Derek Hatchard writes on the theme of "improving experiences" which includes managing technology, user experiences, life hacking, and some business related stuff. Derek has a software development blog at ardentdev.com and a product review site at wellrated.com. He is a Principal Member of Technical Staff (PMTS) at Radian6, a salesforce.com company. All views expressed are his alone (or those of any guest writers) and do not represent the views of Radian6 or salesforce.com.

Install Vista on a MacBook WITHOUT BootCamp

It’s no secret that I love Apple laptops but I much prefer Vista over OS X.  I’ve upgraded to a MacBook Pro and wanted to see if I could get Windows Vista to install on my old 13″ MacBook without using BootCamp.

The following method worked for me using a Windows Vista DVD with Service Pack 1.  I did a fresh install of OS X 10.4 Tiger before doing this.  (Sorry the pictures are wonky – I’m not great at shooting screen shots with my camera.)

Your mileage may vary.  Proceed at your own risk:

Insert Mac OS X Install Disc (this part should work with OS X 10.4 Tiger or OS X 10.5 Leopard discs).

Reboot.  Hold down C key during reboot.

Do not start the install.  From the Utilities menu, select Disk Utility.

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Select your hard drive from the list and then click the Partition tab / button.

Click the Options button and select “Master Boot Record” as the partition scheme.  Click OK.

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From the Volume Scheme drop down list, select 1 Partition.  Select MS-DOS (FAT) for the format (not that this matters since you will reformat it using NTFS during the Vista install).

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Click Apply.

Reboot.  Hold down the Alt/Option key turning reboot.

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When the graphical boot menu appears, hit the eject button.  Take out the OS X Install Disc and put in your Vista with SP1 install disc.

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If a Windows DVD icon does not appear, reboot and hold down Alt/Option during reboot.

When the Windows DVD icon appears in the graphical boot menu, hit Enter to select it.

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Proceed through the Vista install.

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When you come to screen titled “Where do you want to install Windows,” select Disk 0.

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There will be a message saying that you cannot install to that disk because it is not formatted using NTFS.

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Click the Drive Options link.  Click the Format link.  Click OK in the confirmation dialog.

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Now select Disk 0 and click Next.

The Vista installation should proceed as normal.

Once Windows is installed and loaded, insert an OS X 10.5 Leopard disc and install the Windows drivers from Apple. If you do not have access to an OS X 10.5 Leopard disc, your mileage may vary in getting all the hardware to work.  (Note:  I used the Leopard disc from my MacBook Pro to install the drivers for on the old MacBook.  Worked like a charm.)

If this works for you, please leave me a comment here.  If it didn’t work, please leave a comment describing what happened.



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152 Responses

  1. syam says:

    guys,

    i have instaled windows in Mac pro, But unfortunately , now windows only working can you just tell me how to swicth to MAC OSX with short key , I have tried alot , but i coudnt get the the MAC OSX , help me if you knwo the short cut key

    shajinp2003@gmail.com

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Syam. Restart with Option key pressed.

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