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GoGrater

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 3, 2020
16
3
Hello, I have a Mac Pro 5,1 and I'm exploring what direction to head when support for macOS Software Updates ends (either with Mojave or Catalina). Unfortunately, I'm not the target audience for a 2019 Mac Pro. I prefer a tower and am considering a PC. However, since my Mac Pro is running fine, I'm wondering whether Boot Camp Windows 10 is a viable option for me. Here's a few questions:
  1. Is Boot Camp / Windows 10 currently supported on a Mac Pro 5,1 (mid 2010)?
  2. Is Boot Camp support tied to the version of macOS installed on the machine?
  3. If not, is there an estimate when Boot Camp support would end for the Mac Pro 5,1?
  4. In your own words, what level of expertise is required to maintain Boot Camp? e.g. Easy if you can follow directions; moderately difficult, but you'll need to know unix commands or manually find and update drivers; difficult and you could easily brick your machine so don't even think about it
I also have a Macbook Pro laptop and it's support will probably end this fall. My desktop purchase will probably influence my laptop purchase even if it happens later. Thanks.
 

StuAff

macrumors 6502
Aug 6, 2007
259
124
Portsmouth, UK
1. No, but see below…
2. No, though what Boot Camp Assistant will let you install depends on (a) which Mac OS version you're running and (b) which Mac you're trying to install on. My 1,1 (still going strong) runs Lion and XP Pro. The Lion version of BCA doesn't support XP installs, only Win 7 (if I recall). But the 1,1 can run XP, 7…all the way up to and including 10. Let alone the 5,1…
3. Irrelevant. 5,1 is already unsupported by Apple.
4. Very little expertise needed. Buy Winclone and use it. Easiest backup option for Boot Camp installs by far.

Officially, a 5,1 does not come on the Apple list of Windows 10 supported Macs. BCA will give you an error message if you try to run it with a Win10 installer DVD. In practice, as so often with Macs, 'it works' and 'it's supported by Apple' are two different things. What you need to do is a manual install. DVD burned from the ISO available for download from Microsoft (USB install can be problematic). Get hold of the relevant Boot Camp driver package (5.1.5621). That, you want on a FAT32 formatted USB. Boot Camp Assistant will set that up for you (just don't bother trying to install Win10 with BCA!). Partition your existing drive, or use another one in one of the internal bays (I would suggest a separate drive, preferably an SSD, as Win 10 runs very slowly off HD). Either way, back up everything else just in case. Install destination drive/partition should be FAT32 if you're using Disk Utility. Reboot from DVD, run the installer, select the relevant drive…and once it's setup, run the installer from the USB to get all the drivers Windows hasn't installed automatically in place.

Thorough write-up here, and there are loads of threads on this forum- this section and the MP one.
 
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GoGrater

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 3, 2020
16
3
1. No, but see below…
2. No, though what Boot Camp Assistant will let you install depends on (a) which Mac OS version you're running and (b) which Mac you're trying to install on. My 1,1 (still going strong) runs Lion and XP Pro. The Lion version of BCA doesn't support XP installs, only Win 7 (if I recall). But the 1,1 can run XP, 7…all the way up to and including 10. Let alone the 5,1…
3. Irrelevant. 5,1 is already unsupported by Apple.
4. Very little expertise needed. Buy Winclone and use it. Easiest backup option for Boot Camp installs by far.

Officially, a 5,1 does not come on the Apple list of Windows 10 supported Macs. BCA will give you an error message if you try to run it with a Win10 installer DVD. In practice, as so often with Macs, 'it works' and 'it's supported by Apple' are two different things. What you need to do is a manual install. DVD burned from the ISO available for download from Microsoft (USB install can be problematic). Get hold of the relevant Boot Camp driver package (5.1.5621). That, you want on a FAT32 formatted USB. Boot Camp Assistant will set that up for you (just don't bother trying to install Win10 with BCA!). Partition your existing drive, or use another one in one of the internal bays (I would suggest a separate drive, preferably an SSD, as Win 10 runs very slowly off HD). Either way, back up everything else just in case. Install destination drive/partition should be FAT32 if you're using Disk Utility. Reboot from DVD, run the installer, select the relevant drive…and once it's setup, run the installer from the USB to get all the drivers Windows hasn't installed automatically in place.

Thorough write-up here, and there are loads of threads on this forum- this section and the MP one.
Thanks, StuAff. I really appreciate your thoughtful reply. The write-up a lot helps too. Very encouraging that I can keep my cMP going longer.
Cheers!
 
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papadj3

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2018
113
11
StuAff.
Is there a way to use the Windows Legacy Install with a 5,1 using Open Core, without losing Open Core during switching from Win 10 to Mac Catalina?? Would love to know!
 
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Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,178
481
Elkton, Maryland
It is also worth mentioning that Windows 10 has fantastic driver detection, in comparison the previous versions of Windows. On many systems, it will automatically install the drivers barring a few that will need to come from the Boot Camp package that was mentioned by @StuAff.
 
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papadj3

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2018
113
11
Thanks for the response StuAff !
If you come across any info. regarding my question, please let us know-
 
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