Vista Beta 2 on MacBook Pro with Bootcamp? You bet!

Unbelievable, I got Vista running on my MacBook Pro. And it is just beautiful. I know I’m not the first, far from. I’ve seen people blog about this and more importantly, I got a lot of assistance from Jeff Dorsey, a system engineer in Redmond who had it running for a while. I started with the step by step guide provided by Jeff… 

1) Install Bootcamp

2) Create XP Partition

3) Install XP completely and once it’s fully installed…

4) Reboot onto Vista DVD. To do this, insert the Vista Beta 2 DVD and then reboot holding down ‘the option key’, that’s the one with ‘alt’ on it. BTW, if you have issues ejecting the CD/DVD from within Windows, you can do that in the Windows Explorer by right-clicking on the CD drive and then selecting Eject or by holding down the mouse button when booting

5) When you need to select on which partition to install Vista, erase the EFI Partition (199mb). In my case this showed a 200MB partition before I deleted it and 199MB of free space after I deleted it. Also there is a 128MB unallocated space thing showing but you don’t have to be worried about that.

6)  Formatted XP Partion and told Vista to install there

7) Reboot. And it should work fine. In my case it didn’t. What fixed it was rerunning the install but then instead of clicking on the big ‘Install Vista’ button, click on the Repair button. This will find the error in the boot record and fix it. After that, Vista boots just fine. Sweet.


 Then drivers. This is alo quite a story. Good news is that the display driver seems to be present in the Vista install so you get Glass instantly. Here,s what I’ve done:

1) Network drivers:
I’ve been told that the wired network card should work out of the box but the wireless network card doesn’t even if it shows in the Device Manager. In my case, what did you expect, none of them worked.
I downloaded the Yukon Gigabit drivers for XP here: then updated the driver for my ethernet card (Or it could have been that I updated the driver for the so called wireless card with this driver too. There was something twisted.) with a version 853 or something like that. Sorry I can’t be more precise. Now the driver version for the card shows as Once the wired connection worked, I ran Windows Update and that detected and installed the driver for the wireles card. So now both are working.

2)  When I connected an external monitor, I couldn’t get it to work. I went to ATI and downloaded the Vista Drivers here: Catalyst Beta Driver for Windows Vista Beta 2 . This also installed the Catalyst Control Center via which I can now clone my screen.

3) I still have There are still quite some device that don’t have the proper driver. 4 ‘other devices’ (one of which says ‘performance counters’) and 1 USB Human interface design.

4)      Before you join a domain, you might want Ctrl-Alt-Del working no?

A)     Install Windows 2003 Resource Kit tools (under Key Remapper on that share) rktools.exe

B)      In that new run line thing, remapkey, then it will show up in the start menu with a question mark by it

C)      Right click it and say run as admin

D)     Then map the Del key from the upper keyboard to the right windows button below.

E)      Save, update registry, reboot

F)      Then Ctrl-Alt-Right Apple key is now Ctrl-Alt-Delete (Woot!!)

Other things I learned. When things go really pear shaped and you need to reinstall Mac OSX. Sometimes the partitioning seems to be so messed up that you can’t kick of the install. What works is trying ‘option 2’ from this support document: Important here is to really read the steps. Especially this part:
Click the Partition tab in the Disk Utility window. If the partition tab is not visible, make sure you've selected the disk (not volume) in the left side of the window.

Then reinstalling Mac OSX is easy and you even get that EFI partition back. BTW one way to get into the Disk Utility is to boot with Mac OSX Installation CD one in the drive and then hold the ‘C’ key while booting. The install will start but you will also get the Utilities Menu with the Disk Utility menu item in it.

 It has been a fun journey and I still don’t have all the drivers working but I’ll keep you posted. What’s for sure is that the result is great. Vista Beta 2 looks great and the performance is really good to on this hardware (I do have 2GB RAM and 256 on the Video Card).

I installed 2007 Office Beta 2 and everything to rock n roll with the WinFX. Delicious. Delovely. Degorgeous.

I will post some screenshots later.

Tags: Apple Boot Camp, Microsoft Windows, Vista