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How to Bootcamp / Dual Boot Windows 10 on a mid-2011 iMac using USB

How to Install / Bootcamp Windows 10 on a mid-2011 iMac using USB

Apple has released support for bootcamping Windows 10, but only on 2012 Macs and later. Despite not being supported. it is possible to install Windows 10 on earlier iMacs and it seems to run quite well.

IMPORTANT: Unplug all external and physical hard drives (where possible) that you won't be installing to to avoid accidentally erasing them. Also make note of which drives and partitions remain (e.g. System and Storage hard drives), and be super careful to not erase the wrong one.

RECOVERY: If you nuke your machine, restore your time machine backup. Instructions here.

Requirements

  • A mid-2011 iMac or similar running OSX El Capitan
  • An 8GB or larger USB drive
  • An ISO containing Windows 10 (I used Windows 10 Enterprise)
  • 50GB free disk space, 100GB recommended

Step 1: Disable El Capitan's System Integrity Protection

El Capitan ships with a new OS X feature: System Integrity Protection (SIP), also known as "rootless" mode. This reduces the attack surface for malware that relies on modifying system files by preventing any user, whether with system administrator ("root") privileges or not from modifying a number of operating system directories and files.

It is necessary to disable OSX's System Integrity Protection so you can modify the Bootcamp Utility in the next step.

  1. Restart your Mac.
  2. Before OS X starts up, hold down Command-R and keep it held down until you see an Apple icon and a progress bar. Release. This boots you into Recovery.
  3. From the Utilities menu, select Terminal.
  4. At the prompt type exactly the following and then press Return: csrutil disable
  5. Terminal should display a message that SIP was disabled.
  6. From the  menu, select Restart.

Once you have finished installing Windows you should enable SIP again by following the same steps but run csrutil enable instead.

Step 2: Modify Bootcamp to allow creation of a bootable USB

For some reason Apple decided that if your Mac has an optical drive, there could be no reason you need to Bootcamp off a USB. If you're like me, you haven't touched an optical disk in a few years and prefer the ease and speed of using a USB flash drive instead.

  1. Find out your Macs Model Identifier and Boot ROM Version:
  • Open Terminal and run system_profiler SPHardwareDataType. Note down the values.
  • My mid-2011's Model Identifier was "iMac12,2" and the Boot ROM Version was "IM121.0047.B23".
  1. Open terminal and navigate to /Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant.app/Contents
  • Change directory: cd /Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant.app/Contents
  • Show files in directory: ls
  1. The file we are going to edit is the Info.plist file.
  • Make a backup of this file by running: sudo cp Info.plist Info.plist.bak
  • You will need to enter your OSX user account password.
  • If you get the error saying cp: Info.plist.bak: Operation not permitted, SIP is still enabled, please refer to step 1.
  1. Open the Info.plist in your favorite text editor, to keep this guide simple, I'll use nano.
  • sudo nano Info.plist
  1. You want to edit FOUR things:
  2. Add your Boot ROM Version to DARequiredROMVersions
  3. Delete the word "Pre" from UEFIModels and add your Model Identifier
  4. Delete the word "Pre" from USBBootSupportedModels and add your Model Identifier
  5. Remove your model from Win7OnlyModels (if it's there)
  6. Close and save the file by pressing Ctrl+x followed by y on your keyboard.
  7. The last step is to do a code sign. Boot Camp Assitant will not run if it's been edited. You need to resign it. Open Terminal (use spotlight to find it) and type this:
  • sudo codesign -fs - /Applications/Utilities/Boot\ Camp\ Assistant.app
  • It will probably ask for your password. Then it will say you need to download a developer tool from Apple. Agree to download it. (You don't need to install the whole X-Code, if it asks.) Once its been installed (it's automatic), you need to go BACK to Terminal and run that command again. This time it will work.

Step 3: Download the Bootcamp Windows Support Software

This download will contain the Windows drivers you will need to run Windows on your Mac. Windows 10 will install and run without them but not very well and a lot of hardware either won't work, or won't work very well until you install the drivers.

  1. Open Boot Camp Assistant from Applications -> Utilities
  2. Click continue at the introduction, if you completed step 2 correctly, you should see three options.
  • Create a Windows 7 or later version install disk
  • Download the latest Windows support software from Apple
  • Install Windows 7 or later version
  1. Choose none of three options, instead:
  2. From the Actions menu select Download Windows Support Software
  3. Select your Macs Desktop or Downloads folder as the destination for the download
  4. The download is 1.35GB so may take a few minutes

Step 4: Create the bootable Windows 10 USB

  1. Open Boot Camp Assistant from Applications -> Utilities
  2. Click continue at the introduction, and check the box in Create a Windows 7 or later version install disk. Ensure no other boxes are checked and click continue.
  3. If you have not already done so, insert the USB flash drive you want to burn the Windows 10 image to. Remember that any data on the USB drive you select will be erased.
  4. Continue the wizard, selecting the Windows 10 ISO file when prompted.
  5. After completing the wizard you will have your bootable Windows 10 installer USB.
  6. Copy the folder you downloaded in in Step 3 containing the Bootcamp Windows Support Software to root of USB flash drive.

Step 5: Create the bootcamp partition

You can do this using the Bootcamp Assistant, but it does reboot and attempt to boot from the optical drive as soon as it completes. I prefer to use the OSX Disk Utility instead.

  1. Open Disk Utility from Applications -> Utilities
  2. Choose your internal hard drive and select the Partition button along the top.
  3. Click the + button and create a new partition by shrinking the existing one.
  4. Create the new disk with at least 40GB disk space, I would recommend 60GB or higher.
  5. Name the partition BOOTCAMP and format using MS-DOS (FAT).
  6. Click Apply, this will take a few minutes, be patient.

Step 6: Delete the Hybrid MBR

During step 5, OSX tried to be helpful by converting our legal GPT disk partition into a hybrid MBR partition, which makes OSX see the disk as GPT and Windows it as MBR. Windows 10 requires a GPT disk when using EFI boot, so we need to revert this change using a tool called GPT fdisk (gdisk).

If this step is not completed you will get this error when installing Windows 10:

Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is not of the GPT partition style

To avoid this:

  1. Download GPT fdisk from its Sourceforge page and install it. You will probably get a warning that it's not a signed application, if you do open OSX System Preferences -> Security and Privacy -> General and you should see a note down the bottom about the application you just tried to open with an offer to open it again.
  2. Find the device number for the internal hard disk:
  3. Open Disk Utility from Applications -> Utilities
  4. Choose your internal hard drive (not one of the partitions) and note down the Device, it's probably disk0.
  5. Open Terminal from Applications -> Utilities
  6. Launch gdisk on your internal hard disk by running sudo gdisk /dev/disk0, if your internal hard disk was not disk0 in the previous step, replace disk0 with what it was here.
  7. Type p to view the partition table to verify you're working on the correct disk. You should see the BOOTCAMP partition we created in Step 5. If not, type q to quit without saving your changes and double check the device number.
  8. Type x to enter the experts' menu.
  9. Type n to create a fresh protective MBR. Note that gdisk won't confirm a change; it'll just show you a new experts' prompt.
  10. Type w to save your changes. You'll be asked to confirm this action. Do so.

Note this action also requires OSX SIP to be disabled, if you get permission errors, make sure you have completed Step 1.

Step 7: Install Windows

  1. Reboot your Mac with the bootable Windows 10 Installer USB plugged in.
  2. Before OS X starts up, just after you hear the startup sound, repeatedly press and hold down the Option (or Alt key if your using a Windows keyboard) for a second or two until you see the boot selection options.
  3. You should see an option to boot from a USB device labelled "EFI Boot", choose this one.
  4. The Windows 10 installation will now start, follow the steps, selecting Custom Installation.
  5. On the screen where you select your partition be careful, ensure you select the "BOOTCAMP" partition you created earlier before proceeding with installation.
  6. Windows will restart 4 or so times during installation. Be ready to hold down the Options / Alt key after each reboot, but instead of selecting the USB device named "EFI Boot" select the newly created hard disk labelled the "EFI Boot" instead to ensure the installation continues smoothly. This is the same method you will use to choose between booting into OSX or booting into Windows once setup is complete.
  7. Finish installing Windows until you get to the desktop.

Step 8: Install the Bootcamp Windows Support Software

The Bootcamp Windows Support Software should be on the Windows 10 installer USB you created earlier.

  1. Open Windows Explorer and go to the USB drive
  2. Unless you renamed the folder, open WindowsSupport -> Bootcamp -> setup.exe.
  3. This will install all the required drivers and the bootcamp utility for Windows.

Step 9: Re-Enable El Capitan's System Integrity Protection

See Step 1.

Issues

The drivers installed as part of the Bootcamp Windows Support Software work well, WiFi, Graphics, External Monitors, Webcams and Bluetooth are all working. Audio was the only immediately noticable issue, though strangely the audio provided through my 2008 Apple Cinema display works without issue.

Mid-2011 iMac Audio Does Not Work

I could not get the iMac built in sound to work on Windows 10, despite the webcam working. I tried a few things that did not work:

As my external Apple Cinema display's audio was working it was not to much of an issue for me to deal with, but if anyone finds a solution please let me know.

Sources & Acknowledgements

@silici0

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silici0 commented Jun 11, 2017

Update :

  1. Add your Boot ROM Version to DARequiredROMVersions
    1. You don't have DARequiredROMVersions : Remove your model from SupporedNonWin10Model

Ty

@kennc05

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kennc05 commented Aug 12, 2017

Thank you for this guide so helpful and needed for those struggling on mid 2011 and below macs! Worked for me

@davidhdez

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davidhdez commented Sep 6, 2017

Same boat, any update about the audio? ty.

@dburdick

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dburdick commented Sep 8, 2017

Great resource, thank you!

A couple of extra tips:

  • If your Windows install hangs after the first reboot and you have booted off the disk EFI, try removing the Windows installer USB drive and restarting.
  • For Macs with 2 hard drives, you may need to unplug the other drive from the logic board. This may be your problem if you get an error when selecting the partition in the Windows install that says We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one. After Step 7 in the iFixit guide you have access to the drive connections. The one furthest from the power supply is the top drive (one just under the antenna plate).
  • Using a 2011 Mac Mini is unlikely to work with Windows 10 because there is no graphics driver for the CPU-integrated HD3000 graphics. Installing the Bootcamp drivers at the end will break the Windows installation. If your mac has a separate graphics card, as the iMacs do, this won't apply.
@stract32

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stract32 commented Oct 29, 2017

The audio problem on the mid-2011 iMac is caused by installing Windows 10 with a USB, i.e. using EFI Boot. Installing this way on the mid-2011 iMac causes Windows to not detect some hardware like the speakers and potentially even the GPU, thus creating the aforementioned problem (no matter how many drivers you throw at it.)
So just install with a DVD instead of a USB (thus forcing it to use legacy BIOS boot mode) and the problem should be avoided.

@poisonborz

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poisonborz commented Nov 14, 2017

After screwing around with it, even though it kinda works, if you have a pre-uefi Macbook (<2012) I don't recommend to install Windows 10 in native EFI mode.
A lot of chipset features are not exposed by Apple's EFI-CSR. No driver and hacks can solve this.
Things that break in this mode:

  • No on-board audio, most obviously. Though you can get around this by using a Bluetooth speaker or headset.
  • GPU drivers - your screen will work, but no GPU acceleration (device will throw error 43 in Device Manager)
  • Ability to change display brightness (seems like fixed 80% brightness), monitor off on lid closing.
  • Top keyboard keys/media keys, keyboard lighting
  • Stability issues - boot hangs/blue screens on certain occassions.

Installing in Legacy BIOS mode is more complex (if you don't have a DVD drive) but everything works that way.

Update: this is the best and easiest guide to install any Windows version in Legacy BIOS mode: https://www.reddit.com/r/mac/comments/3rzxd5/guide_windows_10_bootcamp_on_unsupported_macs/

@nikoc03

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nikoc03 commented Jan 2, 2018

hmmm, so I have an iMac mid - 2011 with 20 GB RAM and installed Windows 8.1 64-bit in the beginning. I had an issue saying only 2.48 GB usable memory. Then I tried Windows 10 64-bit on which I had the same problem too. I installed both using EFI (USB method). Do you think using USB installation could cause the memory issue too because I am kinda confused here? Thank you!

@maxieking

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maxieking commented Jan 26, 2018

I managed resolve the sound card issue by getting bootcamp to install windows 10 on my MB PRO Late 2011 model using a DVD created from an ISO.

In order to trick Bootcamp to let me install win 10 I followed your instruction on "Modify Bootcamp to allow creation of a bootable USB" and made these additional changes:

Added my Model Identifier to the PreWindows10OnlyModels
Removed my Model Identifier from the the SupportNonWin10Models

This is enough to trick Bootcamp to progress after clicking continue in Bootcamp. The screen to allocate the window partition will appear and then install win10. The sound card will work once you install the bootcamp driver.

@k-paxian

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k-paxian commented Feb 15, 2018

Thanks man, this guide saved me a bunch of hairs. Works for iMac 27 mid 2010.

@cristhianlaluna

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cristhianlaluna commented Feb 16, 2018

I got it! Windows 10 on my MacBook Pro 2011.
Thank you so much! (:

@Jewmy

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Jewmy commented Feb 20, 2018

Hey guys,

I am currently trying to install Windows 10 on my Mid-2011 iMac, running OsHighSierra. I went to the store and bought Windows 10 home. It came with the USB Flash Drive. I then found myself here. And I started following all the steps. I made it through step 2 without any problems at all. But then when I got to step 3 I started running into some issues. I opened Bootcamp and it said if I completed step 2 correctly, I should see three options. I do not have those 3 options. Instead, I have the following options: "Download the latest Windows support software from Apple" and "Install Windows 7 or Windows 8". So instead of those 3 options, I have these 2. And I don't know why. Im pretty sure I did everything correctly in part 2. Step 2 of part 2, was a step I had trouble with but I looked here in the comments and someone said that I just needed to remove my model from "SupporedNonWin10Model" and I did. I then deleted the "Pre" from UEFIModels, as well as added my model Identifier. I also deleted the word "Pre" from the USBBootSupportedModels and added my Model Identifier as well. And my model was not in Win7OnlyModels so I did not remove anything from there. I then saved the file. And I went to do step 7 and ran the code sign. It asks me for my password and I entered it. Then it never asked me to download a developer tool from Apple. It just kicked back
/Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant.app: replacing existing signature /Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant.app: code object is not signed at all In subcomponent: /Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant.app/Contents/Info.plist.bak Jeremys-iMac:~ JeremyWenenr$
So I just assumed it wasn't needed. I did all of this and followed all of the previous steps correctly and I still only get 2 options when it comes to bootcamp. I tried following on with only the 2 options. I was able to download the latest windows support software on my desktop and that went perfectly. But then when it came to step 4. It told me to check the box that says "Create a Windows 7 or later version install disk." Which I did not have as one of my options so I'm not exactly sure where it all went wrong.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you very much.

UPDATE: After searching online and just trying random stuff. I burned my downloaded .ISO of Windows 10 onto a disc. I then got a new message from Bootcamp saying "Please use a DVD or USB Drive which contains Windows 7 or Windows 8" And it also says Windows 10 is not supported on this mac. Did I do something wrong in the first 3 steps that help me prevent this error?

@omolko

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omolko commented Mar 9, 2018

Hi I read this post with interest.
I want to install W7 on iMac 2011 under snow leopard.
can i do the same for installing from a usb drive because the cd drive is out?
thanks for your help. I have to do this for 4 same iMac 2011...

@navfal

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navfal commented Mar 10, 2018

I have completed step 1-6 perfectly, but I can't find any EFI boot option after rebooting as described in step 7.

@bhairavmehta95

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bhairavmehta95 commented May 10, 2018

For anyone having the "code object is not signed at all," it seems that you can add the flag --deep to sign the Info.plist file.

$ sudo codesign -fs - /Applications/Utilities/Boot\ Camp\ Assistant.app
/Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant.app: replacing existing signature
/Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant.app: code object is not signed at all
In subcomponent: /Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant.app/Contents/Info.plist.bak

$ sudo codesign -fs - /Applications/Utilities/Boot\ Camp\ Assistant.app --deep
/Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant.app: replacing existing signature
@sekhontalvindar

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sekhontalvindar commented Jun 11, 2018

I just wanted to say thank you. this post was really helpful. there are 1000s posts about this. but this is the one that has most important portion"Delete the Hybrid MBR". thank you so much.:)

@pixelkai

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pixelkai commented Jul 12, 2018

Which Bootcamp-Support-Software version should i choose for my Mac mini 2011?
Apple recommends Boot Camp-Support-Software 5.1.5621 for mac mini 2011 but it seems to be for Win 7 and 8.1, also it is from 2014. There are newer versions like Boot Camp-Support-Software 5.1.5722...

@DaBirdisDaWord

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DaBirdisDaWord commented Jul 28, 2018

I do Command + F to use the Find Tool while I have Info.plist opened in Text Edit, and I can't find "DARequiredROMVersions" anywhere in the document. Can't even find "ROM" in the document. So um, how am I supposed to add my Boot Rom Version when there is no "DARequiredROMVersions" in the document for me to add that to? I am running HIGH Sierra on mid 2011 iMac. Please help.

@mooseknuckleking

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mooseknuckleking commented Nov 7, 2018

Sound issue solved. In most cases for the Op's guide to work you need to be using a GPT disk (hence gdisk,) however on GPT bot will always be UEFI, not BIOS. All UEFI boots in boot camp (at least on this model) sounds drivers and hardware will not work (it is simply not possible, not even an issue of drivers.) There are a few ways to change a boot from UEFI to Legacy (BIOS), but the easiest and least confusing is using the software "Winclone" available for your mac OS. The software may need to be licensed. If you don't want to pay I think there is also a way to disable UEFI boot natively in windows.. but not sure exactly the process.

  1. turn off system integrity protection on your mac (google how to do this if unaware, it's very easy.)
  2. disable Hybrid Sleep while booted to windows 10 (instructions here)
  3. open Winclone, select tools on the apple bar, choose "make Legacy Bootable"
  4. click "select volume" and select your windows 10 drive, choose "make legacy bootable" this should take ~45 seconds
  5. after everything is working (automatically I might add) it's suggested you turn Hybrid sleep back on with the same link I provided earlier.

notes: first reboot may not work into windows. After booting to your windows disk with startup manager, boot into safe mode by holding down f11, then f8 at prompt to boot to safe mode. once in safe boot normal reboot into windows. If it's still not working you do not have the correct drivers, try your luck with brigadier downloading drivers for iMac13,1, make sure 7zip is installed.

@lehenandmartin

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lehenandmartin commented Nov 9, 2018

Sound issue solved. In most cases for the Op's guide to work you need to be using a GPT disk (hence gdisk,) however on GPT bot will always be UEFI, not BIOS. All UEFI boots in boot camp (at least on this model) sounds drivers and hardware will not work (it is simply not possible, not even an issue of drivers.) There are a few ways to change a boot from UEFI to Legacy (BIOS), but the easiest and least confusing is using the software "Winclone" available for your mac OS. The software may need to be licensed. If you don't want to pay I think there is also a way to disable UEFI boot natively in windows.. but not sure exactly the process.

  1. turn off system integrity protection on your mac (google how to do this if unaware, it's very easy.)
  2. disable Hybrid Sleep while booted to windows 10 (instructions here)
  3. open Winclone, select tools on the apple bar, choose "make Legacy Bootable"
  4. click "select volume" and select your windows 10 drive, choose "make legacy bootable" this should take ~45 seconds
  5. after everything is working (automatically I might add) it's suggested you turn Hybrid sleep back on with the same link I provided earlier.

notes: first reboot may not work into windows. After booting to your windows disk with startup manager, boot into safe mode by holding down f11, then f8 at prompt to boot to safe mode. once in safe boot normal reboot into windows. If it's still not working you do not have the correct drivers, try your luck with brigadier downloading drivers for iMac13,1, make sure 7zip is installed.

Working great on my iMac mid-2011, no need for other driver! Sound and brightness working perfectly.

@ahmadmsallam

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ahmadmsallam commented Nov 26, 2018

i did all what's written here exactly incluuding the gdisk step,
however on restart i only find start OSX and recovery with no windows/EFI usb startup option ..
any help?
NB. i tried it in win7 and win10 with no luck .. and my bootcamp only give me option to remove win7 or later version

@dsidirop

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dsidirop commented Dec 22, 2018

hmmm, so I have an iMac mid - 2011 with 20 GB RAM and installed Windows 8.1 64-bit in the beginning. I had an issue saying only 2.48 GB usable memory. Then I tried Windows 10 64-bit on which I had the same problem too. I installed both using EFI (USB method). Do you think using USB installation could cause the memory issue too because I am kinda confused here? Thank you!

I have this exact same issue with one of my iMacs (intel i5 3.1 Ghz model). It used to run just fine then it suddenly got affected by this glitch. Strange thing is that if you run windows memory diagnostic and then boot into windows, then and only then, windows can see all of RAM. What is this?

@kageurufu

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kageurufu commented Dec 26, 2018

You don't need to disable SIP to modify the Info.plist

I copied the Boot Camp Assistant.app from /Applications/Utilities to ~/Applications. It still works just fine launched from there, and no SIP issues

@kjetilsg

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kjetilsg commented Feb 3, 2019

Solution if the audio does not work is to use a USB audio adapter or a DAC.

@ibaib

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ibaib commented Feb 24, 2019

Dear all,

I have recently installed on mi iMac Mid 2011, 2 SDD; one for OSX Sierra, the second for Windows 10 (both on SATA III ports) and third HDD instead of optical drive on SATA II port to separate "User" folder for OSX. During 3 days reading a lot of user manuals (including present), also windows official online help resources, I have installed Windows 10 correctly, using an USB EFI boot disk, doing a correct Legacy BIOS Windows booting, instead of EFI booting in witch the graphics not working correctly and sound no way working. Then success working windows with fully graphics funcionality working and sound working.

Without bootcamp assistant (only correct bootcamp resources to setup it under windows installation), without optical drive, and all installing a fresh windows (last windows 10 image, no installing win7 or win8 and then upgrading to win10)

Let me some days to write the procedure and share with you.

@asheenlevrai

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asheenlevrai commented Feb 24, 2019

Great resource, thank you!

A couple of extra tips:

* If your Windows install hangs after the first reboot and you have booted off the disk EFI, try removing the Windows installer USB drive and restarting.

* For Macs with 2 hard drives, you may need to unplug the other drive from the logic board. This may be your problem if you get an error when selecting the partition in the Windows install that says `We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one`. After [Step 7 in the iFixit guide](https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+Mac+Mini+Mid+2011+Dual+Hard+Drive+Kit/6634#s27521) you have access to the drive connections. The one furthest from the power supply is the top drive (one just under the antenna plate).

* Using a 2011 Mac Mini is unlikely to work with Windows 10 because there is [no graphics driver for the CPU-integrated HD3000 graphics](https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/windows-10-mac-mini-2011-blank-screen.2025255/). Installing the Bootcamp drivers at the end will break the Windows installation. If your mac has a separate graphics card, as the iMacs do, this won't apply.

Hi :)
Doesn't the mid-2011 mac mini (macmini5,2) have a discrete GPU (Radeon HD 6630M)? It should be working then, right?

Best,
-a-

@ibaib

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ibaib commented Feb 25, 2019

As promised:

### Install Windows 10 in iMac 2011: Working video and audio (Through USB installer)

After 3 days visiting several pages with tutorials, forums in which it is mentioned that it is impossible to do it and others in which partially but losing partial functionality of graphics and sound total, as well as consulting the online help of Microsoft to consult information about options of some specific commands, I have found the solution.

Starting point:

  • Imac Mid 2011, without optical disc.
  • Two SSDs have been installed in each of the available Sata III ports, and an HDD in the Sata II port of the optical unit (optical unit obviously have been removed).

Goals:

  • Install the MacOSX Sierra system in SSD Nº1.
  • Move the "Users" folder to the HDD (on how to do this there are tutorials on the internet, it is not the end of this tutorial)
  • Install Windows 10 on the SSD No. 2, so that the graphics work well, as well as the sound works.

Step 1: Create the Windows 10 USB installation disc

  • Download the last ISO of the installation of Windows 10 from the official Microsoft page.
  • Format with the “OSX Disk Utility” a USB with at least 8GB with the following format: MBR / ExtFAT
  • Mount the downloaded Windows 10 installer ISO image, and copy all the files to the newly formatted USB (I’ve uses “ditto” command to do that).

Step 2: Boot the USB installer.

  • Restart the computer and keep the “Alt / Option” key pressed.
  • Choose the USB as the boot unit.
  • Wait for the Windows 10 installer to load.
  • Press “SHIFT + F10” to open the command window.
  • Open the partition editor:

diskpart

  • List the system disks:

list disk

  • Select the disk on which we are going to install Windows 10, in my case Disk 1 (NOTE: Make sure that the selected disk is the correct one):

select disk 1

  • Now we are going to clean the partition table of the selected disk:

clean

  • Now create the partition table system, in my case MBR, I do not know if it works as GPT:

convert mbr

  • Now create the partition in which we will later copy the system boot files (100MB):

create partition primary size=100

  • Now format it with the NTFS file system:

format fs=ntfs quick label=System

  • Now assign letter “S” to the partition:

assign letter=S

  • Now mark this partition as active:

active

  • Now create the partition in which we will then copy the Windows files. In my case, I want this partition to occupy the rest of the disk, starting from the end of the System partition to the end of the disk:

create partition primary

  • Now format it with the NTFS file system:

format fs=ntfs quick label=Windows

  • Now assign a letter to the partition:

assign letter=C

  • Now, before leaving diskpart, observe on the list partition the letter that has been assigned in the partition table the USB disk of installation of windows 10. In my case it is the letter E:

list partition

  • We finished with diskpart, we get out with:

exit

  • Now we are going to dump the Windows 10 image directly from the USB:

X:
cd X:\Windows\System32
dism /apply-image /imagefile:E:\sources\install.wim /index:1 /applydir:C:\

NOTE: Note that in my case, the letter E is the USB and the letter C, the destination partition where the Windows 10 image will be copied.

  • Once the command is completed, we will enable the system boot. ATTENTION. This point is important since the boot that must be created is BIOS type and not EFI type, since in this last case, the sound will not work.

C:
bcdboot C:\Windows /l es-es /s S: /f BIOS

NOTE: The option “/l”, in which you specify the language in which the windows installer will start by default, is optional, in my case "es-es". The option “/f BIOS” is mandatory, since the EFI type boot will be installed by default otherwise.

  • Once all this is done, close the Windows 10 installer that we are using from USB, and restart the computer.

  • Restart the computer and keep the Alt / Option key pressed.

  • Choose the Windows option to boot it.

  • Once here, comes the configuration of windows installation.

  • Once Windows installed, we can install the bootcamp utilities and drivers, specific for iMac Mid 2011, which can be downloaded from here: Boot Camp Support Software 5.1.5621

Good luck guys!

@ryanwarsaw

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ryanwarsaw commented Aug 30, 2019

@ibaib This works flawlessly, thank you for the excellent write up much appreciation to ya 🥇

Few things I ran into while doing this in case anyone has similar issues (2011 iMac w/DVD drive):

  • Windows gave error saying C drive letter was already assigned, I googled Windows volume drive letter reassignment and was able to change drive letters, which allowed me to proceed. Not sure if it would've mattered but I did it anyways.

  • I got a few path not found and file missing errors (specifically "install.wim"), this ended up being an issue with how I was flashing the windows 10 USB. When I used the ditto command all the files got copied properly and it worked on first try. I erased the USB to exFAT.

  • I did have to adjust the disk references, mine ended up being disk zero instead of one. Your milage may vary, just double check.

After everything was installed and I put the bootcamp on, everything works flawlessly. Audio in, speakers, brightness control, etc. 🕺

@amirvenus

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amirvenus commented Sep 26, 2019

I have a Mac Mini Mid 2011 with Intel HD Graphics 3000 and seems like it's not compatible with Windows 10 as the screen goes black and only one monitor shows output.

@ryanwarsaw

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ryanwarsaw commented Sep 26, 2019

@amirvenus Unfortunately you're out of luck, there is no Windows 10 driver available for HD 3000 graphics chip. The latest you would be able to install is Windows 8.1.

@Vingen168

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Vingen168 commented Nov 1, 2019

Hi, i just want to share how I install windows 10 on a imac 2011 without making any change to the macos sierra.

  1. You will need windows 10 on a DVD, USB memory stick won't work.
  2. A ISO image of windows 8.1
  3. A DVD emulated software like daemon tools.

Step 1, mount windows 8.1 to daemon tools
Step 2. Open up boot camp and follow the steps, download the windows driver if you don't have it into a USB stick.
Step 3. Put the windows 10 DVD into the imac before restart.
Step 4. If everything went alright, then windows 10 installation screen will boot up(can takes upto 10min before it continues the installation, so wait), and just follow the windows 10 installation step, and after it's done, the sound and everything will work as it should be.
Step 5. Pop in your USB stick with bootcamp drivers and install it.

And final, enjoy....

@ibaib

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ibaib commented Nov 14, 2019

@ryanwarsaw. I'm glad I could help you. In fact, recently I bought a MacBook Pro Mid 2012, and I had problems with the bootcamp assistant. Finally I ended up installing the OSX boot on an ssd, and on a secondary ssd installed in the place of the superdrive, I created an MBR with 1 boot partition for windows, the windows main partition and an HFS + partition for the OSX user folder. All this using the procedure I described.

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