Problem installing Windows 7 using Bootcamp Assistant on Macbook Pro

By | October 1, 2014

I encountered some issues when installing a Macbook Pro 15″ Retina display model recently and found the following symptoms and solutions useful in resolving them –

Symptom –
The symptoms lead me straight to thinking it was a bad partition table. In Disk Utility I could see the OSX partition which did not fill the disk and I could not expand it to do so without it giving an error – “an error has occurred while partitioning the disk”. Also when I had tried to run Bootcamp assistant OSX reported that I could only assign a 30gb drive max to windows and the drive size was reported incorrectly.
Solution –
Reboot in single user mode. As the mac book reboots hold the command+s button. You will see a black screen with command line information. When it reaches the prompt type and execute the following
/sbin/fsck -fy
It will check the disk and fix any errors. At the end it should confirm it has fixed errors.
Reboot back into OSX and run Bootcamp assistant again. You can now partition the disk as required and the full disk size is accounted for.

Symptom –
Bootcamp does not recognize the keyboard and mouse when installing windows 7 pro 64 bit. The Windows installation starts but only gets as far as the languange selection and you can go no further as neither the keyboard nor mouse are active!
Solution –
It seems to be all about the order you do things. For me the solution was to return to bootcamp assistant, do nothing but return the system to mac only, then re-run bootcamp assistant only selecting the third option (install windows 7), without selecting the first 2 options which I had done previously (create USB drive and download drivers).

There are many articles which suggest you need specific windows 7 ISO images for install, and various other weird combinations about which USB slot should be used to create the USB media but from my experience it is more about the order in which things are done that is important. If you don’t get the order right sometimes things just don’t work, so take a step back and try again!

Some useful references and credits –