Booting Windows 8 EFI Partition with Parallels 8

Discussion in 'Windows Virtual Machine' started by Markcub, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. nos1609

    nos1609 Bit poster

    Can you explain what to do with the vhd and where should I place it?
  2. phphphph

    phphphph Bit poster

    I struggled all day to get Parallels to use the bootcamp partition but finally got it to work following WillFM advice. I am using Windows 8 x64 on a 2013 Macbook Air 13" with OS X 10.8.4 and Parallels 8. I already got Boot Camp to partition and install a working version of Windows 8, the latter part with its own slew of other problems!

    I'll just make a small parentheses here, highlights in bold, for posterity and for whoever encounters said slew of problems during Boot Camp installation with the same combination of OS X 18.4 and Windows 8 x64. Skip the following block of text if you already have Windows 8 working under Boot Camp.

    Indeed, before I could even begin to consider using my bootcamp installation inside parallels, the boot camp assistant itself, for some reasons or another, kept failing to create a bootable USB flash drive using a windows 8 iso. My having a macbook air, this is the way to go short of using an external superdrive, which I don't have. Several people complained about the exact same error on apple forums with no working solution to be found, something nondescript and stubborn like "Your bootable USB drive could not be created", period. Some people get this error, some people don't, nobody seems to know why. So what I did was to create a x64 Windows 8 USB installation drive using microsoft's own Windows7-USB-DVD-tool inside a normal parallels VM of windows 8 x64. If you want an x64 installation, use a 64-bit installation of windows 7 or 8 to create the dvd/usb installation drive. Similarly for a x86/32-bit installation. 15-20 minutes later I had said bootable USB installation drive, no problem there. Now the catch is that Windows7-USB-DVD-tool creates a NTFS USB installation drive rather than a fat32 one like bootcamp. Unfortunately, when you boot the USB Windows 8 installation drive using apple's boot manager (holding alt at boot), you will not be booting using the installation drive's own EFI/UEFI bootloader but indeed apple's own manager/old version of UEFI/whatever, I am not sure. What is sure though is that it will lead to the next problem, namely that when you get to select the partition inside windows 8 setup, the setup will refuse to install it on the GPT partition that the Boot Camp assistant created earlier. Apparently you need to boot using (the correct?recent?working?) EFI/UEFI to install windows 8 on a GPT partition. Windows7-USB-DVD-tool put a working EFI/UEFI bootloader on the USB Windows 8 installation drive allright, so in theory one could use another EFI boot load other than apple's. I used rEFInd. It's easy to install (as short as sudo ./ and it puts itself inside /EFI on your OSX partition. Pretty nonintrusive.I then installed the shell.efi component found on rEFInd's website to be able to access the EFI shell at boot time and proceeded to try and get it to load the EFI bootloader found on the USB Windows 8 installation drive, but remember this guy is NTFS formatted, and rEFInd only comes by default with drivers for reiserFS, ext3 and ext4, fat, HFS+ and some other, but not NTFS, so you need a NTFS driver for rEFInd, which you can get from inside the 64-bit Clover EFI tools package (Contents/Resources/EFI/CLOVER/drivers64/NTFS.efi). I put NTFS.efi in /EFI/refind/drivers_x64 and reboot again, enter the shell, and typed
    • load ntfs.efi (or wherever it is, you might have to change drive first to your OS X partition using fs0: and then "cd \EFI\refind" and "ls" around to get to it)
    • map -r
    • blkX: (change drive to the USB Windows 8 installation drive, so X is its partition number, mine was 5 or 6, you'll have to search or inspect the map list)
    • load \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI
    and voilà! the Windows 8 setup started and I could select the partition created by the Boot Camp assistant. The setup might ask you to reformat it to NTFS, do it, otherwise you can't proceed. Be careful not to reformat your other partitions. Evidently you're careful and you have a fresh Time Machine backup lying somewhere just in case.

    Back to the matter at hand, pardon the preceding ugly block of text but I had to get it out of my system. I have a feeling that with the new macbook air out people might end up in the exact same situation as me quite soon.

    The only thing missing from WillFM's post concerns the said virtual hard drive. So what I did was:

    Stop the virtual machine completely to access the "Virtual Machine" -- "Configure..." menu.

    Then go into the "Hardware tab" and click the little "+" at the bottom-left of the list (just over the padlock), and select "Hard Disk".

    Type: New image file
    Location: Leave as it is
    Size: 0.2GB (200MB)

    Leave "Split the disk..." unchecked, uncheck "Expanding disk", and click Ok. You should now have two HDs in the list, mine were now labelled "Hard Disk 1", which is my actual ssd on which both the OS X and Windows 8 partitions are found, and "Hard Disk 2", the 200MB virtual HD.

    Now that this is done, select "Boot Order" from the list, check both "Select boot device on startup" and "Use EFI Boot", and be sure to check both hard disk 1 and 2 in the list. Then follow WillFM's post.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  3. ElanEX

    ElanEX Bit poster

    Glad I found this thread. I installed Win8x64 on the same computer using Boot Camp no problem, but can't get the virtual machine to boot. Made the 200mb partition, and can boot to my Boot Camp made USB using EFI. Why can it boot to the USB with EFI but not my Win8 partition? I'm not given the repair option using my Boot Camp made USB, and the virtual machine won't boot to my mounted Win8 ISO that made the USB. So next step I'll have to try and make a Windows installation USB another way.
  4. ElanEX

    ElanEX Bit poster

    Made my own bootable USB using my own Win8 DVD, and followed WillFM's instructions. Not sure how you figured that out, but WillFM, you're a genius. Thanks WillFM and phphphph! Everything seems great.
  5. Andrew@Parallels

    Andrew@Parallels Parallels Team

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  6. YonatanF

    YonatanF Bit poster

    Paralles 10: This may be too late but windows 10 has a similiar issue since its not yet supported. After manually creating the vm for an exisiting bootcamp partition make sure you configure the harddrive -[selelct harddrive] then edit partition and check both Partition 1 and Partition 2.
    Make sure to also check use efi boot in the boot order

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