Previous 1 2 Next 28 Replies Latest reply: May 30, 2009 9:34 AM by The hatter
CorkyO Level 1 Level 1
I would like to report that I have been successful at installing Windows 7 RC on a dedicated drive on a Mac Pro (early 2008) using the following procedure:

1. Downloaded the ISO (Windows 7 RC 32-bit) from Microsoft and burned the image to DVD using Nero 6 in the XP environment (using the lowest burn speed available for best results).

2. Booted to OS X and ran the Boot Camp Assistant to select the drive and have it partition the drive (which results in a drive with a mini 200 MB partition used for the boot process and a main partition for installing the OS on).

3. Inserted the Windows 7 RC DVD in optical drive and waited as usual for the disc to appear on the desktop and clicked ‘Continue’ in Boot Camp Assistant.

4. After the Window 7 RC DVD loaded files, I was presented with a list of partitions that the Windows installer sees. Being careful not to select the 200 MB partition, I selected the proper partition to install Windows on and then clicked the ‘Options’ link below the list of partitions.

5. After clicking the ‘Options’ link, I clicked on the ‘Format’ option and once that finished, I proceeded with the installation which was nothing more than clicking the button at the lower right corner of installer dialog and letting Windows install itself (which includes rebooting a couple of times).

6. Once the installer finished, I was presented with the ‘User Name’ options followed by the ‘Password’ and ‘Window Update’ options (I entered a password for security and selected the ‘Recommended’ update option for ease of process).

7. Windows then prepared the desktop by running the hardware evaluation sequence and I finally arrived at the desktop.

Note – I used the included thin aluminum full sized USB keyboard to enter data in step #6 and a USB mouse to click in all other steps.

I attempted to run the Boot Camp installer off the OS X install disc included with the Mac Pro, but Windows 7 promptly informed me that Boot Camp had known issues with this version of Windows.

I quit the installer and then opened Windows Explorer by clicking the folder icon on the taskbar. Selecting ‘Computer’ allowed me access to the optical drive icon which I could right-click to use the ‘Open’ option to view the contents of the disc. Opening the ‘Boot Camp’ folder and then the ‘Drivers’ folder gave me access to the individual driver installers which can be installed as needed (if needed).

I found the following issues while installing the drivers referred to above:

1. Installing the Apple keyboard drivers did install the Apple keyboard driver file to the correct location (‘:\WINDOWS\System32\Drivers\’) but did not enable the Eject key on the keyboard. The other keys all seemed to work correctly for Windows commands although I have not tried all variations, just the typical Ctrl, Shift, Alt modifier combinations.

2. Installing the other ‘Apple’ drivers did not enable the Eject key either.

3. Attempting to run the ‘BootCamp.exe’ file by itself resulted in the compatibility error message again, which convinced me that it is this file creating the problem and not the individual driver files. Note – this meant that the Boot Camp applet was not available to select a boot drive from in the Windows 7 RC environment (I had to use the ‘Option’ key during boot to change the boot drive away from Windows 7 RC).

4. Running the individual Realtek audio installer resulted in improved audio functionality over the audio drivers included in the Windows 7 RC image.

5. Running Windows Update offered an update to the nVidia 8800 GT card in the Mac Pro which installed and worked correctly.

6. Looking in Device Manager (right-click Computer \ select ‘Properties’ \ click Device Manager link) – I saw only one missing driver listed as a base device which I believe is the PCI bridge for the data controller enabling the SATA data transfer.

The end result is that I have access to running Windows 7 RC with the following missing functionality:

1. No use of the ‘Eject’ key on the full sized aluminum Apple keyboard (work-around is to use the optical drive context menu ‘Eject’ command and close tray by hand).

2. No full speed data transfer on SATA controller (still using the UDMA mode ‘5’ as in both XP and Vista).

3. Maximum RAM access is still limited to 2 GB (same as XP and Vista 32-bit) although Windows 7 RC sees all 8 GB. If I understand correctly – which I admittedly may not – this has something to do with the 200 MB boot partition and the resulting communication restrictions imposed by the differences between BIOS and EFI.

Note – I have not tried to connect the Bluetooth thin aluminum Apple keyboard yet, but will try later today after work.

Note #2 – this Mac Pro machine has had successful and problem free Windows XP (32-bit) & Vista Business (32-bit) installations with the exception of items #2 & #3 above which seems to be driver / firmware related.

I have read that a number of people are having problems with installing Windows 7 RC when upgrading an existing Vista install. Due to the incompatibility with the current version of Boot Camp and / or other Vista specific files that may be in conflict, it may be worth trying to do a clean install using the Boot Camp Assistant in OS X to repartition and prepare the drive for install (although you would obviously need to reinstall all apps into the Windows environment and backing up your email, favorites and personal files to copy to Windows 7 RC after install).

I would also recommend burning your Windows 7 RC image using the lowest speed possible. Until about 18 months ago, I was a PC power user and have seen failed installs of various Beta and RC versions due to corrupt files created during high speed burns.

I apologize if this is long winded post, but I thought it might help some people and also might help any Apple tech’s dropping by that are trying to identify the issues popping up with running Windows 7 RC on a Mac.

A special thanks to ‘The Hatter’ for taking the time to create this great ‘FAQ \ information link’ post on the Windows 7 Beta install process for Mac users.


Mac Pro 2.8 Quad-core (Single CPU), Mac OS X (10.5.6), ACD 23", iPhone 3G (8 GB)
Reply by The hatter on May 6, 2009 9:39 AM Helpful
More about the new Nvidia drivers for 7 here:
Reply by The hatter on May 7, 2009 9:54 AM Helpful
*GeForce Driver Release 185 WHQL*
Version: 185.85
Release Date: May 06, 2009
Operating System: Windows 7 (64-bit)
Language: U.S. English
File Size: 99.5 MB

Windows offered WHQL 1.1 drivers. I was using 185.81 beta (which have been fine).
So these are the latest drivers available and no longer listed as beta.

All replies

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9
    Thanks for the additional tips and steps.

    (Any reason you might try 64-bit next so you can use more memory?)

    Also, you might still want to get the Windows 7 Nvidia 185.xx driver too.

    There is always going to be 200MB for GPT, and can be other 128MB EFI partitions (between and after each HFS Extended).
  • CorkyO Level 1 Level 1

    I will be downloading the 64-bit version tonight as well as trying to pair the Apple Bluetooth thin aluminum keyboard in the current installation.

    I will report back with results as they come in (probably by this weekend at the latest).

    Thanks for the tip on the nVidia driver (which I will check out) and for the information on both the GPT and EFI.


    Had to edit for typo - oops!

    Message was edited by: CorkyO
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9
    More about the new Nvidia drivers for 7 here:
  • CorkyO Level 1 Level 1

    Here is the balance on the Windows 7 RC (32-bit) installation:

    1. I checked on the (32-bit) beta drivers from the link above and they turn out to be the same as the pre-release version offered by Windows Update under the 'Optional' category, which is a good thing IMHO.

    2. I had to run the Boot Camp installer and select the 'Run Program' button to bypass the compatibility warning message in order to test on the keyboard issue. During the installation, I received a second compatibility message towards the end of the process concerning the chipset drivers, so I quit the installer and rebooted at that point. The result was that the Boot Camp applet was installed (allowing selection of the boot drive from in Windows 7 RC environment) and the 'Eject' key working on the USB full sized aluminum keyboard (as well as all other Windows related keyboard functionality).

    3. I had to use the following procedure to pair the Apple Bluetooth aluminum keyboard:

    a) Turn on keyboard so light blinks indicating sending of a signal.

    b) Click on notification area 'Bluetooth Devices' icon and select 'Add a Device' which displayed a window where found devices are listed as Windows searches. (Note - the other option to get to this windows is 'Control Panel > Add a device link' found under Hardware and Sound category).

    c) Once the keyboard is displayed, right-click device and select 'Properties' (or select device and press Alt+Enter) to display the device properties.

    d) Click on the 'Services' tab and wait for the list to populate, which will result in one check box next to 'Drivers for keyboard, mice, etc (HID)'.

    e) Place a check mark in the box and then click 'Apply', which will start the install process for that service and should result in a notification balloon at the right end of the taskbar. Click this balloon to see the progress as Windows Update checks for any updated drivers and then indicates completion of the install.

    f) The device should disappear from the 'Add a device' list and should now work.

    Note - the Bluetooth keyboard pairing is a bit counter-intuitive (not a huge surprise there) in that normally the user should only need to select the device in the list and then click 'Next' to pair (and probably would work if the services were already installed and/or enabled).

    That seems (at least to me) to be a generally pain free install process, with the exception of the Boot Camp compatibilty messages making troubleshooting Windows 7 RC on a Mac a bit more ambiguous.

    Thanks again for the tips, Hatter.

    I will report back to this post once I complete a Windows 7 RC (64-bit) installation using the same drive and procedure to see if all goes well and to verify that Windows 7 RC can access all 8 GB of RAM.


    Message was edited by: CorkyO
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9
    *GeForce Driver Release 185 WHQL*
    Version: 185.85
    Release Date: May 06, 2009
    Operating System: Windows 7 (64-bit)
    Language: U.S. English
    File Size: 99.5 MB

    Windows offered WHQL 1.1 drivers. I was using 185.81 beta (which have been fine).
    So these are the latest drivers available and no longer listed as beta.
  • CorkyO Level 1 Level 1
    First of all,

    Thanks to Hatter for the helpful hints and links. It's always nice to have a competent and caring user on the forums.


    I have successfully downloaded, burned and installed the Windows 7 RC (64-bit) image using the exact same procedures in steps #1 through #7 in the opening text of this thread.

    I decided to run the Boot Camp installer from my OS X (Leopard 10.5.2) disc which was included with my Mac Pro box, instead of trying to just install drivers I needed to install / update. This ran as before with the compatibility message at the start (and bypassed by clicking the 'Run Program' button), but finished without any message on the chipset compatibility (which I did see in the 32-bit version install of Boot Camp).

    Running the Boot Camp Vista 64-bit update also ran the same without any messages other than the first compatibility warning.

    I installed the nVidia drivers from the link provided by 'Hatter' above (the non-beta one) which installed without issue and performed well.

    I ran Windows Update to see if it recognized that I had installed the latest video drivers, which it did see and only offered the IE 8 updates. These installed just fine.

    I still had the same issue with pairing the Apple Bluetooth aluminum keyboard as I mentioned above, which was solved by opening the device properties dialog and selecting > applying > installing the services offered for the device.

    Note - the keyboard has issues with staying fully connected to the system in both 32-bit and 64-bit when I stop typing or issueing commands for say 30 - 60 seconds. It has to send a signal (as seen by the light on the keyboard illuminating) on the first keystroke after that loss of connection, which then results in the keystrokes or commands being recognized. This was not the case in either XP or Vista. I am not sure if this is actual loss of pairing or some kind of driver malfunction?

    The full 8 GB of RAM were accessible as expected and all other functions running Windows on a Mac seem to be consistent between the Window 7 RC and installs of XP and Vista which were installed on this machine at one time or another.

    I hope this serves as an example that the Windows 7 RC can be installed via a clean install on at least the Mac Pro (early 2008).

    One item I saw on the official MS Windows 7 site was that they tell you to disable any anti-virus software before upgrading Vista if that is the path you choose.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9
    You are more methodical, step-by-step than I tend to be, and that should help iron out - I tend to be more scattered.

    Be sure to find 7-RC compatible antivirus.

    I installed 7100 over 7700 (I already had a clean install on another drive, this one is for testing purposes before I try anything new) WITH N360v3. No trouble. No need to boot from DVD (still struggling with that due to older EFI32 firmware and issue with this UEFI OS). Now using Norton 360 v3.5 beta for RC.
  • sdp33 Level 1 Level 1
    Everything turned out very well, except for sound. I have installed the Realtek drivers but, nothing. I tried Windows update as well, nothing.
    Am I missing something?
  • CorkyO Level 1 Level 1

    Did you run the Boot Camp installer to install drivers, or did you install the audio driver individually?

    Assuming you have already checked for lowered volume and / or mute enabled:

    If you used the Boot Camp installer, I would probably try to run the update and select the 'Update \ Repair' button to see if that fixes the issue.

    If you ran the individual driver, I would probably boot into OS X and use 'System Profiler' (Apple menu > About This Mac > 'More Info...' button) to identify the actual audio adapter manufacturer and model number.

    Armed with this information, you should be able to either install a driver off the OS X reinstall disc or download one from the manufacturer's web site.

    I know my OS X reinstall disc had both RealTek and SigmaTel drivers in the folders and it may be that your audio adapter is not RealTek (not sure on this one as I only own a Mac Pro tower).

    If System Profiler does not identify the manufacturer for some reason, as a last resort you could try to download a small program called 'Belarc Advisor' and run it on the Windows OS.

    Note - I have not run Belarc Advisor in Windows on a Mac (or on Windows 7 RC at all), but have used it extensively in the past doing various troubleshooting on PC's. It is a great program for identifying the hardware and installed software on a Windows machine which runs and then reports as a local (on your machine only) web page with listed hardware and software identified - I just don't know if it can profile a Mac's hardware, so I mention it with caveat's.

    I apologize if this was too basic for your skill level, just wanted to make sure to cover the basics first.

  • ucbound Level 1 Level 1
    I tried installing the 32-bit version but for some reason it's not recognizing my disk. It pops up on my desktop but when I get to installing it, it doesn't recognize it. Any ideas? Thanks!
  • CorkyO Level 1 Level 1

    Are you performing a clean install, or upgrading Vista on an existing Boot Camp partition?

    If you are performing a clean install, did you run Boot Camp Assistant to create a partition > insert Windows DVD > click 'Continue' after you see the DVD disc on desktop?
  • sdp33 Level 1 Level 1
    CorkyO, many thanks for your detailed reply.
    Windows would not install the SigmaTel drivers (I believe it could not find any hardware), but it did install the RealTek drivers.
    I checked system profiler. It lists Intel High Definition Audio, 0x106B00A3, ID 56. I went to Intel's download center but, I guess, I didn't know what to search for because, with the information I had, there were no matches for my search.
    Belarc Advisor lists Realtek High Def Audio (maybe because that's what I have installed?).
    Do you happen to know which audio driver I need to install? And, most of all, where to find it?

    Thank you.
  • CorkyO Level 1 Level 1

    Which year MBP model do you have?

    It sounds like you may have the onboard audio as part of the chipset, which may require the proper chipset drivers to be installed.

    I would probably uninstall the Realtek drivers and reboot and then either run Belarc Advisor again, or download and run the Intel chipset identification utility which can be found here 99 - this should work for any of the 2007 or newer intel chipsets.

    It wouldn't be a bad idea to run Window Update with the audio drivers uninstalled to see if it recognizes the adapter and offers a driver (assuming Windows does not try to install the driver automatically after rebooting the machine).

    The procedures above certainly won't hurt anything and you might find the correct driver.
  • sdp33 Level 1 Level 1

    I have the early 2008 MacBook Pro.
    I have uninstalled the RealTek driver but, when I restarted, Windows reinstalled the driver before I could do anything..
    Would the chipset software be on the OS X disc that came with the MBP?

    Thank you.
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