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 and a product review site at He is a Principal Member of Technical Staff (PMTS) at Radian6, a company. All views expressed are his alone (or those of any guest writers) and do not represent the views of Radian6 or

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.


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.


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).


Click Apply.

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


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.


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.


Proceed through the Vista install.


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


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


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


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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178 Responses

  1. syam says:


    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

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Syam. Restart with Option key pressed.

  3. JoeDirt says:

    I did all of these steps and it all worked until the end, I have not been able to load up windows sense the last restart of the instal screen, now it just shows me a black screen with a blinking “_” . Any ideas on how to fix this?

  4. ROGIE says:

    thanKs BROTHER

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  9. Shamim says:

    reply to JoeDirt:
    shut down your mac. remove all the usb cables, flashes and ports on your mac! (you can leave the power plug connected!). turn on your mac and go to windows! It should work!

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    on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Bless you!

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  18. 4IT Support says:

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

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