A Random Collection Of Technological News and Random Musings on Current Events
Windows 7
By Alex Ferro on December 1, 2009 12:05 PM | No Comments
I realized that running Windows XP on my MacBook Pro, while it works without any major bugs, is not the most optimal solution. Running an old operating system on a one year old machine means I miss out of features, support, and most importantly, an updated version of Minesweeper. 
Plus, my XP install was slow and I needed to reinstall anyway, so I decided to update to Windows 7. I also took the opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit since my machine is 64-bit. 
So I went and got a Windows disc. I went to go install it on my machine and my machine wouldn't boot off of it. 
Instead of the Windows Installer my machine went to the second choice boot loader I have, still now showing a CD boot option. I selected my mac drive and continued to boot, now in mental trouble shooting mode. 
Boot Menu
Once I had booted, the DVD did show up on my desktop. So I tested and made sure there was nothing wrong with the disc. It booted just fine in a 64-bit VM, which ruled out a defective disc.
Win7 Install Boot.png
Next, I tried making an iso of the install disc, tested the iso in my VM and then used a tool from Microsoft to transfer the iso to a USB flash drive. My computer still wouldn't boot off it, even though it has worked with other USB boot discs before. 
At this point I really want to know what is wrong with my computer that it won't boot off a valid cd or USB boot flash drive but yet have full access to the disc once booted. Maybe my computer has heard the old joke about Windows discs. It has to be just my computer because I can't be the only mac user trying to install Windows 7 on their mac. Rather than try to find out why it wasn't working, I gave up with the direct approach. VMware Fusion has a feature that allows me to run my install of Windows XP in both a VM and on the bare metal depending on my performance needs. 
I decided to abuse this feature for the purposes of installing Windows on my machine. I pointed it at the iso I made earlier, for speed, and started the VM up. I selected the custom install option since I didn't have a Vista install to upgrade (nor would I wan't to do an OS upgrade).
Custom Install.png

I selected the partition I had Windows XP already installed on as the destination for the installer.  I was rather nonplussed when the rest of the installation went smoothly and my old stuff from XP was all in a folder called Windows.old. I just copied the stuff I needed out of that rather than the backup I so wisely took. 
Finally I rebooted into Windows 7 natively on my mac and installed the drivers for everything off the Apple driver disc. I had to download and install the Nvidia driver separately as it didn't want to install right from the disc.
After doing all of this, I had an updated, 100% working version of minesweeper.

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