Server 2003 on 2008 Mac Pro via Bootcamp

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 330toSRT8, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. 330toSRT8 macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2008
    I've searched high and low and can't find any reports of running Server 2003 on a 2008 Mac Pro via Bootcamp, 32-bit or 64-bit. Has anyone done it? I found a few instances of people having trouble getting it running on MacBook Pros and other systems.

    I also found an article on a workaround to do it on a MacBook:

    Even the 32-bit version of Server 2003 can handle 32GB of RAM via PAE and I have several licenses for it.
  2. Erwin-Br macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Perhaps an dumb question, but have you tried to install it without the bootcamp assistant? Appearantly you can format a partition to FAT in OSX, boot from the Windows CD, re-format to NTFS during installation, and finish.

    You probably already tried that, I guess.

  3. wetrix macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2006
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I would really like to know if anybody has had success with this too. Installing windows 2003 server with bootcamp is easy on any mac. The difficult part is installing the bootcamp XP drivers.

    I've installed Server 2003 on a macbook and a mac mini, but have had trouble locating suitable ethernet drivers.

    I want to purchase a mac pro to run windows 2003 server, but don't want to get stuck without an ethernet connection.
  4. wetrix macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2006
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I'm had success with installing Windows Server 2003 R2 with SP2 Standard Edition on a Jan 2008 Mac Pro (8x2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM). I've installed Server 2003 a Mac Mini (1.83 Ghz), MacBook (Late 2006) and an iMac (early 2008) and didn't find the information available online to be greatly helpful, so hopefully this post will help somebody like me sometime in the future.

    To set up Windows Windows Server 2003 R2 on a Jan 2008 Mac Pro:

    Boot OS X and run Boot Camp Assistant as usual.
    Install Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 as usual (comes as 2 discs, but only requires the second disk upon your first successful log in so this isn't a problem with bootcamp).
    Eject the Windows installation CD in the windows explorer by right clicking the D: drive and selecting Eject.

    Insert Leopard DVD (won't run in Server 2003 without the next tweak).
    Copy Windows Drivers from OS X Leopard DVD
    Install Orca MSI (
    Use Orca MSI to remove WinXP requirement condition
    Run Boot Camp driver installer
    Once this is done, everything should be installed except ethernet and SMBus.
    Run Intel Chipset Installation Utility.exe (
    If ethernet cards are still not installed, run Boot Camp\Drivers\Intel\IntelEthernetInstaller.exe

    Now all devices as listed in the device manager should be happy.


    1. I tried installing Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition (non R2, non SP1 or SP2) on the Mac Pro and kept getting BSOD during the late Windows installation stages. As mention above, I did not have this problem with the iMac, Mac Mini or MacBook and I'm guessing it was the video card, though it could likely be a chipset/processor problem as 2003 was a long time ago. Installing the R2 version worked flawlessly and this is the way I would recommend to go. Students can get this free from I'd be very keen to hear from anybody who has managed to install the non R2 version on a 2008 Mac Pro.

    2. With Windows 2003 Server (non R2, non SP1 or SP2) on a Mac, you can't install Windows Service Pack 1 without a registry edit because it thinks there is not enough space on the C: drive. This occurs because it doesn't quite understand where the boot drive is. Do the following registry edit:

    1. Click Start - Run - Type “regedit” and press enter.
    2. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup]
    3. In the right pane, Right-click and select New - String value
    4. Name it as “BootDir” and set its value to “C:\”
    Then presto, you should be able to install SP1.

    Why a Mac Pro as a Windows server?

    I've been waiting for the new 2009 Mac Pro for the last 4 months and it still hasn't turned up. I ended up purchasing the Jan 2008 Mac Pro in Feb 2009 because I live in New Zealand and our dollar is at a 5-year low. Because the Mac Pro price was set over a year ago, it's actually cheaper to buy it in NZ than anywhere else in the world that I know of (US$ 2799 = NZ$5535 while the Mac Pro costs NZ$4699 (US$2376). With the new systems predicted to go for US$2999, that's be a big leap to over NZ$6000 and the DDR3 RAM will make it even more expensive to upgrade than the now-cheap DDR2 FB-DIMMs.

    And Price:
    Well, value actually. Even with our university discount, the cheapest I could get an 8 Core Xeon system was $7000 from DELL and that was using 2.0 GHz Clovertown processors (E5335). That's SLOW and OLD. We actually bought this system almost 2 years ago for just over $4000. The exchange rate has really made computers expensive here. Prices are going up instead of down. To get an 8 Core Xeon server at 2.93 GHz Tigerton with 2 GB RAM is $19,000 after our university discount.

    It's a huge bummer that 32-bit windows doesn't support more than 4 GB RAM, but the applications we use (NONMEM, Monolix, WinBugs) are more mathematically/biologically than computer science focused and don't like OS X or 64-bit.

    Being a complete Mac addict, it feels really good to have introduced a beautiful Mac Pro into the dull/dell server room that is not only faster than everything else in there, it was cheaper...not a common claim for a Mac.
  5. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    I think I now understand why Apple is strong in academia - Even the procurers think like students.

    Back on the OT, we have virtualised Win Server 2003 in XServes - personally if you're in an OS X rig that is the smarter way to do things.
  6. wetrix macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2006
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I don't see why virtualising Win Server 2003 and thus decreasing available processing power with the VMware overhead is a smarter way to do things in this situation. It's more like what a lazy admin would do.

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