Clear answer about Windows 7

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 17, 2008
3,450
1,188
I am going to buy a Windows 7 soon, but I want a clear cut answer about which version should I get 32 or 64 bit.
My computer is a late 2008 macbook 2GHZ, it came originally with 2GB RAM but I upgraded it to 6GB.

I don't want to pay a ton of money into a windows7 64 licenses then it will not work on my laptop.

Apple seems to say that it does not support it on 2008 MacBooks, but some people say they did install it on the late 2008 macbook machine.

What to do? What is your advice?
 

ThisFool

macrumors newbie
Mar 13, 2012
11
0
64-bit Windows 7 late 2008 macbook

Well i have the same macbook as yours and installed windows 7 ultimate 64-bit. it runs super, but the installation of the bootcamp drivers isn't without a hassle.

instead of installing through bootcamp after i backed up my OSx i used disk utility from my (snow) leopard disc to make 3 partitions. Two of them which i formatted to ms-dosFat the other to macos journaled (extended). now you can insert the windows7 disc format the partition you wish to use it to ntfs and install.

When windows is installed, run windows and insert (snow) leopard disc to install Bootcamp drivers If you installed 64-bit, the disc will say that 64bit is not supported by your mac, ignore and try to run under compatibility mode. if it still doesn't install, install the drivers from the folder Apple manually and also from the folder nvidia, realtek and a separate app SoftwareUpdater, all which you will find in the (snow) Leopard disc. later update bootcamp through the bootcamp app installed in your windows.

to update up to bootcamp 3.3 you will need a snow leopard disc and update after. or if you run lion, go to bootcamp and follow script to burn bootcamp assistent and choose option download latest support windows 7

so i have 3 partitions the third i use for data, also check out ntfs 3g (not for Lion) and macfuse.
currently i have installed win8 consumer preview 64 bit and it runs good despite random freeze now and then.
 
Last edited:

Dr McKay

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2010
3,414
41
Kirkland
The fact that you have 6GB of RAM makes me say 64-bit. As 32-bit can only support a max of 4GB, you'd have 2GB that'd go unused. The only thing you lose with 64-bit Windows is the ability to run 16-bit apps.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
Apple and Microsoft only officially support full retail versions of Windows. Anything else is off-license but may work.

You should be able to make the 64 bit version work, but will probably have to install manually. Boot with the install disc in the drive and hold alt/option.

B
 

linkboy

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2006
79
12
Just wanna know, if I were to purchase Win7, can I just get the cheaper OEM versions or do you need the retail to install under bootcamp?
An OEM version should work just fine. Just remember that the key and disc will be locked to your computer.

Also, I don't know about your computer, but you might have an issue with the x64 Windows and the EFI loader on the Mac. Me for example (have the last of the original MBP models), I had to patch my Windows disc to get it to work, otherwise I get the select boot device 1 or 2 error.
 

Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
An OEM version should work just fine. Just remember that the key and disc will be locked to your computer.
Really doesn't matter, since the OEM license is only legal bundled with a (non apple) hardware sale. Pointless worrying about the lock when the license really isn't legit anyway.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 17, 2008
3,450
1,188
I am running latest version of Lion.

Thanks everyone, looks like installing a 64bit version is going to be a hassle, therefor I think I will be going the 32bit way, just the safer side.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 17, 2008
3,450
1,188
it appears that if you buy a 64bit win7, you still get the 32bit cd...not bad huh?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
it appears that if you buy a 64bit win7, you still get the 32bit cd...not bad huh?
True for retail versions including upgrades. Not true for most OEM licenses. However the OEM keys generally work with the other architecture and one of the official generic ISOs from Microsoft.

Your mileage may vary.

B
 

r0k

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,612
73
Detroit
I am running latest version of Lion.

Thanks everyone, looks like installing a 64bit version is going to be a hassle, therefor I think I will be going the 32bit way, just the safer side.
We run 32 bit win 7 at my office. It sucks. Badly. When I run reliability monitor, I see about 4 incidents a month where there are 1 or more red icons indicating a failure or crash and I've taken an unscientific survey of people who sit near me in my office and my experience is typical. OUCH!

If you can get 64 bit working, go for it. For one thing, 32 bit win 7 only uses 3 gig of RAM so you have that 6 gig sitting there and half of it is a placebo. Looking at my Control Panel->System screen right now and I see "Installed memory (RAM):4.00 GB (2.98 GB usable) System type: 32-bit Operating System"

My windows experience index is 4.9 but compared to OSX Lion on my 2008 Macbook with 4 GB of RAM my windows experience is more like .0049. :eek:
 

chrisvee

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2010
209
0
Winnipeg, Canada
I've been running 64 bit Windows 7 ever since I started using Boot Camp. It runs great. As a matter of fact, I've just reinstalled 64 bit Windows 7 on my Mac recently and the process went very smoothly.

Just be sure to install the Boot Camp 4.0 driver pack as soon as you install Windows. You can get these via the Boot Camp Assistant on Lion. I also make sure I have the latest Service Pack (SP1 for Windows 7).
 

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 17, 2008
3,450
1,188
I've been running 64 bit Windows 7 ever since I started using Boot Camp. It runs great. As a matter of fact, I've just reinstalled 64 bit Windows 7 on my Mac recently and the process went very smoothly.

Just be sure to install the Boot Camp 4.0 driver pack as soon as you install Windows. You can get these via the Boot Camp Assistant on Lion. I also make sure I have the latest Service Pack (SP1 for Windows 7).
its not about bootcamp
its about the mac hardware you are running
what mac do you have?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
its not about bootcamp
its about the mac hardware you are running
what mac do you have?
It's actually a bit of both. Most Macs sold since 2007 are capable of running Windows 7 64 bit, hardware wise. Apple just doesn't choose to support them with official drivers in the Boot Camp package mainly because of the version of EFI that they are using.

In some cases, simply forcing a 64 bit install and installing the Boot Camp 64 bit drivers to install works fine even though it is not supported.

B