I had a nice week long vacation over the Thanksgiving Holiday. One of the many things on my list was to settle once and for all the illusive Windows 7 install on my MacPro at home.
I have bitching about it on my blog for several posts. I tried without success to upgrade the Vista image on my Bootcamp partition several times. Over the break I bit the bullet and did a fresh install on the Bootcamp partition AND – no luck. Realizing I was over my head (or at least past my interest level) I called my neighbor Tom over to help. Tom is my goto IT support for home issues that need a level of commitment that perhaps I lack.
We tried several things that didn't work. We ended up reading the installer log that shows you everything that worked, but failing to tell you what did not work. A more information dialog at the end of the unsuccessful install simply said that "Installer failed". Hmm?
Armed with that information we hit the Interwebs and found a reasonably long dialog about unsuccessful installs on MacPro hardware. It seems that Windows 7 runs fine on a MacPro, but the installer crashes. Really?
Two solutions were outlined on the web. One, install windows on the drive installed in another machine then boot the image and hope you can correct the drivers and get the install to boot. The Second, download Parallels the PC virtual machine software for MacOS and use it to install windows into the Bootcamp partition. After you get Windows 7 running off the Bootcamp partition in the emulator, then boot the image natively and fix up the drivers with the Snow Leopard drivers disk.
Tom opted for number 2 as number 1 was a lot moving disks around and involved some kind of drive slot number magic that we viewed as higher risk than the high wire act we chose to perform.
We downloaded a trial copy of Parallels, installed Windows 7 into the Bootcamp partition, rebooted AND Viola.. Installed the Snow Leopard Drivers and I'm off the races.
Ok, that was a big deal. But Windows 7 runs perfectly and the machine seems faster to me now. If you need Tom to install your Windows don't count on it – he's busy constantly bailing out my family.