Windows on MacBook

Posted on 5 February 2012


Installing Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6)

First, I installed Snow Leopard from the MacBook DVD. It worked like a charm. One hour for installing, one hour for updating. Total size: about 10 GB.

I made sure I had only one partition on my boot hard-disk, as I have read that bootcamp only works when there is one partition on your disk to start with.

Installing BootCamp

After that, I searched my OSX harddisk for bootcamp assistant and ran it. It divided my hard-disk in two partitions. I told it to use 150GB for my windows partition, because that’s the size of my old harddisk.


Then I inserted my WinXP SP3 disk and clicked OK. After installing all the drivers the WinXP installation screen came up. I pointed the installer to the BOOTCAMP fat32 partition.

And there was my first and only challenge in this installation: it asked me if I wanted to format the disk or keep the current FAT32 system. It would have been great if the BootCamp utility had warned me earlier in the process to choose: Quick format as NTFS. That would have saved me about two hours of waiting.

So: choose ‘quick format as NTFS’. After that, everything works great!

Installing Windows XP sp3

Installing windows XP took me about an hour. After that I inserted the Mac OSX disk and it ran the BootCamp installation automatically. All drivers were installed in the blink of an eye, and the system works great.

I  installed the Dutch language pack from the disk. NOTE: I found later that this is giving problems with the WD Unlock software which i need to unlock my external WD harddrives: ‘services failed to start, verify privileges’. That’s because the disk is containing smartware version and Dotnet FX 2.0 which doesn’t support the Dutch language pack. Setting my Windows language to English turned out to be the solution! I didn’t even need to install Dotnet FX or Smartware to unlock the drive.

The current smartware (16/8/2011) version can be downloaded from the WD site and it does support the Dutch language pack, but it needs Dotnet FX 3.5 and IE7+ to be installed. And after installing all that, it still gives the error when I attach the external disk, because it tries to load the SmartWare from the VCD. I can’t disable the VCD because that also disables the password-protection. It is possible to update the firmware of the WD disk, but not the the actual SmartWare software on the VCD. So the best thing to do here is to switch to the English Windows user interface

Then I could connect to internet and install all updates from windows update. Installing all drivers and updates took me another hour. Total size: 6,5 GB.

So all in all, I have been busy for about four hours to reinstall the complete system.

Installing Windows 7

My new software wanted me to run windows 7, so I installed that from an ISO file. It turned out to be a 32 bit version and therefore didn’t show me more then about 2 GB of memory.

Installing Windows 8 Pro 64 bit

Microsoft has this action until 31/1/2013 where you can buy windows 8 pro upgrade for only EUR 27 instead of EUR 270. I’m wondering: an upgrade for EUR 270, really!? That’s expensive.

So I was hoping to buy this upgrade and get a 64 bit operating system. No sir! Windows still has 32 bit and 64 bit versions, and if you upgrade from a 32 bit version like XP or win7/32bit, you will get a new 32 bit version of win8. So you need to make the upgrade ISO on a 64 bit machine.

The first thing to do is download the official win7/64bit ISO file here and install this on your computer. Or: go to a friends computer that already has 64 bit windows running. Then go here to download the windows 8 update installer, it will check if your computer can handle win8. Then buy it and select “Install by creating media” to make a bootable USB or DVD. Then boot from this and use it to make a fresh install by selecting “Custom Advanced”. Note that if you’re upgrading this way, you still must have a ‘legal’ Windows version running on your PC when you begin the upgrade.

Or alternatively, take out another $ 30 and buy the install DVD. You will get both the 32 bit and 64 bit version. This is what microsoft recommends. And to conclude: the best alternative might be to just buy an OEM SystemBuilder version (make sure you get the WIN8-PRO-64bit version) for EUR 135,-. Here you can read the Personal Use Licence of this version.

Posted in: MacOS/Apple