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.


  152 comments for “Install Vista on a MacBook WITHOUT BootCamp

  1. March 5, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Derek, have you had a chance to try this with Windows 8 yet?

  2. Fromnorway
    March 11, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Its Working..thanks alot

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