Windows 7/8 64 bit on Late 2008 MacBook...can it be done?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by sk1309, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. sk1309 macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2014
    Hi guys,

    So I have a Late 2008 Aluminum 13" Unibody MacBook (MacBook 5,1) which I recently upgraded by installing both Mavericks and a total of 8GB RAM. I'd like to install a 64 bit version of either Windows 7 or 8 via Boot Camp. The problem is, this page tells me that as of Mavericks and Boot Camp 5, Apple has officially dropped support for 64 bit versions of 7 and 8 for my MacBook model.

    Is it still possible to run 64 bit Windows 7 and/or 8 via Boot Camp on my machine? I'd imagine the problems would arise when trying to install drivers; is there a way to download and install the drivers separately?

    Please help! Thank you!
  2. mintfan7200 macrumors member


    Feb 18, 2014
    Why dont you use a virtual machine program instead of bootcamp ? Windows 7 and Windows 8 should run great on your macbook in a virtual machine program .
  3. sk1309 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2014
    Well, the reason I want to run Windows is to be able to run a couple games. One of those games (Guild Wars 2) used to run well on my Boot Camp XP partition on lowest settings, but its official Mac client used to be unplayable when running on OSX. Even now with Mavericks and 8 GBs of RAM, it suffers performance issues on OSX, so I'm skeptical about virtualization. I think it should play fine on a Windows partition however.
  4. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2012
    Theoretically you should be able to install 64-bit Win 7/8 since your Mac processor supports 64-bit. However I have no idea if you can use Boot Camp Assistant in Mavericks to do it since officially only Boot Camp 4 supports your hardware. Have you tried to install Windows 7 in Mavericks? I imagine most Boot Camp drivers won't work but Windows 7 default drivers may do the trick. If not, you may have to hunt the missing drivers over the Internet.
  5. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Download the Boot Camp 4 support software to a USB flash drive. Now run Boot Camp Assistant, and when prompted, uncheck the box that says to download the support software, create your partition, and then try to install Windows 7 (not sure if 8 will work) as per Apple's instructions. Once you've booted into the Windows desktop for the first time, copy the zip file you downloaded from the link above to the hard drive, unpack it, and run the setup file. This should install all the drivers you need. Then head to NVIDIA's website to download the most recent GPU drivers for your machine.
  6. sk1309 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2014
    This is what I ended up doing, and I'm happy to report that Windows 7 64-bit does work perfectly with Boot Camp on my machine! :D

    To help out anyone else who might need to install Windows 7 64-bit on their MacBook, I will outline what I did below. Please note that the following instructions worked for me on my system (MacBook 5,1 Late 2008 Aluminum Unibody 13", Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, GeForce 9400M GPU, 8 GB RAM running OSX Mavericks and Boot Camp 5.10); I don't know if they will apply to any other MacBook models. Since my MacBook comes with an inbuilt DVD drive, I didn't need to create a bootable USB version of Windows; I simply used a (legitimate) Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit installation disc and product key.

    1. Back up your important files on OSX using your favorite backup method.
    2. Download the Boot Camp Support Software version 4.0.4033 here: These are the drivers you need to install in Windows 7 to get your OS to recognize and use your hardware.
    3. Unzip the zip file from the previous step and copy the contents (the folder named "BootCamp") to an empty USB stick that is FAT-formatted (to format the USB, you can use Disk Utility in OSX.)
    4. Safely eject the USB once the folder has been copied onto it.
    5. Insert your Windows 7 64-bit installation disc into your DVD drive.
    6. Start Boot Camp Assistant.
    7. Uncheck the box that tells you to download Windows support software (you have already done so; it's on your USB stick.)
    8. Proceed with partitioning. Once finished, the computer will restart and Windows 7 installation should begin.
    9. Hurdle 1: When the installation process for Windows 7 started up and the program asked me which partition I wanted to install Windows on, it wouldn't initially allow me to select the Boot Camp partition. I had to select that partition and click on "Format" first before it allowed me to install Windows onto it.
    10. Windows 7 installation should proceed normally.
    11. Once you have loaded into you Desktop, it is time to install the support software (i.e. drivers) from your USB. Insert the USB and copy the BootCamp folder onto your desktop. If you don't have an external mouse, pressing Shift-F10 will do the the same thing as right-clicking.
    12. Hurdle 2: After copying the zip file containing the Boot Camp drivers to the desktop, I tried installing them via the setup file but got the error message "Boot Camp x64 is unsupported on this computer model". This is a LIE! To fix this, I first disabled the User Account Control (Start>Control Panel>User Accounts>Change User Account Control Settings>set to "Never Notify.") Then I rebooted. After rebooting, I navigated to the zip file BootCamp>Drivers>Apple>BootCamp.msi and it installed all the Boot Camp drivers perfectly. I rebooted again as per the installation process requirements.
    13. Run Windows Update to get all of Microsoft's updates, including Service Pack 1 (took me hours...)
    14. Hurdle 3: After updating my NVIDIA GPU (GeForce 9400M) driver to the most recent driver version (334.89 WHQL) via their automatic update program, I lost the ability to control my screen brightness (pressing the brightness keys brought up the brightness level indicator, but did not affect the actual screen brightness.) To fix this, I had to do the following:
    14a. Go to Control Panel>Hardware and Sound>Device Manager>Monitor>Right-click Generic PnP Display and DISABLE it.
    14b. Open regedit by typing "regedit" in the Start menu search bar.
    14c. Navigate to the following sub key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Class/Video/0000
    14d. Create a new DWORD named "EnableBrightnessControl" and set its value to be 1.
    14e. Reboot.​

    After having done all this, Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 64-bit works flawlessly on my MacBook. I'm also happy to say that Guild Wars 2 runs quite well on low settings, which was the whole point of going through this :D

    Thank you to all those who replied. I hope this thread is useful to others.
  7. Maubaraf macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2014
    Thanks for leaving all that information, I am however encountering a different problem, I got windows 7 but my superdrive doesn't seem to able to recognize the windows 7 and after trying to spin it for a good while it tells me that I introduced it a blank disk. However my superdrive reads fine other dvd's such as films.
    I thought it may be the dvd but I tried it on my partner's computer and it seems to be working ok on hers.
    Could it be related with me having Yosemite and she still having the last versions of snow leopard (not Mavericks or Yosemite)?
    Anybody has any idea of what could I do?

    Thanks very much
  8. JJRRR macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2015
    Windows 7 64 bit on Late 2008 Aluminum Macbook WORKS

    MY SCENARIO: Using Boot Camp to install Windows 7 64bit on MacBook in title (Actually bought Windows 7 64 bit off Amazon without clarifying that my MacBook late 2008 would take it.. fortunately, it worked)

    Follow all the instructions for Bootcamp Installation (Youtube has some good videos, type in Bootcamp Installation MacBook Windows 7/8)

    I should note: before I did this, I went to Start.. typed in Change user account settings.. "clicked on it.. and put never notify. Read this in another thread and I'm not sure if it made a difference, but wanted to include it in case it did make a difference.

    Problem 1:
    In most youtube videos, it says to click on "setup" in the windows USB file you saved in order to start the boot camp installation process. Unfortunately, I was getting.. "Windows x64 is unsupported by this computer", or something to that effect. Thanks to another thread, I learned you could do start bootcamp in windows by going to the same folder:

    >Bootcamp 64

    Click on Bootcamp 64 and it should run the Bootcamp install in Windows.

    The other main problem I ran into was that after going through the process, when booting up Windows, it was extremely slow. After banging my head for 30 minutes, I realized that I needed to INSTALL WINDOWS UPDATES. Yes I'm a little retarded. I had about 179 updates and it took a few hours. I rebooted in Windows after complete. Still slow.... WTF. For some reason, after rebooting in Mac OS X, then did some work for a few hours (you probably don't need to wait that long)... rebooted in Windows again to just see if it was any faster. To my surprise, it was extremely fast (at normal speed as was working in my OS X partition).

    Other tips: Recommend ~70 GB for the Windows Partition.. some youtube videos don't clarify this. The default is 20GB when going through the process. From what I read (not sure of validity), you have to use 3rd party apps to change the GB designation for windows after the installation process, basically its a pain. So be sure to raise it more than to at least 35 if you don't have much space.

    Any other questions, feel free to reply. I'll try to get back to you.

    Good Luck

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