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standalone win7 on a mid-2009 mbp 15in

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by ryooma, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. ryooma

    ryooma (Banned or Deleted)

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    zipcode 5163
    i wanna install win7 as a standalone OS on the spare macbook here at work. The machine will be using software only available for windows so i thought its pointless to keep osx there as well.

    some questions if u dont mind:
    1. can i just erase the whole hdd and install win7?
    2. can i use bootcamp drivers?
    3. I need to use the webcam sometimes. Can win7 recognize the built-in webcam/mic?
    4. how abt the "single-click" touchpad? can i emulate the mac functionality of the touchpad? at the least, i need a right-click feature.

    thank you.

    ps. no suggestions please on keeping osx as well as i DO NOT need help on a osx/win7 setup. Thanks again :)
     
  2. proffesso

    proffesso Member

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    1,2,3 yes
    4 works just like mac

    enjoy
     
  3. Hyram

    Hyram Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
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    Waste of a Mac, but ... *shrug*

    :p

    No. Well, you could, but if Apple's idea of a BIOS crashes (which it does with alarming regularity, even with OSX) then you'll need to re-install OSX to restore functionality.

    Apple do not use a BIOS, and their EFI implementation is the strangest on the market, thanks to some custom, but very braindead hardware inside -- the SMC, or System Management Controller. It is responsible for not only the same functions an SMBus controller does, but other things Apple get it to do.

    To keep the SMC happy -- and thus the machine running smoothly -- the small EFI partition at the very beginning of the primary hard drive holds the SMC firmware, a copy of the EFI firmware, and if you have run Boot Camp Assistant, the all-important EFI BIOS Emulation Layer. This must never be removed, resized, moved, nor anything added to it.

    The Apple Software Update component of the newest Boot Camp driver pack also relies on the presence of the EFI partition to hold machine configuration info, as they have changed the model of how drivers are distributed and installed. The setup now installs a minimal set containing a generic chipset module and drivers for all ethernet interfaces, checks the machine's gestalt ID (model) and then goes online and downloads the latest available drivers. The old method was a variation of how Apple do drivers (kexts) for OSX, they install everything, all drivers for all hardware subsystems on all models of Mac.

    If you want the machine (and your Windows install) to stay healthy, it is strongly advised that you maintain a tiny (6 GB) OSX install on the internal drive. When (not if) the SMC has palpitations, and/or you need to perform an SMC reset it needs to boot through OSX once to correct any faults that have occured in the EFI partition. You don't need to do anything in OSX, just let it boot all the way to the desktop, then you can restart back into Windows.

    One annoyance with Apple's hardware under Windows is that the built-in USB hubs can go missing without much warning. If there is a power issue (more than 500 mA per port or more than 800 mA draw across both ports) the SMC will take the hub offline, but not let Windows know. The only way to restore the USB ports cleanly is through an SMC reset and a once-through with OSX

    If Apple release an EFI update (infrequent but it does happen) the Apple Software Update utility in Windows will download it, but tell you that you must restart in Mac OS X for it to be installed.

    Yes, in fact you must stick to Apple's driver packs as they have a bad habit of changing subsystem architecture ever so slightly, so several manufacturer-release drivers will either not recognise the hardware, or malfunction. The only real exception is with the wifi drivers; the 802.11 module can't really be changed and still be 802.11 compliant, but Apple's own drivers tend to drop connection more often than they should. Use a device polling utility to identify the wifi chipset, then go get the manufacturer drivers for it.

    The most important part of the whole Boot Camp process, though, is that EFI BIOS Emulation Layer I mentioned before, and this can only be installed from within OSX by using Boot Camp Assistant. Without the emulation layer, almost half of the machine's subsystems will either not be accessible to Windows at all, or not report themselves in a manner that Windows understands.

    As you'd know, the Boot Camp pack is on a hidden-from-OSX ISO partition on the OSX installer disc. If you can start off with the Boot Camp pack from the 10.6.3 retail or upgrade installer (instead of what shipped with the machine) then you should find it smooth sailing.

    Yes; as with other laptops the built-in "iSight" camera is a standard device, usually a Chicony.

    Apple provide that functionality with the Boot Camp pack, and configuration is done through the Boot Camp control panel applet, which will be accessible from the system tray. They've tried to add some of the multifinger gestures and actions to Windows to make up for the absence of buttons, but be warned, even with the latest version it can often be problematic and at times unresponsive. It is strongly advised that you carry & use either a regular Bluetooth or cabled USB mini-mouse if you know you are going to be needing constant access to the context menu.

    Some last points worth mentioning. First is that battery life will suck. Badly. Expect to get only one-third of the life from a charge with Windows compared to what you would get with OSX. Because of this, they run hot. Very hot, sometimes blisteringly so. Regular laptops will have side-vents, rear grills, and mesh vents on the base to ensure there's plenty of air moving through it. Not Apple. The have one -- count 'em, one -- hole that runs along the length of the hinge that serves as both air intake and heat exhaust. To help make up for this thermodynamic disaster, the body of the MacBook functions as a huge heatsink, and the keyboard is used as a secondary heat exchanger. The end result is fans running constantly, and an inability to run the machine with the lid closed without causing damage.

    Nice one, Steve.

    (Tip: Use a laptop cooler pad if you're using high-load software, especially games.)

    Another is the way MacBooks manage power -- they run off the internal batteries 100% of the time, even when they are on mains power. The batteries are set up as pairs of cells (two pairs in the MacBook Pro 17") and the SMC toggles between them constantly, running off one side as it trickle-tops-up the other. Apple do this because the system is capable of demanding more power than the MagSafe can provide, so it is not just possible but common to see your battery level drop whilst running off the mains. This can be catastrophic if you're gaming, as you can well expect -- with CPU & GPU running flat-chat, expect between three to four hours' operation on mains power before the frakking turns off on you without any warning whatsoever.

    Last warning (I promise :p) -- the combination of screwball power management and cheap Chinese components means the MagSafe adaptor can get dangerously hot. Never bury it with other cables, never leave it sitting on carpet, and always unwind the cables fully. Oh, and don't use a fucking duckhead!! Use the power cable because the sheath is connected to Earth, which ensures a very high impedance path to ground for the switch-mode oscillators. This stops that annoying 'fuzzy' feeling Apple's laptop bodies can develop when not earthed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  4. proffesso

    proffesso Member

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    Location:
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    bios crashes? lost usb ports? dangerously hot power adapters?

    never had any of it, nor anyone else with mbp's I know. ive owned mbp's since first c2d model...always ran windows on them

    just install windows, and your good to go.
     
  5. Hyram

    Hyram Member

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    Jan 19, 2009
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    I know plenty of people who go all Windows on Apple hardware and don't have any problems. But I know more people who try to go all Windows on Apple hardware and strike nothing but drama after drama. It's my job to fix their fuckups, it's what I do, and have done for thirty years.

    Apple have a more-than-thirty-year history of changing hardware to suit their software, completely bass-ackward to every other comoddity PC on the planet. If you believe that Intel CPU = compliant generic-class PC, you're a bloody idiot.

    Apple control the hard & the soft, they allow you to run Windows, but only within the flags they've put up at each end of the beach. Stick to the guidelines and not only will you not notice OSX is even there, but your Windows experience will be so much better.
     

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