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

Comments (47)
  1. Chris says:

    What size partition did you set up in bootcamp for Vista?

  2. Hans VB1 says:

    Hi, as you can see in ne of my follow up posts ( I used 52GB for Mac and 41GB for Vista. I don’t believe it matters that much.

  3. mbfan says:

    If only the eye candy would work with Parallels 🙂

    Will try this howto soon on a Macbook 13"

  4. Kevin says:

    For some reason this didn’t work for me. I keep getting the message that it cannot find a locally connected Hard drive to copy the files onto. I tried formatting the 200 MB partition and the 9 GB partition that I created using bootcamp but I cannot install on either.

  5. stet says:

    If you wipe the EFI partition, you won’t be able to install firmware updates.

  6. House Gast says:

    Ich liebe diesen Mac

  7. Great says:

    Followed your instructions, everything went great until I deleted the 200 meg partition. Now when it boots there is no option to boot to OSX.

    I’m stuck with a windows machine now. Even when you don’t hold down alt, it just boots to windows.  

    I don’t think that was supposed to be deleted.

  8. Ray says:

    I was able to get WiFi working by using the drivers provided by Apple Boot Camp for XP – I had to run the installer in XP, then copy those files off somewhere safe before installing Vista. However, I had an item for it in Device Manager.. so I guess that wasn’t terribly helpful.

  9. FlyingGuy says:

    Why on earth would you want to screw up a truly GREAT computer by puting such an over-bloated, visrus friendly, POS on it?

    Why dont you take you Micro$oft luv and keep it where it belongs, and some poor excuse for a computer like a Dell.


  10. Awesome.  I’m trying this on my MacBook Pro at the moment; restarted and got this "%systemroot% [something] winload.exe problem …  But yes, after following your instructions it recovered my installation and it appears to be starting now!!!  Thanks!

  11. Dale says:

    For Kevin who couldn’t get this to work… the reason is a 9GB partition is not large enough for a Vista install. The minimum partition size is 14GB, but M$ recommends no smaller than 30GB.

  12. I know that it has been reported ad nauseam all over the Web but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that you can install Windows Vista beta 2 on the MacBook Pro. (No word yet on if it works…

  13. crac says:

    Hi Hans, thanks for the insights!

    Just thought I’d weigh in that this methodology (deleting the EFI partition) has worked for me on an iMac Core Duo 2GHz with 2 GB… In contrast to your macbook experience, I did not have the problem with ..winload.exe as warned, but had a faultless startup. I was quite alarmed on first boot as it takes a considerable time to get to the desktop. Far longer than XP, and OSX. Now I guess I won’t get firmware updates for the Apple iMac, oh well, until they provide a control panel for their TPMs I’ll be happy to run without it.

  14. Asam Bashir says:

    What a complete and utter waste of time, why don’t you go buy a Dell or something…..

  15. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for your post & tips, Hans. Following your instructions I managed to get Vista installed. Like you, I had to do the "repair" in the Vista install, but after that it was up and running. My network & wireless worked out of the box after doing a hardware update.

    However, I’m having one major problem since then. When I dual boot into OS X, everything seems to work for the first couple minutes, but then it seems as if the whole system freezes.  The mouse still moves, but when I click on dialogs or files, nothing happens at all. I can’t force quit anything – totally frozen (except the mouse). The only way I can get out is by using the power button to restart. I tried running the Disk Utility from the install discs, but it doesn’t find any issues with the OS X partition.

    Any ideas?

  16. Justin E. Boles says:

    I got almost every device working including the iSight Cam.  I’ll post info later

  17. Justin E. Boles says:

    I got almost every device working including the iSight Cam.  I’ll post info later

  18. anna says:

    Sweet. I wondered if Vista would work. I am about to purchase a Mac Mini; but will probably hold off on the Vista for now and go with XP Pro; but still good to have the option. XP gives me enough headaches all ready and pc’s; yuck lol…sorry bad experience with a pc and switching now to mac. Ah; come on technology…just work. LOL! Sorry. Good blog post.

  19. Paloooz says:

    Justing, how did you get the iSight camera working?

    I get BSOD when I try and use it =/

  20. Roberto says:

    Hi… I’m installing Vista in my MacBook pro…

    The startup error message continues. The Repair function says me that it can’t repair automatically the startup… what I can do?

  21. Robert says:

    I can’t get the "[B]"D:Install Macintosh Drivers for Windows XP.exe" /A /v[/B]" to work. It keeps trying to do the Install (which fries Vista).

    Can anyone help me with the file extract?

    My system does try to download the Broadcom drivers with the Windows Update but I get some sort of ‘INI’ error.

  22. Ye olde Pirate says:

    Great work Hans! 🙂

    Just want to react to the Microsoft haters:

    Please, if you do not have anything useful to say, refrain from commenting on topics like these. People will install MS on Apple’s products, just because they CAN 🙂

    If you would just put a little more time into understanding both worlds, both Apple and Microsoft, you would’nt make such useless remarks.

    Keep up the good work hans!!

  23. Robbert says:

    Great work Hans! 🙂

    Just want to react to the Microsoft haters:

    Please, if you do not have anything useful to say, refrain from commenting on topics like these. People will install MS on Apple’s products, just because they CAN 🙂

    If you would just put a little more time into understanding both worlds, both Apple and Microsoft, you would’nt make such useless remarks.

    Keep up the good work hans!!

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