Windows 8 on MacBook retina

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by dotcotton, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2012

    I have a macbook pro retina display that I want to install windows on to.

    Looking at my options, I see that I can purchase a Windows 8 upgrade from microsoft for £25 here in the UK.

    This is my first Mac so it doesn't have a previous version of windows installed. I do have a copy of Vista on my old Vaio laptop however.

    Is there a way of gaining the subsidised upgrade version of Windows 8 for installation my macbook?

    I imagine that this would mean installing Vista on my macbook with the Vaio's Vista serial, and then upgrading to Windows 8 on my macbook. But I still need my vaio to be operational, so will I be able to transfer the key back once I have upgraded the Mac?

    Otherwise, do you have any other suggestions for how I may go about installing Windows on my mac cheaply?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    I installed Windows 8 in Bootcamp, removed it and reinstalled Windows 7. I liked 8 with a 3rd party "start" program but there are missing Apple for Bootcamp Windows 8 drivers. The trackpad won't work and Win 8 does not deal well with the retina display.

    I will reinstall Windows 8 only after Apple releases a package of Bootcamp Windows 8 drivers, not before.
  3. macrumors 6502


    Nov 28, 2012
    Myth Busting

    Just FYI: Windows 8 can be installed successfully on the Retina Macbook Pro, just use the Boot Camp drivers for Windows 7. The truth is, all of them work in Windows 8! Also, set DPI to 199% and you'll get a usable display. And if you install the Trackpad++ driver, you'll get 3/4-finger gestures, Windows 8 edge-gestures, etc. which will make Windows 8 a competitive OS. What else: to avoid most of the issues, do not upgrade from Windows 7, make a clean install of Windows 8 instead. And I ensure you, everything will be working, and you'll be surprised how usable Windows 8 can be on the Macbook Pro :)
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2012

    I am following this guide.

    If I have understood it correctly, I should be able to install the upgrade version as a clean install (I do not have Windows 7)

    DL'ing Windows 8 now - fingers crossed!

  5. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    Installed W8 on a rMBP today; now have no issues but a few tips:

    use boot camp assistant to download the latest windows drivers; I ignored what some did (install these under W7 compatibility mode) and simply installed it - no driver issues

    updating W8 was more painful, as I would get the failure to configure error a few times. YMMV, but what worked for me was to both msconfig (below) and activate windows. msconfig trick alone got most to install but still hit a wall, only after activating windows did all updates go through seamlessly:

    “Type in msconfig.exe and hit enter, go to the Services tab on the top, check the box on the bottom that says hide all Microsoft services, click ‘Disable all,’ restart the computer and install updates. After installation follow the same instructions but click enable all instead of disable all and restart again and everything should be good. Hopefully it works for others.”

    finally, to get the boot camp control panel to work, there are a few methods, I went with having 2 user accounts, one "admin" (where bc control panel doesn't work) and my main account (standard account, not admin) where bc control panel does work.
  6. dotcotton, Jan 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2012

    I have spent all day trying to make this work.

    I followed the guide I linked earlier:

    1. Purchase and DL Windows 8 upgrade on my Vista laptop
    2. Create ISO
    3. Move to Mac
    4. Follow Bootcamp wizard to install from USB
    5. Create partition
    6. Then I get a 'dos' screen "No bootable drive, insert drive and press any key"

    I have tried every work around I could think of, different usb, reformat usb...
    I am forced to press the option key to log into OSx, but when I do, I only have the option to boot up from OSx 10.8.2 or OSx recovery.

    Any suggestions? Have I wasted £25? I wonder if it is because I am trying to clean install from an upgrade ISO?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  7. macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    I'm kind of interested here.

    I don't NEED Windows 8, Windows 7 works fine (I use it in parallels though, not as a dual boot). But I always thought the MacBook's awesome trackpad would be a perfect companion to Windows 8! Kinda wanna try it just for that reason!
  8. macrumors 6502


    Nov 28, 2012
    Probably your upgrade edition ISO is not bootable. Search for "Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool", it worked beautifully for me to create bootable Windows 8 USB drive. However, I use MSDN edition of the Windows 8 (I am a developer), and not the upgrade option...
  9. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    W8 should have given you an option to create install media after you purchased it - that's what I did and booted via boot camp assistant just fine. Since you have the ISO, copy it over to your OS X side and use boot camp assistant to create the USB install or use the method Vladamir suggested.
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2012
    Thank you for your replies,

    I imagine that the windows usb tool would do the same thing that Bootcamp does ie creating a bootable usb. I did allow bootcamp to perform this task but the problem persists.

    Contrary to the article that I used as a guide, I think the main problem is that I am trying to boot from an upgrade copy. Does that sound likely? If so, I understand that I can request a refund from Microsoft, and buy a full copy for £50. Further, it does say on the bootcamp wizard that it will not work with an upgrade copy.

    Scouring the web, I have found suggestions that Bootcamp just doesn't like some USBs, but I cannot determine if these examples are relating to the same scenario (booting from an upgrade) or which USB I would need to buy.

    Any suggestions?

  11. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2012
    Hi Jenzen,

    Just to clarify, when you say 'clean install', do you mean that there was no previous version of windows installed on the mac? I am trying to install on a brand new rmbp.

    With the link that you sent, I would need to DL with upgrade assistant on my PC laptop (vista), save file as ISO and then copy over to Mac?
  13. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    I had W7 on my rMBP boot camp, it was here that I bought and created my W8 USB.

    I avoid in place upgrades, i.e. going from W7 to W8, Lion to Mountain Lion. I prefer to reformat the drive completely and install the new OS from scratch so that I'm starting with a fresh install. After I had the ISO on the USB, I booted into OS X and used boot camp assistant to delete W7 then repartition the drive and install W8.

    That link will let you re-download the ISO but out of curiosity, is your Vista PC laptop 32 or 64bit? I don't think that's the issue, but if it is a 32bit, I'd get in touch with Microsoft and have them "return" your 32bit key for a 64bit key.
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2012
    Good call on the 32 bit front. I'll try the dl again, but in all honesty, it appears as though the problem stems from me misunderstanding 'clean install'. It makes sense that I would need an operational copy of windows on the machine first to upgrade.

    I have been offered a full windows 8 key by an ebay seller for £40, but I am dubious. The most affordable solution I can think of is to upgrade with the windows 8 key after installing windows 7 from here:

    Any experience of this site? I can't find anything positive or negative about it, but I feel a little more reassured buying direct from a company.

    This brings the total to £65, which isn't so painful.

    Either way, I'll report back to let future readers know how I get on.

  15. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    Seems like you missed my point, I installed my upgrade W8 onto a blank hard drive. I never "upgraded"
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2012
    Apologies, yes I did miss your point. Ok, so in theory I should be able to use my key and upgrade iso to do an install on a freshly partitioned drive? Can I ask what brand and model usb you used?
  17. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
  18. macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    Agreed. Windows 8 have been running on my rMBP without any issues.
  19. macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2009
    The Retina MacBooks have a problem with USB 3.0 devices. Just use plain, normal USB 2.0 keys. I couldn't install Win8 on my Retina using my Corsair USB 3.0 but a Transcend USB 2.0 key worked perfectly, as did a USB2.0 to SATA adapter

    The Retina wont even BOOT when the Corsair USB3 stick is connected to the MacBook ...
  20. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
  21. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2012
    Thanks a million everyone.

    It turns out the problem was the usb. I managed to install Windows 8 without a hitch using one of these:

    I love this usb, it's so tiny and really useful to just leave in your macbook. This one belongs to a friend, I will definitely be buying a 32gb model.

    So far I have had no issues with it being an upgrade key, so no need for the registry hack, although I assume that this may change.

    The only problem now is that I forgot how **** windows is, after using os x for a month.

    I don't seem to have any drivers so I can't use wifi etc. I think this may be because I did not download the drivers with bootcamp. Trying that now.

    Will let you know how it all pans out.

  22. macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    I took different approach to the Windows 8.

    Never had any Windows copy before (I was long time windows user).

    I bought Parallels 8, then in the program there was an option to download and to install Relase Candidate of Windows 8. having that, you can upgrade to windows 8 for £25 :). I phoned Microsoft, thats correct:)

    It works perfect in Parallels. No need for bootcamp to be honest:)
  23. macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    Windows 7 and 8 is optimized for such small screens. Besides Metro, Office 2013 and VS may be the rest of the applications are either not scale or the police is unclear.
  24. macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2007
    I just installed Win8 BootCamp on a new rMBP today, and everything went fine until I got to Windows Update.

    Windows Update reported 50+ updates at 600MB. Told them to download and install them all. However, upon reboot after installation, I get the "Update Installation Failed, Reverting to previous state". This happened twice in a row.

    Is the issue quoted above the same or related to what I'm seeing? If so, I take it this workaround helps to address it?
  25. macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2007
    Following up on my own post...the msconfig trick is exactly what was needed. Windows Update completely successfully.

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