). So since my internal backplane is connected to the SAS card, I have to get an 8087 to 8088 backplate plus the 8087 cable plus the 8088 to eSATA fanout cable. This is starting to get expensive :{







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