Updated Windows 7 install notes for MacBook Pro owners

In the process of installing the Windows 7 beta, I have come across a few things that don’t quite work well out of the box on my MacBook Pro.  Here are some notes from my experiences that may help someone else:

  • Partitioned the drive using Boot Camp Assistant.  Install takes up about 9GB, so you’ll want at least a 20GB partition.  I chose 32GB.
  • I had to burn the ISO to a physical disk to get it to install – couldn’t figure out how to use the ISO to install Windows 7 into the Boot Camp partition.
  • Once Windows 7 install launches, the BootCamp partition was inaccessible to me – I had to click advanced options and format the partition to make Windows 7 recognize it.
  • Once installed, Apple drivers are missing.  Insert the Mac OS X Install DVD to launch the Windows installer with all the necessary drivers.
  • If you have the latest generation of MacBook Pro or MacBook with the NVidia 9600GT video cards, you’ll need to go to NVidia’s website and download their latest driver bundle:  http://www.nvidia.com/object/notebook_drivers.html.
  • Installing the video drivers made a huge difference on my Windows Experience score.  Original, “out of the box” score was 1.0 due to the generic video drivers.  Installing the NVidia bundle took me to an Experience score of 3.0 – with the disk transfer rate being the lowest thing now.  The video scores are  now a 6.2 for Graphics and 5.4 for 3D and gaming!  All other scores, except disk transfer, are 5 or higher on the MBP.
  • Once you rerun the Windows Experience scoring after installing the NVidia drivers, Aero automatically enables.
  • Figured out how to get VMware Fusion to boot my Boot Camp partition in a virtual machine.  Fusion automatically discovers the Boot Camp partition and places it in the Virtual Machine Library window…  Pretty good!
  • VMware Fusion needs a cleanly shutdown copy of Windows in Boot Camp to create its VM profile.  If the Windows copy in Boot Camp was not shutdown successfully, Fusion will fail to create its VM profile, will alert you and you will need to boot back into Windows via Boot Camp and shutdown cleanly.
  • It appears that VMware Fusion or Boot Camp installed MacFuse on my system to make the Boot Camp partition accessible.   Which one?? Does anybody know off hand?
  • Network drivers could not be located once Fusion finally booted Windows 7.  After researching on the VMware Fusion message boards, the work-around for this is to change the VMX file for the Boot Camp VM to have
    ethernet0.virtualDEV = "e1000"


  • The VMX file for the Boot Camp VM is located in
    ~/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/Virtual \
    Machines/Boot Camp


Update: I did a bad thing and I didn’t cite my sources for the information I found.  I have added links to the VMware community threads and other links to give credit where credit is due…

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Author Information

Philip is a IT solutions engineer working for AmWINS Group, Inc., an insurance brokerage firm in Charlotte, NC. With a focus on data center technologies, he has built a career helping his customers and his employers deploy better IT solutions to solve their problems. Philip holds certifications in VMware and Microsoft technologies and he is a technical jack of all trades that is passionate about IT infrastructure and all things Apple. He's a part-time blogger and author here at Techazine.com.

4 Responses to “Updated Windows 7 install notes for MacBook Pro owners”

  1. wes #

    “It appears that VMware Fusion or Boot Camp installed MacFuse on my system to make the Boot Camp partition accessible. Which one?? Does anybody know off hand?”

    I know VMware Fusion installed MacFuse on my Macbook Pro when i first installed it. I haven’t messed around with Boot Camp, so it’s most likely VMware

    January 16, 2009 at 7:55 pm Reply
  2. i just installed Windows 7 on my PC. i just hope that it is as stable as Windows XP.

    September 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm Reply
  3. Shikar #

    how did you get the nvidia drivers to install? I have vmware 3.0 on my macbook and I am running win 7 64bit?

    January 7, 2010 at 8:14 pm Reply
  4. Philip #

    I actually ran Win 7 32-bit and the Vista drivers worked without any problems. The 64-bit version, however, I’m not sure. I would assume different drivers would be needed. Also not sure if Vista 64-bit was supported, but those drivers might work.

    January 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm Reply

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