Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Windows Vista on a MacBook

Well, here I am, running Windows Vista RC1 on my MacBook. And I have to say it runs pretty well, too – I’ve even got Aero enabled and it’s barely making an impact on performance.

It’s running through Boot Camp – previous Vista builds have choked on this but RC1 works fine, and the install procedure is largely the same as it is for Windows XP through Boot Camp. One big difference, however, is that Vista does not take nearly as long to install – half an hour at most, compared to an hour for XP, though the speed improvements come at a cost of extra disk space and so you’ll need to create a partition that’s at least 15 GB in size. I went for 20 GB.

Getting the system up and running was no more difficult than it should have been, however I did hit problems installing the driver disc that you burn during the first stage of running Boot Camp. It gets so far and then freezes. Killing the setup.exe task did spring it into action and a number of bits and pieces did get installed (and therefore enabling sound and Bluetooth support), but I’m still without a functioning iSight camera. Everything else seems to work as it should, although there are still 4 devices in Device Manager with exclamation marks.

The OS itself certainly looks nice, especially with Aero enabled, although lots of things have been moved around so it’ll take me time to get used to it. Copying files between it and OS X may also prove interesting as you have to use the disk as NTFS, not FAT32, which means that OS X can read it but can’t write to it, and Vista doesn’t read HFS at all, or at least not without third-party software such as MacDrive.
But overall I’m pleased with how the installation went, and it means I have yet another thing to distract me from my dissertation, which I start in the coming weeks. Now I just need to get Office 2007 on here.


  1. Don’t suppose you have a PAL Xbox 360 and have got Vista RC1 working with it, have you?
    I’d install it on my PC but I need to know if it can be done first…

  2. Neil, thanks for the guide. My MacBook was hanging at the same point as yours, but when I went looking for the “setup.exe” task that you mention as the problem – there was no such task running. There was an “autorun.exe” which I killed and the install seemed to proceed without a hitch.
    I have sound and BT, but like you, no iSight and 4 devices in the Device Manager with exclamantion points.
    So far, so good. I installed the free one year trial of eTrust EZ anti-virus for Vista and it works well, too.

  3. OOO, I am soo glad to read about a sucessfull install, i am downloading RC1 right now, and plan on trying it out tonight. Do you have any memory upgrades or any upgrades on your MacBooks or are they just non-modified macbooks?

  4. BTW, the final link in this post (to MacDrive) is b0rked, and is killing your Atom feed.

  5. I also have windows vista in my Macbook and it works great.

  6. I was able to get Vista to work just fine, but No Aero =(

  7. I am thinking of getting a mac but i am used to Vista. My friends all have MAC BOOK PRO but does the normal macbook allow vista to be installed on it?
    Please comment. Thanks

  8. Jacky – any new Mac should allow you to run Vista on it. However, I would try using the Mac’s own operating system OS X first as I find it more intuitive than Vista.