Windows 7 Bootcamp on early unibody macbook

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by idleauk, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. idleauk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I have today received a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium, and am looking forward to installing it on my MacBook (early unibody version with Core 2 Duo processor, recently upgraded to Snow Leopard - version MacBook 5,1 - with 2.4GHz Processor and 4GB RAM).

    The question is simple, but I am utterly confused when searching for the answer...!

    Should I install the 32bit or the 64bit version of windows? (both the disks are in the box). I would like a smooth installation, and realise that 32bit should work no problem. However if all the drivers are available for 64bit windows, and it works then I see no reason not to install that version. I am confused because there is reference on the Apple website of this version of the MacBook not being supported for 64bit despite having a 64bit processor (??) Also the vast majority of the information on the Apple website seems to refer to Vista 64bit. I imagine that this will be quite confusing for many users, as it has been for me!

    Please advise as to the correct way to proceed. Ideally I will only install windows once, and would obviously like to install the potentially faster OS if it will be straightforward, and everything will work as it should (have read about problems with the iSight/backlit keyboard etc. - but these may now be fixed).

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    You don't say what you want to DO with Windows, since it does make a difference. If none of your apps will take advantage of 64 bit addressing you can lose instead of gain performance.

    I was running 32 bit on my MBP just fine until I decided to upgrade to 64 bit for soem engineering apps that can tade advantage of it. It generally runs well, but there are some very annoying issues with printer drivers and VMWare Fusion that I ran into yesterday.

    If smooth is your desire and you don't have a compelling NEED for 64 bit, stick with the 32 bit edition.

    B
     
  3. idleauk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #3
    To be honest, I think most of what I want to do will be 32bit anyway. I was just concerned that upgrading if necessary to 64bit in the future might be a bit of a faff???

    I expect to use AutoCAD as well as some structural analysis programs, together with office and perhaps a couple of games. I am not aware if any of these are 64bit capable, and am not sure if would actually really notice much of a difference anyway.

    I'm guessing it will probably be best to go 32bit, and maybe update if needed in a year or two when the drivers have all settled down??

    Also, I was thinking of setting the partition size to about 40GB. Does that sound about right? The Windows 7 box says that the OS needs 16GB (for 32bit - 20GB for 64bit!), so I thought that would give a bit of room for applications without overdoing it too much? Would you agree??
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    Sounds fine to me. I give mine about 25% of the HDD so on my 500 GB I have about a 120 GB partition, but on the old 250 GB I had about 60 GB.

    B
     
  5. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #5
    Apple has all the 64 bit drivers needed for Windows 7 on the Snow Leopard CD. After installing Windows, insert the Snow Leopard CD and walk though the wizard. I've been using the 64 bit RC in Bootcamp/VMWare without any problems.
     
  6. idleauk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #6
    Will it be straightforward to change from 32bit to 64bit if I need to in the future? Will the product key/activation work twice?

    I notice that AutoCAD does indeed appear to have a 64bit version, and I guess it would make sense to use that if I can, but I just don't know if the 64bit drivers are of an acceptable quality yet, or even supported, on this model of Macbook. I am utterly confused! If Apple cannot support 64bit Windows 7 then I guess no-one should be installing it except on the three models that they list??

    Equally, if Apple released the drivers next week for 64 bit I would be slightly annoyed, but I guess this is quite possible seeing as Windows 7 has just been released.
     
  7. JoeBIII macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #7
    I just installed the 64 bit version of Win 7 on my early unibody macbook. all is fine, but my Snow Leopard installation CD states that the drivers on the unit do not support x64 for it. it errors out stating that the computer isn't supported for the 64 bit drivers. any ideas on how to get around this or where to get the updated drivers?
     
  8. JoeBIII macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #8
    found a resolution here. it updated many of the 64 bit drivers, although i'm still working on getting the bluetooth mighty mouse to work with Win 7/64.

    http://www.andrewgrant.org/2008/11/04/vista-64-bit-on-the-macbook-2008-solution.html
     
  9. idleauk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #9
    Well the official line from Apple is that Bootcamp does not currently support Windows 7, and that I should wait a few weeks for an update to be released which will offer this support.

    I have read of many 'workarounds' to install the 64bit drivers via navigating directly to the .msi file on the snow leopard disk, but if audio/video/backlit keyboard/bluetooth etc. drivers to not work then that is a bit useless really isn't it?!

    So it sounds like the 32bit drivers aren't ready for use either?? If I did install a version of Windows 7, would an update to bootcamp sort out any driver problems, or would I have to reinstall windows again? And would I have a problem reusing the same licence key???

    Thanks again.
     
  10. idleauk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #10
    A quick update: I have just successfully installed the 64bit version of Windows 7 on my MacBook, which was relatively straightforward.

    Audio and video drivers seem fine (although the video driver seems to think it is running vista), however there are definite issues over some of the keyboard functions as well as ejecting disks, and bluetooth. No doubt there are more.

    I have not activated Windows, and will probably remove the install/partition in due course, and clean install it all again when Apple has released the Boot Camp Windows 7 update (which should be fairly soon from the news story) so that it is all in order with the correct drivers etc., and once it is known if 64bit will properly work on this particular model.

    I notice that the Boot Camp utility has placed a new 'drive' on my mac desktop - I presume this has to remain visible?

    Thanks again.
     

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