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.


  159 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

  3. joaquin
    October 20, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Genius!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Sulokit
    January 4, 2018 at 2:49 am

    Can you please suggest, how to do it without the CD Drive? I use macbook air, but I don’t like macOS. I want to full install either windows 10 or Linux. Please help.

    • K
      July 10, 2019 at 7:24 am

      Just use a program like etcher to create boot USBs for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows

  5. December 9, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Hi,
    Do you think it will work for an old iMac (2006) installing Windows 7 32bit?
    I bet it will

  6. Bill
    May 15, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    windows 7 install stops at no CD/DVD drivers for TOSHIBA MK6034GSX Media sata HDD Where may I download drivers for this Hard Drive? can not continue install with out it.Did every thing else as directed can install Windows XP but want 7 instead 32bit.Please send it to my email address

  7. Bill
    May 15, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    windows 7 install stops at no CD/DVD drivers for TOSHIBA MK6034GSX Media sata HDD Where may I download drivers for this Hard Drive? can not continue install with out it.Did every thing else as directed can install Windows XP but want 7 instead 32bit.Please send it to my email address

  8. May 5, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    If you want to fix the twc email in mac not working issue then you have to do apply some major steps. Basically, twc email in mac is easy to process for every user who has a similar issue can be resolved easily. So, let me do this, you can open the email app on your Mac computer and then click on the preferences. And then you can click on the advance after that automatically detect the email address account and you can select the locate this box option and checkbox corresponding. If this option already checks then you can mark it uncheck and check it again and then restart the app. So, these steps will definitely help you to resolve the twc email in mac not working issue.

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