USB Drives No Longer Required to Install Windows with Boot Camp in OS X El Capitan

With OS X El Capitan available today to the public, some have begun discovering interesting tidbits and changes the new operating system has to offer. Twocanoes (via The Loop) has discovered that Boot Camp has gained the ability to install a Windows partition without a USB drive.

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Image via Twocanoes

Boot Camp comes with a modified interface that places the ISO image selector and partitioning on a single screen, allowing a user to easily select an ISO image and partition their hard drive before installing Windows. Once Boot Camp Assistant completes its tasks, the computer restarts with the normal Windows installation processes.

The change comes from Apple reworking how many partitions Boot Camp Assistant creates, according to Twocanoes.
Boot Camp Assistant doesn’t just create a Boot Camp partition, but also creates an additional partition called “OSXRESERVED” that is FAT32 formatted.  It places this partition right after the recovery partition, and before the Boot Camp partition...
The "OSXRESERVED" partition includes all the installer files, Boot Camp drivers and EFI files required for to create and boot the Windows partition. Once Windows is installed and the user boots back into OS X, the "OSXRESERVED" partition is removed and the space reserved for that partition is added back to the OS X partition.

The only El Capitan-running Macs that support the new USB drive-less Windows installation are the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air, the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro.

Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan
Tag: Boot Camp


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10 months ago
I would never put my Mac through the agonizing pain that is installing and running Windows.
Rating: 14 Votes
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10 months ago

Why? Old Macs can't be partitioned?

I suppose with some clever partitioning, you could do the same thing manually through Disk Utility.

Bootcamp is nothing more than a glorified Disk Utility anyways.
Rating: 12 Votes
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10 months ago

Seriously why would you install Windows on Mac?

Software or games not available on Mac.
Rating: 11 Votes
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10 months ago
Weird that the new MacBook wasn't listed, especially since it's just a single port and it might be good to power the Mac while doing the install.
Rating: 7 Votes
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10 months ago

Seriously why would you install Windows on Mac?


Microsoft Project or Visio?
Vast majority of CAD software?
Majority of games?
Rating: 7 Votes
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10 months ago
"... then press Install button". Shouldn't that be either "press Install" or "press the Install button"? It sounds strange to me as it stands.
Rating: 6 Votes
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10 months ago
It wasn't like it was a huge pain in the butt before, but fewer steps and less time wasted is always a good thing. Nifty!
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago


The only El Capitan-running Macs that support the new USB drive-less Windows installation are the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air, the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro.


Oh come on! Why only these models? :mad:
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago
I have retina MBP 2014 and i don't see this feature.
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago

You could reminisce over at the 23+ page (and growing) El Capitan download/install thread: Apple Releases OS X 10.11 El Capitan With Improved Spotlight Search, Enhanced Performance, and Revamped Apps | MacRumors Forums ('http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-releases-os-x-10-11-el-capitan-with-improved-spotlight-search-enhanced-performance-and-revamped-apps.1923509/')

That will take another 8 hours.
Rating: 3 Votes
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