Guide: Install Vista x64 + SP1 on your Mac

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by kunzie, May 27, 2008.

  1. kunzie macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2008
    After Apple trickle introduced support for Vista x64 on Mac, I've been searching desperately to find a guide on how to do this. If any computer was capable of running Vista x64 at a high standard, the MBP is it. Unfortunately, up until recently, it has been neigh on impossible to locate suitable drivers. This guide has been put together by myself after 6 failed installs and 2 calls to Microsoft. Listed below are the steps that worked for me, but I cannot guarantee that this guide will work for you.

    My system spec:
    • Oct 2007 15" Macbook Pro (Santa Rosa)
    • 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    • 4GB RAM
    • 200GB 7200RPM HDD
    • nVidia 8600M GT 256MB
    • Matt screen

    This process took me approximately 2 hours start to finish

    Before you begin, you will need:
    • A Macbook that you want to install Vista on that has Leopard (10.5 or higher) installed
    • A legitimate copy of Vista x64 (NOT the SP1 integrated disc) and legitimate licence key
    • Apple's new Vista drivers located here(1), here(2), here(3) and here(4) (also included on the new Mac Pro recovery discs)
    • Apple's Boot Camp 2.1 Update for Vista 64 found here
    • Vista x64 Service Pack 1 standalone installer found here
    • nVidia x64 drivers from here - make sure you get the driver package AND the modified .inf file
    • USB hard drive or memory stick
    • Ethernet connection to the internet
    • Input Remapper - Used for adjusting the speed for your MBP fans, and changing keyboard functions (optional)

    1. Setting Up
    • Download all of the above files (extract where appropriate with UnRarX)
    • Copy all the files to a USB drive or stick. You could burn a disc containing these, but we'll be disabling the CD/DVD rom drive later, so this is the easiest option. Not only that, but you'd then have to do the "hold the mouse button down upon boot" trick to eject the disc.

    2. Making Room
    • In OS X, run Boot Camp Assistant. You can search for this in Spotlight.
    • Assign a suitable amount of space for your Vista partition. Bear in mind that Vista takes approximately 15GB (including swap file). For this exercise, I used 30GB.
    • Insert your Vista x64 disc and wait for the image to appear on the desktop.
    • Click the install button and the system will restart. You will not need to hold down the Option key this time.

    3. Loading the Goods
    • Go through the Vista installation. When the system restarts, you'll need to hold down the Option key and select the "Windows" partition to boot from. This should go through without a hitch.
    • Once you're on the desktop, I don't recommend setting anything up just yet with regards to display or system preferences. This is a personal choice just to make things as streamlined as possible.
    • Copy all of the files you downloaded to your desktop. Having them in seperate folders will make things easier since there's quite a few files.
    • Disconnect the USB drive, any USB devices (important) and any other connections except for power.
    • Make sure ethernet is disconnected. The last thing we want is for Windows Update to sabotage our progress!

    4. Delivering the Package
    • Navigate to the folder Apple BootCamp MacPro Drivers\Apple and run the file BootCamp64. This will load the (newer) 2.0.1 Boot Camp software not found in anything < 10.5.2. Do not use the recovery discs that came with your machine as this software is not Vista x64 compatible.
    • The system will need to restart - again hold the Option key and boot in to Windows. Now you have basic functionality to most of the Macbook Pro's hardware (except wireless and a pretty display)
    • Once you're back on the desktop, you can run BCUpdateVista64. This will install the new version of Boot Camp over the top of the old one. If you navigate to Control Panel\Programs and Features, you'll notice that the old software will still be installed. Ignore this. Again, during this phase, you'll need to restart. Hold Option key once again and boot in to Windows.
    • You need to navigate to Control Panel\Device Manager and disable the following hardware devices (in order):
      • CD/DVD
      • Sound
      • Wireless network (will be listed as unknown device)
      • Display
    • The method for disabling these devices is to navigate to the appropriate driver, right-clicking (hold 2 fingers on the touchpad and click simultaneously) and selecting disable. After you disable the display adapter, the system will need to restart. Go ahead and click OK.

    5. The Fun Part

    • Once again, hold the Option key and boot in to Windows. This time, however, repeatedly hit the F8 key immediately afterwards. This will bring up a system menu from which you will select "Safe Mode".
    • Once the system has entered Safe Mode, you can safely run the file Windows6.0-KB936330-X64-wave0. The Service Pack 1 update takes approximately 30-60 minutes depending on the speed of your system. The system will restart about 3 times during the process.
    • After the last restart, it will tell you ever so nicely that Service Pack 1 has been installed.
    • Plug your ethernet cable back in and run Windows Update. You will notice there's approximately 10 updates in total. One of the two that are not selected by default is the wireless driver.
    • Your system will need to restart once again.
    • Next, run the file that you downloaded from I used version 169.12 for this step. When you run the file 16912_vista64.exe, it will create a folder on the desktop called 171.16 (don't ask me why). In this folder, you'll find another folder called 16912_vista64. In the folder 16912_vista64 is where you copy your modified nv_disp.inf. You will be promted to overwrite the existing file. Go ahead and do that. Run the Setup.exe to begin installing your display drivers. A big red box will appear telling you that the driver you are trying to install is not signed. Go ahead and install anyway. The system will restart again, but this time when you come back, it will all appear much cleaner and crisper.
    • Tweak the system to your hearts' content. Change the background wallpaper. Do whatever you like. Load on your antivirus package of choice. I personally use Windows Live OneCare v2.

    There you have it. Hopefully, if you're reading this, you now have a working copy of Vista x64 (including Service Pack 1) on your Mac/Macbook/Macbook Pro.

    6. Optional
    • By now, you've probably noticed that your computer (especially if you have a MBP) will be running incredibly hot. For some reason, Vista doesn't control the speed of the fans as well as OS X. Input Remapper is a brilliant little package that allows you to raise (or lower) the speed of your computer's fans. I set mine to about 3500rpm default and would probably knock this up to 5500+ if I were gaming. The program also allows for other keyboard functions like fn+click for right click, fn+backspace for delete and fn+eject for print screen. Of course this program needs to restart also.
    • If you'd like to free up about 1GB of space from your Vista installation, open Command Prompt and type the following: vsp1cln. Hit enter followed by a confirmation 'y'. It takes about a minute or so, and once this is done you will be unable to uninstall SP1.

    A note on holding down the Option key to change boot sequence: You can theoretically have the install go unattended for the most part once the Boot Camp 2.0.1 software is installed by making the Windows partition the target boot disk. Again, I opted not to change any settings until I was up and running 100%.

    I used the following sites as inspiration for my guide:

    If you have any comments on how this guide can be improved or see any glaring omissions, feel free to contact me.

    Thanks for reading

    Alex K
  2. andersonshatch macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2008
    Thanks for referencing my blog in your sources :)

    Why are you disabling the CD, sound, display and wireless devices? And installing SP1 in Safe Mode?

    Neither of these are necessary as far as I can see. But am willing to be corrected.

  3. kunzie thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2008

    Microsoft were the ones to actually give this information to me. Until I tried this I failed the install over and over and over. After speaking with them, and trying this... it worked!
  4. mersea macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2005
    And? How does it run after installation? Like a dream I'd hope

    I'm in the process of upgrading from my old iBook to a MBP and am debating whether to install 32 vs 64-bit..
  5. kunzie thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2008

    It runs absolutely beautifully. Plays Age of Conan okay-ish (graphics card being the minor let down there), but applications run very smoothly. Comparable to my old overclocked Core2Duo PC (3.5GHz/2GB RAM).
  6. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    Ditto. Running awesome on my MacBook Pro (also running Age of Conan). Plan on getting 4 GB of RAM just for funsies (mainly because it's so damn cheap). Awesome guide, although running the SP1 update in safe mode is pretty unnecessary. I like how you even have them install the video driver from laptopvideo2go, the only thing that has always confused be about that place though is how their drivers are set up. I see they have many different versions (check the Forums to see what I mean), and I could never understand why. I mean you'd think you'd just install the latest/newest one right?

    Mods: Can we please sticky this or something?
  7. kunzie thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2008

    Re: Safe Mode, I'm not sure either. EVERY time I tried it prior to using Safe Mode the SP1 update wouldn't even run.. at all! This is purely what worked for me, but maybe it's just one of those system+OS anomolies :D
  8. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    You don't technically need to be disconnected from the internet. I never had any problems with windows update causing trouble with running a SP install. If you're really paranoid, just disable it from the menu.

    Not true. My macbook air has x64 compatable drivers right from the disk. Almost any laptop that came with 10.5.1 or higher restore disks have the drivers. Older and retail leopard disks do not.

    Why do you need to install in safe mode? I installed vista x64 before on a macbook pro SR and I never had to install in safe mode. Everything went through fine in windows update and from a standalone package.
  9. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    Im really interested to know this aswell. But has anyone achived getting good results in 64 bit vista on an Imac?

    I mean.. are there drivers out there somewhere on the net?
  10. kunzie thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2008
    Okay guys, it seems you keep querying me about the need to boot in to Safe Mode and disable drivers to install the SP1 update. I had to resort to this after many failed attempts at installing it. Prior to doing this, it simply would not install on my system.

    I didn't write this guide to infuriate people. I wrote it to (hopefully) provide access to x64 Vista SP1 with minimal problems.

    And the follow up email from Microsoft:

    Case Reference Number: ~~~~~~~~

    Dear Mr. ~~~~~~~~~~,

    Unfortunately we have been unsuccessful in resolving your issue at this time, therefore I can confirm I am keeping this case as unresolved. Please find a summary of the key points for your records below.

    ACTION PLAN: Please download SP1 64 bit update from microsoft website on the desktop. Then disable the following devices from device manager: Display, Network, Sound and Cd/Dvd drive. Then boot the system to safe mode and then try installing the SP1 update. Please call us back for any further assistance.

    Should you require any further assistance with this issue, please do not hesitate to call us with your case reference number already provided and we will be more than happy to help.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for choosing Microsoft.

    Yours sincerely,

    ~~~~ ~~~~~~~~
  11. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Wouldnt it be easier to install this update through windows update? you save time to download the entire package (700 mb? I think) and you'll get other updates also and no rebooting to safe mode.
  12. kunzie thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2008

    Well with the number of attempts I've had, no.

    I only had to download the package once :D
  13. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Thats interesting.. because I have installed Windows Vista SP1 both x86 and x64 nearly 20 times on many different computers since it came out and I never had any errors through windows update.
  14. luisgab macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2008
    Puerto Rico!
    Thanks for the tutorial... I finish right now on my penryn blackbook...

    PS: I not do the safe mode install and all that stuff and is perfect right now.
  15. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Were they all Macs? ;)

    Anyway, feel free to try it via Windows Update or with the download and all your hardware enabled. If it bombs, then follow the OP's advice and see if that does it. :cool:
  16. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    I've installed both Vista and XP a bunch on my MacBook Pro for various reasons and never had an issues with windows update either.
  17. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    about half of them are (MBA, MBP, iMac, MB). the other half were dell vostros.
  18. hajime macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    Problem with wireless connection

    Thanks for the excellent guide. I am almost there. There are three problems running the 64-bit version of Vista Ultimate SP-1 my SR MacBook Pro 17" (summer 2007 model). As I got the retail DVD, under safe mode, the system told me that I already have SP-1 installed. It did not allow me to run Windows6.0-KB936330-X64-wave0. Here are the problems:

    a) I am unable to use wireless network to connect to the internet.
    Any way to fix this?

    b) Going to Leopard from Vista, clock works fine. However, Vista
    always give me the incorrect time. I guess if the wireless connection
    problem is fixed, the clock under Vista will be synchronized automatically.

    c) On the bottom right hand corner, I saw two bootcamp icons. I found that one is for v2.0 and the other is for 2.1. I don't know if they are interfering with each other and cause the wireless problem. Is it safe to remove v2.0 bootcamp? Could you please let me know how to do that? Thanks.
  19. sleepyyellow macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2008
    The heart of Europe (Switzerland)
    does it have to be vista x64 without sp1 cuz i got one with sp1 and i got the same problem he got in the post above no internet connection, but imma try out your guide tomorrow.

    when you guys double clicked the 2.1 bootcamp update did anything load? i just saw a window saying installation is being prepared and then it closes.

Share This Page