Posts Tagged ‘BootCamp’

Sweet! It’s a word I may use a little too often lately and mostly when describing my new little tech-toy, a 13″ MacBook Pro (MBP).

I’d been holding off upgrading for a while  but finally took the plunge.  I was waiting for Apple to update the processor to the i5 chip, which they did, but not for the 13″ version which is my form factor of choice.  I decided to upgrade anyway, as i mentioned in a previous post.  (see here for previous post) I picked up my new MBP from my fave local Apple retailer. I had to pick up a $22 Firewire 800 to Firewire 400 adapter to use the migration assistant to transfer from my trusty old black MacBook to the new MBP and suppose I could have tried the ethernet transfer, but i’ve always done it the Firewire way and never had any troubles so why change what ain’t broke, besides, I use Firewire for my TimeMachine backup and knew I was gonna need the adapter for that.  I may have to find a different adapter or cord since this one extends the fixed non-flexible connector out the side of the MBP approximately 3-1/2″ which means nothing can be too close to that side on my desk.  Aside from that it doesn’t feel like a good sturdy fit and i’m afraid it will sag thereby losing contact and connection in the midst of a backup.

The list of things I love about the MBP is quite long, but most of all I have to say the touch-pad is my favorite so far.  The things I take for granted when using my iPhone I can now do with my MBP touch-pad (at least until the next iPhone OS comes out that is)  Some of the other new features like the back-lit keyboard and its ease of adjusting the brightness independently of the screen brightness, the feel of the case (oooh smooth edges and tapers), the addition of an SD-card slot, the brightness and clarity of the screen (even though I find it a bit glarey in certain light compared to my old MacBook), the new style of the magnetic power connector, the speakers sound better than my old MacBook, etc., etc..  I could go on and on, but i’m sure everyone has already heard about all the changes and updates and poured over the comparison benchmarks.  All in all, I’m a very happy camper, with one exception.

One thing that isn’t working is BootCamp.  Well, it’s not that it isn’t working, it’s just that Apple hasn’t updated the drivers for the latest Macs yet.

I had used Winclone to create a .dmg of my old MacBook’s BootCamp partition and set it up with no problem on the new MBP.  If you are not familiar with WinClone, check out this older post about it – 2009/01/03/winclone-gotta-love-it/ – it’s a great way of moving your windows BootCamp partition from one machine or drive to another.

The problem I was having is mostly due to the fact there are no working drivers for the touch-pad, as well as a few other missing devices (as seen in the screen capture below), but the one that affect me the most is the touch-pad.  Thankfully the mouse works, otherwisetab-ing” your way through the dialogue boxes would get real tired real quick.

Getting it set up and working in BootCamp is not all that important for me, since most of the time i don’t actually boot into BootCamp.  Typically I use Parallels Desktop instead and just use the BootCamp partition as my virtual machine.  Parallels Desktop doesn’t uses the windows drivers for the devices so the touch-pad works fine.

Battery life is another thing that you just have to love, i was working on this blog entry for instance and looked up to see that i still had over 9 hrs of battery life left.  And the best part is, they are not stretching the truth as so often happens with manufacturers performance claims.  Depending upon your power settings and what apps you are running you can get around 9 hours out of the battery. I even saw the time left indicator climb up to over 11-1/2 hours once.

Aside from the little issue with missing drivers, the new MacBook Pro delivers in so many ways that it’s a winner overall and a perfect fit for anyone wanting a small laptop that delivers big.  If you already have a 13″ MacBook Pro from when they first introduced it however, there is nothing earth-shattering about this update that will make you run out and replace it.  If however you are like me and have been waiting, it may be time to take the plunge, since i don’t see the chipset getting an update to the i5 like the 15″ version has anytime soon.

tcg

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Since installing WinXp Service Pack 3 a while ago on my MacBook’s BootCamp partition, i have not been able to start up the mac in winxp, which sadly is something i need to do once in a while.  It became an issue this weekend when i wanted to test a slip-streamed winxp sp3 cd i made, doing so under Parallels just wasn’t good enough, i wanted the full blown windows environment.  So i figured it was about time i figured out why i was no longer able to start windows in BootCamp but i could in Parallels which was using the BootCamp partition – hence my confusion.

After a bit of reading and surfing, i came across some interesting info.  One, according to Apple, i was was supposed to update to BootCamp 2.1 before installing winxp sp3, and two, i needed to update my version of Parallels before installing SP3 as well.  D’oh!  It would have been nice to know that prior to installing SP3.  Thankfully, you can uninstall SP3 in Parallels and then after a reboot, i restarted my Mac in windows (hold the option button as your mac starts if you have more than one bootable partition or drive) and there i was, in Windows again.  So i downloaded the BootCamp 2.1 update, and installed it, and after a restart or two just to make sure it was all working again, i installed SP3 once again and let it go through all the updates, restarts, what-have-you to get up-to-date and it was still working.  I could start in Windows or Mac OSX.   WooHoo!  its fixed, or was it?

I restarted into Mac and tried to use Parallels.  Stuck in the endless restart loop where windows is trying to autocheck but can’t – same problem i was having with BootCamp previously.  D’oh!  Thankfully it didn’t screw up my BootCamp install – i checked just to be sure.  I rarely use Parallels, so i may just take it off my machine anyway, but the geek in me wants to fix it first.  So i think i’ll be updating the version of Parallels i have in the hope that fixes the issue, but i have my doubts.  if not, then like i said, its rarely used, so no great loss, but i know the nagging little voice in my head will have me troubleshooting it until i get it working anyway.  Stay tuned, the story isn’t over yet, just delayed for a while and put on the back burner while more pressing issues are dealt with, now back to making an HP laptop work with WinXP instead of that nasty MS joke named Vista.

tcg

I’ve been using Parallels Desktop for some time now, and really had no issue with it. There are a lot of updates to the program, but that is to be expected with a program that is emulating other OSes. It was working perfectly fine, but i wanted to have the ability to run WinXP natively as well, so i decided to try out BootCamp and use that partition with Parallels so i could have the best of both worlds, at least that’s what i had heard, so being a bit of a doubting Thomas i figured i better find out for myself.
A word of warning –
READ the MANUAL!
I’m not one to actually read manuals, especially if they are PDFs and have to be printed first, which is evidenced by the number of “
spare parts
” i end up with when i build something from a kit, but I did break with tradition and glance through the manual as i was installing BootCamp and setting up the partition, unfortunately i looked at it too late and had to go back a couple steps. I didn’t change the formatting of the new partition before i started the windows XP install which it warns out about in the manual, but i’m getting ahead of myself, lets start from the beginning…

The first thing to do is to make sure you have the room to partition our harddrive, depending upon which OS and what programs are going to be used, you may need anywhere from 5 gig to 30 gig. To set the size you want there are a couple of presets 5 gig and 32 gig, or if you look closely you will notice the little radio button in between that you slide to get the size you want. (look at the image at the top of the blog and you’ll see the slider i am referring to) Apparently it’s easy to miss, at least according to a cohort of mine, so look closely. (I made sure i pointed it out to him when i partitioned my drive, and don’t worry i tried not to be too mean about it, but i did have a good laugh since he ended up partitioning 32 gig because 5 was not big enough. haha.)

The creation of the partition can take a while depending upon how fragmented your drive is and how full, so make sure you have a couple hours to spare before starting the process. If you get part way through and it doesn’t finish but gives you an error instead, run the CRON scripts, empty any caches and trash etc and restart. It should work the second time, mine did. The rest of the install is fairly easy, but as i mentioned read the manual – you’ll want to make sure you format the drive as you install your OS, i went with NTFS but there doesn’t seem to be a reason you couldn’t do FAT32 if you prefer. From then on it was just a case of watching a typical windows install, slow and painful and really dated looking, and of course many restarts and then many updates, and then more restarts… And at the end of it all you will need to install the drivers from the Mac OSX Leopard install DVD to finish the process and make the trackpad, isight, remote, etc work properly. Like i mentioned, the manual is well written but do pay close attention to the process and follow through step by step, if you do, all will be well with your install and you’ll be up and windozing in no time. If not, it’s not the end of the world, you can just use the Bootcamp installer to remove the partition and start again. I did, just to see how it worked, and it works like a charm.

Once you are done partitioning and installing you will get this screen, or something like it when you boot up your mac and hold the option key. You simply choose which OS you want to start by clicking on it and clicking the arrow beneath it. Simple. Clean. Sweet.

Next was setting up Parallels to use the BootCamp partition as its VM, which the people over at SWsoft have nicely detailed for you on how to do. (go to
and read the pdf, specifically chapter 14) It again was relatively painless and easy and i now have the ability to start up in windows under BootCamp or use that same BootCamp partition in parallels if i just need to do something simple and quick and don’t need the full speed of running windows natively.
So far all is working well and i have no complaints, a minor grumble is the fact that you have to shut down your WinXP VM every time you exit Parallels Desktop, but that is so BootCamp can use that same partition. It takes a bit more time that way since you can no longer just suspend your parallels VM, but its not much of a drawback in my opinion. As far as i am concerned, two thumbs up. After all, BootCamp is an Apple program, so even though it is running windows, it works like any Apple product, easy to understand, stable and intuitive.
Happy Camping,
– TCG

P.S.- just a follow up to my last blog about the big UNDO button, i did run into further issues with a couple more programs not functioning properly which i am again chalking up to Monolingual, so i ended up using Apple’s built in UNDO button – “Archive and Install” retaining network and user settings, and all is right with my Mac again. whew.

– TCG