Yuck, I had to take the unwanted plunge of giving M$ some money and bought some Win7 Licenses. I installed one on a Mac Mini (i5 2011 model) on a separate partition using Apple's BootCamp tool.
I bought Win7 on DVD and thought that I could use the "Remote Disc" feature of Mac OSX Lion to use a shared DVD from a different macbookPro with a DVD drive.
NO, NO, NO.
This model of the Mac Mini will only install Windoze using a bootable install image of Win7 on a USB.
I did not buy a USB install iso image. I had a DVD.
M$ sells win7 install iso images on their web site but I bought my license from my local NCIX.com
With a bit of research, I got it done - here is how I did it.
- Get the Win7 DVD files onto a Bootable USB (create a bootable USB drive with Win7)
- run boot camp assistant to go through the partitioning and install
- boot into windows and finish all the configuration to get is running with all the drivers and apps
Step Number 1 is what I am going to discuss, since it was not as easy as clicking some buttons.
Google and I finally found Liza Shulyayeva's post about creating the bootable USB based on the files from a install DVD.
Win7 Install DVD ---> USB Win7 install Drive
She has the steps very well documented. They are all done on a Win7 commandline.
- First you partition a 4GB (or bigger) USB drive using diskpart.exe
- create a new parition on that USB drive
- format it
- then using bootsect.exe - you put the boot sector on the drive
- copy all the files from the DVD
For the full details, go to her post, it is step by step!.
Thats it, the USB drive is ready to be used by Boot Camp.
I did not follow the 2nd part of her post because she documented the used of a different boot loaded called rEFit.
Thanks Liza. (http://liza.id.au/installing-windows-7-through-boot-camp-with-no-optical-drive-on-a-mac-mini)
After that struggle,
- I installed Win7,
- installed the apple drivers that I had on a different USB drive (because they would not fit on the same 4GB Win7 drive),
- installed Firefox,
- installed the Win7 updates,
- got all the printers and network domain settings and shares setup,
- then started the download and install of the GAMES that only run on Windoze that drove me to this in the 1st place.
BTW I bought a few licenses and installed it on my main Linux workstation in VirtualBox a free, very robust and well supported virualization app.
It works pretty good but requires much more memory to run correctly because you are sharing resources this way. VirtualBox also works on Mac.