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Issues installing Windows 8 on a new Retina MacBook Pro

I’ve spent too long this morning trying to install Windows 8 on a new Retina MacBook Pro.

The first error I received was that “Windows can’t be installed in drive 0 partition 4” with more detail giving the error message “The selected disk is of the GPT partition style”.

Great. Not very helpful.

Then, after making a Windows 8 USB installer (Use Disk Utility to create a CD/DVD Master .cdr file from the Windows 8 DVD) and downloading the Boot Camp drivers via a slow internet connection all over again, then the installer would look like it was working until it came to reboot at which point it told me “Windows could not update the computer’s boot configuration. Installation cannot proceed”


OK, so here’s what you need to do:

  1. Using Disk Utility, create an ISO of the Windows 8 install disk. Select the Windows 8 disk in the left-hand column, go to File > New Disk Image from <name> and change the image type from compressed to CD/DVD master. Save it somewhere handy.
  2. While in Disk Utility, verify your boot disk and, if you’re superstitious, Repair Permissions as well. On a brand-new machine this probably isn’t needed.
  3. With Boot Camp Assistant, and a >4 GB USB drive, create a bootable Windows install disk. Although the Windows installer was only 3.5 GB it wouldn’t do it on a 4 GB disk for me, I needed something bigger. This will completely erase the USB disk you’re using so make sure it doesn’t contain anything useful.
  4. Still in Boot Camp assistant, create your Windows installation partition and let it reboot.
  5. When it reboots, zap your PRAM. No, really, please do it. This fixed the error updating the boot configuration. To zap the PRAM, reboot your Mac and at the black screen hold down Command + Option + P + R. Keep holding these four keys down until you hear the startup chime another two times (so three times in total)
  6. Hold Option and boot of the EFI Boot partition on the USB disk. This will boot you into the Windows installer.
  7. In the Windows installer, when it asks you which partition to use, delete the BOOTCAMP partition (don’t just erase it, delete it) and make a new Windows partition. This will also create a 120 MB partition for Windows support stuff. Don’t worry about this, just leave it there.
  8. Now, install Windows on the newly created partition.
  9. When Windows has installed, it will also automatically launch the Boot Camp installer. Once this has completed, you’ll reboot one more time and you’re good to go. Now you get to have some fun installing Windows updates.

7 thoughts on “Issues installing Windows 8 on a new Retina MacBook Pro

  1. This is the ONLY thing that worked out of trying a number of other methods. This was for a brand new 15″ MBP Retina Pro purchased 1 week ago. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  2. I want to relly thank you for this recipe. I had tried everything that I found that were supposed to solve this issue, but nothing worked.

    You should only clarify the point 5. I had no idea what the PRAM was and did not understand what the “zap PRAM” mean. Than I found this and BINGO, the bloody thing is installing now.


    Big thanks

  3. Many many thanks for this. Just got an MBP that needs dual boot for work purposes…absolutely bloody lifesaver!

    I also write a blog called Not Just CAD! Happy to promote you there by way of a blog at some point. Check it out at http://cadfmconsult.wordpress.com.

    Once again thanks, and stay in touch!

    Shaun Bryant
    CADFMconsultants Limited (UK)

  4. I was having this issue for more than a week! Spoke to Apple Support multiple times without any luck!

    This article fixed my issued! Thanks!

  5. I’ve been dealing with this problem for three days now on my MacBook Pro 15 Inch Mid-2010. This was a lifesaver! It solved the issue and I finally was able to install Windows 8.1 Pro on a second SSD drive I have where the DVD drive used to be. Thank you so much for posting this!!!

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