The problem is the following: I have a mid 2012 27" iMac with no SuperDrive, and would like to install Windows using dual boot. I have an ISO image of Win7. I see there's an option in Boot Camp Assistant to install it via a USB Flash Drive, but I don't have one. Since I am sick I would have to order it online, and it would take maybe a week, and I'm a little impatient. I see there is an often recommended trick of installing Windows via VMWare to the physical disk, then switch the virtual machine off before it restarts, then restart the mac and boot into the new windows Volume. I don't have VMWare Fusion, but I tried it with VirtualBox instead. I then tried to set the startup volume to the new Windows partition, in System Preferences, and restarted, and got the following message:
No Bootable Device --- press any key to continue...
The message is taken from memory. So, I reckon there might be three ways from here:
1) Install rEFIt. I see almost all tutorials include this. I'm very squeamish about installing software that has low-level access and makes low-level changes to the system that might have consequences like the machine not booting at all. I'm not sure how much it changes the firmware etc., the stuff that I'm squeamish about. I also couldn't quite determine from the rEFIt/rEFInd websites whether it would solve my problem, and whether it would be necessary.
2) Try installing windows again via VirtualBox, but this time give VirtualBox access to the entire disk. Gulp! I'm squeamish about that too. Until now, I have only given it access to the partition where I want Windows installed, I suspect the Windows installer actually needs to put some boot code into the MBR records too. I suspect I would have to give it access to the entire physical disk for it to work. But, as I understand it, there is a trick that Mac OS X employs to make two partition map types work together. Perhaps there might be incompatibilities that won't be handled by installing Windows via VirtualBox, so that the entire disk could be ruined (or at least the partition tables). Therefore, I thought I'd ask here first. Here is the command I used to create the raw vmdk file for VirtualBox:
sudo vboxmanage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename ./raw_hd.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/disk0 -partitions 4
By removing the last bit "-partitions 4", I'd give it access to the entire disk.
3) Get VMWare Fusion, and install Windows via it instead, like the tutorials say? Perhaps VirtualBox just ain't up to the task?
Or..... maybe I should just accept that squeamishness and hackishness don't go together, and order a USB flash drive online....
Partition Inspector from the rEFIt package (which I didn't install), says:
*** Report for internal hard disk *** Current GPT partition table: # Start LBA End LBA Type 1 40 409639 EFI System (FAT) 2 409640 1815536839 Mac OS X HFS+ 3 1815536840 1816806375 Mac OS X Boot 4 1816807424 1953523711 Basic Data Current MBR partition table: # A Start LBA End LBA Type 1 1 409639 ee EFI Protective 2 409640 1815536839 af Mac OS X HFS+ 3 1815536840 1816806375 ab Mac OS X Boot 4 1816807424 1953523711 87 NTFS volume set MBR contents: Boot Code: None Partition at LBA 40: Boot Code: None (Non-system disk message) File System: FAT32 Listed in GPT as partition 1, type EFI System (FAT) Partition at LBA 409640: Boot Code: None File System: HFS Extended (HFS+) Listed in GPT as partition 2, type Mac OS X HFS+ Listed in MBR as partition 2, type af Mac OS X HFS+ Partition at LBA 1815536840: Boot Code: None File System: HFS Extended (HFS+) Listed in GPT as partition 3, type Mac OS X Boot Listed in MBR as partition 3, type ab Mac OS X Boot Partition at LBA 1816807424: Boot Code: Windows BOOTMGR (Vista) File System: NTFS Listed in GPT as partition 4, type Basic Data Listed in MBR as partition 4, type 87 NTFS volume set