Win8 upgrade - is it worth it on an 2012 Macbook Pro 13"

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by saotomefirst, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. saotomefirst macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro
    #1
    Hi again, MacRumors Community!

    This time, I'm considering upgrading from Win 7 (installed in a bootcamp partition BTW) to Win 8 in my 2012 MBP 13". I got one of those promotional codes and thus I thought it would be a good idea to upgrade before it expires.

    However, the Win 8 installer is giving me a few warnings prior to the installation about stuff that won't work anymore after the upgrade. These include my USB 3.0 ports, my DVD driver and iTunes!

    To make my DVD work again, MS is pushing me their media center, which will cost me roughly $60, 4 times what I'll spend on the OS! And for the USB 3.0 they don't mention anything... Also, I've seen some videos on the web that mention sound and wi-fi not working after the instal :eek:

    Has anyone did this upgrade before? Have these issues been solved? Is it possible to get at least my USB 3.0 working again? Also, is it possible to just buy Win 8 through their upgrade tool without having to actually install it? This way I could wait until these issues are solved to upgrade...

    I appreciate any thoughts you might have. :)
     
  2. ZZ Bottom macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #2
    I'm sure aside from the DVD warning the other two are false positives. I run Win8 on two PCs and have had no trouble with USB 3 support. One is a Sandy Bridge Mboard with Manufacturer USB 3 controller and other is an Ivy Bridge with Intel USB 3 controller (like yours).

    The DVD warning is because MS dropped built in support for DVD playback. This can be easy remedied by installing the free program VLC, which is far and away better than MS Media Center anyway. I also run iTunes 10/11 fine on both PCs.

    Whether it's worth the upgrade otherwise is a matter of taste. I have actually run a "hack" that fully disables the "Modern UI" from Win8; called Ex7forW8. It requires that you have a Windows 7 disc available to extract the explorer.exe from it (the Ex7forW8 app does it automatically for you). It doesn't perform any modification of the OS and is fully reversable. In fact you can switch it on and off as you please. What it does is it puts the Windows 7 "explorer.exe" in a wrapper so that Win8 runs it in place of the Win8 explorer.exe. The result is all of the speed of Win8 and the great File Explorer changes, but no clumsy Metro/Modern UI. Also adds the actual Win7 Start icon/menu (actual MS code, not some third party solution).

    Having done the modification to my Win8 systems, yes I would recommend. Otherwise I have found Metro/Modern UI to be utterly counterproductive on a non-touchscreen computer.
     
  3. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    Biggest thing will be the fact that Bootcamp drivers aren't fully supported in windows 8 just yet. You can get the windows 7 drivers to work but there may be some incompatabilities that may arise so be prepared if that happens.

    If you can avail of the download now, and actually save installing it till later you might be better off, but if your willing to accept that there may be some small issues (smc fan control etc..) then upgrade, but make sure you have a backup just in case you want to revert later.

    Personally I like windows 8 and have no major problems with the Bootcamp drivers on my Mac Pro.
     
  4. saotomefirst thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro
    #4
    First of all, thanks for the replies :D

    That can be a great concern for me, especially if there are problems with fan/video/audio control, as my sole purpose to have Bootcamp is to run Win games. Wi-fi is another thing that must work, as I don't have a cable to connect my Mac to my router. USB 3.0 is something I'll definitely miss, but I can live with it though.

    I really wish I can buy Win 8 w/o having to install it right afterwards, so I can wait for official Apple drivers. I'll call MS Support tomorrow to check that with them.

    Lovely! Where can I get those programs, ZZ? Especially that Ex7forW8, for I really can't get used with the idea of using a tablet interface in a laptop...
     
  5. ZZ Bottom macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #5
    VLC can be downloaded directly from the people that make it at www.videolan.org

    I downloaded Ex7forW8 from Softonic's link found here: http://ex7forw8.en.softonic.com/
    The app is created by a developer that goes by "Tihiy". He/she is also the creator of StartisBack, a similar Windows 8 app. You can find plenty of details about the developer and their software online if you're concerned about the source. FYI StartisBack is a great alternative to Ex7forW8 if you'd prefer to keep the Metro/Modern UI, but not have to see it when you don't want to. Personally I preferred Win8 to feel like Win7 with the performance improvements, so I opted for Ex7forW8. If you plan on shopping around on the Windows App Store then you'd be better off with StartisBack.

    Important Note: Ex7forW8 inhibits ability to create additional users through the normal Control Panel method. Apparently you have to use Command Prompt to do it. This didn't bother me since I only run 1 user account anyway.

    Also, by default Windows 8 picks several Metro/Modern UI apps as the default for various filetypes; i.e. PDFs open in "reader", a metro app. When you run Ex7forW8, the metro apps will flat out not load, and you will get a simple error box saying so. All you have to do is right-click your filetype and choose a different default app to open them in.
     
  6. saotomefirst thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro
    #6
    Thanks again for the tips, ZZ

    I spoke with MS yesterday and they instructed me on how to pay for Win 8 and download an ISO into a DVD for future installation when I get all the drivers.

    As for that StartisBack you mentioned, I'll take a look on it, but the Ex7forW8 seems to be closer to what I need - especially because I only use 1 user on my Windows and it can be reversed if I ever need it.
     

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