Windows 7 on my Mac Mini

Back in the day, Dave and I bought (intel) Mac Minis (there was a retail outlet which had apparently decided to stop selling them and they were going pretty cheap). It’s been my main Vista machine at home for 18 months or so now (running bootcamp), I never boot into OSX, the machine was a member of my SBS domain and all was well with the world. Of course, I just can’t leave well enough alone (in addition to the fact that I’d “wasted” 40 of the 80GB HD on an OSX partition that I never use). I decided to take the plunge and see what the Win7 experience was like.

First I tried an upgrade – running setup.exe from the DVD and choosing the upgrade option. Initial results were poor because of a lack of drive space on the Win partition,  but even after getting the available space up to 10GB (lose VS, Office and some games), the setup would get most of the way through and then just roll back. By the way, the rollback experience is great – there’s nothing left of the install afterwards except a note on the desktop as to what’s gone wrong – Vista is as it’s always been.

Today I took the plunge and started a clean install.

I inserted a Win7 x86 beta DVD, shutdown Vista, held down the alt key and turned the Mini on. After some time (after I released the alt key), the mac boot screen came up offering to boot from either of the partitions on the hard drive or the DVD. I chose the DVD and the rest was exactly like any other Win7 install experience I’ve had to date, that is to say seamless. Within 30 min I was at a Win7 desktop starring the Beta fish and was informed that Windows was already 65% of the way through downloading 4 updates. One more restart and I was in business.

There are three devices showing up as problems in Device Manager, one USB device, the TPM and “Performance Counters” in the Other Devices node.

No mucking around with bootcamp drivers, none of the insidious Apple updates.

Next, I downloaded and installed Windows Live Essentials, and then I’ll do the rest of my standard install stuff – Office2007, VS2008, Acrobat Reader etc.

Win7 Beta on Mac Mini – Big Thumbs-Up from me.