[Tutorial] Install Windows 8 on a Mac via native EFI [Video]

efiboot

One of the more obvious reasons for switching to EFI from the Mac’s virtual BIOS/Boot Camp method is that your boot times will greatly improve, especially if you’re using an SSD (see the video example below). For example, your boot time could go from 25 seconds to as little as 3, but that’s on a fresh of install of Windows and isn’t very representative of real-world numbers. And quite honestly, that’s the only reason I see switching from the traditional BIOS method to the EFI method. Going this route isn’t so simple, and you’ll more than likely run into hardware compatibility problems afterwards that only Apple can fix with EFI updates. In addition, it will take a fair amount of time to complete. If you follow the steps closely, you shouldn’t run into any issues.

Keep in mind that everybody’s Mac hardware is different. I completed this on my 2012 base-13″ MacBook Air. All told, the boot times have increased tremendously. But as mentioned above, this was on a fresh install of Windows 8. After you set it up the way you want, it’ll more than likely slow down. Boot times through the traditional BIOS method isn’t dramatically far off afterwards, either.

Interestingly, I found great interest in all of this. I’m pretty advanced when it comes to hackintoshing, which is where you can install Mac OS X natively onto a regular ‘ole PC. Now, I’m working the other way around, where I’m getting Windows to boot as natively as possible on a Mac.

Credits

My below guide is based off of a guide by “mac-hacks” on MacRumors, which can be found here.

Precautions

  • Your data will be erased. This is because we’ll be redoing the entire partition structure of your HDD or SSD. Because of this, make damn sure you’ve backed up all of your necessary content. For me, I had an existing copy of Mac OS X 10.8.2 installed, so I simply did a Time Machine backup that I later restored without any problems (more on that below). I also had an existing copy of Windows 7 installed, so I just made a few screenshots of what I had installed so that I can redownload and reinstall them later.
  • This method will also take a fair amount of time. Make sure you have at least an hour of free time to dedicate to this, plus the time it’ll take you to get your operating systems back to the way they were before.
  • Also, this isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone. Users of older Mac computers may have older and discontinued versions of the Mac EFI. You can test this by booting from Windows EFI from your USB flash drive, assuming your Mac supports booting from USB drives to begin with.
  • Lastly, even after everything’s installed, there’s a good chance that certain hardware in Windows won’t be working properly. In my case, audio wasn’t working, and neither was hardware-accelerated video/graphics. This isn’t the fault of Windows or various drivers, but rather the way Apple’s EFI implementation is. I’ve yet to find a way to fix this. Honestly, I went right back to the traditional BIOS/Boot Camp method after getting this post up, since the slightly faster boot times weren’t worth critical hardware not functioning properly.

Requirements

First, you’ll need two USB flash drives, one that will be for Mac OS X, and the other that will be for Windows 8. Once you have those, prepare your Mac OS X drive by using Lion DiskMaker, which itself requires that you have the original copy of Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8 or 10.9 somewhere on your computer or external media. For your Windows 8 USB drive, you can use Microsoft’s Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from within Windows to “burn” your Windows 8 .ISO file to the USB flash drive.

Since we’re dealing with USB drives, your Mac may or may not support booting from them. Test this out with the Mac OS X or Windows USB drives. If they show up when you hold ALT/OPTION after you press the power button, then you’re good to go.

Other than the backup statement under Precautions, that’s about it. Now, onto the instructions.

Part 1: Preparing Your Drive

This is where we start to reconfigure your entire HDD or SSD.

Power down your Mac, and plug your Windows USB drive into any available USB port. After you press the power button, old the ALT/Option button until you see your partition listing. After a few seconds, the EFI Boot option of your Windows USB drive should be available. Select it, and press enter.

Within 30 seconds, you should be at the main screen for the Windows 8 installer. Once there, click on Repair Computer. After that, go through the few Advanced menus until you get to the Command Prompt. Now, the destruction begins.

At the Command Prompt, enter diskpart, and follow these commands:

  1. list disk
  2. select disk 0
  3. clean
  4. convert gpt
  5. create partition efi size=256
  6. format fs=fat32 quick label=EFI
  7. create partition primary size=51200 [size of your OS X partition in MB; Ex. 50GB = 51200]
  8. exit

Now that your drive has been reconfigured with no data on it, we can get your Mac OS X stuff back up and running.

Part 2: Reconfigure Mac OS X

Depending on whether or not you made a Time Machine backup, you can choose to restore that, or install Mac OS X from scratch, both using your Mac OS X USB drive.

First, we’ll have to format the partition as Mac OS X Extended (Journaled), aka HFS+ with Disk Utility. To do this, boot from your Mac OS X USB drive. At the main menu, open Disk Utility. In the left sidebar, you should see a partition labeled “disk0s2″ under your main drive. Click on it, and in the main content area, click on the Erase tab. Give it a title if you’d like, but for the format, choose Mac OS X Extended (Journaled). After you’ve done that, click on the Erase button.

Exit out of Disk Utility. Now, you can choose to do a clean install of Mac OS X, or restore a Time Machine backup that I made onto an external USB hard drive of mine. The restore went without a problem, and my MacBook Air even automatically rebooted itself into it.

Part 3a: Installing Windows

This isn’t really a “boot from the installer and click on install” sort of thing, as you’ll now see.

Boot into the Windows 8 EFI installer again, and go to Repair Computer. Go through the options until you find the Command Prompt, just as you did before. Run diskpart, and enter the following commands:

  • list disk
  • select disk 0
  • list partition
  • create partition msr size=128
  • create partition primary size=30720 (desired size of your Windows partition; Ex. 30GB = 30720)
  • format fs=ntfs quick label=Windows
  • assign letter=Y
  • select partition 1
  • assign letter=S
  • list volume (note the drive letter of your USB drive; we’ll pretend that it is C)
  • exit

We’ve just created a few partitions that are necessary for the success of your Windows EFI installation. Now, we need to extract all of the installation files to your desired Windows partition, that we gave the drive letter of Y to. Run the following series of commands:

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

The Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool is now copying the typical set of installation files from your USB drive over to your desired installation partition. This will take a while, depending on the speed of your drives. Now, we need to set it up to boot itself:

  • Y:
  • bcdboot Y:\Windows /l en-us /s S:

It should say that the boot files were successfully copied over. If that’s the case, then you can shut down the Windows 8 EFI installer. Unplug your USB drive, and reboot your Mac, holding ALT/Option to bring up the boot list. If all was successful, you should see “EFI Boot.” Highlight it, and press enter to boot into it. You should instantly see the Windows 8 boot screen.

After a moment, your Mac should reboot itself back to the Windows 8 boot screen. If it does that, and your display simply goes to a blank, black screen, then follow part 3b. I had to do this. If you get into Windows 8 as expected, then you’re done!

Part 3b: Fixing Windows 8

For me, I experienced the black screen issue, where it would just sit there forever. A fix for this is to remove the igdkm64.sys from C:\Windows\System32\Drivers. To do this, hold CMD+ALT/Option+V+Shift after you press the power button. If it worked, you should see your Windows boot screen with the text “Please Wait” below it. If it didn’t do this, do a hard shutdown (hold your power button for 10~ seconds), and try again. It might take you a few tries to get to the right menu.

Like in parts 1 and 3a, you’ll need to find your way to the Command Prompt. Once you’re there, enter the following commands:

  • C:
  • cd C:\Windows\System32\Drivers
  • move C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\igdkm64.sys C:\
  • exit

Now, when you reboot, it should boot right into Windows 8, asking you for your key (yay!).

If you ever get a black screen again, follow the above steps.

It seems as though the integrated GPU drivers, even after installing the official Intel ones, simply won’t get it to work, so resorting to Microsoft’s basic Intel GPU drive is the only way to avoid the black screen mess. Also, audio isn’t working.

That’s it!

If you’re running into trouble, leave your comments/complaints/suggestions/feedback (in detail!) below, and I’ll try to help you out.

Feel free to follow Brian and Gadget Unit on Twitter.

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  • PathogenDavid

    Copy+pasting my comment to this version of the article as well:

    Thanks a lot for the guide! I also had issues with igdkm64.sys except that they were much more obnoxious than a simple black screen. When I went to reboot in step 3, instead of the display going black and sitting there: The system would crash. Further analysis showed that it was a bluescreen related to igdkm64.sys. I could remove it as you described, but then Windows would say that installation had been interrupted and I had to start over.

    I fixed it by removing the three directories starting with “igdlh1″ in Y:WindowsSystem32DriverStoreFileRepository after applying a fresh image with dism. After booting, Windows update tried to automatically pull igdkm64.sys from the internet and load it again, which resulted in a bluescreen. I fixed it by following the steps in section 3b, and disabling the device in device manager (The Intel card has vendor ID 8086 in the device manager details.) In my case, Windows was using the NVidia card anyway.

    For reference, I have a late 2012 15” (Non-retina) MacBook Pro. I also installed Windows to a separate drive as I have a dual SSD/HDD setup, so for anyone who intends to skip part 1, step 7 and part 2, it does work.

    Also you should put the bit about audio not working in its own section at the top, because I missed it the first time I read over and it would have been nice to know going in. Especially since it looks like the audio issue can’t be fixed without Intel/Apple deploying an update.

    Also, turns out the traditional BIOS method does not work at all on my Mac since I want to install Windows to the secondary drive in my optical bay, which won’t work for whatever reason. Hopefully the Intel Audio+Graphics issues get fixed soon!

    • besweeet

      Hopefully they do put out the Windows 8 drivers and perhaps an EFI update for all Macs to really take advantage of everything.

      • kk

        This is gr8. Its gonna be even gr8ter when You guys come up with some fix for video and sound :) I already have w8 on boot camp but it would be nicer to have it the way You did!

  • ess

    Is there any way to get this to work with Windows 7?

    • besweeet

      Same process.

  • Arjunkamra

    Hey the part where you want us to exract the files to the partition ( part 3a secOnd part) I keeP getting an error,( error 87, apply-image/ imagefile does not exist) could you please try and fix this, any help would be greatly appreciated

    • besweeet

      Sounds like you didn’t type the command properly.

  • Steve

    Hi, thanks for the guide. I have installed Window 8 on a late 2009  Macbook Pro. This model has NVidia graphic drivers, rather than Intel. I got the black screen after the Windows boot logo so needed step 3b above. Instead of moving igdkm64.sys, I moved nvlddmkm.sys. This gets the system booting into Window 8 which allows the install of the rest of the boot camp drivers. Hope that helps anyone with an older macbook.

    • besweeet

      Do you have any issues with audio?

  • MrD

    Hi, I’m very glad you guys put so much effort in this to make it work. However, I’m stuck with my MBP mid 2010. I’ve an SSD and HD and I try to install Win8 next to my OSX ML on this SSD.

    Everything in this tut works as expected but I keep ending up with the error: “The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed. To install Windows, click OK to restart the computer, and then restart the installation.”.

    I’ve tried several times, moving the files mentioned in step 3B and the comment by Steve. And I’ve even tried PathogenDavid’s tip to remove the three folders. 

    After the first boot in Win8 I get “getting devices ready …” and as expected and mentioned in step 3A the screen goes dark. After step performing step 3B I get the mentioned error. 

    Any clue’s?

    • MrD

      (I uploaded an image, but it doesn’t show) 
      Link: http://www.imagebam.com/image/d2b5c2242505903

      • besweeet

        I honestly have no idea where I’d start to try and diagnose that.

    • Bassel

      i have an ssd in the main bay and an hdd in the optical bay on a late 2011 macbook pro andi have the same problem and i really hope for a fix.

    • Brennan

      I get the same error. I suspect the problem for me is this: My macbook pro 8,2 has both integrated and discrete graphics. In BIOS mode, only the discrete graphics are enabled. In EFI mode, both are. I think this is what is screwing up Windows. I know that windows should support having both integrated and discrete, but something about the mac messes it up. It had to be able to get to the vbios to tweak some things and my guess is that Apple hasn’t made this standard and it’s not in MSs best interest to bother tweaking it’s kernel to deal with it.

      I actually found this from installing linux on my MBP. It worked fine in BIOS mode, using the ATI discrete, but that kicks that fans up and burns that battery. The only way to get the integrated graphics is to boot EFI. But, when I switched to that the drivers both loaded and competed. To get around this, I used this: http://gfx.io/ , switch off the discrete card, then reboot into linux.

      This might work with windows as well. Disable the discrete (or the integrated) and boot into windows EFI. I haven’t tested it, though. I’m giving up and going with bootcamp anyway since I only want the discrete graphics there (it’s only for games). For linux, I’ll jump through the EFI hoops since I want battery life and no fan noise.

      BTW, the method above works great on my iMac. It’s only got one graphics card and runs Windows 8 just fine in EFI mode.

      Oh, and I did get past the installation problem by resetting the pram just before booting the EFI installer. But then Windows wouldn’t start once installed. Back to the graphics problem.

      • besweeet

        This has nothing to do with Microsoft, so there’s nothing that they could do to fix it. It’s just Apple’s odd implementation of EFI.

    • Nathaniel

      Had this problem when trying to install Windows 8 on a second SSD in a MBP 2010 with an Nvidia graphics card. I tried all the things suggested on this page and kept getting the error above. I finally found this page on the windows forum. After doing what’s suggested here it finished the installation right up and now I’m very happy! :) Hope this works for you too.

      http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-system/error-message-the-computer-restarted-unexpectedly/b770f14d-e345-e011-90b6-1cc1de79d2e2

  • Karthakon

    Has anyone tried the new drivers that came with 10.8.3? I’ve gone back to BootCamp Hybrid MBR and I won’t be able to try again for a few weeks at least.

    • besweeet

      I did the day 10.8.3 and the new BC5 drivers came out. Same results. It’s an EFI thing, something that drivers won’t solve.

      • Karthakon

        Does it fix the Bootcamp control panel only being accessible from a standard account?

        • besweeet

          Yes, it does.

  • D00SKI

    If I wished to migrate my windows 8 install (BIOS emu on a MacBook 5,2) to an efi install, can I use something like clonezilla instead of just installing windows from scratch?

    Note that currently I have the 20-30 grey screen hang because i installed it as the only OS on the MacBook, ie Master boot record etc. So am looking for a faster boot time for the only OS available (and wanted)

    Also everything works perfectly as is under BIOS, including graphics, audio etc, but I’m guessing if i cloned it over then these would cease working? In short has anyone tried that?

    Thanks for any advice you may have.

    • besweeet

      Apple’s EFI implementation will most likely cause some vital hardware to not work.

  • nos1609

    Just installed on Mac mini 2012 under 10.8.3 ML. Everything works!!! Even the HD4000 and the sound. Bootcamp 5 corrected the rest of hardware

    • besweeet

      Nice. Still a no-go for MacBook Air users.

      • Guest

        Hi, I can’t see where I’m going wrong. I’m using a brand new 2013 11″ Macbook air with the standard spec. I’ve followed your guide to the letter and I can get as far as the end of Part 3a but on reboot I do not see an EFI Boot partition at all. I know this is very vague but I really do want to get this working. I tried to continue onto 3b but the driver file could not be found, I’m assuming because the windows 8 install was never booted. Any ideas? Thanks for the guide!

        • Brendon

          There is an error in the above guide – Windows 7 USB Download Tool formats your USB as ntfs which prevents the installer from working in efi mode. You can manually create an efi only USB installer by formatting the USB drive as fat32, then copying all the files from the Windows 8 DVD onto it – see http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/15458-uefi-bootable-usb-flash-drive-create-windows.html .

          If you’ve done it correctly, the USB installer presents as “EFI” instead of “Windows” when option booting your mac.

          For the new MBA 2013, it seems a straight forward bootcamp install procedure produces an efi booting Windows 8 – see “Livewings” post on this forum http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1600147 . It appears that bootcamp assistant on MBA 2013 (OSX 10.8.3 and later) maintains a pure GPT disk when creating the bootcamp partition (with a protective mbr instead of a “hybrid” mbr). This means you no longer need to partition the hard disk with windows Diskpart to prevent a hybrid mbr being created.

          • besweeet

            So you’re saying that the 2013 MacBook Airs are able to use a truly EFI installation of Windows without anything special? Interesting.

          • Brendon

            With Windows 8 yes.

            With Windows 7 on any mac, it is extremely difficult since Windows 7 is not fully (u)efi compliant and still requires INT 10 video BIOS functions – see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463144.aspx . On PCs booting Windows 7 in uefi mode, a CSM (Compatibility Support Module) for video has to be provided.

            In order to make Windows 7 work in efi mode on macs, you have to manually initialize PCI registers in the efi shell – see DaGr8Gatzby on http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=696523&page=19

          • besweeet

            I haven’t seen that post in a long time. It’s unfortunate that his screenshots are down, otherwise initializing the PCI registers might actually be doable.

          • besweeet

            Also, at least on my Air, using the Windows 7 USB tool, it worked just fine at the boot menu.

  • Njay

    After the command
    create partition msr size=128
    Should there not be a format command?
    I could not get bcdboot to work until I had formatted the S: volume using fs=ntfs

    • besweeet

      Its format is MSR.

      • Njay

        Ok Thanks, I’ve now tried all day without success, I can get to booting to the Win8 flag but then get the same error message as MrD below.
        This is on a Macbook Pro 9.1 (early 2013).

        Again Thanks.

  • It says: The system cannot dind the path specified
    I checked the DVD and the install.wim is there but in CMD I can’t start it

  • Please also make a tutorial to upgrade. I’ve installed Windows 8 Enterprise trail using this tutorial but now I can’t upgrade with my legal Windows 8 Pro upgrade. please also make a tutorial to upgrade. In the upgrade is no install.wim so this methode doesn’t work

    • besweeet

      If I knew how, I would have.

  • Erik van Dongen

    Worked a treat on my 2011 MacMini with Windows Server 2012. The only thing I had to do was to make a EFI USB Windows installer with the help of this tutorial (http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/15458-uefi-bootable-usb-flash-drive-create-windows.html) to get the EFI bootoption to show up.

    Next on my to do list is to install on my new MacBook Pro!

    Thx!

  • Sadly this almost worked for me… But alas, it didn’t. I got to the end and Windows 8 started settup up devices. It then rebooted, and each time I tried to get back into Windows 8 to finish the install, it basically gave me a dialog stating that something went wrong and to reboot to try again. My system is a MBP 17 Mid 2010, and I replaced the DVD drive with a 750GB HD. Sadly, I guess the only way I’ll be able to get Windows back on is to replace the DVD,since I’ve read elsewhere that Apple made it so you can only Bootcamp from their original config. :(

  • Jackson Gomes

    I give up.. Followed the instructions but there is no way to get the audio and video to properly work..
    I’m on a MacBook Air Mid 2012.

    • besweeet

      That’s to be expected. Boot Camp is still the most reliable way to go at this point in time.

      • Jackson Gomes

        Yeah, looks like it is..
        I am also not liking Windows 8 system…
        It seems too “pokemonish” to me, if you get what i mean..

        • besweeet

          I would’ve used a different term, but I get what you mean :).

          • Jackson Gomes

            hahahaha
            Which term?

          • besweeet

            Well, I’d personally choose “modern,” since I quite like the new design (NOT including all the Metro/touch stuff, I hate that). I use only the desktop interface thanks to Start8.

          • Jackson Gomes

            Good to know, i will install that!

  • timvyas

    Hi, I can’t see where I’m going wrong. I’m using a brand new 2013 11″ Macbook air with the standard spec. I’ve followed your guide to the letter and I can get as far as the end of Part 3a but on reboot I do not see an EFI Boot partition at all. I know this is very vague but I really do want to get this working. I tried to continue onto 3b but the driver file could not be found, I’m assuming because the windows 8 install was never booted. Any ideas? Thanks for the guide!!

    • besweeet

      I wonder if the PCIe SSD has something to do with that, but maybe not. Regardless, it’s pointless without audio and graphics acceleration, so go for a Boot Camp install.

      • timvyas

        Okay I’ll get it started now. Thanks again!

  • muffinfaceEarth

    Amazing guide!! Unfortunately I ran into an issue that, for the life of me, I can’t seem to find a solution for ANYWHERE. My windows install went without a hitch, I also ran into that GPU problem but fixed it using the guide (thanks again) however I booted into OSX to do some work, and now when I boot into Windows (alt/option and select EFI boot) it just hangs at the windows 8 blue window screen.

    I’ve tried to wait it out and nothing. I’m assuming it’s a boot issue. I should also note, I installed windows on a seperate SSD drive in the optical bay of my Mac Pro, so I didn’t need to do all those partitions suggested in the guide. Maybe i’m missing something?

    • besweeet

      I’d just stick with a traditional Boot Camp/MBR install.

      • muffinfaceEarth

        But it runs so smoothly in EFI mode, it’s hard to go back. Everything works…i’m talking sound, graphics, SSD drive, bluetooth. It’s just great, the only problem is the booting, and it’d be a shame to just let it all go because of that. There’s got to be a solution to this!

        • besweeet

          Everything is smooth through the traditional method, too… The EFI method just boots quicker.

          • muffinfaceEarth

            Oh lol, that’s good news. what about AHCI support? I know there’s a hack to enable it through bootcamp.

    • UR123

      Hi. Did you ever get it fixed? Im experiencing the same issue ar the moment with 8.1 on an external drive…

  • Max

    after i install bootcamp
    two minutes after a restart i have a
    Kernel Security Check Failures
    has anybody a idea?

  • Tavitian Santiago

    Is it posible to do it only using windows? What step should i change to get efi boot with only a windows partition.
    Not interested in installing MacOs any time soon again and the way I installed now, it stays for about 30Secs on the white screen before starting to boot.

    Thanks in advance!

    • besweeet

      You bought a Mac, not to use Mac OS X, or even have it installed?

      • Tavitian Santiago

        Jejeje. I got tired of OS X (Finder sucks and there is lot of things i dont like, slow USB3 transfers and other things (like i feel windows executing task faster than osX)).
        I prefer working with windows but i really miss the trackpad and magicmouse integration . That is the only thing i miss from OS X (using trackpad++ but is not so good as OSX + Better touch tool). Also, I only have a 128GB SSD (air 2012) so having 2 operating systems is not an option.

        That said. Macbook air is the best ultrabook out there yet for the price.

        I am now creating the EFI usb disk now with windows 8.1 (as the one i used previously was hybrid one)
        I will see what happens and kept you informed.
        Thanks

      • Tavitian Santiago

        Solved.
        I followed the tutorial on creating the EFI boot drive with Rufus and then installed again deleting all partitions and everything on disk.
        Boots like the best of PCs now!
        One step further to perfection now. Next step. Microsoft ARC touch mouse bluetooth.*
        *Just released.

        Thanks for your tutorial!

      • Tavitian Santiago

        Well, it did well installing from the uefi boot disk, but now i got into the blank screen mess. and disabling the file makes graphics awful. So… Going back to old bios emulation that worked fine but takes 25 secs to boot. not a big deal anyway. Hope Mavericks move me back to OSX

        • besweeet

          If enough people (tens of thousands) wanted Apple to make a completely Windows-compatible EFI, everything would be great.

          • Tavitian Santiago

            Yes, but at least for now. I will contact MS support, and also send a complain to apple about this.
            It is a shame, i reinstalled 8.1 lot of times today. LOL

  • MBA

    Does the MacBook Air EFI upgrade released today (October 10th) fix the black screen issue so we no longer need step 3C?

    • besweeet

      That update is only for the 2013 models. However, my 2012 model somehow doesn’t have the pause anymore, and the only recent change that I’ve done was do a clean install of Mavericks and install the latest SMC update.

  • Chris

    i have an early 2011 macbook pro and it always fails copying the boot files everything else works as expected it just wont copy the boot files

  • PizzaG

    The other main difference between installing efi as apposed to bootcamp and similar is bootcamp can only run hdd in ide mode. Think of it as running windows in virtual mode on an older pc. sucks in comparison. with an efi native win8.1 install you get hdd running in native ahci. big difference all around when you factor that in. been at it all day and finally getting somewhere. ran into the gpu problem . i have nvidia gpu so I ran through the fix for it. and on my macbook 13″ mid2010 the gpu driver issues dont just hang the boot, i couldnt boot into windows anymore at all. Just moved nvlddmkm.sys as stated above plus comments and booted right back up. other than that, everything is working great. gonna try newest nvidia driver and see if the same issues arise. so i have dual boot OSX 10.9 updated and windows 8.1 fully up and working on a macbook mid2010 model =)

    • besweeet

      “sucks in comparison”

      How? Performance is the same, and hardware compatibility is obviously better.

      • PizzaG

        So let me get this straight. The performance of a SATA 3gb/s hard drive running in Windows with the standard IDE driver is the same performance as using the windows SATA AHCI driver? IF that were the case my friend, then we’d all be using standard IDE drivers. Even standard SATA drivers are a hardware level performance boost over IDE. I’ll be sticking with my AHCI drivers because i know by doing a simple google search that AHCI is a performance step above standard IDE. As far as compatability, the only thing that’s not working straight out of the box is the Nvidia video driver. Sound is working fine with cirrus drivers. If someone would be able to look into the issues with the intel and nvidia drivers for video, that would help the majority of us greatly. For others still having issues, make sure you get any firmware update for your mac. I want to say i didnt have any firmware updates until i put 10.9 on it, but not 100 on that. what we need to know is what the difference is between video card running fine on bootcamp install compared to video card driver not working on native efi? doesn’t make sense.

        • besweeet

          I guess I didn’t notice, because my Boot Camp’d MacBook Air is showing the use of AHCI, not IDE. So, perhaps it varies by Mac model?

          Simple answer: Apple’s EFI implementation isn’t as what’s found on PCs. That’s the only logical, non-Apple-engineer answer.

          • PizzaG

            really, your macbook air is running win 8 in ahci with a non efi setup. that’s odd, mine was forced to be in ide mode in anything other than efi install. i would really love to figure out y the damn nvidia drivers dont work though. not only in windows does it not work, it’s a internet wide issue in efi mode. sux because that’s the only thing not working. apparently we need to get on apples ass or nvidias ass to fix this issue for sure =)

          • besweeet

            It’s definitely more of an Apple problem that they don’t have to fix since Boot Camp is fine for 90% of their Windows users.

  • Luis Paredes

    I have a macbook pro 15″ early 2011 model. I see the EFI Boot drive. When I launch W8 I get a message saying that I cannot install Windows because of my hardware. What can I do?

    • besweeet

      I’d just install it through the normal method. Unless you plan on trying to do some odd external GPU things, there’s really no point.

      • Daniel Alonso

        so… it´s no point on installing via EFI on a 2013 (dec) retina 15¨ mbp? i really need help on this issue. will this method work?

        • besweeet

          The EFI method is plagued with problems with no benefits.

          • Daniel Alonso

            normal method isn´t working for me either, do you have any tutorial on that? it would be much appreciated

          • besweeet

            If trying with Boot Camp Assistant didn’t work, then I’m not sure.

          • Daniel Alonso

            I´t didn´t work even after a Mavericks clean install, i don´t understand, it´s a brand new MacBook, i haven´t used it at all…

            maybe i´ll just have to wait until Apple releases a solution.

  • Daniel Alonso

    has anyone tried this method with a MBP Haswell retina display? will it work?

  • Christian wichmann moesgaard

    So close and yet so far. I managed to set everything up according to your specification on a MacBook Pro 8,2. The only thing I did differently was that my Mac and Windows partitions are on two different disks entirely, so I set up an extra EFI partition on the second drive, too. I should note that doing it with 2 drives doesn’t mess with your OS X installation which is very nice indeed.

    However, when I boot Windows it will eventually come up with a small box saying “Windows Setup could not configure Windows to run on this computer’s hardware.” And that is the end of my success. :( Any ideas?

    • Hoàng Mai Minh

      Me too MacBook Pro 8,2 & isue also

      • Ishayu

        Just wanted to chip in and let you know that I managed to get said MacBook pro upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7. The boot camp keyboard driver stopped working, however it was easily fixed with a driver package I found online (It’s easy to find and I’m not near that computer atm, so I’m not gonna link it)

  • Rastafabi

    I tried it to, but finally shifted to the legacy BIOS method. In both cases I “installed” Windows 8.1 on an external harddrive using windows2go (non Enterprise version). For me it luckyly does not matter, as my Mac supports external legacy-booting.
    However I realised that, while i did not had audio with the uefi installation I did had it using BIOS _BEFORE_ I installed the bootcamp drivers. I just found it strange and worth posting as it might indicate how it’s fixable.
    I’m on a MacBook Pro 9.2 Intel HD 4000 only and cirrus logic audio chipset.
    Also I cannot confirm any graphics issues in eighter way of installing windows. I did not had to delete any driver.

  • binaerbaer

    Nice tutorial!
    I tried to install it, but after reboot in step 3a Windows says, it can’t install on my hardware.
    So I removed the partition, but the entry EFI-Boot in the boot menu stays.
    How do I remove this entry?

    • besweeet

      I’m honestly not sure. I stopped booting via EFI after I made this post since I personally didn’t have any reason to continue with it.

  • Ben

    Hi, Brian.
    Recent installation of Windows 8.1 on EFI mode, I experienced partition methods is little diff from this article.
    If somebody has error code 0xC0000005 or 0xC0000034 while installation, just make partitions like this.

    Diskpart
    Select [target disk;(ex:disk 0)]
    clean
    Create partition primary size=[whatever you want but need to be more than 60000]
    Exit

    And finally reboot with USB Install drive as normal(Hold down Option key for a while)

    When windows installer booted, choose language and region then choose disk you just partitioned.

    It works for me on Mid 2009 iMac 24″ with SSD installed into Opti-bay and has a original HDD.
    Windows on HDD. But I still have graphic issue same as above, so I installed Bootcamp drive without graphics driver(nvidia for me).

  • VietDN

    Hi, I have installed Windows 8.1 on mid 2010 MacBook Pro. This model has NVidia graphic drivers, rather than Intel. I got the black screen after the Windows boot logo so I renamed nvlddmkm.sys to nvlddmkm.sys_. The installation is completed and everything is working fine with Microsoft Basic Display Driver except only one problem when I connected my MacBook Pro 2010 to external display. It does not detect external display (projector, smart TV, etc.). I got the message on the screen “Your PC can’t connect to another screen. Try reinstalling the driver or using difference video card.”

    • besweeet

      It’s not going to work when doing a native EFI-based install. Just use Boot Camp.

  • chimera28

    Tried to get it works on my mid-2010 macbook (MCP89 nvidia chipset). EFI didn’t showed up on firts.

    Found a way around by adding “/f ALL” param to bcdboot

    • chimera28

      And it worked. not a single black screen issues i found.

    • Dario Brenzini

      That’s because you created an MBRCMS pendrive
      BCDBOOTT works differently depending on how you boot the dvdusb install support 😉

      BTW old iMac does not support not-apple efi boot so the only way of solving things is the one you sorted out :)

  • Claod

    Or just create a second partition FAT32 via mac disk utility GUI : no data erase in MacOS side. Then use fDisk to disable hybrid mbr. Now create an usb with Windows 8.1 image that is supporting uefi boot (tuto on internet) then boot on the USB, format the FAT32 partition in NTFS and install windows on it..