Run Windows 64-bit on Any Core 2 Intel Mac

By Mike on 4:49 pm

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Since 2006, Apple has been using Intel processors instead of PowerPC. This was done mainly because the PowerPC G5 ran too hot and consumed too much energy to be used in mobile systems. Intel's Core and later Core 2 processors are much cooler and more energy efficient. An added bonus is that Apple systems can now execute x86 processor instructions, the same used in PC systems. There really isn't much differentiating Macs and PCs these days. One thing they now share in common is that they can both run Windows. "Heresey!" Well, maybe, however, the biggest problem plaguing Mac users is that some 90% of computers in the world run Microsoft's OS. You'll eventually run into situations where you have to use a Windows program because there is no suitable Mac version. That's where Boot Camp comes in. Introduced in final as part of OS X 10.5 Leopard, it allows you to dual boot between OS X and another operating system on any Intel based Mac. This includes new 64-bit operating systems that allow you to run more than 3.5gb of RAM, which is the ceiling for 32-bit Windows. For gaming and media, Windows Vista, being the RAM pig that it is, really benefits from 4gb or more. However, there's a problem, Boot Camp won't let you run a 64-bit OS on certain systems, even if they have 64-bit processors. The Macbook is one such system.

You might be thinking that's the end of the road. "I try to run Boot Camp and it tells me my copy of 64-bit Vista is incompatible. I've wasted $150 on this trash!" Well fear not. You've still wasted $150 on that trash regardless of whether it works or not. However, there is away around the road block Apple has erected. It's not that it won't let you install Vista to the hard drive, it just refuses to install the drivers for the system. So, you'll have to install them manually. The process is rather strait forward.

1. To start with, you're system needs a 64-bit processor. That means Intel Core 2 only. The original Core (aka Yonnah) is 32-bit. Run Boot Camp Assistant from the OS X Applications/Utilities folder and partition the hard drive however you'd like.

2. Load the 64-bit Vista DVD in you computer and restart it. It will boot into the DVD automatically. Fill our the usual forms and other rubbish and click install. Wait for what seems like days for it to install. Microsoft still hasn't figured out how to speed that part up.

3. When it's done, the computer will restart and boot into Vista automatically. Once the desktop is loaded up, insert the OS X 10.5 install DVD that came with your computer. It will enter autorun and the Boot Camp installer will tell you your OS is incompatible with your particular Mac. Just click off it.

4. Go into "Computer" (formerly My Computer) and manually browse the DVD. (Right click the DVD icon and select browse from the menu) Open the BootCamp folder, then open the Drivers sub folder in there. Under Drivers, open the Apple sub folder. In there, you should find a program called BootCamp64.exe. Double click on it to run it. The program will automatically install all Windows hardware drivers for your Mac. This bypasses the compatibility check you first encountered. Windows should now run natively on any 64-bit capable Mac. To switch between the two, hold down the Option key when you turn your computer on. Follow Apple's instructions on how to select the desired default OS.

Oddly enough, Apple includes all the drivers for incompatible systems on the OS X DVD. Even the drivers for the new Late 2008 Macbook. I really can't understand why Apple would limit certain systems from running 64-bit Windows other than to force people to buy more expensive hardware. The fact that they include the 64-bit drivers for "incompatible" Macs anyway makes it all the more puzzling. For the most part, Windows Vista 64-bit runs perfectly fine (or as fine as Vista gets) on the new Macbook other than the occasional sound glitches in games.

Note: Alternatively, you can use Windows XP 64-bit Edition as well if you desire.

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