Vmware-fusion-bootcamp Sometimes VMWare Fusion says it cannot find your Boot Camp partition, even though the partition does exist and you can boot into it when starting your Mac. Using this script should let you create a Boot Camp VM. Boot Camp is not required to run Windows on a Mac with VMware Fusion. However, if you already have Windows installed as a Boot Camp partition, VMware Fusion can easily create a Windows virtual machine based on your Boot Camp Windows installation.
With macOS High Sierra Apple introduced the APFS filesystem with improved integrity protection. You can boot into Windows just fine, but when you wish to load a Boot Camp OS within a virtual machine the loader complains about a missing disk or some missing EFI elements. Eventually you get a blue Boot Manager screen with a bunch of options. According to VMware is UEFI missing an APFS driver.
This is also the case when installing an EFI based operating system directly in the VM without using Boot Camp.
To make it work you need to losen the integrity protection of your entire Mac. On some forums people just disable the protection completely, but I highly recommend to not doing that! It also protects against some nasty malware attacks on a deep system level. What I suggest to do is to only disable the protection on the filesystem.
This is not ideal either, but at least Fusion can access the Boot Camp partition while not exposing other layers to attacks. Until VMware finds a way to access Boot Camp in a secure way this is all you can do. They are working on it though:
No APFS driver in UEFI renders the Guest OS unbootable when the Guest boot volume is using APFS.
Rest assured we are very excited about and interested in leveraging the new capabilities found in Apple’s new File System, but for now it will give you an OS that you can not boot in a Virtual Machine.
As such, during the installation, be sure to NOT check the ‘Use APFS’ checkbox, otherwise you will render the VM unbootable.
Warning: These are not the best fixes because you are lowering the security of your system. A real fix can only be done if macOS and Fusion play nice together, keeping the app sandbox intact. But given the nature of I/O access to the BootCamp partition such high security method will be close to impossible in the current app/OS design.
In case you still want to continue, the options you have are:
- Don’t enable the more secure APFS during the macOS upgrade when APFS is not yet applied;
- Bypass the filesystem protection by granting full disk access to Fusion;
- Bypass the filesystem protection by completely disabling it in the core OS.
Method 1: Full disk access for Fusion
Why is this bad? You should never allow apps full access to your entire Mac. Apps can carry malware or really bad bugs, even those from well known companies like VMware. Instead each app should be able to function perfectly within its own sandbox. Granting full disk access to an app is like giving it a key to your house and blindly trusting them, their friends (i.e. third party components) and anyone else they see fit with access to all your data. They can do anything with it, from deletion, alteration and encrypting your files for ransom all the way to uploading your stuff to the wide public world.
Thanks to Joaquin in the comments. I haven’t tested this method yet myself.
- Go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy
- Click the Privacy tab
You may need to click the lock in the bottom-left corner and enter your password in order to make changes.
- On the left find Full Disk Access
- In the right pane find and enable the checkbox next to VMware Fusion
Method 2: Full disk access for everything
Why this one is bad is obvious. It’s like the note on method 1, but way worse. Disabling the system integrity protection (SIP) is like removing the walls from your house. The only file system protection you will have is stupid luck.
- Reboot into Recovery-mode, holding CMD+R until the Apple logo appears.
- Go to Utilities menu > Terminal
The mac reboots. When it is done create the Boot Camp VM. You will get an error saying you might not be able to run the VM, but it will be just fine.
Bootcamp Vs Vmware Fusion
Undo the change
If you wish to undo the change to re-enable the CSR setting on the file system, redo the steps above and instead of the command run this:
You can also do ‘enable’ which should enable all parts, but ‘clear’ will reset them to the OS defaults. At the moment the outcome is the same. However, macOS may change something in the future and intentionally disable a part of CSR and then ‘enable’ could mess things up a bit.
Bootcamp Vmware Fusion Or Parallels
Modern EFI or legacy BIOS
When you are installing an EFI based OS to install directly in VM (non-boot camp) try a BIOS variant instead and create a custom VM with legacy BIOS enabled instead of EFI. Otherwise it may work as well, but in my trial and error the BIOS combination came out best.
2017-10-19 – I restored the protection on my Mac. My intention was to run LiquidSky through Fusion which used to work great on Fusion v8, but since v10 it is lagging like crazy. So for games I now rather boot to Windows instead of using a virtual machine. Can’t wait for LiquidSky to launch their Mac app and finally be free from Windows.
2017-10-23 – Added section about EFI vs BIOS.
2017-11-03 – It’s interesting how many visitors this post alone gets.
25 50 unique views per day is not very common for my site, especially the click through rate from Google at 11.4%. Imagine how many users are struggling with this problem.
2017-11-03 – Changed undo command to ‘clear’.
2019-10-23 – Rewritten parts to include the steps from Joaquin.
2019-12-26 – Added warnings with explanations.
Bootcamp Vs Parallels Vs Vmware Fusion
Vmware Fusion Boot Camp Error
You can import the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine, creating a VMware virtual machine that copies the partition.
Power on the boot camp partition. See Power On the Boot Camp Partition as a Virtual Machine.
- Select Window > Virtual Machine Library.
- In the Virtual Machine Library window, control-click the Boot Camp virtual machine and click Import.
- Change the name for the imported virtual machine in the Save As text box from the default Boot Camp to something unique, and indicate where to save it. The default destination is the Virtual Machines folder created by Fusion.Fusion displays the disk space needed for the import, and the space available on the current disk.
- Click Import. When the import is complete, the virtual machine appears in the virtual machine list, in the powered-off state.
- Click Finish. Fusion installs VMware Tools after the virtual machine powers on, and reboots the system after the Tools installation is complete.