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Boot Camp Finally Supports Windows 7 On Macs 216

Dave Knott writes "After some delay Apple has updated Boot Camp to support Windows 7 on Macintosh computers. They have also provided an upgrade utility that facilitates transition to Windows 7 for Mac owners who have existing Vista installations. The new version of Boot Camp requires OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)."
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Boot Camp Finally Supports Windows 7 On Macs

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  • by flydpnkrtn ( 114575 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @06:25PM (#30966030)

    .....just sayin'

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) *

      Yep... and also with the commercial VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop. They had free betas when Windows 7 was in the free beta period as well.

    • Of course, the problem with running Windows on a Mac is Microsoft's pricing structure. Boot Camp or Parallels or VMware or VirtualBox needs a retail copy of Windows. But it turns out that one can actually buy a whole PC running Windows, including a spare keyboard and mouse, for close to the price of a retail copy of Windows.
      • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @07:22PM (#30966392)
        That's not by accident. That's planned that way.
        • I doubt it. The pricing of Windows has changed very over the years. So unless they planned for PCs in the late 200x's to be around the same cost as a windows license in 1995, It is mostly just incidental.
          • Microsoft planned for the cost of hardware to go down. They wanted their profit margins to stay the same.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by node 3 ( 115640 )

            Not quite. Microsoft used the launch of Windows XP to increase the price of Windows dramatically.

            Besides, when amiga3D says, "they planned it that way", he doesn't mean they planned it back then in 1995. He means they planned it that way last year when they priced Windows 7.

      • by kjart ( 941720 )

        Of course, the problem with running Windows on a Mac is Microsoft's pricing structure. Boot Camp or Parallels or VMware or VirtualBox needs a retail copy of Windows. But it turns out that one can actually buy a whole PC running Windows, including a spare keyboard and mouse, for close to the price of a retail copy of Windows.

        I agree that the pricing of retail Windows is pretty ridiculous, and it continues to surprise me that people buy Windows that way. That being said, I don't like the fact that you have to upgrade OS X in order to get driver support for a new version of Windows. This isn't unusual in the software vendor world (i.e. buy new version to get new features) but it sure is abnormal in the hardware world, and Apple is the hardware vendor in this case. I really shouldn't have to buy your OS to get functioning drivers

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by joshki ( 152061 )


          The OSX upgrade costs 29 bucks.

      • Are you sure about that? I bought the Windows 7 upgrade and put it on my computer. I didn't have a prior version of Windows. It still runs after all these months.

        • Running an upgrade without a valid license for the qualifying previous version might stop working after the next BSA audit. (And I'm not talking Scouts either.)
          • ...Thats assuming you are audited from the BSA. Home users aren't.
            • by tepples ( 727027 )
              A business that recommends that its customers violate software licenses, such as a publisher of Windows-compatible software that recommends shady methods of acquiring a copy of Windows, might find itself the victim of a surprise butts^W audit.
          • Digital river will sell you a legit upgrade copy of Windows 7 for $30 if you are a student at a qualifying university. Their authentication of said is that you have a *@*.edu email address.

            I bought a copy of windows 7 for my wife to go along with the new macbook pro I got her for xmas. I installed it before this update came out and found it unusable, so I backed off to a copy of windows XP that i can justify using legally because it's the key from her old laptop, which was soon to be reinstalled with Fedo

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              Digital river will sell you a legit upgrade copy of Windows 7 for $30 if you are a student at a qualifying university.

              Pretty much every accredited university with a computer science program offers cheap copies of Windows to its students, but going back for a master's degree is even more expensive.

            • Are you honestly concerned with "stealing" from Microsoft? It seems that the extra effort you expend ensuring your copy of Windows is legitimate could be put to better use in society.
      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:53PM (#30967414) Journal
        While I'm sure that they would all prefer that it be cheaper, I doubt VMware and company are much worried.

        You definitely can get a fully functional, if not very exciting, wintel box for about the cost of a Windows licence. However, that probably won't be of too much use to your average mac user contemplating windows: The bulk of Macs sold are laptops. If you are using a laptop, you are likely carrying it around at least sometimes. Suddenly, your HP box or Asus netbook or whatever it was you purchased for the cost of the OS it runs starts to look annoying.

        Even if you have a Mac desktop, you are going to run into issues: iMacs can function as monitors; but only if the input source is Displayport. With a cheap PC, you'll get VGA or DVI, which means that you'll need either another monitor, or an active converter. You'll also need another set of peripherals, and the desk space for them, or a KVM. Standard 2 or 4 port VGA/PS2/USB KVMs are cheap; but DVI/USB KVMs are kind of pricey. I haven't even dared to look at displayport KVMs. Users of Mac Pros are ever so slightly better off; particularly if they are using a third party monitor with multiple switchable inputs(ie. any Dell monitor that somebody with a $3,000 desktop would purchase); but they will run into the problem that, because they are on a Mac Pro, their windows applications would run faster in a VM than they would on a cheap PC(and since cheap PCs rarely have graphics worth anything, even the notoriously virtualization-hostile task of gaming won't work better).
        • Users of Mac Pros are ever so slightly better off

          That or Mac mini, which is the basis for the "developing for iPhone requires Xcode, and Xcode costs $600" meme in Slashdot comments. One who has a Mac mini might as well buy an Acer Aspire Revo, which is essentially free with the purchase of a copy of Windows.

          their windows applications would run faster in a VM than they would on a cheap PC

          On a separate KVM'd box, Windows apps don't slow Mac apps down or make them start to swap, nor do Mac apps slow down Windows apps or make them start to swap.

          and since cheap PCs rarely have graphics worth anything

          Acer Aspire Revo has NVIDIA ION chipset, whose GPU handily beats the Intel Graphics My A--. Bef

      • Yep, luck mac bastards, they can buy a cheap ass low end PC for $200 or less to code for windows.

        But us windows people cannot buy a $200 mac to code for the iphone.

        Apple could port its iphone sdk to gcc/windows/linux quite easily.

        But its not in their interest, so even if it cost them say $200,000 to do it, they wouldnt.

      • Not if you can get ahold of an oem or system builder edition ;-)

      • An OEM copy of Win7 from Newegg is less than $100.

        Please tell me where you can get a computer capable of running it for something near that.
        • by tepples ( 727027 )
          I was under the impression that an OEM copy of Windows had to be purchased on the same invoice as a motherboard or a similarly major component of a PC.
    • And playing games in a VM still isn't as good as native, no matter how hard they try or claim that it is. Removing 2 layers of indirection (OS X and the Hypervisor) can't hurt.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Lately I've been thinking about buying a Mac. It's not because I want to run Mac OS X; I don't. I want it just to run Windows.

    Why would I spend three times as much on a Mac just to run Windows, when I could buy a Dell instead? Well, it's because I want to support Apple as best I can. I love my iPhone, and I will get an iPad as soon as I can. Apple has earned my love, and my support.

    I just wish that iPhone OS ran on their desktop systems. It's the best operating system I've used in a long time.

  • by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @06:31PM (#30966106)

    I've been running Windows 7 Eval edition since august when OS 10.6 came out. Even without bootcamp, it dectected my wireless card and intel graphics on my MacBook without any problems. How is this just now news?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because now (about 2 weeks ago actually) it's officially supported. I too have been running it for about 6 months on my MBP, and about the only improvements I've seen is temp is a lot cooler with the new drivers.

    • I've been running Windows 7 (MSDN final) on Snow Leopard bootcamp since it came out. So not sure what this "update" adds. One problem I did have was with the mini-dvi to VGA adapter forcing it into 640x480 resolution, but that appeared to also be an issue for Vista. Hopefully they finally fixed it!

    • by selven ( 1556643 )

      Boot Camp can run anything. I have a Ubuntu install running alongside Mac OSX with Boot Camp, and some people even got OpenSolaris working (not much harder than Ubuntu or Windows, from what I've heard). It's more about Mac officially supporting Windows and providing all the necessary drivers.

      • OpenSolaris works just fine. I've used the live CD and it works.

        • by selven ( 1556643 )

          Have you tried running it in a boot-camp dual boot configuration with OSX? It should work just fine, but it's nice to know exactly what the limitations are.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by itsdapead ( 734413 )

      I've been running Windows 7 Eval edition since august when OS 10.6 came out. [snip] How is this just now news?

      Before, it worked. Now it should just work (tm). At least until you get to the bit where Windows takes over :-)

      Back in the early days of Intel Macs, the beta bootcamp included essential firmware updates (e.g. the EFI BIOS legacy support stuff). Since then, however, you've just been able to slam in a Windows DVD and go, although if you're not careful you'll hose OS X in the process because Windows doesn't understand the OS X partition table.

      These days, BootCamp is just the point'n'click wizard that holds

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BitZtream ( 692029 )

      There are now optimized Win7 drivers, previously you were using generic drivers without acceleration provided by Microsoft or drivers designed for Vista from old versions of Bootcamp.

      Both worked fine, but lacked full acceleration and feature set.

      I've noticed the trackpad is better now, not so overly sensitive to touch or irratic. I've noticed no change in video performance at all. I really don't know what the differences are from a user perspective but as a causual gamer, I haven't noticed a difference i

    • It is the new machines which had problems, my guess is that bootcamp did not have all drivers in needed to run Win7 on the new machines (or install them that is)

  • by mederjo ( 899667 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @06:40PM (#30966152)

    I've been running Windows 7 RTM without problems on my Nehalem Mac Pro using Bootcamp for months. It was so painless I've forgotten the details but I think I started off with the Leopard Boot Camp and then updated it with the Boot Camp off the Snow Leopard GM. I did a clean install on a new partition. Windows 7 installed more easily than Vista Ultimate 64.

  • by linumax ( 910946 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @06:46PM (#30966190)

    These Macs [apple.com] won't have an issue with 64bit Win7 (or Vista). If however, you have an older machine as in my case (2007 Santa Rosa MBP) you might have trouble installing Windows 7 using the DVD.

    In case it locks at boot up when trying to install you can modify the ISO and burn it to a new DVD. I used this guide [logicalvue.com] and it worked fine.

    • by hedrick ( 701605 )
      I'm running Windows 7 on the original 2006 Intel Macbook Pro with no problem. The Bootcamp update wasn't supposed to work on machines that old, but did.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by linumax ( 910946 )
        Firstly, it's only 64 bit and secondly the problem is not related to bootcamp at all. The second link has some explanation:

        Unfortunately, I could not get the Windows 7 x64 DVD to boot. After restarting and choosing the Windows DVD at the boot screen, the screen would blank out and just display “Select CD-ROM Boot Type” and refuse to continue.

        I had the exact problem as above so posted this workaround in case others with older machines had it.

  • I want to install windows XP on my wife's macbook pro. A ran bootcamp and windows installed okay but my XP install disk is pre service pack 2. The apple drivers for windows on the macbook require SP2. Windows can't use the ethernet or wifi to upgrade itself. Microsoft don't give you a simple executable to download to upgrade to later service packs unless you have a special account with them.

    My brother gave me an executable which supposedly will install SP2 but it failed for a bizarre reason (claims only 3 m

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by heffrey ( 229704 )

      Slipstream SP2 onto the SP1 XP disc. Slipstreaming is the process of converting an installation disk to a higher service pack (well, that's what I think it is!) A bit of Google and you should be there in an hour or so.

    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      What version of the bootcamp software do you have on the MBP - the earlier versions had a problem with SP2 that caused the SP2 installer to report only 3mb of space and fail, due to the way it was looking at partitions on the HD and looking at the wrong one.

      If you can get a later copy of bootcamp (the windows part of it that you install with the drivers) then it should cure that issue. There is also a manual registry change you can make that sometimes works.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      I believe it's trying to use your EFI firmware 'partition' as an install base.

      1. Run "regedit"

      2. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup]

      3. New - String value

      4. Name it "BootDir" and set its value to "C:\"

      -- funny that Windows needs a (manual) setting to know where it itself is installed.

      • Yeah thanks I found that. I now have WindowsXP SP2 installed on the macbook with Revit and Autocad installed on it, which was the point of the exercise. My wife wants to run her CAD applications on her new laptop.

        Thanks to everybody who helped.

  • A year late... (Score:4, Informative)

    by V50 ( 248015 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @07:11PM (#30966332) Journal

    Heh, I've been running Windows 7 64 bit on my MacBook Pro for just over a year now, having downloaded the first public beta out of curiosity. IIRC, it took just a minor amount of tweaking to the get Vista drivers to work for Windows 7 beta.

    On that note, I'm mildly dismayed to find Win7 ending up good enough to be used as my primary operating system, which as happened mostly because the DirectX World of Warcraft seems to run better than the OpenGL one for me. That and a few other programs. I feel dirty having OS X end up as my third most used OS on this computer. (Triple booting Ubuntu 9.10, Win7-64, OS X 10.6).

  • Not enough Apple news this week, now we're pulling out things from weeks ago? Everyone who cares already updated when they started Windows 7 and were notified that new drivers were available.

    Hell the date on the links show its from the 19th.

    You also don't need 10.6, just boot Windows 7 with the old drivers installed and Bootcamp will notify you of the updates and install them if you let it.


  • A clean install of Win 7 and the 3.1 package gave me no audio, a red light from the audio port (the opposite of what it was alleged to do) and no iSight, on further inspection in device manager there is also something called "coprocessor" that is not installed.
    I got audio to work with drivers from Realtek, but no solution to the iSight issue or what the mysterious "coprocessor" is.

    I don't know for sure but I would guess if you upgrade from Vista this most likely isn't an issue, I just never upgrade Windows

    • The red light from the audio port is the fiber optic, so unless your audio was showing as broken in device manager, it was actually working.

      • by koan ( 80826 )

        I'm aware of what it is, however the patch was to get rid of the issue in addition my internal speakers and headphones did not work, so you're wrong it was not "working".
        So much for Win 7 support.

  • With bootcamp can windows be made to boot off an external drive?

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