So I jumped on the bandwagon Friday night and installed the recently released RC (build 7100) of Windows 7 from MSDN. Having missed the initial rush, I was hitting download speeds of around 1.5 mb/s on my 15 mb down FIOS connection. After I had the ISO, I figured I would avoid the nightmere of deleting and repartitioning Boot Camp and try a boot right from my newly burned Windows 7 DVD and reformat from the installer. In hindsight, it seems that Mac OS X does not recognize that there is a Windows volume as a startup disk now – only Mac OS is dispalyed in Sysytem Preferences > Startup Disk.
Based on my previous experiences with Vista x64 installs on my MacBook Pro, I went to a very useful post I had bookmarked on getting the ISO to be bootable (after some digging, this other post outlines basically the same thing). And sure enough, it was even updated for Windows 7. If you do this right off the bat, you won’t see the “Select CD-ROM boot type” with no way to make a selection.
I reformatted my NTFS drive for a clean install of Windows 7, and the install proceeded without a hangup [insert your look of surprise here]. I followed that up with an install of the regular Boot Camp drivers from Apple on my OS X CD (version 2.01) – you can also download them via a torrent – and then the Boot Camp x64 update from Apple (2.1).
After installing Boot Camp, what happened next completely blew my mind – EVERYTHING WORKED. This was a great releif, since after every Vista x64 install I found my WiFi non-functional (had to download my own Atheros drivers) and the ATi graphics driver was sketchy (fixed with modtool). In my opinion, Microsoft did a great job of playing nice with Apple drivers this time around – they even show a nice message in the event that a driver is unsupported as opposed to the blue screen common with Vista.
As far as first impressions, Windows 7 has simply just worked for me. From the minimal amount of processes running to all of my hardware and software working without a hitch, Windows 7 is definately a pleasant surprise in the wake of Vista.
So, have you installed Windows 7 with Boot Camp? If so, please share your experiences (good and bad).
Update: Some people seem to be having issues with drivers. These are the two Boot Camp drivers that I always use – without issue:
May 5 2009