If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you have already seen my infatuation
hardware. With a freshly pressed copy of Apple’s latest, OS X 10.6 now in my hot little hands, it was time to install both the Leopard and Windows 7 RTM on my main desktop Mac Pro. After playing around with OS X 10.6 and seeing that if certainly felt faster on the same hardware than 10.5, I started Boot Camp and told it which drive I wanted to use for Windows and away I went.

After booting off the Windows 7 x64 DVD, I had my first scary moment. While OS X reported the drives in the machine in proper bay order, Windows 7 did not. Fortunately for me, I had written down the model numbers and disk spaces beforehand so I was able to properly figure out which drive I had marked for Windows. The Windows 7 install went swimmingly and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Windows 7 only reported the ACPI device as missing in the Device Manager. Additionally, I noticed that the sound card wasn’t listed either.

Part of my concern about the drivers was that my machine, a first generation Mac Pro (model MacPro 1,1), does not have x64 support from Apple. Under Vista, I’d managed to get everything I needed working, but didn’t have all the seamlessness of later Macs. I popped in the OS X 10.6 DVD, which contains the Windows drivers, and figured it was worth a shot to give Setup.exe a run. Sadly, the results were not happy:

Before I dove into WinDBG and started hacking things in memory for the setup process, I thought I’d poke around the 10.6 “Boot Camp” directory to see if anything jumped out. I noticed as I started looking that the DVD access was quite slow so I copied the “Boot Camp” directory to my hard disk. My guess is that since the 10.6 DVD is a mixed OS X and Windows DVD, it just takes a lot more to access it.

Looking in the “Boot CampDriversApple” directory, I noticed BootCamp64.MSI along with an x64 directory. That file was only 3 MB so it couldn’t be the main installer. Feeling frisky, I thought I’d give it a shot to see what would happen. I opened CMD.EXE with admin rights and ran the following command in the “Boot CampDriversApple” directory:

msiexec /i BootCamp64.msi

That started a massive flurry of installations and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that that was all it takes to get all the Apple drivers onto an unsupported system. Thanks for not making it hard, Apple! After a reboot, I was thrilled to see that everything was working on the machine including the read only HFS driver that is now part of Boot Camp 3.0.

So OS X 10.6 is running great, Windows 7 is running great, and John is in love with Apple hardware all over again.