MacBook Pro Requires Update to High Sierra to Fresh Install Windows Fall Creators Update (1709)

We were investigating an issue where a Winclone image of Windows 10 Falls Creators Update (1709) was restored on a MacBook Pro (MacBookPro13,2) and Windows was giving a blue recovery screen when restarting.  However, after we investigated a big further, we determined it wasn’t the Winclone image, but rather the firmware on the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro had 10.12 Sierra installed, and I installed the latest version of Windows using the ISO for the Fall Creators update (1709) using Boot Camp Assistant.  Upon restart to Windows, I got a Blue Screen with an error about the boot drive not accessible.  I upgraded to High Sierra (10.13) on the MacBook Pro and the macOS updater applied an EFI update during the update process.  I installed Windows again from the same ISO and Boot Camp Assistant, and the MacBook started up fine in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The Winclone image then restored fine.

Some interesting thoughts on this.  In the past, Apple provided EFI firmware updates separately from macOS updates, but now appears to be bundling them together with the macOS update.  In the past, it didn’t make sense to say if a version of macOS supported a specific version of the Windows since Windows support was dependent on the hardware not the macOS. However, this has changed since the EFI updates appear to only be available with the OS update.  Now you need to know what version of macOS and hardware of the Mac to determine Windows compatibility.

There is an open question about whether upgrading to macOS 10.13 to upgrade the firmware and then imaging back to 10.12 will allow you to install Fall Creators Update fresh but still run 10.12.  I suspect that it would work, but not really worthwhile since you can always install the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and upgrade to Fall Creators update in Windows.

It is also very clear that Apple wants you to upgrade to the latest OS (on any of your Apple devices) and not downgrade or install older versions of the OS.  So if you are having trouble installing the Fall Creators Update, make sure you have updated to High Sierra.