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@Kaustubh Katdare • 05 Nov, 2012 • 1 like
Problem: You tried to install Windows on your Mac via OSX inbuilt BootCamp utility and the installation didn't went through properly OR you removed Windows from your Mac which you had installed using BootCamp and now you can't boot into Mac OSX. When you start your computer, you get a white screen followed by the error message -

"No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key"

If you're in this situation and are on the verge of getting a heart attack because there's no apparent solution anywhere else on the Internet, hold on for a minute - because there is a fix that just works. Being an OSX user has its own advantages and disadvantages and when the things go wrong, you wish you shouldn't have messed with your computer in the first place. Let me tell you what I did, how I got into the trouble and how I recovered from it and got my iMac working fine.

The Problem:

I've OSX Mountain Lion 10.8.2 working absolutely fine on my iMac. So, looking at all the Windows 8 hype, I decided to install Windows 7 on my computer first using BootCamp and then upgrade it to Windows 8 (I'd even get it way cheaper that way). So I got my old copy of Windows 7, popped it up into my iMac's DVD drive and loaded the BootCamp utility. I created a 99 GB partition for Windows because I wasn't planning to shift full time to Windows.

Few minutes into the initial screens of Windows 7 installation, I figured out that my Windows 7 license was only limited to the Laptop and I wasn't sure if I should install it on my Mac. I decided to quit the installation (the file copying had not started yet).

Sub-Problem I: Steve Jobs had decided not to include the DVD eject physical button on the body of iMac. Now there's no way you can eject the DVD from the slot unless you've the GUI 'Eject' option.

Solution: I loaded Google on my mobile and searched for a fix. It turns out that you can hard-eject DVD from Mac by pressing the LEFT MOUSE KEY at the time of booting! It took me 2 tries before I actually got my DVD out of my Mac. Problem solved!

Sub-Problem II: I got the DVD out; but the next boot lead to another 'critical' problem that consumed at least 45 minutes of my time. I booted my iMac after taking out the Windows 7 DVD and I got the above error message on my screen.

"No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key"
Now the trouble is - you can't do anything at this point. The iMac does not default the operating system back to OSX once you've aborted / deleted Windows 7 installation or operating system. Your only bet at this point is to tell iMac to recognise the original OSX partition and find all the boot data it needs in that partition.

Solution : Hard reboot your system when you get above message. Then at the time of booting, hold the alt / option key on your keyboard. This option will show you all the boot options you have on your computer. Select the OSX partition and proceed. You'll get into your OSX again.

But alt / option key does not show boot options on my mac!

This is where the trouble lies. If you have a wireless keyboard - then the alt / option key won't work at the time of booting! All you need is to go back to your old Windows computer and find a USB keyboard. Connect your USB keyboard to your mac and repeat the process - press 'ALT' key at the time of booting and your computer should show you the boot options.

Fixing The Problem - FOREVER

What you've just done fixes the problem temporarily and there are chances you'll have to press the ALT key every time you boot your mac. If you don't want to do this, follow these steps -
  1. Boot into OSX
  2. Go to Applications -> Utilities -> Boot Camp Assistant
  3. Proceed and select the second option -> Install / Remove Windows 7.
  4. Boot camp will now give you an option to erase Windows 7 completely and fix your MBR.
  5. Proceed. BootCamp will take its own time (worth spending) to remove old Windows 7 partition and put OSX back to its full glory (occupying complete HDD).
Once done, reboot your computer and make sure everything works perfectly.
The problem isn't very well documented on the Internet and I hope this post will be helpful in fixing it. If you have questions, feel free to post it below. You may need free registration or login with Facebook.
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