Newsletter Issue #343 Preview:
Is Anyone Interested in Boot Camp and Windows Vista Beta 2?

June 24th, 2006

So it was only natural. On the one hand, there’s a simply superb personal computer, the 17-inch MacBook Pro, and the ability to run two or more operating systems. Independent tests show that it actually can run Windows XP faster than many dedicated Windows boxes. So with two popular methods of setting up the “Dark Side” on an Intel-based Mac, I decided to take the ultimate plunge: The public beta of Windows Vista.

This isn’t quite as simple as it seems at first glance. Yes, the download process proceeded with nary a hitch. In fact, I got the file via Apple’s Safari, and used Mac OS X’s Disk Utility to convert the disk image to a DVD. Piece of cake. At first, I wanted to use Parallels Desktop to host the Vista beta, hoping it would let me do some direct comparisons with Tiger without a reboot.

Alas, that wasn’t to be. The PC BIOS that Parallels supports isn’t compatible with Windows Vista. That’s a limitation that will be addressed in a few months, so far now I decided to see if Boot Camp would work, without any weird workarounds or hacks. In order to deprive myself of even the most basic common sense information, I decided to approach the task directly without doing any research first. That, as you will learn shortly, is not the path of least resistance.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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One Response to “Newsletter Issue #343 Preview:
Is Anyone Interested in Boot Camp and Windows Vista Beta 2?”

  1. Andrew says:

    Honestly, I’d much rather see Windows 2000 work under Boot Camp than Windows Vista, or at least the ability to eject disks during the install so that I could use my Windows XP upgrade CD and the validity check from my Windows 2000 retail disk. I’m looking closely at buying a 15″ MacBook Pro so that I could run Windows games when I travel (Parallels isn’t much of an option for gaming), but I’m not about to spend an additional $300 on a copy of Windows XP when I’m already the owner of a full version of Windows 2000 and have a valid, unused XP upgrade license.

    On a real PC I can boot from the upgrade CD and it will simply ask me to switch the disk to the Windows 2000 CD to verify eligibility for an upgrade install. This allows a clean install of Windows XP to a freshly formatted drive. Sadly Boot Camp does not allow drive swapping. I’m wondering if I could use a second firewire or USB cd drive, or perhaps even an external hard drive with a valid full install of Windows 2000 to bypass the eligibiity check and install XP on an Intel Mac, but $2000 is a lot of money to make an attempt. Except for Windows gaming, I don’t really stand anything to gain by upgrading my 15″ PowerBook to a MacBook Pro.

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