I’ve been decided to make use of Apple’s Boot Camp and install Windows 7 Ultimate on my Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro, which I purchased in early 2007. According to Apple’s website, Windows 7 on Boot Camp is not supported on this model, but I still decided to take the plunge and try it out.
The Mac specs are as follows: Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz, 3 GB RAM (up from 2), 320 GB WD Black (upgraded from 120), Mac OS X 10.6.3…
After creating the Boot Camp partition and booting from the Windows 7 CD, the installation began and everything went fine. No problems at all during the installation.
My first problem – and only major one so far – has been strange behavior and video lock-ups right after logging on to Windows 7. As soon as the desktop starts to load (seconds), the video image gets garbled, and it looks like this:
This doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen frequently enough to make me wonder if it’s hardware or software. Also, it does not happen when Windows 7 is installed inside a VMware Fusion virtual PC running on OS X.
I’ve tried reinstalling Windows 7 a few times – it happens on the very first login with a clean installation, no drivers, no boot camp software – clean, and even after subsequent successful logins, with and without drivers or the Boot Camp software installed. At first, I thought software was the problem – the answer seems quite obvious, right? “missing drivers…” but my high hopes for solving the problem were soon crushed, when it happened again after loading the boot camp drivers that came on the OS X 10.6 DVD, and upgrading to 3.1. So it happens without drivers after a clean install, and with the Boot Camp software installed. So, it must not be a driver issue, but something else, right?
When this happens, there is no way to get past it, and the Mac has to be powered off by holding down the power button. In my early attempts, I proceeded to turn it back on and try to log on to Windows, but got the same results: video would lock-up right after logging on. I’ve also experimented with Windows XP on Boot Camp, and has not happened once, so it must be something with Windows 7. Oh – tried both x86 and x64 versions, still random lock-ups.
It was only after resetting the PRAM and NVRAM, as described on an article on Apple’s website that I was able to log on to Windows 7 and actually use it! It works great, fast, snappy, and have been experimenting with it for the past few days, but the problem does come up every now and then. A simple hard-shutdown or resetting the PRAM and NVRAM will allow me to use Windows 7 again. A minor annoyance, but I understand that this laptop is not “officially” supported to run Windows 7 on Boot Camp.
While I’ve had some other minor issues, none as grave as this one though. Hibernation doesn’t seem to be fully supported – the image doesn’t get saved to the hard drive, so I gave up on it (no big deal), and sometimes sleep is rudely interrupted by some unknown reason, and the Mac will come out of sleep even with the lid closed, and stay awake. No, there is no software open, no downloads or updates going on…I’ve checked already.
My Logitech Bluetooth mouse works the first time I connect it, but no more after that. It even shows up in the list of items, but it just doesn’t connect again, unless, removed from the Bluetooth devices panel and re-added. Not worth the hassle, so I just leave the mouse aside.
I’ve been able to connect to my wireless network at work, which runs on a Linksys WRT54-GL with the factory firmware, at home, running the Airport Extreme N Base Station (previous model) in bridged mode, and the Netgear Dual-Band WNDR3700 as my main router. Connecting to my CentOS-based file server works, and behaves normally.
Overall, Windows 7 on the Macbook Pro has been a great experience. My experience with Vista was limited, to maybe less than 10 hours total, but I hear good reviews about Windows 7 and want to get familiar with it. Might even build a budget system and run Windows 7 on it, but that I’ll leave for another post.
Have you had a good or bad experience running Windows 7 on your Mac? If so, share your thoughts!
Thanks for reading!